20th October 2004 list

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Catalogue ref. Date Description
ADM 219/701 1959 Some implications of radioactive fallout at sea

- Details of the fallout effects and vulnerability of ships at sea. The document outlines principles on avoiding and encountering fallout hazards of various types of nuclear bursts. The appendix provides formulas for calculating various fallouts and situations that ships may encounter at sea.

AT 66/335 1989-1990 Hillsborough Stadium Disaster Inquiry: Ad Hoc Committee on Appraisal of Sports Grounds; copies of draft report, seminar papers and related correspondence

- Correspondence identifying that hooliganism in football crowds was in the long term prompted by the failure to provide attractive and comfortable facilities for family groups. Reports identify the balance between safety and financial penalties for inciting evacuation of a football ground.

AVIA 13/1428 1970-1971 Sonic bang research: experiments on fragile churches to assess damage from Concorde test flying
BT 248/495 1966-1968 Action and correspondence following publication of the report of re-opened German Commission of Inquiry

- File relating to the Munich air disaster in which eight members of the Manchester United football team lost their lives. The reports and correspondence question the causes of the crash and include calls for the British Prime Minister to lend his support to efforts to absolve Captain Thain, the aircraft's captain, from any blame.

FO 371/78543 1949 Interrogation in Switzerland in Dec 1948 of Miklos Nyaradi, former Hungarian Minister of Finance

- Defected Hungarian Minister of Finance, Miklos Nyaradi, agrees to talk to Anglo American authorities who interrogate him at length. Ernest Bevin commented that he regarded Nyaradi as 'untrustworthy' and a 'self-satisfied opportunist'. The interrogation notes reveal the extent of Soviet penetration in all areas of Hungarian society - social, political and commercial. There is also concern about passing this information to the BBC.

FO 371/78536 1949 Hungarian attempts to suborn British and US Embassy staff
HO 144/12143 1927-1930 Disturbances: Unemployed miners' march to London in 1927. March of the unemployed to London in 1929. Hunger march to London in 1930

- This file indicates the lengths the authorities went to in their surveillance of the National Unemployed Workers Movement (NUWM). It includes copious contemporary press reports, Special Branch and other sundry police reports regarding their activities whilst NUWM marchers were in the capital as well as reports on their progress and reception through various provincial towns on route during the 1930s. There are also earlier reports from the miners' marches to London in 1927 as well as mention that Churchill 'thinks that their arrival in London footsore and hungry would create a very difficult situation' and asking the Home Office what they are planning to do about it. 'His own view,' continues the memo, 'is that they should be intercepted while still some distance off, treated decently and tactfully, but turned back somehow or other.' There is also a re-joiner from the Chief Constable of Reading that the marchers are 'a rather weedy lot' and not in a 'distressed condition' at all.

HO 144/6891 1926 Disturbances: Miners' Strike, May 1926: Russian money, telegrams and letters from abroad
HO 144/7985 1926-1927 Disturbances: Payments from Russia in aid of the General Strike

- File referring to large sums of money being sent from Trade Union organisations across Europe in support of miners in England during the General Strike of 1926. Throughout 1926 and 1927 payments as large as £53,000 were regularly dispatched to the Distressed Miners' Fund from Russia via the International Federation of Trade Unions. The Home Office was aware of the movement of large sums from the continent and asked banks to keep the HO informed of large deposits being made.

HO 144/16355 1931-1932 Disturbances: Demonstrations by unemployed in London
HO 144/18187 1932-1933 Disturbances: National Unemployed Workers' Union: march to London in protest against means test
HO 144/4645 1920-1925 Ireland: Sinn Fein outrages; Amnesty for offences in England and Wales; Damage attributed to Irish political motives; Claims for compensation

- This file contains a number of pieces, many of which detail the measures taken by the British authorities to deal with spiralling Sinn Fein outrages on the British mainland. Correspondence asks for men to be assigned to guard General Tudor, a personal friend of Churchill, following intelligence that Sinn Feiners have got hold of General Tudor's home address. Minutes of a conference held at the Home Office include a submission from Sir Basil Thompson, Head of Special Branch, that he will issue a special summary to chief constables on how to deal with Sinn Fein providing that each chief constable burns his copy as soon as it is read.

HO 144/1635/412153 1920 Ireland: Sinn Fein meetings prohibited in Manchester
HO 144/2861 1923 Ireland: Sean (or John) Harvey. Internment in Ireland. Compensation
HO 144/3749 1923-1924 Ireland: Maire Rosina Killeen. Internment in Ireland. Compensation
HO 144/19836 Disturbances: Two organisers (Tom Mann and another) of a proposed mass demonstration of unemployed, imprisoned for refusing to enter into recognisance to keep the peace and to be of good behaviour.

Correspondence between the Prime Minister and the Home Secretary.

 

This file show that the Prime Minister, Ramsay MacDonald, proposed the release of a Communist leader Tom Mann who had been jailed for refusing to prevent disturbances on hunger marches. The Home Secretary, Sir John Gilmour, rejected his approach.

HO 144/22695 1939-1946 Ireland: Members of Irish Republican Army convicted of possessing explosive substances sentenced to 10 years penal servitude: Joseph Patrick Broderick
HO 144/22128 1928-1940 War: Unauthorised wireless transmitters

Representations being made by The Showmen's Guild of Great Britain to the Home Office to allow travelling showmen to keep wireless sets in their caravans. The measures prohibiting wireless sets being contained in road vehicles do not apply to horse drawn caravans.

HO 45/23757 1940 War: Reverend Thomas Evans Nicholas, communist, poet and alleged Welsh nationalist: internment for endeavouring to impede recruitment to HM forces; permission for appeal to be heard in Welsh; refusal of advisory committee to grant legal representation.

This file deals with the curious case of Welsh Reverend, Thomas Evan Nicholas and his son, also Thomas Nicholas. Both were arrested for 'acts prejudicial to the public safety or the defence of the realm' and therefore it was thought necessary to intern them. In particular these prejudicial acts included 'endeavouring to impede recruitment to HM Forces.' The file includes his Advisory Committee hearing and other particulars gleaned from surveillance of him.

HW 41/380 1944 Reports on the wireless deception

and security measures taken by the three services in connection with Operation Neptune and the Allied landings in Normandy.

HW 41/381 1942-1943 Memoranda and minutes of the Y Board and Y Committee concerned with the expansion of the Y Services

- High-level consideration of the requirements for an increase in resources for GC&CS and the 'Y' (interception) service over three years. The file includes contributions by Lord Mountbatten highlighting the lack of battlefield capability.

HW 41/416 1942-1945 Security of Ultra material in the field

- This file details the development of policy for the security of ULTRA material (ENIGMA decrypts) during and after the Second World War.

HW 41/422 1941-1944 Some principles for operating an air intelligence service

- The historical survey of British air intelligence includes an assessment of failings met during the war, including (Pt.1, Section 10) "The fallacies of 'reliability' and 'probability' and the significance of source".

HW 57/10 1941-1942 Exchange of information on Enigma

- Details tensions between UK and US code breakers. Reports are critical on inhuman US 'mechanical' methods.

HW 57/24 1942-1943 Reports on visits by Major Haigh, Colonel Tiltman and Colonel Maltby to North America

- Lt Col Tiltman's report on his visit to US cryptographic organisations in early 1942 is interesting for the light it throws on the competition between the various US services, and for the degree to which UK organisation was superior to that in the US for the job in hand.

HW 61/38 1942 Co-operation with Russia on German naval communications

- This file deals with co-operation between the British and the USSR over intercepted German Naval Communications - co-operation is being jeopardised because the Germans are reading the insecure Russian radio traffic which in turn is jeopardising the safety of PQ convoys. The file talks of the 'frigid atmosphere' between the two allies during June 1942.

HW 61/39 1942 Interception of German police messages

- The file deals with the interception of German police radio traffic in Russia. These intercepts, which were shared with the Russians, show that the Soviets 'have passed from extreme scepticism of the efficiency of our "Y" organisation to the reluctant conclusion that in some way it is better than their own.' The British Military Mission in Moscow concludes that the experiment in intelligence sharing has been a 'success'.

HW 62/5 1943 GC&CS miscellaneous papers: Equipment - Machinery, Volume II 1943.

Minutes, papers and correspondence concerning the procurement of equipment, mainly cryptological machinery, for Bletchley Park. Interesting correspondence reflecting the rivalries in the departments.

 

The above file includes correspondence about the procurement of equipment and subsequent development of the first computer, the COLOSSUS, and other machinery used to break the ENIGMA codes. The files show the technical and logistical difficulties experienced by this enterprise.

HW 62/6 1944-1945 GC&CS miscellaneous papers: Equipment - Machinery, Volume III 1944-1945.

Papers and correspondence on the development and procurement of equipment for Bletchley Park, notably 'Bombes' for breaking ENIGMA and the development of COLOSSUS, the first computer.

 

The above file includes correspondence about the procurement of equipment and subsequent development of the first computer, the COLOSSUS, and other machinery used to break the ENIGMA codes. The files show the technical and logistical difficulties experienced by this enterprise.

IR 40/18712 1971-1973 Contingency plans for staff in Northern Ireland and discussion concerning the Civil Service there

- Refers to the possible evacuation of civil servants from Northern Ireland in the event of increased attacks on their offices. One report describes Londonderry (Derry) as being like a post Second World War occupied city.

IR 40/18713 1973 Draft of future financial arrangements for Northern Ireland
T 227/1705 1961-1963 Ministry of Pensions and National Insurance: future war emergency plans; civilian compensation

- Deliberations and proposals about the payment of disability allowances for injuries sustained by civilians in the event of a nuclear war. With the cold war at its height, the file debates the fairness of providing for nuclear survivors from their own National Insurance contributions or from general taxation funds.

T 295/656 1966-1970 Rhodesian illegal declaration of independence: evasion of UK sanctions against Rhodesia

- Treasury discussions regarding detection of evasions of the British sanctions regime against Ian Smith's renegade Rhodesian regime. The file reveals that although 'a lot is getting out' very few British companies were actively breaking the sanctions. It also details the establishment of a unit within the Board of Trade to investigate alleged transgressions.

WO 309/1165 1947 Volkenrode near Brunswick, Germany killing of British airmen

- This file deals with the murder of Sgt Cyril Webb by Major Wilhelm Dinge and two of his subordinates. The file contains depositions, pathology reports, dental records as well as rather distressing photographs of the deceased. It also contains illuminating thumbnail sketches of the accused like Dinge who was deemed to be 'artful and prepared to lie profusely.'

WO 309/215 1945-1948 Trandum, Norway: killing of six British POWs

- Statements from German soldiers accused of killing six British POWs.

WO 309/827 1946/1947 Oflag 7B, Eichstatt, Germany: killing and ill-treatment of POWs

- The file deals with the murder of two RAF officers held as POWs at Oflag 7B, Eichstalt, Germany - Lieutenant Duncan Harper and Lieutenant Frederick Poole - who were caught outside of their huts five minutes after an air raid curfew imposed by the Camp Commandant Oberst Reid. The file includes numerous witness statements of the shooting. Despite the fact that Reid was under active investigation he was accidentally released from custody.

WO 309/828 1946-1948 Farnese, Italy: killing of allied POWs

- Deals with the case of Major Ernest Doil sentenced for 20 years by a Military Court in Hamburg in 1948 for ordering the execution of two South African prisoners of war and an Italian partisan whilst his unit was retreating through Northern Italy. Contains numerous witness statements.

WO 309/883 1946-1947 Rheine Airfield, Germany: killing of allied airmen
WO 309/945 1946-1948 Solingen, Germany: killing of allied airmen