MI5 releases new batch of files
The 26th release of files from the Security Service MI5 reveals secret plans including assassination plots and use of poisons after the Second World War. This release contains 180 files, bringing the total of Security Service files at The National Archives to 4,725.
Many of the files are available at DocumentsOnline. You can download them for free for one month.
Listen to Professor Christopher Andrew's podcast about the latest release.
Possible terrorist attempts to assassinate Ernest Bevin, Foreign Secretary (KV2/3428) 1945-1946
This file details possible terrorist attempts to assassinate Ernest Bevin, Foreign Secretary at the time, including a threat from terrorist groups operating outside of Palestine. It suggests the plot to assassinate Bevin may have been in response to his speech at the Labour Party conference in Bournemouth which had caused 'considerable bitterness amongst the Jewish community in Palestine'. The file also indicates that the terrorists planned to target other leading British political figures, including Winston Churchill.
View file KV2/3428.
Vladimir Mikhailovich Petrov/Evdokia Alexeyevna Petrova (KV2/3439 - 3440) 1946-1955
Almost a third of the files in this release deal with the high-profile defection of Soviet agents Vladimir Petrov and his wife Evdokia to Australia in 1954. This famous Cold War incident was a turning point in Australian history and provided MI5 with the first definitive information on the whereabouts of the missing diplomats, and members of the Cambridge spy ring, Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean.
Use of poisons by the German Sabotage Service (KV3/414) 1944-1945
Interrogation of captured German sabotage agents revealed that they had been trained in the use of poisons for various purposes, including suicide, assassination, poisoning water wells and contaminating food. German plans to use poison as a post-war weapon included the addition of poisons to alcoholic beverages, the injection of poison into sausages, arsenic in cake and bread, poisoned Nescafe, sugar, aspirin, German cigarettes and chocolate. In particular, the file discusses the use of poisonous cigarette lighters that killed the smoker, poisonous powders and brown pellets which when placed in ashtrays vaporised with the heat of cigar or cigarette ash, killing anyone nearby.
File KV3/414 .
- Captured French Abwehr agent, Oliver Marie Joseph Mordrelle, revealed under interrogation secret Nazi plans to create post-war 'world disorder' from which they hoped a Fourth Reich would emerge
- MI5's responses to the articles of Cyril Vernon Connolly, editor of influential literary magazine 'Horizon'. Connolly was a member of a circle which included the missing Soviet agents, Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean
- Television presenter and government advisor Jacob Bronowksi ('The Ascent of Man') was described in police reports as a 'communist in everything but name' but was cleared to assume a number of government positions
- Communist Stephen Walter Pollak, alias Stephen Saul SKUP, alias Saul SKUP, whose adventurous career included service in the International Brigade and freelance journalism.