GB 0210 DESLLY
Desmond Donnelly Papers,
- 1821-1978 (mainly 1941-1974) (accumulated 1941-1978) / (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
0.562 cubic metres (21 boxes)
Name of creator
Desmond Louis Donnelly, MP, (1920-74), politician, was born in India. He was educated at the Bembridge School, Isle of Wight, and served in the Royal Air Force during World War Two. After the War, he contested various parliamentary seats, and was elected to the House of Commons as the Labour MP for Pembrokeshire in February 1950. Initially a follower of Aneurin Bevan, he later joined the Gaitskellite camp within the Labour Party. He travelled extensively in the Soviet Union, China and Eastern Europe. He developed an anti-Soviet stance and opposed the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. He supported the Common Market. He was critical of the 1964 Labour government, and eventually resigned the Labour whip and was expelled from the Labour Party. In 1967 he set up his own United Democratic Party, whose policies included abolition of the Welfare State, a form of national service and far-reaching changes to the tax system. His new party unsuccessfully contested five seats in the general election of June 1970 and Donnelly was himself defeated in Pembrokeshire. He abandoned his new party, and joined the Conservative Party in 1971. He suffered severe clinical depression during the closing months of his life and was found dead on 4 April 1974. He was a prolific writer and among his works are The March Wind (1959) and Struggle for the World (London: Collins, 1965), and corresponded widely. He owned a notebook belonging to John Wynford Philipps, 1st Viscount St Davids (1860-1938), Liberal MP for Mid-Lanark, 1888-92, and Liberal MP for Pembrokeshire, 1898-1908, containing Pembrokeshire historical material.
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer
Deposited by his widow, Mrs Rosemary Donnelly, Fishguard, 1978.
Content and structure area
Scope and content
General correspondence, 1950-74, to Desmond Donnelly and carbon copies of letters from him, including letters form Dean Acheson, Sir Anthony Eden and Sir Roy Welensky and other prominent British and international political figures; papers relating to various topics including Pembrokeshire politics and general elections, 1916-1968, Donnelly's foreign travels and international affairs, 1949-1972, his publications, 1958-1966, the United Democratic Party, 1969-1970; a scrapbook relating to the British Empire Cricket Team, diary extracts, papers and other personal material, 1941-1974; copies and drafts of articles and speeches by Donnelly, 1949-1973; and a large group of press cuttings, 1921, 1946-1978. There is also a scrapbook belonging to John Wynford Philipps, 1897-1908.
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling
Action: All records deposited at the National Library of Wales have been retained..
Accruals are not expected.
System of arrangement
Arranged into the following: general correspondence, subject files, personalia, articles and speeches, miscellanea, press cuttings.
Conditions of access and use area
Conditions governing access
Readers consulting modern papers in the National Library of Wales are required to sign the 'Modern papers - data protection' form.
Conditions governing reproduction
Usual copyright regulations apply.
Language of material
Script of material
Language and script notes
Physical characteristics and technical requirements
A hard copy of the catalogue is available at the National Library of Wales.
Allied materials area
Existence and location of originals
Existence and location of copies
Related units of description
Title supplied from contents of fonds. Some press cuttings and letters postdate his death whilst he acquired a few items predating his life.
Virtua system control number
Place access points
Name access points
- Donnelly, Desmond (Creator)
- British Empire Cricket Team. (Subject)
- United Democratic Party. (Subject)
- Donnelly, Desmond -- Archives. (Subject)
- Philipps, John Wynford, Viscount St Davids, 1860-1938 (Subject)
- Acheson, Dean, 1893-1971 (Subject)
- Eden, Anthony, Earl of Avon, 1897-1977 (Subject)
- Welensky, Roy, Sir, 1907- (Subject)
Genre access points
Description control area
Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru = The National Library of Wales
Rules and/or conventions used
Description follows ANW guidelines based on ISAD(G) 2nd ed.;AACR2; and LCSH
Level of detail
Dates of creation revision deletion
Compiled by Rhys Jones for the ANW project. The following source was used to compile this description: NLW Schedule of Desmond Donnelly Papers.