HC Deb 13 April 1964 vol 693 cc29-30
32. Dame Irene Ward

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will now supplement the existing official histories of the late war with an official account of the United Kingdom's contribution to the resistance movements on the Continent.

Mr. P. Thomas

Her Majesty's Government have given a great deal of thought to this question. Some three years ago, they commissioned a professional historian to write an account of the achievements of the Special Operations Executive in France. The draft has now been completed and Her Majesty's Government have decided in principle that it is suitable, subject to further detailed scrutiny, for publication by Her Majesty's Stationery Office.

Dame Irene Ward

Will my hon. Friend convey to my right hon. Friend the Member for Bromley (Mr. H. Macmillan) the appreciation of, I am sure, those connected with the Special Operations Executive and the resistance people whom they helped in Europe of the fact that this decision has been taken? Would he also convey my thanks and those of my two friends who were associated with me in this, Elizabeth Nicholas and Jean Overton Fuller, and pressed the former Prime Minister to take this action? Will he convey how grateful we all are that at last the Government have decided to let the world know something of the work done by the British in conjunction with our European friends?

Mr. Thomas

Yes, Sir.

Mr. M. Foot

While the hon. Gentleman is helping us with the writing of past history, would he also help us with the writing of current history and place in the Library an aide mémoire explaining what directives have recently been sent by his right hon. Friend to the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations?

Mr. Thomas

I suggest that that is probably another question.