UK files

This page is an expanding record of British government policy as revealed in the formerly secret, now declassified documents available at the National Archives in London.

The articles on this page are excerpts from Mark Curtis’ books Web of Deceit, Unpeople and Secret Affairs. The documents below are the original declassified files themselves, which are gradually being added to this site.

Many British government documents are declassified after thirty years although the government recently announced that files will be declassified after twenty years. However, there are numerous exceptions and the reality is that a large number of documents remain classified at the whim of government departments. Censorship is routine and the ‘secret state’ is pervasive.


Britain’s Principal Global Economic Goals

Britain and the Muslim Brotherhood: Collaboration during the 1940s and 1950s

The war in Malaya, 1948-60

The Mau Mau war in Kenya, 1952-1960

The coup in Iran, 1953

The intervention in British Guiana, 1953

The war in Oman, 1957-59

The covert war in Indonesia, 1957-59

The US war in Vietnam, 1961-73

The covert war in Yemen, 1962-70

The massacres in Iraq, 1963

Iraq’s attack on the Kurds, 1963-65

The slaughters in Indonesia, 1965

The depopulation of the Chagos Islands, 1965-73

Nigeria’s war over Biafra, 1967-70

The rise of Idi Amin in Uganda, 1971-72

The Pinochet coup in Chile, 1973


‘Leggy blonde’ for Saudi official, 1973

British support for Idi Amin, 1971

Britain and Saudi Arabia, 1969/1971

British policy towards the United Nations, 1970

British policy towards Israel, the Arab states and the US’, 1970

British policy towards the Arab/Israel dispute’, 1970

Britain’s coup in Oman, 1970

British policy towards the United States, 1968

‘British Foreign Policy’, 1968

The British interest in oil’, 1967

Israel and the bomb, 1961

‘Cuban developments and their impact on the Caribbean’, 1961

‘Main objectives of the UK’s Overseas Policy’, 1960

Unilateral nuclear disarmament, 1960

Britain and radical movements in Arabia, 1958

‘British overseas obligations’, 1958

The rulers of the Arabian Peninsula, 1958

‘What are our essential interests overseas?’, 1957


8 Responses to “UK files”

  1. these declassified documents are such an amazing resource, thank you mark for making them more readily accessible, and for helping me to feel a little less insane when i think about british foreign policy. the first step in establishing a meaningful critique has to be to unlearn all the dogma to which we have been subject all our lives, to realise that there is a difference between a fact and something that we have always been told by concentrations of power within our societies. these documents help to enable such a learning process. thanks very much for your ongoing work on these subjects x

  2. 2 mike

    Just to say thanks Mark. Not even sure if you will see this, but feel compelled to express gratitude for your work and efforts. Keep it up.

  3. 3 Kryten

    As usual Mark, you have done brilliant work and act with real courage unlike most British historians who are there to service power elites. To others possibley reading this, please read Mark’s books whether or not you agree with his views as at least he provides sources rather than concentrating on journalists for’objective’ reporting.

  4. 4 Matt

    Just finished reading Unpeople. That’s certainly one of the most thoroughly referenced documents I’ve ever read.

    It’s refreshing to read something where the labour of discarding the deluge of opinion and picking out the relevent facts here and there is scarcely neccessary. Presenting information from impeccable sources, as you clearly have, is invaluable.

    Opinions can be ignored, rebutted, ridiculed or just shrugged off, facts cannot.

    Keep going with it.

  5. I am reading through “Unpeople” again. The perfect antidote to those Brits who like to insinuate the US is leading the UK astray. The UK ruling class are culpable and consenting parties in all the post-war imperialist skull duggery.

  6. 6 R.N. Quayle

    Documenting the British Intelligence community´s

    somewhat cosy relationship, from time to time at least,

    with Radical Islamists, is one thing.

    But what about going off on a completely different tangent.

    Albeit involving our Intelligence community.

    That is their sponsoring of selected Organized Crime outfits.

    And the importation of massive amounts of heroin & cocaine.

    And where might be the first port of call,

    for any such investigation?

    What was until T. Blair´s political demise,

    The Heart of New Labour.


    The Adams Family.

  7. 7 John Mulligan

    There is no other country in the world, to my knowledge, where nobody(save Mark Curtis) of British origin operates…i.e criticises the British state outside the free market/corporate fascist framework. It is astonishing. We are talking the level of North Korea…it goes even beyond that in fact. I wrote about this in a piece called “the Great Purge”, soon after I had wrote it, it was deleted, now it can never found as if it never existed…just like Orwell’s 1984.

  1. 1 New publication: ‘The Rise of Idi Amin 1971-72′ « East African Asians, The New Wahindi

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