New document releases in March

March 2004

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Catalogue ref. Date Description
Royal Family
FCO 82/264 1973 Role of the monarchy in Canada



The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh visited Canada twice in 1973. The first visit (in June/July) was on the advice of the Canadian Prime Minister so the FCO doesn't think it should be paying their expenses. The British High Commissioner, Peter Hayman, writes warmly and enthusiastically about the impact of the two visits on Canadian perceptions of the role of the monarchy. He recalls that Jean Chretien (then Minister for Indian and Northern Affairs) was converted by the Queen's previous visit from a French Canadian Republican to a strong admirer of the Queen. Mr Hayman also suggests that the monarch should have a residence in Canada.

T 233/2563 1973 Royal Mint Medal for the wedding of Princess Anne

- The Royal Mint is keen to strike a commemorative medal to celebrate Princess Anne's wedding but there are concerns that the Advisory Council (chaired by the Duke of Edinburgh) might object that none of the profits from the medal would be accruing to the Palace. Later it is decided that the Mint will give the Queen a number of medals to distribute to guests at the wedding.

Evelyn Waugh
HS 9/1565/3 1939-45 Evelyn WAUGH

- born 28.10.1903

Evelyn Waugh's record of service in the Special Operations Executive (SOE)

Famous prosecutions
DPP 2/4798 1970 SCHUSTER, Eugene Ivan

(London Arts Incorporated): indecent/obscene publications. Displaying lithographs by John Lennon, seized by police on 16 January 1970 from the London Art Gallery, New Bond Street, London W1. Case dismissed.


Contains witness statements and photographs of the lithographs of John Lennon and Yoko Ono in sexual contexts which caused considerable controversy. They form part of the evidence for the indecency trial against the London Art Gallery which was displaying the material.


by 'J' (published by W H ALLEN & Co Ltd in 1970): consideration under the Indecent and Obscene Publications Act 1959. No action case (Copy of book included in file).

DPP 2/4906
DPP 2/4907

1970-71 McVICAR, John Roger and others:

McVicar escaped from prison whilst serving a sentence for robbery. Once re-arrested, others charged with assisting in his escape. Convicted.

Second World War
CUST 106/749 1944 Importation of gold and silver watches for secret service:

questions of assay not pursued.
In February 1944 the Government imported 78 silver and 146 gold watches - free of import licence and purchase tax - for the Ministry of Economic Warfare. "It is understood that the circumstances in which the watches were imported are very 'hush hush'..."

CUST 106/795 1942-45 Details of publications which may not be exported and imported

- The ban on the import and export of Jehovah's Witness (Watchtower) literature is lifted.

CUST 106/874 1942-43 Censorship (non-postal): Irish land boundary

- Concern that Customs officers on the N Ireland/Eire land boundary are required to "put up a sham of censorship control" when the task of controlling - for censorship - traffic across the border is impossible.

CUST 106/882 1944-45 Control of smuggling by air by USAAF personnel

Discusses how to deal with the American air crews' smuggling of brandy and champagne into the UK.

HW 25/27 1941-43 The Welchman papers describing the organisation of ENIGMA

and the recovery of its key usage.

A file from the Foreign Office's Government Code and Cypher School, now Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ).

Colonial affairs
CO 1032/166 1957-58 UK study and report on future policy in colonies.
FCO 86/175 1973 Proposals for future of Gibraltar

- Records of discussions with the Spanish on Gibraltar, including the proposal for condominium status. File also contains papers about similar, contemporary, proposals regarding the Falkland Islands.

Bechuanaland Protectorate/Seretse Khama
DO 35/4292 1954-55 Bechuanaland Protectorate:

Labour Party's attitude to the return of Seretse Khama.

DO 35/4314 1954-56 Bechuanaland Protectorate:

Political activities of Seretse Khama.

T 267/31 1968-71 History of Treasury operations

against the illegal regime in Rhodesia 1964 - March 1968: drafts

A history and evaluation of Treasury sanctions against Ian Smith's UDI government, including the withholding of pensions and interest payable from British investments to Rhodesian residents. Discussion that this caused white Rhodesians to resent the British government rather the Rhodesian government, which was opposite of the desired effect.

T 295/911 1965-73 Rhodesian illegal declaration of independence:

payments of moneys due to Rhodesia in respect of postal and remittance services.

T 295/913 1965-73 Rhodesian illegal declaration of independence:

printing of Rhodesian bank notes in the UK.

European Economic Community
CAB 193/12 1973 Presentational aspects of EEC membership and policy

- Includes suggestions for how to deal with various sections of the press.

CAB 193/25 1973 Access to classified material by UK Commissioners

- Discussions about whether the UK Commissioners to the EEC should be able to see classified British government papers.

Relations with the United States
FCO 82/276 1973 Leading personalities in the United States of America

- Lord Cromer, the departing UK Ambassador in Washington, records his impressions of Dr Henry Kissinger, Nixon's Secretary of State.

FCO 82/298 1973 Possible state visit by US President Nixon to the UK in 1974.
FCO 82/301 1973 Visit of Prime Minister Edward Heath to Washington, 1-2 February 1973: record of meetings held.
FCO 82/304 1973 Political relations between USA and UK.
FCO 82/306 1973 Permanent Under-Secretary's monthly meetings on coordinating US / UK relations.
FCO 82/307
FCO 82/308
FCO 82/309

1973 Visits of Henry Kissinger, US Secretary of State, to the UK in 1973.
FCO 82/310 1973 Record of meetings between Foreign Secretary Sir Alec Douglas-Home and US Secretary of State (William Rogers / Henry Kissinger).
FCO 82/311 1973 Meetings and conversations between Henry Kissinger, US Secretary of State, and HM Government.
FCO 82/321 1973 Messages between Prime Minister Edward Heath and US President Richard Nixon.
FCO 82/323 1973 Racial problems in the United States

- Notes and observations by Bill Drowser, a staff member of the British Embassy in Washington, on "The American Negro in 1972" and follow-up correspondence about the Denver Judgement on school desegregation.

Israel/Middle East
FCO 93/124 1973 First impressions of Israel by Mr W J B Ledwidge, HM Ambassador at Tel Aviv

- The new British Ambassador writing to the Foreign Secretary, Sir Alec Douglas-Home, in April 1973, several months before the Yom Kippur War.

T 295/927 1973 Charitable remittances to Israel

- Investigations into allegations by Christopher Mayhew (Labour MP for Woolwich East) that funds remitted to Israel by the Jewish National Fund are being used for paramilitary purposes - and concerns about the charitable status of remittances to Israel by the British Olim Society.

T 295/942 1973 Israeli-Egyptian (Yom Kippur) War:

UK exchange control questions - The Anglo-Israel Bank wants to increase the level of its charitable remittances to Israel, which are restricted by exchange controls, but the Bank of England has refused special treatment. The Chancellor agrees to raise the limit. This is not initially publicised, but highly exaggerated stories about the flow of remittances prompt FCO to draft a telegram to posts to allow the stories to be refuted.

1973 oil crisis
OS 1/526 1973 Effects of the energy crisis: industrial impact of oil supply cuts.
T 342/321
T 342/322

1973 Contingency planningin the event of an oil emergency.
Industry - Industrial unrest
T 342/313 1971 Payment of supplementary benefits to strikers.
T 357/72 1973 Supplementary benefits for strikers:proposed changes in legislation.
Industry - Government support to industry
T 224/2607 1973 Financial assistance to Upper Clyde Shipbuilders Ltd:report by Professor Flint on implications of section 332 of the Companies Act 1948 (responsibility for fraudulent trading of persons concerned).
T 224/2612 1972-73 Financial assistance to the Cunard companyfor the Queen Elizabeth II (QE2) liner.
T 342/283 1971-73 Employment of aliens in Great Britain.
T 353/61 1971-73 Scheme for assisted voluntary repatriationof Commonwealth immigrants implications of Conservative Party election manifesto and present policy.
T 353/62 1972-73 Scheme for loans to Ugandan Asian immigrants in the UK.
T 353/63 1972-73 Ugandan Asian immigrantsHome Office: contingency planning for the reception of Ugandan Asian immigrants into the UK.
T 353/64 1972-73 Consequences of Pakistan's withdrawal from the Commonwealth:immigration aspects.
Bank holidays
T 233/2565 1971-73 Bank holidays: alterations and additions Debate about the problems of creating extra bank holidays especially on the banking sector. Contains a letter encouraging Britain's representative at the United Nations to abstain from voting for an international UN day holiday.
T 357/141
T 357/142

1971-73 Implementation and costing of an increase in Bank Holidays.
Other files
224/2563 1968 Measures to deal with the Foot and Mouth epidemic 1967.
T 312/3319 1972-73 Settlement of UK claims against East Germany.
T 341/534 1972-73 British Embassy in Moscow.

Expenditure on residential and office accommodation for the British Embassy in Moscow.