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Public and Political: General: Defence., 06 Nov 1936 - 20 Jan 1942

Reference Code: GBR/0014/CHAR 2/371A-B

Scope and Contents

Correspondents on defence issues include: Sir Thomas Inskip [Minister for Co-ordination of Defence, later 1st Lord Caldecote]; Harry Sellar, Private Secretary to Inskip (2); Leslie Hore-Belisha, Secretary of State for War, on subjects including the arming of the Guards Battalions; Sir Kingsley Wood, Secretary of State for Air, on showing WSC [air construction graphs]; 1st Lord Swinton [former Secretary of State for Air, earlier Philip Cunliffe-Lister and Philip Lloyd-Greame] on the formation of the Ministry of Supply; Professor Major Greenwood [President, Royal Statistical Society] on the under-use of scientific talent in the national service (2); Austin Taylor; Group-Captain Lachlan Maclean on the effectiveness of fighter aircraft and the range of bombers; "E" [Lord Halifax, Foreign Secretary, earlier Edward Wood and Lord Irwin]; Admiral of the Fleet 1st Lord Chatfield on a memorandum by WSC on sea power; Desmond Morton on WSC's memorandum (2); Admiral of the Fleet Sir Roger Keyes on using a floating dock in the Mediterranean, the risk of a German naval attack from Spain, and his alarm at the state of the Navy (2); Eric Long on Territorial Army recruitment; Admiral Sir Herbert Richmond; Sir Keith Price on restrictions in potato planting (2); William Morrison [Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, later 1st Lord Dunrossil] on subjects including the under-use of cold stores (3); Sir Reginald Dorman-Smith, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, on potato planting restrictions, potato imports and avoiding premature food controls (2); Sir Henry Strakosch; "F A L" [F A Lindemann, later 1st Lord Cherwell] on the ineffectiveness of anti-aircraft guns (2); General Sir Edmund Ironside, outgoing Governor and Commander-in-Chief of Gibraltar, on shortcomings in the leadership of the Army; [George] David Roseway [Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for War]; Leo Amery on the need for a War Cabinet, including WSC; Sir Arthur Salter; Thomas Horabin; and Ian Colvin with a copy of his report on leakages of information in official circles in London and German access to Foreign Office information.Other subjects include: WSC's good wishes to 1st Lord Swinton on his departure as Secretary of State for Air; Italian naval estimates; WSC's speeches; War Office contracts.Also includes: copies of correspondence between Professor Major Greenwood and 1st Lord Kennet [President, Royal Statistical Society, earlier Sir Edward Hilton Young] and Sir Thomas Inskip on the waste of trained scientific personnel in wartime and the use of an index of such personnel; paper by Group-Captain Lachlan Maclean on British offensive and defensive air capabilities; copy of a memorandum by WSC on sea power in the Baltic, Mediterranean and Far East, particularly Singapore; press cutting on the export of scrap iron to Germany; memorandum by Sir Keith Price on potato production; memorandum by Vice-Admiral [?] A Haig Waller on the mercantile marine subsidy and speeds; extract from the Spectator on the inadequacy of ARP preparations; print on German cruiser superiority; memorandum by Sir Arthur Salter on reserves of food and raw materials; note by WSC after his visit to the Rhine front in France, calling for liaison between French and British supply organizations, on the French defences and the timing of a German attack; note on the long-term development of atomic weapons and exaggerated rumours of their effectiveness; Committee of Imperial Defence memorandum on the protection of vital centres of war production, including the Austin Shadow factory at Birmingham and the London balloon barrage; note on relative British and German cruiser strengths; copy of the statement on defence made to Parliament by [Neville Chamberlain], Prime Minister (February 1939); note on underground air-raid shelters in London; note on a national identification number scheme; Trade Union open letter on conscription; print of the details of the fleets of the Commonwealth, Japan, France, Italy and Germany; notes and copies of correspondence by WSC and Leslie Rowan [Private Secretary to WSC as Prime Minister], Kathleen Hill, Olive Harrington and Mary Penman [Secretaries to WSC] to individuals listed above and also to others including Major-General Hastings Ismay, Secretary, Committee of Imperial Defence, and 1st Lord Rothermere [earlier Sir Harold Harmsworth].The majority of material in this file dates to 1939.


  • Creation: 06 Nov 1936 - 20 Jan 1942

Conditions Governing Access



2 file(s) (2 bound files and 1 folder (207 folios))

1 folder(s) (2 bound files and 1 folder (207 folios))

Language of Materials