This is the fifth release of Security Service records 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, the fifteenth Security Service release, contains 268 files, bringing the total number of its records in the public domain to over 3,500.
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; German agents and intelligence officers; British and European Communists and suspected Communists, Soviet intelligence agents and intelligence officers; internment policy; 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 British atom spy Alan Nunn May and his wife, Hildegarde; prominent atom science mathematician Boris Davison; German opponent of the Nazi regime Count von Moltke; writers Sefton Delmer, WH Auden, Christopher Isherwood and Olivia Manning; and leading Indian Communist Krishna Menon.
The personal files are listed under the following categories:
Double agents (KV 2/2425)
Communist and suspected Communists, including Russian and Communist sympathisers (KV 2/2488-2558)
Soviet intelligence agents and suspected agents (KV 2/2209-2225; 2559-2566)
Soviet intelligence officers (KV 2/2567-2573)
German intelligence agents and suspected agents (KV 2/2426-2460)
German intelligence officers (KV 2/2461-2468)
Japanese intelligence officers (KV 2/2469-2471)
Right-wing extremists (KV 2/2472-2487)
Other subjects of Security Service inquiries (KV 2/2574-2585)
There are also a number of 'untitled' personal files (KV 2/2586-2594), that is files relating to individuals or topics that do not fit squarely into the above categories.
The subject files (KV 3/287-314) contain papers on suspected German spies in the United States, on the anti-Nazi movement in Germany, on the home organisation of the Japanese Security Service, on Russian external relations with the UK, and on Communist activities in the dockyards at Portsmouth and Gibraltar.
This release includes policy files (KV 4/354-392) dealing with a wide range of matters, including: literary works referred to the Service prior to publication; policy on the control and internment of enemy aliens, and on release of those aliens, 1918-1945; policy on control of refugees; and coast-watching during the Second World War.
The organisation files (KV 5/59-64) include files on the National Council of Labour Colleges. The list files (KV 6/61-67) include files relating to wartime correspondence between anti-Nazi German Count von Moltke and contacts in Britain.
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:
British atom spy Alan Nunn May, his wife Hildegarde and other atomic scientists including Leo Kowarski and Boris Davison
Undetected Second World War Abwehr spies in Britain Albert Meems and Paul Borchardt
Society photographer John Scott (also known as Vasilje Vojinovic)
Japanese intelligence officer Kaoru Matusomoto, and Japanese intelligence operations generally
Friend and correspondent of Lord Haw Haw John McNab
Dockyard Communist John Salisbury, involved in sabotage of Navy submarines
Barrister and Indian Communist Krishna Menon
Writers Olivia Manning, W H Auden, Christopher Isherwood and Sefton Delmer
Kenyan nationalist Peter Koinange
Count von Moltke, Otto John and Anti-Nazi movements in Germany
British internment policy and control of aliens, immigration etc during wartime and in emergencies