23 July 2004 releases

July 2004

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Catalogue ref. Date Description
FCO 73/131 1970 Various correspondence and papers:

including British Council, UK/Soviet Union relations, Arab/Israeli dispute and UK/United States relations


A file of personal correspondence of Sir Denis Greenhill (Permanent Under-Secretary, FCO).


Kissinger on the President's men

Includes a letter from John Freeman (British Ambassador in Washington) quoting Henry Kissinger's comments on the men surrounding President Nixon: "I have never met such a gang of self-seeking bastards in my life …I used to find the Kennedy group unattractively narcissistic… but these people are real heels."


British Council Director-General

John Henniker, Director-General of the British Council, faces internal opposition to his appointment.

FCO 73/132 1970 Kissinger on Vietnam War negotiations



Guy Millard, Minister in the British Embassy in Washington, writes to London on behalf of John Freeman (the recently departed British Ambassador). He reports Henry Kissinger (President Nixon's National Security Adviser) as saying that the Russians "were looking to a negotiated end in the not very distant future." Washington and Hanoi were near agreement twice but missed it by "mutual mistrust." The US expected to gain "14%-20% more population control" in the next 9 months. North Vietnam "in the long run would probably respond only to developments on the ground." Pressures on them would be much greater by next spring.

FCO 73/140 1971 Bermuda Summit Talks on UK/United States relations

Permanent Under-Secretary (Greenhill)'s file on summit conference (19-22 December 1971). Deals with Bangladesh/India, Israel/Egypt as well as candidates for the post of UN Secretary-General: Waldheim was "weak", US/UK preferred Jakobsen. "Galling that Jakobsen who was probably the choice of all the permanent members except the USSR, should be rejected because of a Soviet veto and that Waldheim, who was in effect the Russian candidate, might be elected because the Russians were more persevering."

FCO 73/144 1970-71 Correspondence on Soviet naval activities in Cuba


Correspondence between the British Ambassador in Washington and the President of the United States (Nixon) on Russian naval activities in Cuba (Clandestine establishment of nuclear submarine base seen off by US.)

FCO 73/145 1970-71 Negotiation of terms of the UK's entry into the EEC


Letter suggesting that the Foreign Secretary, Sir Alec Douglas-Home, should try get named cricketers to sign up as supporters(!)

FCO 73/146 1971 Gibraltar:

rock apes; correspondence including poems.

FCO 73/147 1971 Exchange of messages with Dom Mintoff, PM of Malta.
FCO 73/148 1971 Records of meetings and correspondence:




Russian espionage

File of Sir Alec Douglas-Home includes a letter to Mr Gromyko (Russian Foreign Minister) about Russian espionage in UK. USSR has 500 officials in UK - more than in the USA - many of whom are agents. He finds it hard to interpret Gromyko's comments as "other than a suggestion that HMG should allow these intelligence agents of yours to conduct their activities… unhampered lest Anglo-Soviet relations should suffer."


European Monetary Bloc

The same file has a note from Lord Cromer (now British Ambassador in Washington) proposing a European Monetary Bloc (an idea not liked by the PM or the Chancellor).

FCO 73/150 1956 Suez: correspondence and papers



The file - about w hat Commonwealth heads of government should be told about Suez - consists of drafts of individual, and different, letters to the Commonwealth premiers (and attempts to answer likely Parliamentary questions).

FCO 73/152 1973 Concorde service to South Africa



Minutes from FCO Ministers to the Secretary of State (Douglas-Home) about the importance of a Concorde route to South Africa, the need to have a refuelling stop in Lagos, Nigeria, and the importance that funding an extension of the runway there should not pretend to be anything other than UK interest.

FCO 73/155 1966 Lyndon Johnson's attempts to end the Vietnam War

This file, about the visit of George Brown, the Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary, to USA and Canada, includes a note of the US President's comments to Brown in a walk in the White House Garden. Conditions and constraints in the way - Johnson cannot accept vague Russian assurance.

FCO 73/156 1961 General de Gaulle on Europe



During a visit to the Prime Minister, Harold Macmillan at Macmillan's Sussex home, Birch Grove, the French President, Charles de Gaulle, gives Pierson Dixon (HM Ambassador in Paris) his thoughts on Europe. "To weld Frank and Teuton into a new Europe which will be able to recover its one-time supremacy in world affairs…in a world dominated by two barbarous powers, the Russians and the Americans." "No doubt we shall eventually be able to live with the Russians, as we have learnt to live with the Americans."

FO 371/116548 1955 Question of nationality of John Eric Ludkiewicz

(formerly Scotland) who obtained Polish citizenship when adopted by his Polish stepfather: his conscription into Polish Army and later release.

Simon Dee (former TV presenter)
MEPO 26/122 1970-72 Simon Dee

Police file on election irregularities by "free radio" lobby. Posters showing Harold Wilson as "Mao Tse Wilson" and urging a vote against Labour had been used illegally in the 1970 general election campaign. Simon Dee (one of the original DJs on pirate radio station Radio Caroline and subsequently host on the BBC's Saturday evening chat show "Dee Time") had been photographed with one of the posters and was said to have autographed some of them.

Government spending
T 273/331 1955-56 £100 million cut in government expenditure:

correspondence and factual papers relating to Prime Minister Harold Macmillan's request to Ministers to identify spending cuts.

CAB 21/2496 1947-49 Ministerial Committee on Subversive Activities:

composition and terms of reference.

Decision to set up a Ministerial Sub-committee, originally to monitor communist activities. Herbert Morrison (Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons) points out that there might be criticism if it were directed only towards communists so its scope should be widened to cover all subversives.

CAB 21/2734 1948-49 Responsibility for the Security Service



A request from the Security Service (MI5) to have access to the Cabinet agenda leads to question of who is responsible for the Service. MI5 is responsible to the Prime Minister but it is clear that the original intention was to make the Minister of Defence responsible. (At that time the PM was also the Minister of Defence.) Now that a new MoD is set up should it be responsible? Sir Edward Bridges (Treasury Permanent Under-Secretary and Head of the Home Civil Service) says "MoD have a good deal on their plate" and to "wait until they have settled down a bit." It would be better for both MI5 and MI6 (the Secret Service) to work to the PM. (MI5 did not get access to the Cabinet agenda).

Other highlighted files
CAB 21/3867 1955 Miscellaneous briefs prepared for the Prime Minister

The file covers January to December and includes the ministry of Sir Winston Churchill and (from 6 April 1955) Sir Anthony Eden.

CAB 21/4054 1955-56 Thermo-nuclear weapons:

policy and research; with annex of maps and traces used for Strath Report.

CAB 21/4773 1961-62 Overseas Defence Committee:

Role of colonies in war.

CO 733/444/17 1943 Biltmore Resolutions: reactions in World Zionism.
DO 119/1226 1958-61 Role of colonial territories in peace and war.
FO 371/35971 1943 Japanese infiltration among Muslims throughout the world.
FO 371/80230 1950 Sylvia Pankhurst: The possibility of her being a subversive.
PREM 15/718 1970-71 Prime Minister (Edward Heath, who became PM in 1970) queried number of facilities provided for US Administration, particularly in British island dependencies: he was concerned about what we receive in return; correspondence on British Indian Ocean Territory.