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Darling (Ernest William) papers
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Collection Details
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  • Access
  • Use
  • Acquisition Information
  • Preferred Citation
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content Note

  • Title: Ernest William Darling papers
    Date (inclusive): 1917-1960
    Collection Number: 47007
    Contributing Institution: Hoover Institution Library and Archives
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 9 manuscript boxes (3.7 Linear Feet)
    Abstract: Writings, correspondence, memoranda, reports, pamphlets, leaflets, and clippings, relating to the communist movement, political conditions, labor, and housing in Great Britain.
    Creator: Darling, Ernest William, 1905-
    Physical Location: Hoover Institution Library & Archives


    The collection is open for research; materials must be requested in advance via our reservation system. If there are audiovisual or digital media material in the collection, they must be reformatted before providing access.


    For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Library & Archives.

    Acquisition Information


    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Ernest William Darling Papers, [Box no., Folder no. or title], Hoover Institution Library & Archives.

    Biographical Note

    1905 Born, London, England
    1919 Leaves school and starts working in a booksellers warehouse
    1921 Joins trade union
    1926 Participates in British General Strike and edits a strike bulletin
    1931-1936 Works on the staff of the New Fabian Research Bureau
    1932-1946 Active in the Communist Party of Great Britain as militant, branch secretary, and contributor to party publications
    1937-1939 Secretary to Legal Bureau, Hampstead Tenants' Defence League
    1939-1940 Works for British civil defense program
    1942-1943 Shop steward, Philco factory, London
    1946 Leaves Communist Party

    Scope and Content Note

    Acquired in 1947, with an increment added in 1981, the Ernest William Darling papers in the Hoover Institution Library & Archives comprise a small but interesting collection of primary documents and printed matter, most of which pertain to the history of the Communist Party of Great Britain in the 1930s and 1940s. As such, these materials offer a glimpse into the organizational life of the party at a number of levels, from the central committee down to the local branch level, and they record both public campaigns and internal party debates during a period extending from the Depression through the end of World War II.
    Born into a working class family, Darling became politically involved at an early age, and his activism subsequently included roles as a trade union delegate, tenants' rights campaigner, and party militant. Materials relating to each of these activities are organized within separate files in the collection (see COMMUNIST PARTY OF GREAT BRITAIN ORGANIZATIONAL FILE, HAMPSTEAD TENANTS' DEFENCE LEAGUE FILE, and PHILCO SHOP STEWARDS FILE).
    While never a party theorist, Darling did write on a number of topics, with a special emphasis on issues of employment and housing (see SPEECHES AND WRITINGS series). A significant exchange of letters with the British Communist leader, Harry Pollitt, can be found in the CORRESPONDENCE series, and these letters enumerate the reasons that led Darling to leave the party in 1946. The PRINTED MATTER series contains a large number of pamphlets issued by the Communist Party of Great Britain, covering a wide variety of issues ranging from London municipal elections to international politics.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Great Britain -- Politics and government -- 20th century
    Communism -- Great Britain
    Housing -- Great Britain
    Labor unions -- Great Britain
    Communist Party of Great Britain