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Jonathan Sumption OBE QC considers the issue of government secrecy throughout English history in his lecture to the Friends of The National Archives. He discusses the evolution of freedom of information, from Roman times to present-day press leaks, and debates whether disclosed documents may become less meaningful if officials and ministers ensure their views are not recorded in writing.
This is the twenty-fourth Security Service records release and contains 196 files, bringing the total number of its records in the public domain to more than 4,300. As with previous releases, around 80% of the records are personal files relating to individuals (KV 2), with a small number of subject files (KV 3), policy files (KV 4), organisation files (KV 5) and list files (KV 6). The files cover subjects from the pre-war period, the Second World War and the post-war period, dealing with a range of groups and subjects. We apologise for the poor sound quality during the first few minutes of the recording.
Professor Christopher Andrew introduces the 25th Security Service records release, which contains 170 files, bringing the total number of its records in the public domain to more than 4,500. As with previous releases, around three quarters of the records are personal files relating to individuals (KV 2), with the remainder a combination of subject files (KV 3), policy files (KV 4) and organisation files (KV 5). The records cover a range of subjects and span the inter-war, Second World War and post-war eras.
Mark Dunton, The National Archives' contemporary records specialist, explains how anyone with an interest in modern history can get the best out of the Cabinet Papers online resource. This provides access to historical records of the key episodes in 20th century British and international history. Mark also discusses the historical development of the Cabinet, how it works, and the main record series.