Complete classes from the CAB & PREM series in the Public Record Office
Series Three: CAB 128 & CAB 129 - Cabinet Conclusions & Cabinet Memoranda, 1945 and following
Part 4: The Macmillan/Home Governments, January 1957 - October 1964
(CAB 128/31-38 & CAB 129/85-118)
CAB 129 General Character
CAB 129 is the complementary series to CAB 128 and contains the Cabinet Memoranda. These are papers on specific problems and issues facing the government which are written by Ministers and distributed to key members of the government as a basis for discussion in Cabinet meetings. The Cabinet Memoranda tended to be produced by Ministers with the backing of their relevant Department and as such represent the most distilled and pertinent output of each, often summarising complex issues and statistics in order to present a certain argument or course of action. The Cabinet Memoranda are the perfect foil to the Cabinet Minutes; where the strength of the latter lies in their brevity and ability to communicate a sense of the government’s overall agenda, the former concentrate on providing succinct answers to specific (often complex) issues.
As with CAB 128, the material in CAB 129 is arranged chronologically and each item is identified by a unique code. The Public Record Office piece numbers refer to the volume in which the papers are bound. The Detailed Listing provides a list of all the titles of the papers contained within each volume (usually about fifty per volume) and their authors.
The reference numbers work in a similar way to those in CAB 128, a one or two letter code, followed by a number in brackets denoting the year, which in turn is followed by the number of the paper. Thus C (62) 170 refers to the one-hundred and seventieth Cabinet Paper written in 1962. After the code-number is listed the title of the memorandum and its author, in this case Cuba: Memorandum by the Lord Chancellor.
The different letter codes prefixes for each administrations’ Cabinet Memoranda are:
C - The Churchill Administration (1951-1955)
CP - The Eden Administration (1955-1957)
C - The Macmillan Administration (1957-1963)
CM - The Douglas-Home Administration (1963-1964)