This is the seventh 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 is the 17th Security Service release. It contains 137 files, bringing the total number of Security Service records in the public domain to nearly 4,000.
Highlights of this release include:
· British claimant to the French throne John Freeman (KV 2/2756)
· Left wing actress Joan Littlewood (KV 2/2757)
· SOE's own professional astrologer, used for propaganda purposes, Louis de Wohl (KV 2/2821-2822)
· SOE collaboration with the Soviet intelligence services (KV 2/2827)
· Leading Scottish communist Jimmy Shields, whose espionage role is revealed here and against whom the Security Service deployed double agent M/7 (KV 2/2801-2805)
· Black marketeer MP for Grantham and Cleethorpes William Kendall (KV 2/2779-2781)
· Leipzig-born communist Gerhart Eisler, thought to have been leader of the American Communist party, arrested at Southampton having stowed away on a Polish ship out of New York (KV 2/2773-2774)
· The British Free Corps (KV 2/2828
· German attempted recruitment of Irish prisoners of war (KV 3/345)
· Possible triple agent Michail Kotschesch (KV 2/2775)
· The Labour Research Department (KV 5/75-79)
As with previous releases, nearly three-quarters 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 a single list file (KV 6).
Most files are from 1939-45 but there are a number from the inter- and post- war periods. They deal with groups and subjects including: German agents and intelligence officers; British communists and suspected communists, Soviet intelligence agents and officers; Soviet defectors; right-wing extremists; and others.
The most notable personal files in this release include those relating to: the actress Joan Littlewood; Charles, Duke of Wurttemberg; leading British communists Robert Stewart and Jimmy Shields; Special Operations Executive's (SOE) professional astrologer Louis De Wohl; and the fascist sympathiser independent MP for Grantham and Cleethorpes, William Dennis Kendall.
The personal files are listed under the following categories:
· German intelligence agents and suspected agents (KV 2/2733-2740)
· German intelligence officers (KV 2/2742-2752)
· Soviet intelligence officers (KV 2/2764)
· Soviet intelligence agents and suspected agents (KV 2/2765-2778)
· Right wing extremists (KV 2/2779-2782)
· Communist and suspected Communists, including Russian and Communist sympathisers (KV 2/2783-2816)
· Pacifists (KV 2/2829)
· Espionage cases (KV 2/2741)
· Other subjects of Security Service enquiries (KV 2/2753-2763)
There are also a number of 'untitled' personal files (KV 2/2817-2828) relating to individuals or topics that do not fit into the above categories. They include files relating to the professional astrologer who worked for SOE and the Political Warfare Executive, Louis de Wohl; the British Free Corps; and cases of Soviet Intelligence Agents given access to SOE facilities.
The subject files (KV 3/340-351) contain papers on communist activity in Plymouth and Sheerness dockyards, the Austrian anti-Nazi movement, German activities with Irish prisoners of war, and the three-volume final report on the Rote Kapelle Soviet spy ring.
This release includes policy files (KV 4/409-428) dealing with a wide range of matters, including control of photography in ports during the Second World War, post-war detention policy and the organisation of Security Intelligence Far East (SIFE).
The organisation files (KV 5/71-79) include files on Russian Oil Products Limited and on the Labour Research Department. The single list file (KV 6/69) relates to the Czech refugee Frantisek Adorjan.
A few files have been weeded, and others have been reconstituted from microfilm of the original document and are therefore in photocopy form. In both cases this is indicated here.
Most personal files have a minute sheet attached to the inside cover, providing a useful index to the file.