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Its membership at this point had peaked at over fifty thousand, boosted by Britain's wartime shift to the left and the enthusiasm that many felt for Britain's Soviet ally.
In this atmosphere of benign Russophilia, the hounding of the communists by the authorities was also somewhat abated, though never discontinued as attested by the presence of a King Street bugging device among the artefacts presented to the People's History Museum.
In adhering to the Comintern, with its famously exacting 'twenty-one conditions' of admission, the CPGB accepted a practice of democratic centralism in which the ultimate authority of the international over its constituent parties was explicitly established.
Just as the lines of accountability flowed inexorably upwards, so accordingly were the records of the Comintern's member parties sent for the scrutiny and future custody of its Moscow apparat.
by Kevin Morgan, University of Manchester Contents Central Party records Local Party records Miscellaneous non-Party organisations Individual deposits CPGB history materials Stalin, to go by a famous throwaway remark, had little time for 'archive rats'.
Certainly, in his day and long afterwards the nosing out of archival detritus was an activity largely denied the historians of communism.
Individuals did in some cases retain documents and correspondence; and Dutt's personal deposit in the party archives comprises a particularly rich source for the party's early years.
On the whole, however, it was thanks to the diligent care of Soviet archivists that a record of the party's first decades was preserved.
With the provision of on-line access to the archives, one may be confident that the resurgence of historical interest will continue.Doubtless key documents were retained for a period by the party itself.But the constant attentions of the Special Branch, breaking out into occasional raids on King Street, were not an inducement to careful records management.The main organisational holdings in the CPGB's own archives date only from after the dissolution of the Comintern.There were a number of reasons for this, not least the fact that the communist party in Britain was, in theory at least, to be regarded henceforth as an entirely autonomous organisation.