HC Deb 28 June 1956 vol 555 c694
49. Dame Irene Ward

asked the Prime Minister how many official historians are at present working at the Cabinet offices; and when they will publish the rest of the official history of the past war; and whether this will include a section on the Special Operations Executive.

The Prime Minister

The official histories of the war are being published in two series—civil and military. In the civil series 17 volumes have been published and four are in the press: seven historians are now engaged in writing the seven outstanding volumes. In the military series five volumes have been published; seven are in the press and 20 historians are now engaged in writing the remaining 19 volumes. It is not possible to say when publication of all the outstanding volumes will be complete. Aspects of the work of the Special Operations Executive will be covered in various volumes of the military histories, according to their subject matter, but it is not proposed to publish separately a general account of the work of this organisation as a whole.

Dame Irene Ward

Would my right hon. Friend say whether the official historians have access to the Special Operations Executive files which other historians are not allowed to have?

The Prime Minister

I do not think that there is anything particularly abnormal in that. I think that the official historians do have access to documents of all kinds, which others may not have.

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