A selection of recently released files

August 2007

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Catalogue ref. Date Description
Records of the Dominions Office, Colonial Office, Commonwealth and Foreign and Commonwealth Offices, Empire Marketing Board and related bodies
FCO 16/58 1967 Government War Book: regional co-ordination of UK overseas authorities in global warIncludes information about the role of British Overseas Authorities in the event of a global war, covering issues such as chain of command, military operations, intelligence monitoring and maintenance of food and oil supplies.
FCO 46/1412 1976 Nuclear Co-operation between the UK and USA: 1958 agreement and Polaris sales agreementContains correspondence between the US and UK regarding the updating and re-wording of the Polaris agreement.
FCO 46/1422 1976 Counter terrorist contingency planning in various countries outside the UKContains debates about the possibility of the UK 'doing an Entebbe'. Officials discuss the Israeli operation, whether or not the SAS would ever conduct a similar operation and what can be learnt from Israeli counterparts.
FCO 46/1396 1976 UK defence policy towards the Falkland IslandsFollowing the recall of the British ambassador to Buenos Aires and the arrival of Lord Shackleton in the Falklands to conduct his economic mission, relations between the UK and Argentina were uneasy. The file demonstrates the British government's wish to encourage economic cooperation with Argentina but, after an Argentinian Navy landing ship has unloaded 750 tons of equipment at Port Stanley, discussions move to plans to extend the stay of HMS Endurance and increase the overall British military presence in the area. Invasion of the Islands by Argentina is considered as a real possibility, especially as one result of the Shacktleton mission is to re-ignite rumours of the existence of vast oil reserves in the area.
FCO 46/1397 1976 UK defence policy towards the Falkland IslandsContains updates on the capabilities of the Argentinian armed forces and outlines the effects of the general deterioration of the country on the attitudes of the military establishment towards the Falkland Islands. Officials discuss the line the UK should take regarding dialogues with Argentina to avoid conflict, including the possibilities of establishing a joint British and Argentinian military base.
FCO 46/1398 1976 UK defence policy towards the Falkland IslandsContains updates on the capabilities of the Argentinian armed forces and outlines the effects of the general deterioration of the country on the attitudes of the military establishment towards the Falkland Islands. Officials discuss the line the UK should take regarding dialogues with Argentina to avoid conflict, including the possibilities of establishing a joint British and Argentinian military base.
DO 142/521 1948 Discussions between US and UK about KashmirContains correspondence between the UK government, including a personal memo from Prime Minister Clement Attlee, and the newly formed United Nations. The correspondence discusses the facilitation of an agreement between Prime Ministers Liaquat Ali Kahn of Pakistan and Jawaharlal Nehru of India for a ceasefire in the disputed region of Kashmir and the possibility of conducting an independently monitored plebiscite to supersede the decision of the Maharaja of Kashmir to join India.
Records created or inherited by the British Transport Commission, the British Railways Board, and related bodies
AN 174/1807 1978-1979 National Front: Activity of National Railwayman's Association during election campaigns; publicity materialIn the build up to local and national elections held in 1978 and 1979 British Rail senior management expressed concern over the increasing levels of political activity by British Rail staff, especially the use of staff notice boards and union channels to distribute National Front material. This file also contains examples of the material found by management.
Records of departments responsible for labour and employment matters and related bodies
LAB 105/155 1978-1980 Report of the investigation into the cause of the 1978 Birmingham smallpox outbreak (chaired by Professor Shooter)Deals with the response to the Shooter Report, which investigated a smallpox outbreak at a University of Birmingham laboratory. The incident and the report generated much public concern about the proximity to densely populated areas of laboratories containing deadly pathogens.
Records created or inherited by the Ministry of Health and successors, Local Government Boards and related bodies
MH 150/951 1976-1979 Smoking in hospitals and other health premises: issues on guidanceContains correspondence regarding an NHS policy to ban smoking on health premises. Aspects of this ban include halting the sale of tobacco in hospital shops and vending machines, requests for staff not to smoke in front of patients and the effectiveness of no-smoking signage.
Records created or inherited by the Home Office, Ministry of Home Security, and related bodies
HO 144/17916 1926 -1932 Disturbances: Russian Oil Products Ltd: Communist ActivitiesRussian Oil Products Ltd was a British company which had sole control over the distribution of Russian oil in the UK. Officials were concerned that this company was being used as a base for communist political activities leading to espionage and sabotage. This file includes profiles of communist activists and employees, both Russian and British, submissions from surveillance officers and ex-employees, discussions about placing the company on the King's Roll for ex-servicemen and extensive news clippings.