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Records of the Foreign Office: Permanent Under Secretary´s Department files

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Catalogue ref. Date Description
FO 1093/25 1911-1913 Secret Service Bureau: minutes of meetings, May 1911 to May 1913
FO 1093/45 1906 Secret Service arrangements in Northern Europe in the event of war with Germany

 

 

Deals with the establishment of mechanisms for intelligence gathering - 'collecting', 'forwarding' and 'observing' - so that Britain is forewarned of when German ships are leaving port. Much of this information is compiled for the Secret Service by Lloyds shipping registers.

FO 1093/46 1873 - 1914 Professor Arminius Vambery: information supplied to the British government and subsequent financial arrangements; correspondence including copy of death certificate

 

 

Contains the letters and financial arrangements for Professor Arminius Vambery (the Hungarian traveller and writer, 1832-1913). He relays information of his trips around the Middle East and particularly Constantinople where he had the ear of the Sultan. The fact that Vambery applied for a Secret Service pension and was eventually granted an annuity of £140 is interesting given that according to some sources Vambery was the model for Bram Stoker's vampire killer 'Van Helsing'.


FO 1093/47
FO 1093/48
FO 1093/49
FO 1093/50
FO 1093/51
1915 - 1919 Papers of Sir Vincent Caillard, Financial Director of Vickers
FO 1093/52
FO 1093/53
FO 1093/54
FO 1093/55
FO 1093/56
FO 1093/57
1915 - 1919 Papers of Sir Vincent Caillard, Financial Director of Vickers
FO 1093/71 1926-1927 Prime Minister's Secret Service Committee: minutes of meetings
FO 1093/73 1926-1927 Prime Minister's Select Service Committee: papers regarding operations, organisation and administration

 

 

Includes memoranda from C, the Head of MI6, regarding the ARCOS raid.

FO 1093/83 1939 Haile Selassie, Emperor of Ethiopia, formerly Abyssinia: financial situation and question of possible relief from difficulties, including anonymous donors and issue of Income Tax

 

 

Provides details of a fund of £10,000 to be paid to Haile Selassie in quarterly installments of £500. The money came from two anonymous donors (one of them revealed to be Sir William Cox) who had stepped forward to rescue the British Government from considerable embarrassment about his upkeep (inevitably from Secret Service funds) at a time when the British government was in negotiations with the Italian government. Italy had only recently invaded Abyssinia. When these two anonymous donors died the emperor was left liable to estate duty (of 30%) and the Inland Revenue asked why the emperor was not paying any income tax, all of which would have considerably reduced the funds available to him.


The file deals with complications in filing the estate duty at Somerset House (because of the promises of anonymity to the deceased donors) and appeals by Sir Alexander Cadogan to Sir John Simon, the Home Secretary, for help. Simon was unable to assist, stating laconically that: 'If it is clear that under the law any individual is liable to tax no power on earth can remove this liability.'

FO 1093/86 1938-39 C1 General: Volume I, January to April; correspondence and papers regarding Secret Service matters

including pre-war German mobilisation, assessments of international threats, Germany's aims and methods, precautions against domestic sabotage and London evacuation plans.

FO 1093/87 1939 C1 General, Volume II, May to November: correspondence and papers on Secret Service matters including British communists and refugees, communications with Turkey and British propaganda

 

 

Item D in this file contains a memo (26 May 1939) from C, the head of MI6, to Lord Robert Vansittart, chief diplomatic adviser to the Foreign Secretary, about British propaganda towards Germany. C cites 'a very highly qualified and objective source in Germany' and deals with the line to take about German feelings of 'claustrophobia', 'allied determination' and 'popular historical misconception'.

 

Item H of this file contains a series of intercepted telegrams between Rothermere, Hitler, Ribbentrop and Hess assuring them that 'Our two great Nordic countries should pursue resolutely a policy of appeasement for whatever anyone may say our two great countries should be leaders of the world.'

FO 1093/89 1939 Prague: Passport Control Office; possible breaking of British ciphers

 

 

A letter from Mr. Troutbeck to Lord Jebb indicates that the Germans were reading certain British ciphers by April 1939 - '… the French Legation have now heard that the head of the Czech cipher-breaking organisation is working for the German government in Berlin. The assumption is that it was the Czechs who had broken our cipher and that they had passed on the knowledge to the Germans. There is still no clue as to which cipher is in question.'

FO 1093/98
FO 1093/99
FO 1093/100
FO 1093/101
FO 1093/102
FO 1093/103
1932 The 'Noulens Case': investigation into communist activity in Far East and exposure of spy ring; report by Valentine Vivian, Head of Section V, Secret Intelligence Service, 7 March 1932, on the arrest of 'Hilaire Noulens' (aka Jakob Rudnik)

 

Noulens was later identified as Jakob Rudnik - an experienced Comintern worker, which gave British intelligence a 'unique opportunity' to study the inner workings of the Com intern in the Far East.

FO 1093/92
FO 1093/93
FO 1093/94
FO 1093/95
FO 1093/96
FO 1093/97
1932 The 'Noulens Case': investigation into communist activity in Far East and exposure of spy ring; report by Valentine Vivian, Head of Section V, Secret Intelligence Service, 7 March 1932, on the arrest of 'Hilaire Noulens' (aka Jakob Rudnik)

 

Noulens was later identified as Jakob Rudnik - an experienced Comintern worker, which gave British intelligence a 'unique opportunity' to study the inner workings of the Com intern in the Far East.