Release of Suez records

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Release of Suez records

Legal Opinions
This file contains a collection of papers on the legal aspects of the Suez crisis. It presents the views of the Attorney General (Sir Reginald Manningham-Buller), the Solicitor General (Sir Harry Hylton-Foster) and the Foreign Office Legal Advisers (Sir Gerald Fitzmaurice and Francis Vallat).  The four Legal Advisers wished to place on record the fact that they were not consulted about the legality of the Suez operation and wished to be dissociated from the decision which 'was taken on grounds of policy and not law'; all 'seriously considered resignation'. If asked to give a view they would be unable to support the decision given by the Lord Chancellor that intervention was legal. The Law Officers also challenged the constitutional role of Lord Chancellor to provide legal advice. 'Throughout the Suez crisis, the task of the Legal Advisers has been rendered almost impossibly difficult by the fact that the Cabinet and the Prime Minister were proceeding independently on the basis of private advice tendered by the Lord Chancellor'. It was noted that although the Lord Chancellor was Head of the Judiciary

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'Dean Memorandum'
This file contains the 1978 memorandum written by Patrick Dean detailing his recollection of the visit made by himself and Donald Logan to Sèvres on 24-25 October 1956. The file also contains exchanges between the Foreign Office and Cabinet Office on the most appropriate means of dealing with the memorandum and whether it should be released in tandem with the remainder of the Suez papers. The disclosure of the information to Robert Rhodes James for use in his book on Eden is also documented.

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