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2 August 2005 releases

Catalogue ref. Date Description
Records created by the Cabinet Office
CAB 163/207 1969-1973 Attempts to stop a proposed BBC program about Commander Lionel (Buster) Crabb, a frogman who vanished while on a mission under a Russian warship in 1956.



This file deals with the government's response to the BBC's plans to make a documentary about this disappearance of Commander 'Buster' Crabb in 1956. The papers included confirm that the team of naval divers from HMS Vernon had been diving under Russian ships, and also show the attempts made to prevent the documentary being made or shown. Pressure was placed by Chairman of the D notice committee and by the security services on the BBC and their planned interviews.

Records of the Ministry of Defence, Communications and Intelligence Records, Postal and Telegraph Department.
DEFE 1/445
DEFE 1/446

1914 - 1945 HM Postal Censorship: Code Department MI9c; report on work during the war volumes 1&2


Two volumes that provide a history, with many examples and photos, of the breaking of codes found in post in the First World War. Aside from examples of different types of codes, a brief description of the organisations of NI9c, the unit undertaking the code breaking, the two files include examples of codes written by enemy agents trying to get information out of Britain, to British prisoners of war trying to get information to the military from Germany.

DEFE 1/445
DEFE 1/446
DEFE 1/447

1914 - 1945 History of censorship: Code Section: selections of code methods described in the supplementary history of the Section.


One file that provides a history and summary of postal code breaking towards the end of the Second World War. As with the preceding volumes, this provides many photographic examples of codes written by enemy agents and by British prisoners of war. It also includes a list of those involved in this form of code breaking.

Records created or inherited by the Dominions Office
DO 35/485/6 1934-1937 Publication and film production on the life of Sir Roger Casement



Consists of notes and reviews on Dr Maloney's book "The Forged Casement Diaries". Several of the reviews take up Dr Maloney's allegations about the inconsistencies within the supposed Diaries. Correspondents on the subject include George Bernard Shaw.

DO 35/485/12 1935-1936 Repatriation of remains of Sir Roger Casement to Irish Free State



A Home Office official declared that "there can be no question of acceding to any such application" by the Irish Government for the transfer of Sir Roger Casement's remains to the Republic of Ireland. The Irish had offered to hold no ceremony or demonstration that could lead to any untoward display of anti-British sentiment if the remains were transferred.


The Home Office seems to have demurred until the Taoiseach, Eamonn De Valera asked whether Casement's body had been buried in the same way as those of other persons being buried within the grounds of one of His Majesty's prisons. Implicitly he was asking whether the body had been buried in quicklime to aid decomposition. Eventually the Home Office and the British Government acceded to the application for transfer of the remains.

Records of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office
FCO 53/355 1972-1973 Passport applications for Mr James Hugh Maxwell, South African citizen and son of Sir Robert Maxwell



Debate on whether to renew James Maxwell's passport. An administrative error in 1950 had incorrectly allowed Maxwell to renew his passport. When he attempted to renew it again in February 1973 permission was denied. Letters from Maxwell's solicitor indicated that they would attempt to introduce a Personal Bill, the effect of which would be to 'naturalise' Mr Maxwell.


The file also includes a letter from The Rt. Hon Viscount Blakenham to Sir Alec Douglas-Hume in which Viscount Blakenham states that there 'may be danger of a grave injustice being perpetrated' if Mr. Maxwell's passport was not renewed.

FCO 53/380 1974 Proposed use of passports between UK and Republic of Ireland as a terrorism reduction measure



The Home Office and Foreign and Commonwealth Office monitored Irish applicants for British passports in the 1970's against a list of "suspected persons". Although the Prevention of Terrorism Act 1974 did not make a passport essential for travel between Ireland and Britain there were 60 applications by Irish persons eligible for British passports from the period before the passing of the 1948 British Nationality Act. This reversed the trend of previous decades of falling numbers of applications for British passports from such persons.

FCO 57/630 1974 Importation of firearms by members of diplomatic missions in London



The Home Office made clear that neither the Home Office nor the Metropolitan police would issue firearms certificates to visiting diplomats on the grounds of personal protection. An application had been made by an official a the Chilean embassy at a time when Britain was admitting numbers of refugees from, and victims of, the repression following the Chilean armed forces coup.

FCO 57/663
FCO 57/664

1974 Special treatment of VIPs at airports in UK: categories of visitor entitled to free use of VIP lounge at Heathrow airport


A two-part file about protocol policy for British and Foreign diplomats in UK airports VIP lounges. Who should pay for the privilege and who should not? One report states that, "politicians, no matter how important they may be, do not qualify as a group for VIP courtesies."

Records of the Home Office concerning supervision of the internal affairs of Great Britain, with particular emphasis on law, order and regulation
HO 144/21844 1940-1943 WAR: Disruptive propaganda in 'Daily Mirror' and 'Sunday Pictorial'



This large file contains 6 independent propaganda cases involving the Daily Mirror and Sunday Pictorial from 1940-1942.


The first case, in 1942, concerns the Daily Mirror shareholders. The file contains the names and occupations of the shareholders as well as a detailed police report about a particular shareholder Cecil (Harmsworth?) King and if he has any communist connections.


The second involves Viscount Cranborne, who had an interest in the paper. He is concerned that "The Sunday Pictorial has enemies" when a photo taken by the paper of a solider in Paddington Station is used by a Swiss photo magazine purporting to be a French train station. The caption of the photo produced in the Swiss magazine states that this man is being sent for "German slavery".


The third case is a slim file about a Daily Mail cartoon depicting fascism and the repercussions.


The fourth case is about a HO ban on the newspaper "Daily Worker" as a threat to national unity.


The fifth case is based on a 1941 Daily Mirror editorial call for freedom of the press. In turn, the Home Office used section 2D "Telescoping of Newspapers" to employ a ban on the publication because of its intense critique of the wartime government.


The final case is about an editorial piece in the paper stating that wartime production was 25% below government targets, and the Mirror had proof in the form of letters from informants The Home Office was asking for these letters to be returned for review.

Records of the Metropolitan Police Office
MEPO 3/543 1929-1934 London District under Eastern Command during civil disturbances



Identification of potential vulnerable points in London, which should be protected in the case of an emergency. These include gas, water and electricity stations.

MEPO 3/547 1934-1941 Broadcasting House: police assistance in an emergency



Precautionary and protective measures for Broadcasting House in the event of an attempted raid. Superintendent of Special Branch identified the Communists as the biggest threat. Communists activists would attempt to disrupt outside broadcasts by approaching the microphone or stand in the background shouting 'anti-fascist' slogans.

MEPO 31/1 1969-1970 Mick Jagger (member of The Rolling Stones) unsubstantiated allegation of bribery against Det Sgt R Constable, following a police raid for drugs at 48 Cheyne Walk, SW3 on 28 May 1969: Jagger subsequently fined £200 for possessing cannabis resin. Acquittal of Dunbar, ME alias Marianne Faithfull.  This file deals with a police raid on Mick Jagger's home for drug possession and his subsequent complaint against police. It includes police notes on the case, Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithfull's signed statements, a ground floor plan of Mick Jagger's home and crime reports.