Policy Files

Policy Files

(KV 4/205-225)

MI5-MI6 working relationship

(KV 4/205)

This lightly weeded file addresses the wartime working relationship between MI5 and MI6 and sets out the policy for communications between the two agencies. There are several policy minutes, exchanges of correspondence between responsible individuals in MI5 and MI6 (chiefly Liddell, Haker and Vivian) and a copy of a Director General's circular of December 1940 on the subject. The file sets out how section V of the Secret Intelligence Service under Vivian, was established as section B.26 of the Security Service in August 1940, and how Vivian was responsible for the control of all contacts between officers of the two Services. The file describes the work of B.26 and the distribution of functions between the officers working in it. It also sets out how the system was deemed less appropriate after the war, and discusses its future up to 1949.

MI5 representation in the Americas

(KV 4/206-207, 209)

These three files give a detailed account of the history of the Security Service's representation in the United States and its relationship with the FBI during the period 1940-1943.

J Edgar Hoover, the director of FBI, had established a liaison officer in London and was anxious that the Security Service did the same in Washington. G C Denham was despatched to the United States to investigate the proposal, and his mission is detailed in KV 2/206-207 in some detail. It was eventually decided that there was no need for a Security Service agent to be based in Washington, indeed it was felt that such a posting might serve to further confuse the channels of communication between the organisations. There is a letter regretting the decision from Hoover to Sir David Petrie in KV 4/207.

KV 4/209 contains details of Denham's further visit to central America and the West Indies in late 1943 to inspect Security Service representation there, which include Denham's views on the growing 'Negro problem', and his perception of the views of Americans on Jews.

Operation of Home Office warrants

(KV 4/222)

This file, covering 1939 to 1944, details the developing policy on the use of Home Office warrants in wartime. Beginning with some very last minute pre-war planning and preparation, the file contains numerous versions of instructions on the application of postal and telephone surveillance under warrant. The wartime postal censorship operation was based principally in Liverpool and there is detailed discussion of the establishment, procedures and working of the postal warrant system. Some particular cases are mentioned. The file includes the December 1939 decision to stop the pre-war practice of reviewing all warrants at six-monthly intervals during the war because of the extra workload this placed on the system.

Combined Intelligence Centre, Iraq and Persia (CICI)

(KV 4/223-225)

These three reconstituted files give an insight into the operations of British intelligence in Iraq and Persia during the Second World War, and in particular into the unique collaboration between British and Soviet intelligence that developed in Persia, which was occupied by both powers from 1941.

KV 4/223 is the main file on the history and organisation of CICI. Covering the period 1943 to 1945, the file includes a detailed internal history of CICI from June 1941 to December 1944 (at serial 57c). The file includes the text of the original charter for CICI, correspondence on the responsibilities of the organisation and those it replaced, memoranda on the general intelligence situation in the Middle East and organisation charts and maps showing the distribution of CICI officers.

KV 4/224-225 deal with the collaboration between British and Soviet intelligence in Persia that developed there following the joint Anglo-Soviet occupation of Persia in August 1941. Both files contain notes of meetings between Soviet and British intelligence agents, and reports on the history and development of the relationship between the two allied organisations. File KV 4/224, covering 1944-1945, includes analysis of Soviet intelligence methods derived from the collaboration, details of the Vaziri case1 and frequent mentions of KISS (see KV 2/1281-1285). KV 4/225, covering 1945 up to the closure of the CICI office in Tehran, includes further reports on the progress of collaboration and correspondence on the disposal of official German property at the end of the war and on the closure of CICI in Persia. There are also notes of meetings between a CICI officer, Lieutenant Klinghardt, and his Soviet counterpart, Colonel Sosnin, over dinner in August 1945, which were seen as attempts to penetrate British intelligence.

Vaziri was a Soviet agent recruited to penetrate German intelligence operations in Persia and Turkey, whose existence was suspected by the British and who was revealed to the British by the Soviets, after some British pressure had been applied through Persian officials. A reconstituted file relating to the Vaziri case, not included here, is also in this release, at KV 2/1317.