Conservative Research Department

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Conservative Research Department (CRD) is the policy research and literature drafting branch of the Conservative Party in the United Kingdom. It was established after the Conservative defeat in 1929. Its task was to prepare the party for professional policy debates in the new situation when the other major party in British politics was no longer the Liberal, but the Labour Party. Neville Chamberlain was its chairman from 1930 and 1940. It did not function during the war, but it was reinvented in 1945. The most legendary period of the CRD was between 1945 and 1951 when the party was in opposition and the CRD with its 50-member staff provided huge contribution to the modernization of the party. The three most outstanding figures were Iain Macleod, Reginal Maudling and Enoch Powell, who all became ministers later. However, they could not have worked so efficiently without the support of Rab Butler, who was chairman of the CRD between 1945-1965. Edward Heath did not nominate a chairman with the necessary skills, which led to the decline of the CRD and it was moved into the Party's Central Office in 1979. It still exists nominally, but it is not significant as a separate unit.