British foreign policy, ‘The scope for change’, 1974

J.Cable to staff in PUS Planning Committee, 12 February 1974 Cover note attaching a report: “British Foreign Policy: the scope for change”. Notes that the FCO Planning Staff have produced this paper “as a basis for discussion by the Planning Committee of the changes that might have to be made in British foreign policy to […]

UK foreign policy (general): Declassified

These declassified files on general aspects of UK foreign policy highlight the UK’s actual interests as perceived by planners, reasons for special relations with the US and attitudes towards ‘development’ and the United Nations,among other policies. Documents Foreign Office, ‘British foreign policy: Opportunities and dangers’, 1975 Foreign Office, ‘The New International Economic Order’, 1975 Foreign […]

H.W.King, FCO, to FCO Planning Staff, 1969

H.W.King, UN Department, FCO, to Mr Powell, FCO Planning Staff, 16 October 1969 “The overwhelming consensus of advice of posts in countries where we have significant UK interests…is that our attitude at the UN, at least on economic and social issues…has little relevance to our bilateral relations or to our influence with governments…In default of […]

Tony Parsons, UK ambassador to UN, to FCO, 1969

Tony Parsons, UK ambassador to UN, to Percy Cradock, FCO Planning Staff, 4 November 1969 “We should accept that we have now become separated in terms of real power from two of the four permanent members of the security council (the United States and the Soviet Union) and that we should adapt ourselves to the […]

Cabinet Defence and Oversea [sic] Policy Committee, ‘Issue of foreign policy’, 1970

Cabinet Defence and Oversea [sic] Policy Committee, ‘Issue of foreign policy: A memorandum by officials in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’, 29 June 1970 “It will be important to ensure that, as Western Europe develops, it retains a close partnership with the United States. We shall wish to keep our special links with the United […]

Foreign Office, ‘Potential problems in British foreign policy’, 1974

J.Cable, Foreign Office, to All heads of geographical departments, 15 January 1974 Encloses a paper entitled “Potential problems in British foreign policy”, January 1974. In a section on “types of problem”, five are listed. One is “threats to economic activity, eg, through restrictions on raw material supplies or shipping, the power of multinational corporations or […]

Permanent Under Secretary’s Planning Staff paper, ‘British foreign policy: Opportunities and dangers’, 1 December 1975

“North/South relations”. Developing countries “want this trade to be conducted on more favourable terms than at present and, in the last resort, this can only come about of world prosperity as a whole increases of Western consumers put their hands more deeply into one or other of their pockets… By skilful diplomacy, coupled with some […]

Declassified: Censorship of Documents

These articles highlight how UK officials have censored, destroyed, withheld illegally & lied about government documents on foreign policy. Articles ‘Government admits “losing” thousands of papers from National Archives’ (Guardian, 26 December 2017) ‘The 30-year rule documents they don’t want you to see’ (Guardian, 7 January 2015) ‘How Britain Might Have Deliberately Concealed Evidence of […]


  I am about to publish on this site hundreds of UK declassified documents and articles on British foreign policy towards various countries. This will be the first time such a collection has been brought together online. The declassified documents, mainly from the UK’s National Archives, reveal British policy-makers actual concerns and priorities from the […]

Corbyn’s Labour party should promote more moderation, less extremism in UK foreign policy

by Mark Curtis Labour’s manifesto pledges several clear breaks from current UK foreign policy which could be seen as radical given the present extremism. I recently outlined seven such policies which the UK establishment will fight bitterly.[1] But if the manifesto is implemented in its current form, it is likely to still promote extremism in […]