Martin Bormann (KV 2/3033) 1939-1958

From the evidence of this file, the Security Service did not take an active interest in Hitler's deputy Martin Bormann during the Second World War. This thin file contains a few scant references from the early part of 1939 (including at serial 2a reports of his home being equipped with bomb- and gas-proof cellars and a secret tunnel) and then nothing until 1946, when reports of Bormann having survived the war and being spotted at various locations began to circulate. The first and seemingly most reliable of these was a report from the BAOR in 1947 of Bormann living in the Schaffhausen area of Switzerland. The matter was passed to the Secret Intelligence Service for investigation. There follow a number of increasingly wild and unreliable reports, so that by June 1947 the Director General of the Security Service, Sir Percy Sillitoe, was writing to the CID in Colombo: 'Most of these reports derive from the Press and probably come from irresponsible persons. We do not consider that it would be worth your while bothering to look for Bormann.' The file includes requests from the Americans for information about Bormann, and the record of an interview with a man claiming to have been Bormann's pilot, Karl Heinz Kaerner, given to the press department of the British Embassy in Paris in 1949 (serial 33a). This file includes photographs and a description of Bormann (serial 32a).

Go to Discovery to view KV 2/3033

Stephen King-Hall, MP (KV 2/3028-3029) 1933-1957

Commander King-Hall published his own views that his correspondence had been intercepted by MI5 before, during and after his time as an MP during the Second World War, an allegation which the Security Service rejected at the time, and which with the release of these files can now been seen to have been false. The files do however show that the Service took an interest in King-Hall's activities, many of which at least gave cause for suspicion, and which his own self-publicity often magnified. As a broadcaster and expert on foreign affairs between the Wars, King-Hall published a newsletter (King-Hall Newsletter Service) which had a wide circulation, and some of the copy, along with his links with German and Austrian figures in 1939 gave rise to some concerns about possible pro-Nazi leanings. The detail is recorded on KV 2/3028. He was elected as Independent Nationalist MP for Ormskirk in November 1939, and combined this role with publicity work for the Ministry of Information and the Ministry of Aircraft Production.

The first serious cause for concern at the Security Service came in October 1941 (details at serial 22a and following) when a solicitor, F S A Gwatkin, told the Service that 'Commander King-Hall had told him that he had been approached by a member of MI5 who asked him to ask a question in the House of Commons, alleging or rather suggesting that Bayer Products Limited was controlled by Sterling Products Inc, which was controlled by I G Farbenindustrie.' The file minutes record the efforts taken to identify the Service member - King-Hall himself claimed not to remember his name (serial 24a). King-Hall's greatest offence to the Service came after the War when he published his allegations, including one that when Prime Minister, Lloyd George's correspondence with his cabinet colleagues had been intercepted and read by MI5. The text is in this file, along with the Service's rebuttal of the allegations, in a letter to the director of naval intelligence urging him to take steps to curb King-Hall's wilder utterances. King-Hall had by now set up the Hansard Society and his writings were cloaked in the cause of promoting democracy.

The Service's attitude to King-Hall is neatly summarised in a 1953 letter (serial 70a, in KV 2/3029): 'I might mention by the way, that we have nothing particular against King-Hall except that he once wrote some very nasty things about MI5. We were rather hurt.' By then, King-Hall had approached the Service officially to seek sanction for a planned letter writing campaign into Poland and Czechoslovakia, which the Service passed on to the Secret Intelligence Service in 1950. King-Hall claimed that he had received covert official approval for a similar campaign into Nazi Germany in 1939, though there is little in this file to corroborate his claim.

Donald Stott (KV 2/3032) 1944

Stott was an SOE officer engaged in operations in Greece in 1943-1944 when he was approached by the Mayor of Athens with offers of German peace feelers. Stott came under suspicion after his escape from Greece because he had agreed to meet with the Mayor and his German contacts, and brought back the German offer of a peace to allow Germany to concentrate on the fight against the Soviet Union. The file includes a report (serial 1a) of the interrogation of Stott carried out by SIME in 1944, giving details of the whole business, including Stott's meetings with Colonel Grivas. Stott is cleared of wrong doing in this matter (see paragraph 28 of the report), except in regards to the partiality he displayed between the various Greek resistance groups.

Policy files - post war organisation of the Security Service overseas (KV 4/442) 1943-1946

From 1943, the Security Service began planning the shape and extent of its organisation in the British Colonies and Dominions. The details in this file give information on the numbers and sometimes identities of Service representatives in various posts, and show how it was envisaged the Service overseas would be organised. As a point of reference, the file includes copies of papers issued after the First World War on the overseas organisation of MI5 (as it then was), and contains extensive correspondence between the Service and the Colonial Office.