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Records of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament


Held at: University of Delaware Library Special Collections [Contact Us]181 South College Avenue, Newark, DE 19717-5267

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Delaware Library Special Collections. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), an organization formed in Great Britain in January 1958, intended to persuade the government to "renounce unconditionally the use or production of nuclear weapons and refuse to allow their use by others in its defense."

Fearing a retreat by the United States back into isolationism after World War II, Britain felt compelled to provide for its own defense. In a secretive era under the Labour Party, the British government began work on its own atomic weapons in 1947, and tested its first atomic bomb in Australia five years later. Over the next decade, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) grew in face of Soviet imperialism, and the United States and Britain pursued coordinated but independent nuclear programs.

By 1957, two groups had emerged to coordinate the anti-nuclear movement in Britain. The National Committee for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons Tests (NCANWT) and the Emergency Committee for Direct Action Against Nuclear War (DAC) were created to oppose the Conservative Party's White Paper on Defense (1957) which openly supported a nuclear program. The White Paper expressed the first official government support for what had been a secretive ten-year effort to produce an atomic weapon.

The formation of NATO in 1949 and eventually the Korean War prompted a NATO effort to match the nuclear weaponry of the Soviet Union. The NATO nuclear relationship progressed to the point where, in 1958, the United States based several of its nuclear fleet submarines and intermediate range nuclear missiles in Britain, thereby committing the U.S. to respond to Warsaw Pact aggression and allowing Britain to feel more confident.

It was at this point that the peace movement took its first steps toward prominence in the British political arena. Initially the peace movements were small and independent, but they forced the issue of disarmament onto the political agenda of the parties. The Labour Party, in power from 1945-51, initiated the British nuclear program. By 1957, Labour was the opposition party, torn between its left and center-left components. The left demanded Britain's unilateral nuclear disarmament to set an example for the United States and the Soviet Union. Debate raged within the Labour Party and among non-Parliamentary notables, the most influential of whom was the author J.B. Priestley.

Priestley's article in The New Statesmen in support of unilateral disarmament prompted a meeting of Britain's intelligentsia. Those attending included Bertrand Russell, Sir Julian Huxley, Kingsley Martin, Priestley, and members of NCANWT. The meeting resulted in the formation of the CND with Bertrand Russell installed as President, Canon Collins as Chairman, and Peggy Duff from NCANWT as organizing secretary. This prominent group was able to draw a large following.

The first major decision facing the newly organized CND was whether to endorse the "street politics" of the DAC or to utilize available links with Parliament to promote their agenda. The first important direct action endorsed by the CND was the DAC-organized Aldermaston march. The protest attracted 10,000 people its first year (1958), and upwards to 50,000 and 100,000 participants by the early 1960s. In addition, the CND worked through traditional channels to pressure the Labour Party Conference to adopt a unilateralist plank in their 1960 platform. They were successful in both approaches, but the CND began to split between the supporters of direct action and those who favored making use of traditional channels.

The debate became public in 1960. Bertrand Russell resigned his presidency and formed the "Committee of 100." The breakaway Committee advocated non-violent direct action (billed as civil disobedience by the English media) throughout the country. The common purpose of the Committee of 100 and the DAC brought on their merger within a year.

In the meantime, Canon Collins and the CND survived the media fiasco and loss of support created by Russell's split. The CND distanced themselves from the Committee of 100 by insisting that, unlike Russell's group, the CND was not strictly pacifist and, furthermore, believed unilateral disarmament could be pursued most effectively through the existing political system. However, lacking a formal membership until 1966, the CND found it difficult to use the political process. Their main target, the Labour Party, was not united, and the issue of unilateral nuclear disarmament became a pawn in the power game being played within the Party.

By 1963 the Labour Party under Harold Wilson had rejected unilateralism, the British Navy was equipped with Polaris missiles from the United States, the world had seen through the Cuban Missile Crisis that nuclear war could be averted, and the Partial Test Ban Treaty (banning nuclear tests in the atmosphere) had been signed. That year was the last of the Aldermaston marches.

CND activity remained in decline until the debate over inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM) deployment in Europe arose during the late 1970s. Even then, the strength and effectiveness of the movement could not reach the peak it achieved in the early 1960s.

Byrne, Paul. The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. New York: Croom Helm, 1988.Mattausch, John. A Commitment to campaign: a sociological study of CND. New York: Manchester University Press, 1989.Thayer, George. The British political fringe: a profile. London: Anthony Blond Ltd., 1965. Much of the organizational information has been derived from the contents of the collection.

The records of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), spanning from 1941-1972, contains three linear feet of material including articles, clippings, minutes and agendas from conferences, files, microfilm, and publications.

The material surveys the issues of the nuclear disarmament movement in England beginning with the formation of the CND in 1958. Several contentious issues are documented throughout the collection. These issues include discussions of the impact of nuclear weapon strikes on Great Britain and of nuclear weapons in general, the effectiveness of unilateral disarmament as a national policy, the merits of non-violent protest vs. civil disobedience, and the ability of pressure groups to stimulate political change. To a lesser degree, the collection reflects the impact of Bertrand Russell, his political thinking, and his role in persuading public opinion.

The collection, as a record of the CND, includes official documents and publications of the organization; and reference files of published articles, newspaper clippings, and papers dealing with nuclear disarmament. The history of the CND is well documented through these materials. Highlights include the initial meeting of the CND leaders in 1957, descriptions of the annual Aldermaston march and its planning, the breakaway of Bertrand Russell and his Committee of 100, information on the creation of the CND symbol (which gained international recognition as the peace symbol) and the dependent, fragile relationship of the CND with the Labour Party. Additionally, the records provide information on the development of CND structures, strategies, and planning.

The material is divided into three distinct series. The first series, Files of the CND, contains materials from the yearly conferences, files of the regional CND organizations, and information regarding the Committee of 100. The second series, Publications of the CND, features many of CND's official periodicals from 1962-1967. These provide insight to the concerns and changing policy positions of the organization. Finally, the third series, Press Clippings and Articles, is a set of newspaper clipping files, 1960-1963, which chronicle British press coverage of significant world events, nuclear issues, and the CND. In addition, the series includes reference articles on a wide range of disarmament topics.

  1. Boxes 1-4: Shelved in SPEC MSS record center cartons
  2. Removals: Shelved in SPEC MSS oversize boxes (32 inches)
  3. Removals: Shelved in SPEC Media Microfilm

Original records microfilmed from the collection at the Commonwealth Library and Archives, Commonwealth Secretariat, Marlborough House, Pall Mall, London, SW1Y 5HX, United Kingdom.

Acquired from Dr. James Nathan, circa 1980.

Processed by Paul Dziewisz, 1993 May. Finding aid encoded in ArchviesSpace by John Caldwell, 2017 December.

University of Delaware Library Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
Finding Aid Date
2017 December 21
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections Department, University of Delaware Library,

Collection Inventory

Scope and Contents

This series consists of minutes, agenda, correspondence, and leaflets of the national and the regional branches of the CND. Most of the files exist here in original form, however some also appear on the microfilm of CND records from the Commonwealth Library. After the microfilm, the series includes a CND file index and individual files which were removed from binders but retained in their original order. The contents of the files reveal work accomplished at the various conferences and meetings, the evolution of issues, work done on special topics, and distinctions between the national and regional branches of CND.

Files on microfilm, 1959-1970. 3 microfilm reel.
Box 1 Folder 1
Scope and Contents

Film 1: Annual Conferences: 1959, 1960, 1964, 1965/66, 1967; National Committee; Easter: 1963, 1961, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1968 additional material, 1969, 1970; Groups; Correspondence: 1965

Film 2: Correspondence: 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, miscellaneous correspondence & memoranda A-Z; North West CND and YCND; YCND Executive; YCND Conference 1968; Other organizations; New supporters; Fact sheets; Advertising; Ministry of disarmament; Material for magazines and leaflets; Polaris

Film 3: The Bensen Affair; Labour Party; Pre-1964 Group Files; Campaign Caravan and Workshops; Operation "Peanuts"; Committee of 100; T.U. and Factory; Direct Action Committee; Policy 1 and Policy 2; Executive correspondence; Office administration and organisation

Physical Description

3 microfilm reel

CND file index.
Box 1 Folder 2
Scope and Contents

These index pages have been removed from within the files. They should be used to determine the content of the folders in this series.

National Conference, 1959.
Box 1 Folder 3
Annual Conference, 1962.
Box 1 Folder 4
Special Conference, 1963 July 13-14.
Box 1 Folder 5
Annual Conference, 1963 October.
Box 1 Folder 6
Annual Conference, 1964.
Box 1 Folder 7
Annual Conference, 1965.
Box 1 Folder 8
Annual Conference, 1968.
Box 1 Folder 9
Annual Conference, 1969 November.
Box 1 Folder 10
Annual Conference, 1970 October.
Box 1 Folder 11
Annual Conference, 1971 October.
Box 1 Folder 12
CND councils and committees.
Box 1 Folder 13
Letters and mailings, 1958-1966.
Box 1 Folder 14
Letters and mailings.
Box 1 Folder 15
Letters and mailings.
Box 1 Folder 16
Letters and mailings.
Box 1 Folder 17
Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.
Box 1 Folder 18
Committee of 100.
Box 1 Folder 19
Peace News.
Box 1 Folder 20
Peace Pledge Union.
Box 1 Folder 21
Box 1 Folder 22
London Region CND.
Box 1 Folder 23
West Midlands CND.
Box 1 Folder 24
Orpington CND.
Box 1 Folder 25
Colleges and University CND.
Box 1 Folder 26
Christian CND.
Box 1 Folder 27
Labour CND.
Box 1 Folder 28
Youth Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament regarding conferences.
Box 1 Folder 29
Youth Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament regarding mailings.
Box 1 Folder 30
Committee of 100.
Box 1 Folder 31
Committee of 100, correspondence.
Box 1 Folder 32
Committee of 100, regarding "Talking Points".
Box 1 Folder 33
London Committee of 100.
Box 1 Folder 34
Christian Committee of 100.
Box 1 Folder 35
Hampstead Committee of 100.
Box 1 Folder 36
Committee of 100, miscellaneous.
Box 1 Folder 37
Drafts of a proposal to restructure the CND.
Box 1 Folder 38

Scope and Contents

This series is an extensive collection of newsletters and weekly papers published by the CND. The publications provide insight into issues of the day and cleavages which distinguished separate factions from one another.

Action For Peace, 1963.
Box 1 Folder 39
Resistance, 1964.
Box 1 Folder 40
Resistance, 1964.
Box 1 Folder 41
Resistance, 1965.
Box 1 Folder 42
Resistance, 1965.
Box 1 Folder 43
Resistance Shall Grow, 1967.
Box 1 Folder 44
Resistance, 1967-1968.
Box 1 Folder 45
Underground, 1976.
Box 1 Folder 46
Youth Against the Bomb, 1960.
Box 1 Folder 47
Youth Against the Bomb, 1961.
Box 1 Folder 48
Youth Against the Bomb, 1962.
Box 1 Folder 49
Youth Against the Bomb, 1963-1965.
Box 1 Folder 50

Scope and Contents

This series represents a collection of reports and writings chronicling current events and issues of the anti-nuclear movement. There are three subseries. The first includes a set of clipping files arranged in chronological order dealing with both news about the CND and nuclear affairs. The second subseries, arranged in alphabetical order by subject, involves countries and organizations. The final subseries consists of collected reference articles pertaining to a vast array of nuclear issues. These articles are contributed from such broad fields as physics, ethics, and military strategy.

Scope and Contents

This subseries consists of a collection of news clippings, some in their original form and some which have been removed and placed in folders.

September-October 1960, 1960-09 -- 1960-10.
Box 2 Folder 51
October 1960, 1960-10.
Box 2 Folder 52
October-December 1960, 1960-10 -- 1960-12.
Box 2 Folder 53
September 1960-February 1961, 1960-09 -- 1961-02.
Box 2 Folder 54
July-November 1961, 1961-07 -- 1961-11.
Box 2 Folder 55
Scrapbook of pamphlets and leaflets.
Box 2 Folder 56
February-April 1962, 1962-02 -- 1962-04.
Box 2 Folder 57
1964-1969, 1964-1969.
Box 2 Folder 58
News clippings on disarmament, 1965.
Box 2 Folder 59
News clippings on disarmament, 1966.
Box 2 Folder 60
News clippings on disarmament, 1967-1968.
Box 2 Folder 61
News clippings regarding the CND, 1958-1970.
Box 2 Folder 62
Press clippings regarding the Committee of 100.
Box 2 Folder 63
Press clippings regarding the Polaris submarine.
Box 2 Folder 64
Scope and Contents

These articles were originally stapled to the back of old memos and housed in three binders. A subject index file precedes the series of files removed from each binder. Preservation photocopies have been made and the original clippings were discarded. F130 and F131 contain samples of the old memos used for scrap pages in the binders.

Index for Book 1.
Box 2 Folder 65
Reference file A.
Box 2 Folder 66
Reference file B.
Box 2 Folder 67
Reference file C.
Box 2 Folder 68
Reference file D.
Box 2 Folder 69
Reference file E-F.
Box 2 Folder 70
Reference file G.
Box 2 Folder 71
Reference file H.
Box 2 Folder 72
Reference file I, J, K.
Box 2 Folder 73
Reference file L.
Box 2 Folder 74
Reference file M.
Box 2 Folder 75
Reference file N-O.
Box 2 Folder 76
Reference file P, Q, R.
Box 2 Folder 77
Reference file S-T.
Box 2 Folder 78
Reference file U-V.
Box 2 Folder 79
Reference file W.
Box 2 Folder 80
Reference file X, Y, Z.
Box 2 Folder 81
Index for Book 2, 1963 July-August.
Box 2 Folder 82
Box 2 Folder 83
Box 2 Folder 84
Box 3 Folder 85
Box 3 Folder 86
Box 3 Folder 87
Box 3 Folder 88
Germany and Greece.
Box 3 Folder 89
Box 3 Folder 90
Iraq, Italy, and Japan.
Box 3 Folder 91
Box 3 Folder 92
Pakistan, Poland, and Portugal.
Box 3 Folder 93
Red Cross, South Africa, and the Soviet Union.
Box 3 Folder 94
The United Nations and the United States.
Box 3 Folder 95
Venezuela, Vietnam.
Box 3 Folder 96
Index for Book 3, 1963 September.
Box 3 Folder 97
Algeria and New Zealand.
Box 3 Folder 98
Box 3 Folder 99
Box 3 Folder 100
Dominican Republic.
Box 3 Folder 101
Box 3 Folder 102
Box 3 Folder 103
Box 3 Folder 104
India and Indonesia.
Box 3 Folder 105
Box 3 Folder 106
Box 3 Folder 107
Pakistan and Portugal.
Box 3 Folder 108
Soviet Union.
Box 3 Folder 109
South Africa.
Box 3 Folder 110
United Nations.
Box 3 Folder 111
United States.
Box 3 Folder 112
Box 3 Folder 113
South Africa and Algeria.
Box 3 Folder 114
Box 3 Folder 115
China, Czeckoslovakia, Canada, and Cuba.
Box 3 Folder 116
Formosa and France.
Box 3 Folder 117
Gambia, Greece, Germany, and Guiana.
Box 3 Folder 118
Box 3 Folder 119
India, Indonesia, Iraq, and Japan.
Box 3 Folder 120
Box 3 Folder 121
Laos and Latin America.
Box 3 Folder 122
The Middle East and NATO.
Box 3 Folder 123
Pakistan and Rhodesia.
Box 3 Folder 124
Singapore and Soviet Union.
Box 3 Folder 125
The United Nations, United States, and Vietnam.
Box 3 Folder 126
United States and South Vietnam.
Box 3 Folder 127
Western Europe.
Box 3 Folder 128
Box 3 Folder 129
Scrap sheets.
Box 3 Folder 130
Scope and Contents

This folder and the next contain the scrap pages to which the clippings were originally attached. Only papers which were legible, unique, and displayed information not readily available elsewhere in the collection have been preserved. The papers deal with an eclectic range of topics.

Scrap sheets.
Box 3 Folder 131
Scope and Contents

This subseries consists of a variety of articles both published and unpublished.

"Research Report," Peace Research Center.
Box 3 Folder 132
Vietnam International, 1972 September.
Box 3 Folder 133
"American Atrocities in Vietnam," Eric Norden.
Box 3 Folder 134
World Issues, Autumn 1972, 1972.
Box 3 Folder 135
"The Labour Party's Foreign Policy," Bertrand Russell .
Box 3 Folder 136
"Non-violence in 1973 Newsletter", 1973.
Box 3 Folder 137
"Power in a Post-Colonial Setting: The Why and Whither of Religious Confrontation in Ulster," Anne Boserup.
Box 3 Folder 138
"Britain Considers Her Weapons," Gene Sharp.
Box 3 Folder 139
Protest! vol. 1, no. 1.
Box 3 Folder 140
Peace Centre Newsletter, 1972.
Box 3 Folder 141
"Song - To the Men of England (1819)" - (poem) Percy Bysshe Shelley.
Box 3 Folder 142
Society for Social Responsibility in Science Newsletter.
Box 3 Folder 143
Anarchist publications.
Box 3 Folder 144
"Briefing #11", 1969 October.
Box 3 Folder 145
Revolution: Violent and Non-Violent, 1968 February.
Box 3 Folder 146
Assorted anti-nuclear publications.
Box 3 Folder 147
"Libertarian Readings: A Short Anthology".
Box 3 Folder 148
"Studies in Nonviolence" vols. 1 and 2 published by the Peace Pledge Union.
Box 3 Folder 149
Leaflets and flyers of Kropotkin's Lighthouse Publications.
Box 3 Folder 150
"Bibliography on Peace, Freedom, and Non-Violence" published by Kropotkin's Lighthouse Publications.
Box 3 Folder 151
"The CND: An Organization in Transition," D.L. Hagger.
Box 3 Folder 152
"Evolution and War," Stanislav Andreski.
Box 3 Folder 153
"Faith Under Fire," Canon Collins.
Box 3 Folder 154
Pacifism: An Introductory Perspective.
Box 3 Folder 155
The Partisan Press Catalogue for 1972, 1972.
Box 3 Folder 156
"Vietnam: A Voice from the Villages" and "The National Liberation Front," Katsuichi Honda.
Box 3 Folder 157
One World, 1946 October.
Box 3 Folder 158
"Future: A Foreign Policy for the H-Bomb Age", 1956 September.
Box 3 Folder 159
"Bulletin of the Non-Violence Commission of the Peace Pledge Union", 1957.
Box 3 Folder 160
Bulletin of the Medical Association for the Prevention of War, 1961 June.
Box 3 Folder 161
World Peace calendars and diaries.
Box 3 Folder 162
"Christians and Atomic War," an article published by the British Council of Churches.
Box 3 Folder 163
"Balance of Life," Jonathan Howard.
Box 3 Folder 164
"Discussing Defense and Disarmament," Tudor David.
Box 3 Folder 165
"Ruthless Realism About NATO, Nuclear Weapons, and U.S. Bases," Konni Zilliacus MP.
Box 3 Folder 166
"What a Nuclear Explosion is Like...," the Home Office and Scottish Home Department.
Box 3 Folder 167
"Home Defense and the Farmer" published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office.
Box 3 Folder 168
"Disarmament - The Way Ahead," Hugh Thomas.
Box 3 Folder 169
"Programme for General and Complete Disarmament".
Box 3 Folder 170
"Speech to the UN General Assembly, 1959 September 18.
Box 3 Folder 171
Labour Worker, Mid-April 1965, 1965-04.
Box 3 Folder 172
Socialist Leader, 1965 April 24.
Box 3 Folder 173
New Statesmen, 1962 October 19 -- 1963 March 1.
Box 3 Folder 174
Tribune, Labour's Independent Weekly, 1955 May.
Box 3 Folder 175
Newsletter regarding the Lancaster Hoper Project and the Peace and Conflict Research Programme, 1971 March.
Box 3 Folder 176
Now: Preview 2.
Box 3 Folder 177
Copies of Freedom Through Anarchism: October 19, 1946; November 2, 1946; November 16, 1946; January 4, 1947; and April 17, 1965, 1946-1965.
Box 3 Folder 178
New Generation, 1962 November.
Box 3 Folder 179
On Trial.
Box 3 Folder 180
Touch Paper, 1968 April/May.
Box 3 Folder 181
Middle East Coexistence, Autumn 1970, 1970.
Box 3 Folder 182
"H-Bomb War: What Would It Be Like," published by Peace News LTD.
Box 3 Folder 183
"Peace Research: A Perspective," Robin Jenkins.
Box 3 Folder 184
Parliamentary Debates for February 27, 1958, 1958-02-27.
Box 3 Folder 185
The Rushlight, February 1964 and Spring 1965, 1964-1965.
Box 3 Folder 186
Peace Research, 1970 June.
Box 3 Folder 187
"The Politics of Anti-War Coalitions: The Case of Britain," Frank Myers.
Box 3 Folder 188
Scientist and Citizen, 1965 and 1966, 1965-1966.
Box 3 Folder 189
Nuclear Information, 1964 February.
Box 3 Folder 190
Call to Women, 1962-1963.
Box 3 Folder 191
Win, dedicated to A.J. Muste.
Box 3 Folder 192
War/Peace Report, 1971 January.
Box 3 Folder 193
Danilo Dolce Bulletin, 1963 October.
Box 3 Folder 194
"When All the Beautiful People Come to the Aid of the Party".
Box 3 Folder 195
"Looking for the Marches," Theodore Roszak.
Box 4 Folder 196
"Beyond the Left, Farther Than the Right".
Box 4 Folder 197
Book review of The British General Election of 1970, Butler and Pinto-Duschinsky.
Box 4 Folder 198
"Non-Alignment," Conor Cruise O'Brien printed in New Statesmen.
Box 4 Folder 199
"The Anti-bomb Movement in Britain," Andrew Maxwell printed in Contemporary Issues, 1963 January.
Box 4 Folder 200
Peace News, 1958 April.
Box 4 Folder 201
Black Dwarf featuring "Bertrand Russell's Testament".
Box 4 Folder 202
"Armed for Neutrality" from the Daily Telegraph Magazine, 1941 May 7.
Box 4 Folder 203
"The Middle Class Get Psychotherapy and the Working class Get Pills," Arthur Hopcraft.
Box 4 Folder 204
"What's Wrong With the World?".
Box 4 Folder 205
"First Find the Problem," Jerome Bruner.
Box 4 Folder 206
"What Did You Do In the Cold War Daddy?".
Box 4 Folder 207
"After Kennedy - What?," Sanity broadsheet.
Box 4 Folder 208
Copies of the Labour Peace Bulletin, 1960-1961.
Box 4 Folder 209
Copies of Labour Peace Newsletter, 1967-1971.
Box 4 Folder 210
Publications of the Labour Peace Fellowship.
Box 4 Folder 211
Labour Peace Fellowship broadsheet.
Box 4 Folder 212
Mud Pie: The CND Story, Herb Greer.
Box 4 Folder 213
"The Relationship Between the Study of International Relations, Peace Research, and Strategic Studies" by Michael Banks, a UNESCO publication.
Box 4 Folder 214
"Note on the development of Conflict Studies at the London School of Economics" (May 1969) and "Diplomatic Behavior Project", 1969 May.
Box 4 Folder 215
"An Empirical Approach to Demonstrations," PhD. proposal by T. Hamlett.
Box 4 Folder 216
"The History, Theory, and Practice of Conflict Research in Great Britain".
Box 4 Folder 217
Correspondence between CND General Secretary Dick Nettleton and Professor Patrick Slater.
Box 4 Folder 218
"Guide to the Common Market".
Box 4 Folder 219
Pamphlets on Britain and the European Common Market.
Box 4 Folder 220
"The London School of Non-Violence".
Box 4 Folder 221
International Confederation for Disarmament and Peace "Programme for Action".
Box 4 Folder 222
"Richardson Institute Newsletter", 1971 May-June.
Box 4 Folder 223

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