List of files released

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Catalogue ref. Date Description
Records of the Prime Minister's Office
PREM 19/1 1980 Feb 21 - 1986 Jun 30 Review of Suez records: release of records (in 1987) under the 30 year ruleFile details the decision to remove Macmillan's embargo on Suez files and the procedures adopted to enable review to take place. Also contains discussion of possible destruction of papers by Sir Norman Brook.
Records of the Cabinet Office
CAB 21/4113 1956 Jul 27 - 1956 Oct 1 Suez Canal: Private Office papersFile contains correspondence between Eden and various individuals including Gaitskell, Macmillan, Menzies and Bulganin. Also included are papers on the attitude of the Commonwealth, meetings of the Egypt Committee and discussion on disrupting the flow of Nile waters.
CAB 21/4114 1956 Oct 01 - 1956 Aug 01 Suez Canal: Private Office papersFile contains meetings of the Middle East (Official) Committee, memorandum from the Lord Chancellor on the use of force, exchanges between Eden and Eisenhower, details of Anglo-American working group to remove Nasser's regime, Law Officers' opinions, correspondence with George Humphrey (US Treasury) on the economic situation, General Keightley's dispatch and the organisation of Cabinet Committees during the Suez operation.
CAB 164/1356 1957 Oct 21 - 1978 Jul 16 Suez: Sir John Hunt's meetings with Sir Patrick Dean and Sir Donald Logan in 1978, and Parliamentary Question, following Lord Selwyn Lloyd's book; Cabinet Office Memorandum 21 October 1957File contains details of Sir John Hunt's meeting with Sir Donald Logan and Sir Patrick Dean including first draft of Dean's memorandum.
CAB 164/1357 1976 Nov 10 - 1981 Nov 13 Review of Suez RecordsFile contains general discussion and minutes of Suez Records Review Committee.
CAB 164/1358 1982 May 19 - 1986 May 13 Review of Suez RecordsFile contains correspondence as to whether General Sir Hugh Beach and the Study Group on Censorship should be given access to Suez papers. Also contains discussion on role of the Lord Chancellor and interdepartmental committee minutes.
CAB 164/1359 1986 May 13 - 1986 Nov 26 Review of Suez RecordsFile discusses the release of Suez records and correspondence on which records should be retained for longer than 30 years. Also contains a letter to Robert Rhodes James concerning his book on Eden, final draft report from the Suez Records Review Committee and correspondence between Armstrong and the Lord Chancellor.
CAB 134/4107 1956 Jul 27 - 1956 Sep 06 Nationalisation of The Suez Canal, 1956: volume I, meetings and memoranda 1-90Part 1 of 2. Two bound volumes containing references and summaries of all Cabinet and Cabinet Committee papers relating to the nationalisation of the Suez Canal and subsequent events compiled for the personal use of the Cabinet Secretary. All papers referred to in the volume have already been released.
CAB 134/4108 1956 Sep 07 - 1957 Jan 03 Nationalisation of The Suez Canal, 1956: volume II, meetings and memoranda 91-187Part of 2 of 2 (see above for description).
Records created or inherited by the Dominions Office, and of the Commonwealth Relations and Foreign and Commonwealth Offices
12/172/1 1978 Jan 01 - 1978 Dec 31 Vetting of Lord Selwyn-Lloyd's manuscript 'Suez 1956': includes copy of manuscriptPart 1 of 2. This file contains the final draft manuscript of Lord Selwyn-Lloyd's book Suez: 1956 which was forwarded to Permanent Under Secretary Sir Michael Palliser for approval. The file contains comments and suggested amendments by Palliser and Sir Michael Weir, Assistant Under-Secretary of State. The latter was less than impressed, commenting: 'The impression I am left with is of an extended exercise in rationalisation by an old man who has learned nothing and forgotten quite a lot.'
FCO 12/172/2 1978 Jan 01 - 1978 Dec 31 Vetting of Lord Selwyn-Lloyd's manuscript 'Suez 1956': includes copy of manuscriptPart 2 of 2 (see above for description).
FCO 12/173 1980 Jan 01 - 1980 Jan 31 Release of records on Suez operation of 1956: decision to review and releaseThis file discusses lifting the 1963 embargo on Suez files imposed by the then Prime Minister, Harold Macmillan, following an attempt by the then Chief of the Defence staff, Lord Mountbatten, to have them made available for a study of the Suez campaign by the Joint Staff Services College. In March 1980, the Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher agreed that the embargo should be lifted to the extent necessary to enable the Suez records to be reviewed for public release in 1987.
FCO 12/174 1981 Jan 01 - 1981 Jan 31 Release of records on Suez operation of 1956: preparation for review of recordsFile discusses the definition of 'Suez records' and the dates to be covered - this was agreed as July 1956 to end of January 1957.
FCO 12/175 1983 Jan 01 - 1983 Dec 31 Release of records on Suez operation of 1956: preparation for review of recordsFile describes the exercise to collate Private Office papers and those kept by Legal Advisors on Suez. Enclosure 14 makes clear that Legal Advisor's conviction was that Her Majesty's Government use of force was illegal.
FCO 12/176 1984 Jan 01 - 1984 Dec 31 Release of records on Suez operation of 1956: interdepartmental co-ordination of review of recordsThis file contains a list of Treasury records relating to Suez and note of a meeting held in the Cabinet Office detailing progress made to date in the review of Suez records. The file ends with a list of code words and their meaning.
FCO 12/177 1985 Jan 01 - 1985 Dec 31 Release of records on Suez operation of 1956: sensitivity issuesFile contains letter by Donald Logan to Anthony Acland concerning Selwyn Lloyd's private papers on Suez.
FCO 12/178 1986 Jan 01 - 1986 Dec 31 Release of records on Suez operation of 1956: background to events and guidance on releaseNote of meeting between Acland and Logan concerning the fate of the Sèvres Protocol and copies of Selwyn Lloyd's private papers. The file also contains discussion on Robert Rhodes James's forthcoming biography on Eden.
FCO 12/179 1986 Jan 01 - 1986 Dec 31 Release of records on Suez operation of 1956: background to events and guidance on releaseThe file discusses Lord Hailsham's position as Lord Chancellor and the possible conflict of interest presented by the Suez papers. In 1956 Hailsham had been First Sea Lord and involved in planning the Suez operation. In his position as Lord Chancellor he was the minister responsible for withholding records for longer than 30 years. The file also contains a report from the Cabinet Committee co-ordinating the review of departmental records relating to the Suez operation and deliberations over which records might be closed. Letter from Armstrong to Lord Chancellor contains list of those records that will be closed for more than 30 years and confirms all retentions are justified. Letter also discusses the fate of Sèvres Protocol: 'I cannot prove it, but I have little doubt that the document was destroyed by Sir Anthony Eden or on his instructions.' File also contains letters to former members of the FCO offering assistance if approached by the press.
FCO 12/180 1986 Jan 01 - 1986 Dec 31 Release of records on Suez operation of 1956: legal opinionsThis file contains a collection of papers on the legal aspects of the Suez crisis. It presents the views of the Attorney General (Sir Reginald Manningham-Buller), the Solicitor General (Sir Harry Hylton-Foster) and the Foreign Office Legal Advisers (Sir Gerald Fitzmaurice and Francis Vallat).  The four Legal Advisers wished to place on record the fact that they were not consulted about the legality of the Suez operation and wished to be dissociated from the decision which 'was taken on grounds of policy and not law'; all 'seriously considered resignation'. If asked to give a view they would be unable to support the decision given by the Lord Chancellor that intervention was legal. The Law Officers also challenged the constitutional role of Lord Chancellor to provide legal advice. 'Throughout the Suez crisis, the task of the Legal Advisers has been rendered almost impossibly difficult by the fact that the Cabinet and the Prime Minister were proceeding independently on the basis of private advice tendered by the Lord Chancellor'. It was noted that although the Lord Chancellor was Head of the Judiciary his opinion was given 'on a personal basis' and did not represent the highest legal authority in the land which constitutionally resided with the Law Officers of the Crown.
FCO 12/181 1987 Jan 01 - 1987 Dec 31 Release of records on Suez operation of 1956: reactionsFile deals with press reactions to the release of Suez records. It contains a message from Tony Benn demanding the suspension of the Lord Chancellor due to perceived conflict of interest. There is also speculation as to whether Selwyn Lloyd wore a false moustache on his visit to Paris. File contains a letter from Tam Dalyell MP demanding that all public records should be released. It was suspected Dalyell was referring to the absence of the Sèvres Protocol which was believed to have been destroyed by Eden, or on his orders.
FCO 12/182 1988 Jan 01 - 1988 Dec 31 Release of records on Suez operation of 1956: access to 'Sevres Protocol' of October 1956File relates the attempt by Donald Logan to reconstruct the Sèvres Protocol using a copy of the original document in the Ben-Gurion archives. The file also contains exchanges with Keith Kyle on possible release of the Protocol by the Israeli authorities.
FCO 12/183 1988 Jan 01 - 1988 Dec 31 Release of records on Suez operation of 1956: access to 'Sevres Protocol' of October 1956; includes reconstruction of document textThis File contains a narrative of the meeting at Sèvres written by Donald Logan on 24 October 1986. The file also contains a reconstruction of the text of the Sèvres Protocol, also produced by Logan, drawing on versions already published by Dayan and Pineau and by comparison with a copy of the original protocol at the Israeli Embassy.
FCO 12/184 1996 Jan 01 - 1996 Dec 31 Release of records on Suez operation of 1956: access to 'Sevres Protocol' of October 1956; including gift of copy to Public Record Office (PRO) from Israel State ArchivesCorrespondence with Three BM Television concerning forthcoming documentary to mark the 40th anniversary of Suez. The file contains the agreement of the Israeli authorities to allow publication of Sèvres Protocol provided the British and French governments did not object.
FCO 73/205 1978 Jan 01 - 1986 Dec 31 Issues relating to release of government papers concerning 1956 Suez invasion:includes search for 'Sevres Protocol' and copies of 1978 memorandum written by Sir Patrick Dean, Assistant Under Secretary at Foreign Office, describing his role during the crisis ('Dean Memorandum')
This file contains the 1978 memorandum written by Patrick Dean detailing his recollection of the visit made by himself and Donald Logan to Sèvres on 24-25 October 1956. The file also contains exchanges between the Foreign Office and Cabinet Office on the most appropriate means of dealing with the memorandum and whether it should be released in tandem with the remainder of the Suez papers. The disclosure of the information to Robert Rhodes James for use in his book on Eden is also documented.
FO 371/125410 1957 Leading personalities in EgyptThe file contains personal details of leading personalities in Egypt (196 names). The list was originally prepared in 1954 and subsequently revised in 1957.
DO 35/6226 1956 Publicity and press reaction in connection with UK policy in the Middle East (Egypt and Israel)File contains numerous press reports, mainly from Commonwealth countries, commenting on British policy and actions over the Suez Canal.
DO 35/6227 1956 - 1957 Advisory Committee on Suez Canal disputeThis file contains minutes and papers prepared for the Suez Canal Advisory Committee under the chairmanship of Douglas Dodds-Parker, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. The purpose of the committee was to prepare and disseminate 'black' propaganda with the aim of destabilising, and ultimately removing from power, President Nasser's regime in Egypt.
Records created and inherited by HM Treasury
T 220/1018 1957 - 1959 Egypt: examination of British employees and their families following severance of diplomatic relations
T 220/1246 1959 - 1960 Assistance to British claimants in process of recovering property in Egypt
T 221/1011 1957 British refugees from Egypt: financial aid
T 221/1015 1957 British refugees from Egypt: financial aid
T 225/508 1956 Reassessment of defence policy: cabinet paper on future of UK in world affairs
T 225/1593 1957 - 1960 Suez Canal base: termination of employment of Suez contractors' employees; financial arrangements
T 236/4618 1956 Exchange Control Working Party: minutes, papers and correspondence
T 236/4637 1956 Financial and economic measures taken by UK and other governments against Egypt
T 236/5025 1957 Financial and economic negotiations with the UK following re-opening of Suez Canal
Records of the Boards of Stamps, Taxes, Excise, Stamps and Taxes, and Inland Revenue
IR 40/11938 1941 - 1956 Suez Canal Company controlled by London directors: tax liability on interest from investments
IR 40/14065 1956 - 1961 Company incorporated in UK but resident in Egypt had its assets sequestrated at time of Suez Crisis: constitutional change made company resident of UK from 1957; interest on saving bonds and UK deposits rendered liable to UK tax