A selection of files recently released

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Catalogue ref. Date Description
Records created by the Ministry of Defence
DEFE 13/1333 1980 Defence policy: Hong KongLooks at the defence costs of the British Garrison in Hong Kong.
DEFE 69/623 1983 - 1984 Aircraft accident: Board of inquiry into Sea Harrier mission which terminated in the landing of aircraft ZA 176 on Spanish merchant ship Alraigo, June 1983. Contains photos.
DEFE 69/638 1977 - 1981 UK air defenceInformation relating to UK's Airfield Survival measures programme. The papers aim to examine development of UK air defence in the 1990s. Assesses what resources may be needed in the years ahead. Discusses threats to UK from the Soviet military programme that had introduced long range, high-speed, aircraft capable of striking the UK with a heavy weight of weapons.
DEFE 69/663 1976 - 1978 Speed and endurance of future surface shipsThis file looks at the speed of Soviet ships compared to that of the British and discusses the need to increase the speed of the fleet, to ensure regular operations can be carried out. Contains detailed information about the speed of Navy vessels from USSR and USA.
DEFE 69/672 1976 - 1977 Infringement of Soviet territorial seas by British Naval vesselsThis file looks at the violation of Soviet territorial waters by HMS Berwick.  Details close collisions between Royal Navy ships and Soviet vessels. It also contains details of a British helicopter fired at by Soviet mine-sweeper.
Records created and inherited by the Foreign and Colonial Office
FCO 31/2043 1976 Opposition to President Idi Amin of UgandaThis file contains information from the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Uganda. It highlights the problems under Amin's regime, particularly the killing of students at Makerere University and his plans in the event of coup. It also contains other correspondence relating to Amin's regime.
FCO 93/809 1976 Arab League: diplomatic statusThis file contains information from a time when Britain did not recognise the Arab League. Shows that the Arab League office in London had no formal status. Discusses the Palestine Liberation Organisation's attempts to become a member of Arab League offices in Mayfair.
FCO 93/836 1976 Libyan involvement with Irish Republican Army (IRA) and effect on relations with UKConcerns Britain's attempts to persuade Libya not to provide material support to the IRA. Details a potential approach to Libya by the YMCA to fund a hostel in Belfast.
FCO 93/839 1976 Foreign airlines in Libya: including over flights: forcing down of BOAC VC10 in July 1971Looks at the forcing down of a BOAC VC10 in July 1971 by the Libyans. The correspondence was prompted by a legal case against BOAC from two Sudanese widows whose husbands were taken of the plane and executed.
FCO 93/856 1976 Terrorist activities in EgyptDiscusses the hijacking of an Egyptian Airline Boeing 737 on a flight from Cairo to Luxor. Looks at possible theories on who carried out the attack and contains details of the trial.
FCO 93/913 1976 Hijack of Air France plane at Entebbe Airport, Uganda, June 1976These files relate to the hijacking by representatives of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine of Air France flight 139, en route from Tel Aviv to Paris. The plane landed at Benghazi in Libya and then travelled on to Entebbe in Uganda, where a squad of Israeli troops ultimately stormed the hostage-takers' encampment.  The files contain communications about the hijacking, and debate over whether the British Prime Minister should congratulate Israel following the final assault.
FCO 93/914 1976 Hijack of Air France plane at Entebbe Airport, Uganda, June 1976Please see above.
Records created or inherited by the Home Office, Ministry of Home Security, and related bodies
HO 382/23 1957 - 1959 BALOGH, Rossa: Hungarian; post 1956 Revolution application to visit sister in UK refused because of the policy of not permitting visitors from the Iron Curtain to enter the country, as they could not be deported in they opted to stay
HO 382/30 1948 - 1970 AYLWARD Gladys: British born Christian missionary (portrayed in the 1958 film 'The inn of the Sixth Happiness') who became a Chinese citizen; application for a visa to visit the UK
HO 382/31 1949 - 1966 ANNIGONI Pietro: distinguished Italian artist; work permit procedures and immigration control at Channel ports during the 1950s
HO 382/32 1955 - 1956 HECHT, Ben: American Jewish playwright who supported Jewish terrorists in the 1940s
HO 382/35 1936 - 1943 JACOBY, Alfred (Dr): German Jewish refugee interned in Canada who started the first travel bureaux for Orthodox Jews travelling to the UK
HO 382/39 1948 - 1974 ARRAU, Claudio: Chilean pianist who cam to the UK on 1948 to appear on television; work permit procedures
HO 382/40 1957 - 1992 Alexander, Prince of Albania (aka King Leaka of Albania): arrangements for the Prince to attend Sandhurst Royal Military Academy in 1957 and subsequent visits to the UKDeals with the arrangements for Prince Leka of Albania's attendance at Sandhurst, and his travel into Britain in subsequent years, from 1957 to 1992. There is debate about what title he should be accorded (Leka assumed the title King Leka I of Albania in 1961). The file includes references to Leka's career, which included expulsion from Spain in 1979 for plotting to overthrow the Albanian government and involvement in arms deals in Africa.
HO 382/41 1940 - 1947 BIANCHI, Mario: also known as Monty Banks, husband of Grace Fields; refused entry to UK following World War II
HO 382/43 1945 - 1955 GIGLI, Beniamino: opera singer; applications to perform concerts in the UK between 1946 and 1955 and correspondence opposing his entry
HO 382/44 1945 - 1974 GIZYCA, Countess Krystyna: application for naturalisation; awarded The George Medal and OBE for her wartime activity as an agent with the Allied Forces (murdered in 1952)This file contains correspondence relating to the naturalisation of Madam GIZYCKA, who arranged courier routes through the Balkan countries during the Second World War and was employed on special intelligence duties in the Middle East.
Records created or inherited by the Records of Special Operations Executive
HS 9/921/5 1939 - 1946 Julien Joseph LEZARD - born 14.02.1902Lezard (pseudonym: EGLISE) took part in Operation CATHEDRALE in August 1944. He was injured on landing and immobilised for seven weeks. The file contains a number of reports made on his return, recounting his experience and the treatment he received. Lezard's main comment was there was a serious lack of information relating to the conditions in Britain and he recommended that propaganda should be used to improve French sympathy and understanding.
HS 9/9/3 1939 - 1946 Special Operation Executive personal file for Gabor (Gabriel) Adler AKA John ArmstrongThe personal file of SOE agent Gabor Adler reveals the story behind his very short operational career and his eventual fate. The file is related to recent press coverage speculating that a grave in Rome marked "The Unknown Englishman" was that of a British Army officer (John Armstrong) killed after the liberation of Rome. However, the deceased was actually a Hungarian Jew, as the file reveals.
Records created or inherited by the Labour and Employment Departments
LAB 109/24 1974 - 1980 Work permit policy: lift of ban on immigrants working for Church of Scientology organisationLooks at the ban on immigration for Scientologists wishing to work for the church and the legal challenge to overturn it. It contains various examples of pamphlets, newspaper clippings and background information on the Church of Scientology. The file also includes copies of a written answer from the Ministry of Health to a Parliamentary Question.