Introduction

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Introduction

This is the fourteenth release of Security Service records, and the third since the full implementation of the Freedom of Information Act in January 2005. Though exempt from the Act, the Security Service will continue to make its records available to researchers. This release contains 311 files, bringing the total number of its records in the public domain to over 3,000.

As with previous releases some two-thirds of the records are personal files relating to individuals (KV 2), with a small number of subject files (KV 3), policy files (KV 4), organisation files (KV 5) and list files (KV 6).

The majority of files are from 1939-45 but there are a considerable number from the inter- and post- war periods, dealing with a range of groups and subjects, including: right-wing extremists and the British Union of Fascists; German agents and intelligence officers; British and European Communists and suspected Communists, Soviet intelligence agents and intelligence officers; various Jewish groups and organisations; double agent operations; and German and Japanese espionage activity in the Second World War period.

Of the personal files in this release, the most notable include those relating to the future prime minister of Israel, Menachem Begin, folk singer Ewan MacColl, Soviet spy Oliver green, and the ´Red Dean´ of Canterbury, Hewlett Johnson.

The personal files are listed under the following categories:

Double Cross agents (KV 2/2099-2101)

Communist and suspected Communists, including Russian and Communist sympathisers (KV 2/2148-2198)

Soviet intelligence agents and suspected agents (KV 2/2199-2241)

Soviet intelligence officers (KV 2/2242-2243)

German intelligence agents and suspected agents (KV 2/2102-2125)

German intelligence officers (KV 2/2126-2142)

Right-wing extremists (KV 2/2143-2147)

Other subjects of Security Service inquiries (KV 2/2244-2252)

There are also a number of ´untitled´ personal files (KV 2/2253-2265), that is files relating to individuals or topics that do not fit squarely into the above categories, including files relating to the SOE LARK operation in Norway during the Second World War.

The subject files (KV 3/236-268) contain papers on German espionage activity in Gibraltar and intelligence and Nazi Party activity in Switzerland during the Second World War, Japanese pre-war espionage in South East Asia, and records on the financing of the British Union of Fascists and on its post-war overseas contacts.

This release includes policy files (KV 4/314-330) dealing with a wide range of matters, including press censorship and the handling of escaped Allied prisoners of war and evaders returning to the UK under suspicion.

The organisation files (KV 5/28-40) include files on Hagana, the Stern Group and Irgun, radical Jewish groups in Palestine during the British mandate.

Visual material and other artefacts are listed in the appendix. (Please note that this is not comprehensive.)

A few files have been weeded whilst others have been reconstituted from microfilm of the original document, and therefore are in photocopy form. In both cases this is indicated here.

Most personal files include a minute sheet attached to the inside cover, providing a useful index to the file.

Highlights of the release include:

Future Israeli prime minister (and leader of the Zionist paramilitary group Irgun) Menachem Begin

Leading British folk singer and writer Ewan McColl

The little known spy case of Oliver Green

The Red Dean of Canterbury, Hewlett Johnson

The covert fishing boat bus runs between Scotland and German occupied Norway during the Second World War (LARK organisation and the MV Reidar case)

German agent Wilhelm Mörz, believed to be the only German agent introduced into the UK during the Second World who evaded capture

Female Irish speedway and motor racing driver Fay Taylour

Groups associated with terrorist and propaganda activities in mandate Palestine, Irgun, Hagana and the Stern Group

Art historian Francis Klingender, whose bona fides were given by Anthony Blunt

Reports of German espionage activities in Gibraltar and Japanese espionage activities in the Far East

Press censorship and the D-notice system