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No. 7 Changes



in British


Russian and




1รถr rcberx

FOREWORD Records Policy held FCO in June the the aim of seminar at was to Dr Igor Lebedev's London in take advantage of to discuss current presence both in London in Moscow. It policies records release and came at a good As from the the the expert audience of papers, and contributions moment. journalists, is interest has there than there made and clear scholars more been for many years in how foreign ministries balance pressures for greater information the to continuing with need openness safeguard sensitive and British the proper use of resources. Although the seminar concentrated on issues Russian experiences similar and are arising, partly as a result of the Cold War, in foreign the many end of ministries.


The seminar was held a month before the publication White Paper the of Open Government (Cmd devoted Public 2290) which to on a chapter Records. This chapter will, in future, serve as the basis for FCO records In FCO for has, the the past eighteen months, all significant respects policy. been doing what is provided for in this part of the White Paper. To coincide with its publication historical files about the a number of intelligence Public in Record Office. Since then the service were opened the first batch of wartime SOE material has been transferred to the PRO it is GCHQ be that and, expected will soon opening at Kew the daily for Mr decrypts Churchill. In the meantime wartime selection of prepared for FCO by the many records withheld more than thirty years have been transferred to the PRO and many more will be in the months to come. One

consequence of this new policy has been to demythologise records policy and the reasons for it. This is all to the good. While some disappointed historians be contemporary that the releases do not may vindicate some of their theories there can be no doubt that diplomatic history writing in general will be helped by the filling of in the gaps documentary Both directly indirectly record wherever possible. this and help both among scholars and the general to improve understanding, should British foreign in Releasing the twentieth public, of policy century. more of is the publication the record is one contribution to this. Another of Documents on British Policy Overseas. As the official record of post-war British foreign policy the series makes it possible for (in the broadest students both here sense), and overseas, to understand better both the broad sweep detail Britain's in the and of the world. changing role

Richard Bone Library

Records and



& Commonwealth


BRANCH HISTORICAL Occasional Papers November 1993

No. 7

CONTENTS Policy Seminar held at the Office on 15 June 1993

Papers presented at a Records Foreign & Commonwealth Recent Richard

Changes Bone

in FCO





History? Re-writing HJ Yasamee

5-9 in the

Reforms Democatic New Russia




of the

i -i6





The Use of Russian Policy Foreign






Jonathan Hallam Supplementary New






Messages, of





IV The



February March 21 -3 Isabel Warner Note on Russian Richard Bevins

Examples Note

Macmillan's of









Releases New of


FCO Records


Contributors on

DBPO: Volumes



in preparation and

Copies of this pamphlet will be deposited with the National Libraries FCO



Library and Records Department, Clive House, Petty France, London SW iH 9HD Crown Copyright ISBN 0 903359 45 6






Richard Bone

had balance May State in last Secretary When the year, that a said, of he information, disclosing between be also to and withholding struck always Evidence in favour balance has `that of openness'. shifted said that steadily June for FCO 1992 3 on these came meant records policy changes of what Commons House Secretary FCO Foreign the that was told the the of when May in Rudolf Hess flight its this to 1941 the country of on papers releasing its Office certain records policy on withholding was reviewing and that the for more than 30 years. He warned that there would not be a sudden for benefit be but the of there that advance substantial a would avalanche by before been had far historians: any contemplated greater than one had been Earlier the this release, of change policy of evidence government. in February 1992, of the Farm Hall transcripts which, like the Hess papers, had been sought after by historians for many years. in the the of of reflected release records respect policies to more open government made at the time of the 1992 commitment In the specific field of records policy it reflected General Election. the feeling in the FCO that previous policies on withholding needed a radical While the the with as a coping whole was well operation records overhaul. it demands placed on it (and probably was as liberal as any in Whitehall) back had become clear by iggi that the accumulated withholdings, to going inability help bona fide first historians to the the the end of with war, and legitimate enquiries, were arguably beginning to undermine the credibility of both in information Office's the the of eyes outsiders wanting records policy It however, implementing insiders important the to the policy. was, and Contrary to what some may think the Office keep a sense of proportion. has, over the years, withheld very few of its records.



feet Records Branch from the receives some 2,000 of records year in London. More than 8o% of the political FCO departments papers are judged to be of historical interest and of these over 95% are released to the Public Records Office in their 31st year (in the United States, for example, National be but it to the records may released archives after 30 years can be many years before they are reviewed for release). Nonetheless this When looked in this 5% residual can add up. at eggt we estimated that we had feet Office in the 730 we over shelf of retained material alone, not to Naturally in it PRO. the speak of closed material enough was this withheld Every


keys Surely it interest. to that the some there was attracted material which historical puzzles were to be found' Having said that it is, of course. not our role as officials to criticise the historians' search for the holy grail, even though all of us. officials and historians alike, recognise that the detailed gaps in history, which may be filled in by some of our releases, are not going to change the understanding British broad big issues century sweep of loth or change the of the diplomatic history. Historicism is not going to become a way of life, as it has become in some other countries (and perhaps always was; But the fact that . bound in has been the past meant that the spotlight was released so much focus has to not. on what He State last As the Secretary year, some papers will remain secret. said of in irrespective legislation have these of their could added that all countries, information. These categories of matters, need to protect certain categories Records ; Sections Public Act in the of 1958 5(t) and 3(4)) and were are given Committee. Government's Wilson in in to the the response 1982 elaborated Briefly the criteria cover exceptionally information sensitive papers, supplied faith in confidence breach the disclosure of which would constitute of good a documents the and Records individuals. covered





danger distress to release of which would or cause departments, Section retained within 3(4) and under Chancellor's Lord `Blanket' include dealing those with intelligence. and

To arrive at a more flexible release legislation, we had to do two things: (a)

consider relaxed;





a new approach records to the PRO.


interpretation to




the of methods


guidelines used








In respect of some of our records, particularly those Section retained under 3(4) of the PRA, what quickly became clear was that many had been for but for the sensitivity of the information retained not they contained be described `technical' what could as reasons, eg the naming of' names or implicit or explicit confirmation in of operations particular places which still The needed protection. problem was made worse by the fact that it might be only one such reference on a multiple paper file. Previously it had been FCO practice to hold back such files until they could he released in their To have removed a sensitive paper had been anathema to many entirety. purists who regarded it as tampering with the record. Clearly this practice if into to could not continue the public domain. we were get more papers


We therefore

in the many countries, of removing still adopted practice, used files from blocking out sensitive names and passages, sensitive papers and done had been it this that to and, was what clear researchers while making day it be keeping the the when could original against released. of course, To do this we set up a special review team to work through the retained how back by these to 1923, and expedients, see much of using archive, going it could be released. Already we have released over 45o formerly retained in hope PRO the coming months. the to and release many more records to dependent is Of course, it is a staff-intensive process and progress on the Nonetheless, is fruits being the made and can progress resources available. be seen in, for example, the recently released papers on the Cuban Missile We hope, have to soon, recrisis and a great number of pre-1962 papers. blocks the to material 1939 and a number of other of up reviewed all Russia Committee the and the early years of records, such as papers on NATO, to follow on from last year's Hess releases. As I said, these releases fill least, history-writing but the to they change course of are unlikely will, at By have in the the the end of gaps record. released at year we should also least part of the surviving SOE archive. In


helped by have been to concentrate where our efforts we from historians, such as those which were made at the useful suggestions Institute held by for Contemporary British History last the conference November. Over the last few months FCO records staff have received many individual from to the withheld requests review and release papers archive have been and able already to respond positively. Of course, judgement has be to to release still exercised over whether do have intelligence While records which not a security or connotation. leaning heavily in the direction of release we still need to consider the international implications document. and personal of releasing a particular Clearly it would be of little benefit to release papers which undermined British in dispute the negotiations, compromised position a sovereignty or individuals, living in had those endangered particularly regimes who assisted British diplomacy descendants. to themselves, their at some risk or even Nonetheless, figures I demonstrated, the the number of as gave earlier hold back in is PRO to the papers we actually annual our release very small I justified. believe, Decisions to withhold are not taken lightly and to and, the argument that others, such as academic historians, should be involved in the process I have to say that it would create another layer of decisiondelay the review and release process we making and would undoubtedly have started. And it would cost more money. We have our own historians in who play a key part in records policy and, like the reviewers, are a for position to judge residual sensitivities. They also have the responsibility


British foreign documents have publishing policy, some of which not on Over have been PRO. they to the published recent years previously released ten such volumes as an important contribution to the writing of history, both here and overseas, and to ensuring that British foreign policy in the post-war is better world understood.



HISTORY? Yasamee

Five years ago my request for release of a retained paper was turned down I there to time third ask again, since the not advised of asking and was at I Two tried again, got years ago was no possibility of securing release. defence Chiefs Staff policy and global of paper on clearance and the 1950 Policy Documents British in first last for time the on year strategy was published Overseas.I is just one example of the way things have opened up recently for department has in this enough worked speaking as someone who in have FGO to changes a good many records policy and practice, seen in here last the the that attitudes couple of sea change over only say And it perhaps marks the end of the has been quite extraordinary. historians have had to pay for the reduction of the 50 year rule to 3o in 1967, which led to a predictable increase in withholdings.


and years I can years price years


Bone lead has described to an the changes may not because Public Office if Record the only avalanche of new material at is is than the amount of retained material much smaller generally supposed but historical knowledge, the to to they sum of what add clearly will degree? What will be the impact of the new releases on the received historical wisdom in the coming years? Should historians be preparing to refootnotes? history write or merely add some


The answer lies not with us but with you and other researchers at the PRO historians like job the myself or records staff of officials - whether since is to make the record available. The interpretation is then up the of record to those who use it. Whatever the end result, one thing is certain: it will take time to emerge. Assessing new material means reminding oneself of what was known before literally in their proper and placing papers - now coming out piece-meal kind does distortion When happen the this that was we get context. of not 2 fall Singapore, Wavell in the recent case of the evident report on the of kind the this of minor sensation as which when released earlier year created

I Documents on British Policy Overseas, Series II, Volume IV: Korea Appendix I. 2 CAB66/126; WP (42) 314.


i95o-i95i (London 1991),

if it was the first time Singapore had come out. Putting




in their

of the



balanced a

to achieve papers context retained The fact is can of retention and true perspective not always easy. very document in looking in the way of shroud a mystic which sometimes at gets it objectively it finally does day. This I light the of when see was something dealing Chief Staffs defence the was conscious of when of with paper on previously

fuss it difficult to the policy and global strategy. about release, all was it dispassionately included its I that the assess and on so much so merits in document in this technical whole of repetitive and parts quite a volume I have done had it than rather print an extract, which would probably not been previously retained. After



from files papers which are now released are extracts I doubt individual items these that already open and many of will add up to history few footnotes in if The than that. more a rather mundane nature be disappointing for the the may of some of material since reasons do to the withholding more are often with method of collection or distribution information There likely than with the actual substance. of are of the

be few

Foreign to popular the since contrary revelations, supposition, does not keep secrets for secrets' sake. Most of the so-called secrets in And few the after 30 there main record are released years. arguably are industry investigative journalists, then the given even real secrets of historians and memoir writers in the preceding years.

to Office

In addition to the individual extracts there have been and will he releases blocks files files is be there of or to of whole where obviously going more for finding is historically new material which scope significant.

Hess Last year's Hess releases are a case in point by some and overrated block by this others underrated of records has already changed if destroyed not quite perceptions and undermined certain myths. In particular

they shed considerable

light: new

Hess ie his daily the on man, mental and physical condition and his during Britain. in in I think war-time captivity routine many ways the way Hess comes alive in these papers constitutes their main value. further British Hess then too they give explanation of' silence over little for him to made why so attempt was use propaganda -


he truth about was purposes. undiluted did good war mad)iv not, as officials make said at the time, for Their diluted be the that truth the propaganda. suggestions Foreign by the purposes of a public statement were rejected Secretary of the day, Anthony Eden, on the grounds that he was not to make a statement the prepared wide of the truth, whatever immediate advantages. The

Hess's flight

(ie that

British it just how the papers also make much clearer astonished Hess flummoxed to authorities were as to receive and even more his know what to do with him. There is no indication that arrival Hess had had been anticipated or even pre-arranged nor that anything to say of any value. The Hess releases have already been used in two recent revisions of the by James Douglas Hamilton in Hess literature Peter Padfield3 a and is These just few footnotes. that than perhaps rather more way re-writing a books give a practical example of how history can be rewritten as releases fill gaps and evidence replaces speculation. They also show just how difficult it is to end speculation once it has taken hold so that theories continue that: Hess was somehow the unwitting -


he brought that a peace offer, - or which received serious attention.

intelligence of an




game. approval,

better Hess Hess that or even was not even at all. Russia Committee One of the next blocks of historical interest to issue will be the previously Russia Committee. Committee This the of retained papers of cold war brief from to FO a through to the senior 1946 officials met mid 1950S with Soviet Union in China the trend the assess of policy and and the trend of It developed kind which communism generally world-wide. as a of think-tank to tried at monthly meetings reviewed and positions, analysed events including basis information, anticipate of all available next moves on the intelligence. About half of the Russia Committee the especially papers for the 1946-47 period were routinely released after 30 years. early ones The rest are currently being reviewed for release.


Hamilton, Disciple (London

The Truth About Rudolf

Hess (London



P Padfield, 1993);

Hess: The Fiihrer's





about the of and conclusions assumptions foreign fed Chinese intentions machine making the policy through were and briefs telegrams in and minutes, all sorts of other papers and show up Many to come the papers new of the open main record. scattered through dream do but in to be they a up add therefore essence, new will not bird's-eye British for busy of view a the providing researcher collection Some War. Cold in Soviet and Chinese intentions of the early years of the fluid in be illuminating likely the to of analysis to regard the new papers are back Looking Stalin death following the of in 1953. period and uncertain Russia discussions highly hindsight the within speculative at the often with it is striking how often they got it right ýas they appear Committee, to have \Var, Korean done in their predictions the although about the course of decisions were when policy theirs was not always the view which prevailed deliberately I the talking about the taken. when word speculative use Russia Committee they confirm which the something of conclusions British little how files: forcibly through the 1g5os when working struck me how Soviet in for knew this period and often about policy certain officials So little do than guess. they could more much so that officials even turned Alice Glass Looking through the to writing spoof their an piece -a from if Russians Kremlin the the as written on what memorandum failures War. All be Cold the this and to the successes and of considered PRO later this autumn. '; the more should reach hand





Further down the line historians can look forward to thu release of' Foreign Office papers on NATO, Western European Union, the Council of' Europe Western international from files Office's the the organisations and other of dating back to 1949. This collection does not Organisations Department form part of the retained archive itself but has been held hack because they documents belonging international for to contained which organisations These being there was no internationally agreed release policy. are now be that our own material can separated out so released. Ultimately re-writing European available published ' volume,

this could make considerable impact on the' writing up or even British Western NATO, to the contributions of early years of integration etc, for which there has so far been only Ball the story from British sources. Some of these papers have already been in our document series. Anyone looking at the Schuman Plan for example, will see that the kind of papers on these files, which

4 Since this June, in Russia Committer the all written remaining paper was papers (listed on p. 40) have been cleared for release and made available at the Public Record Office as from November 1993. Documents on British Policy Overseas, Series II, Volume 1: The Schuman Plan, the Council


bloc later include PRO to the the arguments this could start going en year, between far how Ministers how officials and and still ongoing alike as to fast to commit Britain to Europe. 6 Conclusion In conclusion

then the benefits for historians of the gradual release of most be the retained archive will of patchy and mixed - undoubtedly some gains By and large history will not be rebut perhaps some disappointments. What however, is in the authority of may result, greater confidence written. from historians be opened already records which will soon able to see how relatively few secrets have been held back.

Europe of and Western European Integration 1950-52 (London 1986). 6 The first tranche of these files will be available at the PRO as from November 1993.







I would like to begin by expressing my gratitude to the FCO's Library and for the invitation to speak before this distinguished Records Department direction in important policy the records of topic the changes of on audience foreign policy archival of towards greater openness and on matters management. Russian Foreign Policy Archives date officially from the time of Peter ITsar February birthday is the 1720, when the approved 28 their exact Foreign Affairs. `The Collegium the under questions the of of statute `are Collegium, jurisdiction the the the the wrote author statute, of of Ministry documents is holder So the on of main our eternal state archive'. for hold We State history. foreign 273 years of an also the policy of our important collection of treaties dating from the 16th century. Incidentally it might be worth remarking that the first document referring to Great Britain in the collection of treaties in the Archive of Foreign Policy of March in is Agreement Empire Russian the 1688 the concluded on 4 London by the Russian Ambassador Franz Lefort `with comrades' and British Admiral Lord Carmarthen in tobacco the trade concerning of Russia. I includes


instruments treaties of their archive original and borders, decrees, the state maps and plans of manuscripts and ratification, Russian for Soviet letters the analogous and, monarchs, of period, documents of the supreme bodies of the State and the top State figures, instructions to diplomatic delegations, notes, records of negotiations, reports from Embassies, documents of international conferences, memoranda of conversations, etc. the

historiography documentary the and of' publication in Systematic traditions our country. work on the reviews for diplomatic has been documents treaties, example, or other publication of ie from September the moment of' the establishment 18o2, undertaken since Foreign Ministry Russia. From Affairs the the 1870s, under the of of of leadership of the prominent diplomat, lawyer and permanent member of' the Council of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Fyodor Martens, several volumes


diplomatic has sound

1 Cf. Treaties,

op. 466b, d5, original

in Russian, 3 seals, translation


into Latin

and German.

issued based Policy documents Foreign from Russian treaties the were of on Archives. These volumes covered all important treaties with key European States for the period from the 18th century to the beginning of the 20th century. The preservation of the rich historical heritage and of the national symbols in documents is is This the the the task of embodied past of every country. for former Soviet Union. Council As American true the the the especially of Historical Association put it, the world-historical importance of the archival becoming in Soviet the the available materials now successor states of Union and the need of scholars there and throughout the world to consult these records requires the support of our colleagues (ie Russian archivists) legacy. to this preserve and share striving Speaking

I like the of more contemporary to say that with the period would `cold the war' and the gradual overcoming of its consequences, with end of favourable the dismantling of the structures of confrontation, conditions for blank in the recent history of international erasing emerged spots for in the area of foreign policy relations and cooperation with other states archives. This

is important documents the work since are part of the culture and heritage So this general task spiritual of our people. to give the documentary base that can show the historical soundness researchers a rich friendly, beneficial between is of mutually relations this task states still in confronting us a world of dynamic changes. Now our historians and have in their archivists should regard to the development say of the very delicate process of formation taking place in the new Russia's immediate geopolitical vicinity, by issuing warnings about past mistakes and suggesting historically sound and politically acceptable decisions. The

practical task of supporting the new foreign policy concept of Russia historical basis the with research on of the documents in the Archives of the Ministry Foreign Affairs Department of made reform of the Ministry's of History and Records very necessary. The in both archives policy operating Department Archive Foreign the Policy Russian the of of of the Federation (i. 3 million files) and the Archive Foreign Policy of of the Russian Empire (5o, ooo files) has been adjusted in the direction of integral greater openness. Their holdings, which constitute an part of the State archival fund, have become more accessible to researchers and the Their wider public. practical and academic use is expanding.


Russian President decrees the In obedience of the of the to current Minister Government instructions Federation, of and orders of the of the instructions by the Foreign Affairs, of the methodological and also guided has reoriented Service, our Department State Archival the whole system of being is For the to given now priority example, and priorities. management in documents basis the to archival task of providing access open on an equal institutions, Ministry halls to all citizens, and organisations of the reading foreign researchers of all countries. We are also trying to provide including a in (generally the same as other price service at a reasonable photocopying due however, frank Russia). \Ve in to the that to admit, are enough archives lack hope) (we and temporary of trained personnel we are short of microfilm We facilities in both this to overcome are working archives. our microfiche laws,


Acting under the requirements of the resolution of the Supreme Council of `On the provisional order of access to archival the Russian Federation is systematically documents and their use' of ig June 1992 the Department declassifying the files in its archives. Over the last year and a half some Policy files declassified in Foreign have been Archive the 72,000 of the of Russian Federation. The collections in the Archive of Foreign Policy of the Russian Empire are completely open. This

has created for is, new opportunities researchers of course, a which for development from the themselves that they earn welcome archives since but important income feed it them modest extra which, although cannot least for Figures the repair of old equipment. altogether, can provide at first four during in the the months of 1993 304 researchers worked show that Russian foreigners. Four MFA Archives them 230 of 74 and years or so ago there



no outside



on our premises.


volume of work, connected with the search and supply to documents, has been January Since of archival researchers achieved. i 1993 6,979 looked have files documents. through our visitors of For


interesting data would be those the most audience diversified in the concerned particularly with scholarly work undertaken our British For by British researchers. the 1992-1993 period archives io in Archive Foreign Policy Russian the academics worked of of the Federation and the Archive of Foreign Policy of the Russian Empire. They



Russian formation foreign in the of studied 1890-1914 and the policy World (1938-1941), War II the Anglo-Russian origins of treaty on military Soviet-Finnish August in service of 1917 and relations 1939-1945, the policy of

in Russia towards Persia in 1905-1914 and Soviet-Turkish 1918-1923, relations in Ministries Defence Russia Foreign between Affairs the of of and relations Soviet Russia between the and the 1905-ig16 and economic cooperation West (1919-1929), Scots and Irishmen in Russia in the 18th century and the Rapacki Plan in connection with East-West relations (1957-1960) etc. These We British important topics. welcome researchers to our archives, are all international large incidentally, they will meet rather a crowd there. ig and American researchers and 23 scholars from Germany among others worked for files British the the through our same period alongside visitors. direction of our work within and outside the Department for documents the preparation publication of collections of archival foreign policy. This work is done in the following basic ways:

An important

is on

Documentary Series: First, Publication of The Foreign Policy of Russia of the XIXth and the beginning of the xxth (a) Volume Earlier January October XV this year centuries. 1827 The issues Russia's foreign 1828) was published. central of policy at developments in Balkan Peninsula and in the the that time were the Caucasus, the National Liberation in Greece, the signing movement Treaty Shah Turkmanchai Iran the the with of of and events of the Russian-Turkish A sizeable portion of the publication war. reflects Treaty London the role of Imperial Russia in the preparation the of Britain France June The documents 24 of 1827. and with reveal the history complicated of the conclusion of this treaty and tell of the Russian Government's Greece for policy of armed support and, at in the same time, of its wish to settle the Greek question Britain France in first instance. the coordination with and The contents of the volume also document the significance of the Battle of Navarino of 8 October 1827 for the further development of The navies of Russia, the Greek people's struggle for liberation. Britain and France defeated the combined Turkish-Egyptian fleet foiled destructive Ottoman the the troops into the and march of Morea. The next volume (XVI) has been sent to the publishing house for publication. (b)

The Documents of Foreign Policy. Last April, after a 15-year interval, Volume XXII in this series, covering 1939 (in two parts), was released. A draft of the next volume (XXIII) for the period from 1940 to 22 June (also in two parts) is being finalised. The preparation 1941 of the ensuing volumes for 1941-1943 is in progress.


Let me speak a little bit more about the recently published two-part volume Documents of Foreign Policy, 1939 and to some degree about our forthcoming Soviet between difficult I have the to point relations out that volume. factors in dominant Britain Great Union the period the of were one of and This is in War World beginning II. the statistics of the the reflected of in items Of documentary the the two-part 120 goy volume collection. ie bilateral (13%) fall into the category documents relations, of so-called between direct documents to correspondence or negotiations related It is hit for Moscow London. little late the contents a me to announce and is in documents the already and one can volume circulation since of the form one's own opinions. I would rather talk now about the forthcoming edition.

Most probably the next volume, for 1940-1941, will include 850 diplomatic from the Archive of Foreign Policy of' the Russian documents predominantly Federation, which by and large have never been published. Of' course, there important be documents from the some of most will also other archives, including the President's. These will be the most important documents in terms of their political contents. They produce a unique panorama of the foreign policy information at the disposal of the Soviet leaders in I94o-1941, foreign policy reflecting the views of the country's leadership of problems of that time, and its talks with the state and political leaders of the West and the East. The collection also reflects the different actions of the Soviet diplomatic flexible instrument Nlolotov Stalin's apparatus -a under of Byzantine politics. In this publication a radical evolution of the USSR's fiorcig n policy from a position of neutrality towards military and political alliance with the western democracies will be reflected. It will shed additional light on many events British, by American, Italian and German lmhlications already covered on documents 84 (to% of the volume) in this that period. be collection will in Soviet-British bilateral They the area of strictly contacts. reflect Moscow's directed policy which was at the time generally towards least or at consolidating, not allowing the worsening of Soviet-British relations. Researchers will find interesting documents which for the first time will illustrate the reaction of the Soviet leadership to the well-known messages from Prime Minister Winston Churchill to Stalin of 24 June 1940 and 3 April , interesting Irresistibly to specialists will be the documents on the 1941. Soviet proposal to London about mediation in the Soviet-Finnish conflict (February 1940), and also on large-scale British proposals on cooperation (22 October 1940, on the eve of Molotov's visit to Berlin). 'Flic same may well


documents Moscow the the to on proposed visits prove true of Halifax and Anthony Eden, details of commercial talks, etc.

Lord of

Documentary Collections: Second, Joint Publications of These collections are prepared on the basis of agreements concluded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation with our counterparts in other countries and with other national and archival bodies as well as In joint documentary institutions. the on recent years, collections academic Colombia, Uruguay, Spain (ist Argentina, vol., relations of our country with joint documents Now, work on collections of 1667-1799) were published. Russia Switzerland (1813-1955), Spain (1801-1917, the relations of with about (1942-1992), ), Norway (1917-1962), Iran Egypt Israel (1720-1830), and 2nd vol. Morocco is underway. Third, unilateral Russian-American

documents on of many volumes of work on a publication (igoo-) in has the loth century relations recently started.

History Records Department the the employees of and regularly Russian foreign policy and publish collections of archival records on international relations in periodicals.


is Records History In carrying out its duties the MFA's Department of and We looking democratic the at new ways of working. carefully study also Since Ministry Foreign has Affairs the old experience of other countries. of Russian been taken under the control and management the of authorities have internationally our concentrated efforts on adopting we proven ways of We techniques. and employing more open archival management are also introduce In to trying technology. that regard more modern equipment and help. A help we certainly could use some outside sizeable portion of such in Moscow of an international became possible with the establishment non`Diplomatic Archives' the and non-profit organisation governmental called Association. We promote relations with foreign foundations and institutions in making donations to archival development. interested A great deal of Fund of Archival Support in Oslo. help has come from the International Largely due to cooperation fund, that with work on the thorough files for declassification of Ig17-1922 and 1945-1950 will be completed by the Foreign Policy in Archive Russian Federation. this the the of end year of of Finding aids, previously inaccessible to the general public, are scheduled to in doubled hall the new reading appear with seating capacity. A guide to the archive is being prepared. In conclusion, I would like to point out that new documents German the on issue, events in Hungary in 1956, in Prague in 1968, on the Katyn tragedy,




the to of dramatic the that world confrontation on have Alkhan `Cuban during w"ar, etc the missile crisis', on the catastrophe in interesting New been declassified the are releases and and published. in WVe hope other these efforts colleagues with to coordinate works. history learn Thus their to about countries. people will get the opportunity honesty in its true colours. Openness the rise about the past promotes and foreign in Russia's in the policy the predictability present actions of of trust the

This area.

is a welcome

sign of change.

development basically democratic the changed move different her the prerequisites nations, character of relations creating with Russia inclusion in for the full-scale the world community of and natural of' Yeltsin, democratic President As while as a great power. nations in Foreign Collegiurn \Iinistrv the the the participating session of of of Russia's


October it: is by `Russia the right of on 27 1992, put a great power is worth history. ' This thought Precisely because pondering. our archives it, like to open them as widely to scholars and the public prove we would as







Jonathan Haslam

been has deal A great given to certain sensational recently of publicity Some Russian from the publication most notably the archives. revelations POWs US the in the West of documents purportedly of existence revealing interests have damaged Vietnam in for the formerly unaccounted actually have because tightening they of access a up precipitated scholars serious of These basically historical archives were opened up concern. to collections of basis Russian the foreign only after on an extensive scholars as well as to Gorbachev led August the to the collapse of iggI, which of coup abortive Yeltsin team that took the all over of the emergence rapid regime and Russian Moscow in Soviet the the former as property of archives government. foreign Soviet policy are several of these archives: to students of (for 1952) Pushkinskaya located Party, the to period up and on those of the (for from building 1953); Committee Central former the the period the at Ministry. Foreign KGB; and the military; the Of interest

The archives of the Party contain enormously important collections, though has been declassified. However, for the yet the period post-war not much its Comintern 1946 to the and successors up are now entire archives of it though may come as some surprise to new readers to open to research learn that knowledge of the German language is a conditio sine qua non for an discussions this that material, since of occurred pieces of vital understanding invariably German. in None (the level highest took place secretariat) at the find fascinating detail is here it less the that one can the recording debates 'fraternal' instructions to on strategy and tactics, and a parties, implementing Comintern complexities of complete guide to the operational its (which The the of successors archives eventually globe. policy across Department) became the International contain similar revelations and one Only I know they to contain. one scholar of see what awaits with eagerness Bukovsky - and he has much to has obtained extensive access - Vladimir foreign decisions from late the to the tell of many conduct of policy relating he but into the early eighties; obtained special access through oneseventies The Poltoranin. information have The time to minister rest of us will wait. drawback with the Party archives is that, despite the massive monetary Hoover Institution the transactions between the archive administration and for the copying and transfer of copied documents to the United States, they


for forgiven he One badly all asking where perhaps can underfunded. are long-term, for funding is is ÂŤ'hat has the extensive that money needed gone. direct to the archives concerned, with rigid conditions as to how the money is spent - terms that are impracticable in purely commercial transactions. This is in fact what has already happened - for the short-term, at least in respect of the Russian Foreign Ministry archives. After perestroika began Nobel his Gorbachev peace prize, members of the went to collect and when Nobel institute in Oslo made approaches to secure the opening of those ignored These until - after the abortive coup approaches were archives. for funding back its : Ministry budget Russian Foreign the of the the cut hitherto had as a working served almost exclusively archives, which for Ministry The for the proper. search alternative collection members of funding drove the archives towards the Nobel institute. The latter seized international the opportunity committee of scholars was established and an include \tiestad Arne from institute; the members under the chairmanship of William Taubman (Britain), (USA) Gerhard N (Germany). and ettig myself The search for funding resulted in S200,000 from US and Japanese , foundations that have enabled the Foreign Ministry the to restructure d'Orsav Ouai PRO to the the services on a provide par with or archive and Archives. And Dr National Lebedev deal indicates US the - as --- a great been in has direction. So far has declassification this made of progress late in from (running the tandem early 192os and is os 1917 reached only . is But it expected that the process will gather speed as good and 1945). become into the well established and new equipment routines comes operation. in the Foreign Ministry archive has hitherto been hampered by finding loss is l)cirlg A the absence of aids -a which made up. now lack is fundamental the to the of access thematic card particular problem index known as the kartateka - whose very existence is classified. In addition level has decision in fi, to the of access ultimate no scholar reigrn policy Communist Party. Politburo According Ministry the the to of the archivists, Ministry Politburo the papers reaching all were retrieved after two weeks; Presumably, however, Minister incorporated thus traces the remain. the no kartateka into but have the to that critical elements -we no access. Moreover the records of Politburo decisions are now available on film; but defence foreign intelligence policy, or when any matter arises on the (special it 'see file). All documents papka' osobaya agenda, says under that designation are still closed, even for the 192os: and rumours that Yeltsin is just about to order them to be opened come and go every other month to no result. Research


We are thus in no position to embark on basic documentary research to Russian in West, degree the the that can we without the same quite Ministry Foreign Moreover Cabinet the to and papers. minutes equivalent in their has hitherto refused to release ciphered telegrams which are Western foreign in form deciphered policy every available normally it from intelligence blockage The to the and come services; appears archive. for least blockage hoped is can soon that this at material up to 1941 be removed. For all that, we have made great strides with respect to documentary access Elsewhere in the Foreign Ministry. the picture is less positive. Access to is forms in is arbitrary and payment some somewhat archives military fifty intelligence Access the to military given under certainly expected. States One is forbidden. United Britain in the can still and rule year by definitive is law improves hope passed when a archive the situation only a new parliament. (formerly has intelligence KGB) perhaps the worst service have in West In to that the crow nothing about quarter, we all. of practice less Yeltsin have None in UK. the the to the regime claims particularly jettisoned the communist past, yet the former KGB claims it cannot release for One Communist KGB. the the names of agents who once worked can direct heir themselves the they that as apparent to the see only conclude There is foreign far KGB as are concerned. an exception, operations as however. If one strikes a deal with a western publisher that is prepared to former figure five KGB the to archives, then one can obtain sums offer indirect access to agreed subjects provided one also agrees to write with a intelligence In by the service. other words, one can chosen nominee history in of certain KGB operations what amounts to an official collaborate freelance basis is impossible. but true scholarship on a at a price; The


The picture overall is thus mixed. All I have offered is a snapshot of 1993. One hopes that before too long the horizon will brighten still further. The lesson that stems from the progress made so far is that where serious funding bridges build to the organisations concerned, and seek on scholars basis, be but steady progress can secured; an ordered and sound where in harnessing private sector profit to a private sector entrepreneurs move be less likely for long to the the term and, substantial mentality, results are There is here a responsibility even corrupting. and we should potentially, future. it the to exercise with a view





I `' Lebedev

Every year in January the Public Record Office in Great Britain announces for which the period of secrecy the opening to the public of those records, has expired. In Britain this period is 3o years, although it may he extended for certain records by the decision of the proper authorities. In January 1993 Nikita Council Ministers Chairman USSR the the message of the of of Great Britain, Khrushchev to Prime Minister Harold Macmillan sent on of documents. April 1959, was released among other 14 As an interest was shown in that document by both Russian and British by diplomatic circles as well as and scholarly readers of the press, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation released the Russian text of Khrushchev's `sensitive' message from its archive and published it in Diplomatic Bulletin, the MFA house magazine. British by I agree with the point The the of view expressed newspaper Observers that this publication and release of previously sensitive material `cold for heralded the the end of war' researchers signalled and a changed between in Russia West. Many from the relations atmosphere and records `cold the the formerly archives of secret war' period are now actually in Russia in to as well as researchers accessible other states.

The high level message of 14. April 1959 caused vivid commentary in the Russian press and academic circles as one of the most interesting documents `cold between East and the war' period, when military confrontation of in general, the message and the West was gaining strength. Although, it it had been which reflected that situation, to political might appear prove fool' `make West irritation, to the a of an attempt and create additional frank it brward designed find rather and a straightf was actually to gesture a best in the partner to tension with placed compromise case relations between the two blocs. Harold Macmillan focused on general discontent the message to in West the connection with the main unresolved international between the that of risk of period: armed confrontation the USSR USA, the threat for Europe in the event of a nuclear war between superpowers, the unresolved problem of a peace treaty with

Therefore, towards problems and the the two

13 January 1993"


Berlin for ban. the Germany, the problem of test and struggle a nuclear The document says that there was an atmosphere of suspicion and mutual the two blocs; the clouds of a thunderous distrust in relations between later in `Berlin two the the years construction of situation, which resulted `Cuban the missile crisis'. subsequently and wall' Mr Anthony Eden British Prime Minister, had as succeeded who hand Moscow in the one on as an ardent promoter of a considered was between Britain but USA, the alliance and on close political and military had leader hand USA than the who supported as a more strongly the other Soviet proposal of late 1957 to convene a meeting of the France the and West heads level East the to to at of and states consider ways of countries lessen international tension and solve current international problems.


Foreign Affairs At the beginning of 1958 in the USSR the Ministry of paid by Conservative declaration Britain's the the to ruling party of attention high level join fact USSR the talks that to the to as well with as readiness had himself initiated Macmillan the idea of a `solemn pact of nonin June Macmillan Therefore, Anglo1958 when professed aggression'. in high level negotiations American readiness to participate with the USSR, it Moscow in his influence the was regarded as result of personal naturally The head of the British in Washington. thus became government an influential partner. by the Soviet government at the beginning of 1957 of an The confirmation invitation to the British Prime Minister to visit the USSR came to fruition in February 1959. The visit, during which the Prime Minister was accompanied by Mr Selwyn Lloyd, the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, started on The broad February. agenda was unusually and wide-ranging: 21

German problem the the elimination -

disarmament tests and of nuclear

heads of meetings of government between USSR treaty the of non-aggression and the UK -a - commercial relations - cultural


It should be taken into account that 1959 preceded what was probably one dramatic the most militant and of periods of the `cold war' with the use of forms by blocs diplomatic, the all of pressure on each other: political,


is particularly worth considering 1959 military, economic and propagandistic. have Russia in been has that we now so adopted now that a 3o-year rule the possibility of elucidating these historic events objectively. Moscow his during Macmillan the of visit to view as given by Germany signing a necessity of completing a peaceful settlement with ie German both the current situation, of cementing states, treaty with peace Western if leader Soviet by the the with an open threat: was advanced German states, powers refused to conclude a peace treaty with the two Treaty its Warsaw Union Soviet allies would conclude then the along with West familiar The GDR. the status of proposal on a peace treaty with the Berlin, many times repeated subsequently, was raised on this occasion. As during know, this visit. these questions no agreement was reached on we Khrushchev's

Moscow Macmillan's that the positive results of visit was agreement for inspections his annual of the proposal on the territories would consider USSR, Great Britain, the USA and their dominions of suspected nuclear idea, forward demilitarised the tests, as well as general which was put of Europe. in zones


Great Britain in favour (once of spoke out of regular heads interspersed with of governments every 3-6 months) meetings of foreign The Soviet ministers. affairs meetings of side reacted positively toward this idea. Khrushchev by that time had already felt a distinct need for conducting `personal diplomacy'.




And, finally, a substantial result of the visit should he acknowledged in the fact that in his reaction to the Soviet proposal to conclude a non-aggression treaty between the USSR and Great Britain the British Prime Minister himself he had that emphasised a year ago put forward the same proposal, though simultaneously pointing out that the Soviet proposal for a clause on the banning of foreign bases on the territory of both states and liquidation of existing ones, was unacceptable. The main results of the discussions, assessed in a joint communique (Izvestia, leading `an March both to 1959) as 4 excellent mutual understanding of Khrushchev allowed to he sure that personal positions', governments' Prime between himself Minister Macmillan and contacts were established The be for debatable the explanation and would continued. rather message Soviet leader by the subsequently sent on 14 April 1959 probably lies in this fact.


The central point of the message was, of course, that the proposal for the bases in England foreign be implemented liquidation military at need not of bases be kept for Khrushchev that the suggested although could some once. first Britain bases for Great to these should pledge not allow use of a time, if it Union, had Soviet NATO the not attacked any member state. on strike by the Soviet leadership's It could be that this offer was chiefly motivated Soviet between the a compromise view that such a proposal represented Macmillan by during his in Moscow the stay on rejected already position bases both foreign the territory the on military of states, and of prohibition British


The British In any case, Khrushchev's new proposal was not accepted. Prime Minister rejected the proposal on the grounds that such a treaty between two countries would not add anything to the obligations already itself by by UN create the necessary members, and could not undertaken international trust. factor in between heads this exchange of messages of considerable in March his fact from Moscow, that the after return 1959 government was Ottawa Washington, Bonn, Paris, in Macmillan and where, general, visited he took a line favouring heads of government meetings in the spirit of the British The Prime Minister's Khrushchev. Western tour of agreement with Great by Britain in demonstrated the played active role preparation capitals during for regular heads of government the course of which an meetings been have East-West to to undertake made steps could reduce attempt France decisively But FRG the this. Washington tension. and rejected demanded guarantees that such a meeting would bring practical results. Finally, the whole range of questions to be considered high level at a Geneva for Conference the at consideration meeting was referred of the France, the GDR Foreign Ministers of the USSR, the USA, Great Britain, from May intervals held August FRG, to the ii at 5 which was and 1959.



it the of messages, exchange episode of as appears now, interesting between the of active example role constitutes an of relations Moscow and London in world politics. The effectiveness of these relations, by `coldthe atmosphere of confrontation was minimized unfortunately, and in the world at that time. war', which existed the




VISIT 1959


Isabel Warner

intentions in going to Moscow in February 1959 have Harold Macmillan's debated. is discussed been much still more and the value of the visit Heralded as a 'Voyage of Discovery', it veered between triumph and fiasco his in Macmillan by described is 197 1.1 in published memoirs candidly and This very full account, partly based on official papers, reveals much about little it Yet, Minister's Prime about says thinking. naturally enough the Office. Some Foreign in the twenty on, the years subsequent analysis fill (see Russian British to records pp. 20-23) goes some way and release of in the gaps. 2 What prompted Macmillan's foray into personal diplomacy? According to his deterioration the steady and over of relations memoirs, concern over ' him led foolish Hitler? 'do did Khrushchev to things as might as whether Sir Patrick Moscow, Ambassador in idea HM to of a visit mention the Reilly, as early as August 1958.3 The situation came to a head with a note November from the Soviet Government 27 of 1958, which served notice on it Western that the three powers regarded as null and void the existing It Berlin. for called negotiations on the establishment arrangements about free demilitarised Berlin West city and ended on the ominous note as a of Union in Soviet to the present that the proposed make no changes from West Berlin for for FRG traffic the the next six to military procedure December The Allied it 31 reply of made clear that the proposals months. Yet Macmillan felt that while the Western for Berlin were unacceptable. Berlin, 'we had their to right of access to must avoid giving uphold allies Russia no choice but humiliation or war'. 4 This was followed by a further Government Soviet from January its the note of io 1959 reiterating position Berlin its in by to the this regulate and right questions arising connection on Included draft GDR. the the note was a means of an agreement with with for Germany into the the two partition of peace treaty, which provided Pending German two the reunification, states were to existing states. Warsaw Pact, NATO their though military the membership of and abandon I See Harold Macmillan, Riding the Storm 1956-1959 (London 1971), p. 557f. 2 The full British CAB133/293" during held discussions Cf. the the visit are on record of for Foreign Office files FO37r/i43433-4o F037i/i43686-88 the main and as well as CAB2i/3233.

3 Macmillan, Riding the Storm, pp. 557-594 Ibid, p. 578.


ý, 'sý=: a-;,.:.

far be forces were to allowed so defence. Fearing that the tense interchanges inconclusive with an began to ponder some Macmillan

local keep to as was necessary order and be for situation could months strung out diplomatic final break of notes until point, 5 dealing it. other way of with

the ground Preparing January Americans in idea to the floating 1959, When the of a visit Franco-German (in in firstly it terms of a pretext Macmillan view of put for subsequent bi-lateral talks in Washington a as and secondly sensitivities) had been British that public opinion no opportunity satisfying of means Berlin future defuse the the over of crisis escalating and to missed he later Macmillan by 6 Although that the Germany. said was encouraged Embassy reports it is clear from the Washington 7 the that response, On President Eisenhower's behalf, best Americans were at ambivalent. before Dulles State to Secretary of a number of attendant pointed risks, judgement Macmillan's leaving the question to own and ended with the wry President he 'neither the misunderstand would motives nor that your remark first', but Moscow 'your decided that to to if you ambulatory go after all Washington door long did to to the journey get way round when seem a here was open'. 8 Notwithstanding






ahead. proposal was in Cabinet7 to the the order minimise and, embarrassment of a with cleared Ambassador Moscow in instructions HM to to sent were put careful rebuff, in Russians invitation terms the the to of outstanding extended an approach Macmillan in his Eden to renewed subsequently 1956 and as successor. to Reilly, who thought a rebuff was unlikely, 9 saw Gromyko on 24 January. However, the Russians, whom Reilly thought were taken by surprise, took days When in invitation ten the time of silence after their replying. was 'cock-a-hoop', in his but Macmillan to a was announcement confirmed, Commons February he House on 5 was careful to stress that the of startled ° 'a ' The reconnaissance not a negotiation'. trip represented same point was French German leaders, had been in to the and communications who made informed of the proposed visit on 2 February. I1

5 Ibid, p. 582. 6 CAB2I/3233 FO Telegram No. 414 to Washington (copied to Moscow) January of 20 1959. 7 Macmillan, Riding the Storno,p. 5838 F03711143686, ZPio/i Washington telegram No. 178 of 21January 1959. 9 FO371/I43686, ZPio/2 Moscow telegram No. 95 of 21January 1959. 10 Alistair Home, Macmillan r957-r986 (London 1989), p. 121 and cf. pp. 122ff for an account its aftermath. of the visit and 1 Macmillan, Riding the Storm, pp. 585-86.


In some contrast to the discreet and secret diplomacy characterising earlier Selwyn Lloyd, included British Cold War conferences, the which party blaze February Secretary Foreign of publicity. a amid 21 on off the set Subsequently the cameras recorded all the visible signs of the visit which, draw in lows, highs a with apparently ended and after some spectacular little tangible benefit to either side. Behind the scenes, however, more forces in analyses subtle a series of penetrating were at play, as revealed from Reilly which came to represent the Foreign Office view of the 11 In failures Macmillan's 'great a series of adventure'. successes and of in despatches written immediately the after the visit and widely circulated its Office, without dissent, he to explain some of attempted significant Soviet leaders, its effect on vicissitudes and as well as to suggest some lessons which could be drawn from it. Reilly thought that the Soviet Government were probably suspicious of Macmillan's In particular, motives. 'reconnaissance' intelligence had because the translation the of word implications in Russian. In his opinion, the visit fell into four phases: (i) (ii) coldness ending in open rudeness, (iii) initial and growing cordiality, increasing signs of a desire to make it up and (iv) a return to cordiality. 12 Initial




Whereas Macmillan subsequently worried that his wearing of a Finnish 'not fur hat the most tactful action', 13 Reilly reported was perhaps white 'striking Minister's Prime figure in his white hat was bound to that the impress a people with a long tradition of tall rulers, and his happy mixture distinction friendly dignity bonhomie with of and struck exactly the right however, Both 14 that the visit got off to a good start and the agreed, note'. first three days were considered a success by Reilly: the sessions were friendly in tone. ' 12 Whereas Khrushchev 'serious, useful and throughout Germany intransigent Berlin, he important on two remained and new made four in free West Berlin power garrison points about a a city of and about the two Germanies maintaining their existing alliances after a peace treaty. The two sides remained far apart as ever on surprise attack as and disarmament Khrushchev but generally, appeared genuinely impressed by the discussion on nuclear tests. In a speech at an Embassy dinner on 23 February Khrushchev said that 'what the Soviet Government liked in their discussions with the Prime Minister was his frankness and understanding'. 12 Both sides appreciated frankness, the the which continued to characterise difficult during their exchanges, even more moments.

12 F03711143439, NS 1053/ 179 Moscow Despatch No. 32 9 March of 1959. 13 Macmillan, Riding the Storm, p. 59114 F03711143440, NS1o53/191 Moscow Despatch No. 35 of i6 March 1959.


in Coldness open rudeness ending Whereas the height of goodwill had been reached at the Embassy dinner, 12 In day 'next Reilly reported that to things started an electoral go wrong'. Western Khrushchev February, the attacked 24 the of afternoon on speech Ministers' Foreign Germany; a against strongly out came on position deemed language tests the conference nuclear about used conference; in the light of recent discussions on the topic and proposed a inexplicable UK, he had Treaty of Friendship and Non-Aggression the with about which Reilly did In retrospect, not think that the speech previously said nothing. face in it deliberate intended the the slap as appeared at the time to was 'a foreign Rather, it both Allied representatives and correspondents. was Mr Khrushchev's blindness to the effect of what he says typical example of 12 He dissatisfaction does was merely showing on other people'. at the and Germany. lack of concrete results from the discussions especially on in by lunch Macmillan to these a meeting points preceded addressed a 'grumpy in following He day. had Khrushchev the a mood' arrived which Soviet initiative had it that the that created the present was pointed out Western Berlin HMG's the tension about position underlining and restated 'gave Khrushchev impression being honestly the their allies. of solidarity with by what he considered the inflexibility bewildered and negativeness of the Western position. (This may of course have been a very good act)'. 12 further in the meeting on the morning of 26 deteriorated Khrushchev compared the present visit to that of the Angloin the summer of 1939, which had been followed by war. If be At HMG. the would entirely the responsibility again, with he he was sorry that a troublesome said that tooth end of this meeting Prime from Minister him Kiev: 'With the to accompanying would prevent he hoped keep his teeth strong and to the aid of science and technology 12 The (The tooth episode attracted sharp. much parable was obvious)'. it became known few hours that a press attention, especially when after had been Khrushchev Macmillan, Iraqi to able snubbing receive an faithfully kept Macmillan Western delegation. leaders the economic other dubbed himself his 'humiliation' he finding that the up-to-date on what bear friends harder to than the glee of enemies. ' 5 was sympathy of

The situation February when French mission this happened

In attempting to answer the question as to what prompted Khrushchev to make this apparently calculated snub, Reilly offered three reasons 'First, I think he knew that he had been wrong over his speech of the 24th of February: and the first Russian, or at least Soviet rule 15 Macmillan,

Riding the Storm, 618-ig. pp.


he had Secondly. I been in is that think to attack. the wrong -, when been he he had by the proof which could not given that angered divide Her Majesty's Government from their Allies. Thirdly, I think for he felt that that what was us only a plain statement of genuinely the facts of the dangers of the present situation, was a threat of war. He has committed himself deeply to his peace treaty proposal and to his solution for Berlin. I think that he has convinced himself of their by his The the speech strength of opposition evoked reasonableness. 12 been him'. have February may a shock to of the 24th it desire Increasing to make signs of a up The British delegation then left Moscow for a pre-arranged tour, taking in for the Kiev and Leningrad, and had no direct contact with Khrushchev This half days. three cooling-off period combined With sharp and a next from behaviour Khrushchev's during abroad to proved salutary and reaction hours last improved dramatically. thirty-six the the the of visit atmosphere On 28 February Gromyko arrived in Leningrad and that evening he handed Selwyn Lloyd the draft of a bi-lateral Treaty of Non-Aggression. While an Gromyko had in 'to do business', that the evidently come advance some draft contained an article that would have meant the removal of American bases from British territory, which was clearly impossible to accept. The inclusion of this article was puzzling: Soviet


include the objectionable in the article order to ensure a rejection of the whole treaty, which they could Or did they hope, by jettisoning it, to persuade Her then exploit? Majesty's Government to accept the rest of the draft? Or did they believe that this article would be popular in the United Kingdom later in for '"2 might come and useful propaganda?



Ambassador thought the last explanation was the most likely, but in the event its inclusion made it easier for the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary, by 'skillful use of the "Yes, but technique', to avoid -" becoming entangled in discussion of such a treaty. 12 Also at Leningrad, on i March, Gromyko gave Selwyn Lloyd an advance copy of a Soviet Note to Western Governments dated 2 March about Germany and Berlin, in which Foreign Ministers' meeting showed a significant advance on accepting a Khrushchev's speech of 24 February. In Reilly's opinion this policy decision by the Soviet Government was almost certainly a result of the visit and 'may prove to be its most important event'. 12


A return to cordiality When discussions with Khrushchev following afternoon, he opened with drill English his the tooth and about Communist an apology as perhaps a for his insistently continued to plead

in Moscow were resumed on the the 'in its way endearing little speech by his dentist' 'as used coming near to leader can'. Although the Soviet leader he did treaty peace proposal, say

'more clearly than ever before that the date of 27 May had in itself He he did insist de that also said significance. on not no particular however facto be de jure recognition DDR: the there of must frontiers, he said rather which, of obscurely, could recognition Mr Khrushchev done be through third a state. seemed to perhaps for idea the successive steps of cessation of of working accept the for fissile the tests, control of weapons purposes, and use of material limitation he through of armaments: areas of and was security Prime ideas Minister's to the about a continuing receptive different levels, including at regular summit meetings, so negotiation be held in He that these should not an atmosphere of crisis. Prime Minister's Nonthe the reply on accepted philosophically it Her Majesty's Aggression that treaty, made clear which disrupt Western Alliance, Government but the would not offered a Joint Declaration which would include the renunciation of unilateral 12 action to the prejudice of the other party'. The meeting closed on the note that the visit had been very useful, since it had enabled each side to understand the other better. The communiqueis difficulty, it though much as expected was agreed without was not Joint Declaration for Soviet the to the about a passage agree which possible had suggested language that was unacceptable Government to the British delegation. It was left to further discussion through diplomatic channels. between Macmillan last Khrushchev the and private meeting and on included March, in the morning of 3 the official record, the which was not be it in Prime Minister the months ahead if might useful proposed that Khrushchev were to send him a personal message, which would remain be in difficulties private and not published, suggesting ways which particular In be Khrushchev might overcome. reply recalled that when chopping wood in his youth, the axe had sometimes struck a knot. Once the knot was cut through, the wood split cleanly. The German question was just such a knot, it had been be building better the and when to way would cut clear thought there would be several knots to relations more easily. Macmillan


16 Cmd. 68g of March 1959"


he cut and said would send a message whenever Macmillan in Khrushchev taking wasted no time Dr Lebedev, by discussed April 1959, message of 14

he met a difficult up on this offer 's demonstrated.

17 one. his as

Conclusion In assessing the value of the visit Reilly - who had previously reported his felt Soviet Government HMG taking that not very much were that the view interest in their relations with the Soviet Union and had therefore decided it have bother UK that should considered very much about the not to fully he interest Government Soviet HMG's and expected a of satisfied the in international Soviet The the wider policy effect of the visit on response. field was more difficult to gauge. Although he did not expect any change on basic issues, including the immediate one of Berlin, he felt that discussions may however have increased their interest in the flexibility their to willingness show some possibility of negotiation and framework This their of own proposals. may explain the within the decision, which they evidently took during the visit, to accept a Foreign Ministers' the process already meeting and to continue begun, of blurring the ultimatum about Berlin'. 14


The chief dangers that the Ambassador

foresaw were

'first, that the Soviet Government will seek, as they are already doing in their propaganda, to represent Her Majesty's Government forward flexible line taking than the other Western a more and as Governments, and that they may indeed think that there really is a dividing Her Majesty's Government from their Allies; of possibility in fact Her Majesty's that they that when see and secondly, Government decisions will continue to stand loyally by whatever from Western their present guarded present consultations, emerge be by 14 disillusionment'. replaced optimism may cynical As far as Khrushchev was concerned, Reilly suggested the effect of the visit his be President Eisenhower in to that of meeting with comparable might His behaviour American President influenced for the towards 1955. was a long time by the liking and respect which resulted from that meeting and had This deemed entirely worn off. still not was which most useful as the if any were needed, that visit gave confirmation,

17 CAB2c/3233. 18 For the text Khrushchev's of

message and related papers see PREM 11/2875-


Khrushchev Mr 'Mr dominates his now completely colleagues. be in Mikoyan by himself to was seen a class as the second Of [sic] is Mr Khrushchev the the that regime. other personage of his own Foreign Minister. Mr Gromyko, who still seemed to be in favour, remains no more than a very competent senior off'icial'. ' 9 dominant impression left by discussions during the the the perhaps Soviet 'the leaders, despite that the their chess present paradox visit was foreign policy campaigns, their toughness of mind and players' planning of in debate, in their ruthless skill are extraordinarily emotional character, 19 This was borne out by Macmillan, home their reactions'. who returned 'he was feeling he had understood better: the Russian leader a little interesting to me because he was more like the Russians we'd read about in They Russian novels than most Russian technocrats be to are. all seem Germany in rather stiff and ... you couldn't really converse with made '20 Khrushchev... But them. you could with However,

Macmillan's initiative, better the the value of assessing mutual be the time that visit achieved at a of uncertainty understanding should not The American Ambassador, Llewellyn Thompson, under-estimated. who was initially very reserved about the visit, summed it up aptly when he told Reilly that he had reported to Washington that on balance it had been well justified by the results: and worthwhile


'First, he believed that the Prime Minister Secretary State and of had made a considerable and salutary impression on Khrushchev and he had no doubt his colleagues. Secondly, that they would he themselves have learnt a great deal from the visit. Thirdly, thought that the visit would make it easier for British Ministers to handle their own political problems at home over the major issues 21 faced'. be which must now

There may well be some truth in Thompson's third point, especially as the Macmillan government's resounding victory at the polls of 8 October 1959 far from was certain in February with the Labour party rebuilding its fortunes. However, during an interview some thirty years later Sir Patrick Reilly concluded that the visit had been projected

19 FO371/ i4344o, NS io53/ 19o Moscow Despatch No. 36 of 16 March i95g. 20 Horne, Macmillan, pp. 127-2821 FO371/I4344o, March 1959-


Sir Patrick Reilly


(Moscow) to the Hon.



(FO) of 9

'for the wrong motives - with electoral advantage in view: in those days it was generally believed that the public would vote for anybody Russians the terms to to with come who was seen to make an effort But what was remarkable was the truly dramatic effect that HM's ... his had hatred his memories of 1914-18, of war, obvious sincerity and dangerous in defusing what was undoubtedly situation over a Berlin'. 22

22 Horne,


p. 128.






Introduction Since August

former Soviet in the iggi rate of change archives has greatly The and the one most obvious to earliest transformation, accelerated. Soviet collections interested outsiders, occurred in archival administration. (such as those of the Ministry of Foreign located in the Russian Federation Communist Party (CPSU)), Affairs (MFA) and the Central Committee the of Tsarist from All-Union transferred to together with archives, were It files Federation is the that number of control. estimated under the Russian from Federation increased the ioo million of at the control beginning of iggi to over 200 million a year later. On 24 August iggi President Yeltsin handed over the archives of the KGB and the Communist Party to the Russian Committee for Archival Affairs - which was allotted in building Committee formerly Central by the the premises of the occupied by decree CPSU. Legal authority transfer was conferred a of ig on this Central October Committee in Soviet for Archives the and effect was dissolved. As of i December Chief Glavarchiv, Archival USSR's the iggi Administration, has ceased to exist. Further come as the new change begins fulfill its to stated intention administration of making the archives It has been Soviet in the more accessible. that much acknowledged past from bureaucratic interference. unnecessary archives suffered Affairs Foreign Archives Ministry of The archives of the MFA are now divided between Foreign Policy the Archives of the Russian Empire (pre-1917) and the Foreign Policy Archives of (post-I917) Federation but Russian the they remain under the single History Records Department the and control of administrative of the MFA, headed by Dr Igor Lebedev. for liberal, by regulations adoption of new, access and declassification the archives of the Russian MFA is one of the clearest and most welcome in the signs of changes attitudes and practice which have taken place. Previously, researchers in the MFA, as elsewhere, were handicapped by an


I This has been from note compiled a variety of publicly available sources, most notably Press reports, the proceedings of the Anglo-Russian Conference Historians held at the of Institute of Historical Research (IHR) in October iggi and articles in Volume 23, Number 2 of the Newsletter produced by the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations and the Spring 1992 Bulletin of the Cold War International History Project at the Woodrow Wilson Centre for Scholars.


Soviet the the security of administrative system obsessed with secrecy, favourable light in Union and the presentation as a as of past policy files had Scholars MFA possible. wishing to use the post-1917 archives of the had index for by to them a guide or no access selected members of staff and to the archives. Researchers faced significant practical difficulties resulting from the absence in date to the catalogues, guides and registers of comprehensive and up archives and the excessive use of secret classifications to protect sensitive Obstacles inadequacy by finding the topics. posed of aids were particularly for foreigners because of constraints imposed by time and troublesome distance. Researchers were often dependent on archivists or nominated Soviet historians for guidance and provision of material and so subject to bureaucratic hindrance. or political possible The new regulations have been shaped by the joint efforts of the new head International Academic Advisory Group (IAAG) the the of archives and formed in September iggi to advise on the declassification of and access to the MFA archives. The four foreign and two Russian academics who make Jonathan Haslam, King's College, Cambridge; Grigorii this group are up General Sevostianov, Institute History, Academy Sciences; Vilnis of of Sipols, Institute of the History of the USSR, Academy of Sciences; William Taubman, Amherst College; Odd Arne Westad, Norwegian Nobel Institute Bundesinstitut Gerhard Wettig, f端r Ostwissenschaftliche and und Studien, Cologne. The IAAG and officials from the MFA held Internationale first in Moscow in March their meeting 1992. At this meeting members of the IAAG proposed a series of new measures to declassification. They followed access and regulate generally standard Western procedures. These formed the basis of two comprehensive sets of declassification covering recommendations to the and access presented Foreign Minister. On 14 April 1992 Dr Lebedev informed the IAAG that the had been recommendations accepted in full by the MFA and that the implementing the new regulations. archives would start The regulations provide for the release of unclassified material without any Classified documents be subjected special procedure. to will a declassification procedure thirty years after their creation which will have as its general aim the release of material rather than its retention. At the declassification moment efforts are concentrated on two periods, 1917-22 and Provision for has been documents be if disclosure 1945-50. to made withheld Russian demonstrably impede would current security or other fundamental interests or if the release of personal information danger could cause or


file beyond Any decision distress to the individuals to withhold a concerned. Committee by Advisory be to composed review an subject thirty years will Russian MFA the the and academic community. of representatives of full intended Regulations the to that range of ensure governing access are basis. An finding aids are available to all scholars on an equal enlarged The be built. is thirty to about researchers, accommodating room, reading is its is that the MFA adoption of new measures obviously anxious to ensure in included from MFA the the archives material was and publicised well Congress from Soviet held Library in documents the of archives exhibition of in June 1992 and opened by Professor Rudolf Pikhoya (Head of the Russian (biographer Affairs) and General Volkogonov for Archival Committee of Stalin and advisor to President Yeltsin). The MFA officials involved with the IAAG in drawing up the new regulations for access to MFA archives stressed the financial and practical problems fresh be full before be the taken to can of advantage overcome need which Western To declassification. the this end members approach to access and fund have towards to IAAG collect contributions the a set up of been have improvement the almost completely cut off archives which of from the general budget of the Foreign Ministry. in have developments the MFA the come with resumption welcome Publication Policy. Soviet Foreign Documents on of this series came to of work on due be documented. in halt the to 1938-9 were events of 1977 when a Nazi-Soviet Pact Official acknowledgement the to the secret protocols of Department Records History in MFA the to the and of iggo publish enabled The Crisis Years 1938 39, two volumes dealing with events leading up to the German-Soviet September August/ the agreements of 1939, conclusion of Estonia, Report, Latvia Our Envoys a single volume covering relations with and before incorporation The into in Lithuania their USSR. the the year and Nazi-Soviet Pact it is Crisis Years only reproduces the copies of and Editors have been in footnote the that unable to trace the acknowledged a in Evidently the MFA archives either there are no surviving records original. Pact Soviet the the the preceding and abortive of or of negotiations and Similarly, British French negotiations with representatives. records could and Baltic found for be Our discussions Envoys Report not states on the of with the conclusion of mutual assistance pacts.


Many of the documents have previously been printed (in eg elsewhere Foreign Relations of the United States, Documents on British Foreign Policy and Documents Diplomatiques Franfais) and editorial preference is generally given to public statements of government policy rather than to documents showing


historical in The towards attitudes this policy was made. change by indicated these the volumes of appearance objectivity and use of archives is to be welcomed.


Archive Kremlin or has Kremlin, Archive Presidential, the come under also or has This for Affairs. Archival Committee Russian not yet control of the been officially opened for research but President Yeltsin has instructed Professor Pikhoya and General Volkogonov to undertake an inventory of Communist files It is the of this archive. said to contain the most sensitive (though including Party leadership, or not minutes probably protocols It has for Politburo the also transcripts) of entire post-war period. meetings been confirmed that within this archive is a collection of Stalin's personal Library Pikhoya, files. At to the 17,000 of papers - amounting, according to Pikhoya indicated he Volkogonov Congress exhibition that would and be Presidential historical archive should part of the recommend that the It it from likely the that these which came. now seems archive returned to in deposited institutions be the two one of at some point which papers will Central Committee (see below). house CPSU the the the of archives of now It is intended that in future the Presidential Archive will be limited purely for day-to-day to material considered necessary effective administration files including post-1985 Politburo and records and recent on economic

Presidential The Soviet



CPSU Archives2 In lieu of access to the Presidential Archive, the Party archives are the most important source available on the administration and government of the Soviet Union. Extensive regional Party archives (a major source for local The history) have also come under the control of the Russian Federation. Party archives of the Central Committee of the CPSU are now held by two institutions in Moscow. is in Russian Centre for Preservation All pre-October the the 1952 material Contemporary Documents Study History Dr Vladimir (director on of and Kozlov) and amongst the 1.5 million files held are the personal papers of Lenin and many other leading Russian and European communists, material European Comintern communist parties, the creation of on relations with further Cominform Cold War. Later the the on papers origins of and and Centre for Preservation held Modern the the at papers are of Documentation (director Dr Rem Usikov). This is said to be the largest Soviet in Union former (about files) it the archive 30 million and contains 2

The following paragraphs Conference in October iggi.

Professor based by on a paper given are



IHR the at

internal documenting and external a vast range of affairs and material in KGB from MFA, the and which were used other agencies such as reports Party has been The Russian formulation to archive open and of policy. the inadequate indexes foreign researchers from 2 March 1992 although and for handicaps facilities users. remain as poor The most immediate task facing those charged with widening access to huge Russian archives is the reclassification of amounts of material never intended to become publicly available. If carried out extensively this will be Professor Russian testimony to the new, principles underlying archival policy. in iggi that it will take five years to complete Pikhoya estimated the Central Committee of cataloguing and reclassification of the archives of the Party. be He Communist has there the no thirty-year rule will stated that Preis in the archive that non-secret. or similar restriction on any material be documents be freely is to are to available and Ig61-Ig81 ig6i material progressively


The agreement signed by the publishing firm Chadwyck-Healey to microfilm Party archive envisages using a proportion of the the entire Communist documents help for to and the money raised pay preservation of the Howlett Jana Russian Dr British historian, A of retention of research staff. Jesus College Cambridge, has been appointed the company's archival is Russian Government the consultant and also advising on archival matters. Conservation dangers in the are pressing requirements all the archives and by posed sudden over-use are very real. It is debatable present whether increase in the the resources and technology conditions will permit necessary for needed effective conservation of the archives. `Special State Archive' A `Special State Archive' which contains records of Soviet espionage on Soviet citizens abroad and material in Nazi Europe by seized occupied Germany and subsequently captured by the Red Army (the Trophy archive) has come to light. This was previously unknown even to Soviet researchers. In addition to material of German origin, this archive also contains captured Polish, Hungarian, Rumanian and French files and collections of private and found There liberated in further areas. personal papers are also reports that Germans in from War was World the the Second material captured deposited with local archives so that national collections could legitimately deny all knowledge of its existence. These holdings are only beginning to be Friendship Treaty Soviet-German The for the explored. of iggo provides both by during Second sides and after the exchange of material removed World War and in some areas (eg works of art) such exchanges have begun. legal Significant practical obstacles and residual questions remain to be


has been but large before progress scale overcome restitution occurs on a has in Committee Russian holdings. Archival The agreed, made with some Bureau. Deuxieme France the 20,000 volumes of principle, to return to



President decree Yeltsin's and took authorities enforced found late in August KGB they control of iggi signs that a archives Besides documents documents had been destroyed. substantial amount of relating to the coup attempt, other particularly sensitive material such as Sakharov's diaries and papers on Wallenberg have to are also reported been destroyed. An international committee of academics was invited by President Yeltsin in iggi to examine the KGB and Communist Party He intended have that they should archives. unrestricted access to the holdings.



A Russian Parliamentary General Volkogonov commission under and including Professor Pikhoya was set up in autumn iggi to consider the future February In KGB 1992 the commission reported that KGB of the archive. be for than turned to 15 old should records more years over state archives declassification, subject to the need to protect current operational and technical details (in which case they can be withheld from state archives for (withheld for up to 75 years). The Russian 30 years) and personal privacy intends to create a new centre to store KGB archives. The government Parliamentary the proposals of commission regarding the KGB's obligations to deposit records in state archives will not be sufficient to guarantee their availability to researchers until wider questions of control of the archive and declassification and access have been resolved.






As part of the FCO's new records policy over one thousand items (whole files and extracts) have been released in 1993 from the withheld archive. These include blocks of papers from the Russia Committee and on the for included below, PRO NATO. these are references early years of for those a number of other releases. together with Piece







F0371/i62372-3 /62375, 8o-i, 83,87, gI-6


Cuba; Cuban Missile Crisis, US Blockade Cuba of








internal political defence situation, against

Iraq, Armed Forces, Air Force

/162915) 17-9,21,26




/ i63 15, 17-8,45,49,65 /163216


F0371 /26565


Rudolf Hess

F037I / 163528,




Energy & Disarmament

37) 49

Soviet attitude towards Peace Treaty and Berlin, status of recognition GDR, of recognition of


Oder-NeiĂ&#x;e Line F037 i/ 163904-5, 55


Yugoslavia; trial of Milovan Djilas




Second Vatican Council


F0371 / 163968,


Supply of arms to


83 F0371/164315,


East countries


Israel; political relations Arab countries, settlement from Palestine of refugees





FO i o87 /i-io


Turkey; Angora Kurds Hungary





F0371 /i 64709- i o, 14 /1648173 35,


European Economic Orgs.



Russia Committee

47,68 F0371/7i632A, 87 70-I, /77623-4 /86750-62 /94842-5 / 100840-2



French EEC, application to EFTA, attitude, consultations with implications for UK defence policy EURATOM to on accession




/06528-30 /125005-6,30



Russia; Bolsheviks




Discussions in NATO on SinoSoviet dispute, Warsaw Pact forces, meetings of the CMEA


South East Asia

Vietnam; relations between International Control Commission and S. Vietnam



UK Delegates Archives




United Nations

Southern Rhodesia; Committee Information from on non selfgoverning territories

F0371 / 154873,

West &

Congo; formation

79-80,86-7,97 /154913)


UN government, operations,


F0371/i66730) 39,47,49,50




F0371 /i 6700 i


by Soviet Union

UAR and

39,51,55,6i /80123


i g6i-62

of new between


Belgian Congo, and mercenaries,

16) 26,43,57,75






Brussels Treaty, NATO


Council and

Western Orgs. & Planning

Planning; problems of European nuclear defence



Europe of






Dr Jonathan









Records Department and Russian Federation MFA

King's College Cambridge University


Head, Library and Records Department Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Head, Historical Branch, LRD Foreign and Commonwealth Office


Dr Isabel




Historical Branch, LRD Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Bevins Foreign


Historical Branch, LRD Commonwealth Office and





This collection of documents from the archives of the Foreign and Office is published by authorisation Commonwealth Her Majesty's of The Editors have been accorded the customary freedom Government. documents. selection and arrangement of

in the

SERIES I (1945-1950) Published Volume


The Conference



Conferences and Conversations Moscow. and



Britain and America: Negotiation loan, August-December 1945-

Potsdam, July-August at


London, 1945:


United the of


Volume IV

Britain and America: Atomic Energy, Bases and Food, December 1945July 1946. .






Eastern Europe,

In preparation Volume VII

Western and

The United







6. ige.


SERIES II (1950-1955) Published Volume


The Schuman Plan, the Council of Europe European Integration, May 195o-December

Volume II

The London Conferences, January June





Korea, June 1950-April


In preparation Volume V




The Middle




Volume IV

European and

Western and 1952.



East, 1951-953.

Free lists of Titles (state subject/s) from Her Majesty's are available Stationery Office, HMSO Books, 51 Nine Elms Lane, London SW8 5DR.




Editors of


Diplomatic of


Changes in British and Russian Records Policy  

A collection of papers presented at a Records Policy Seminar held at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on 15 June 1993. The seminar explor...