British civilian diplomat served with Foreign Office in Berlin and London, 1946-1970, including period as Private Secretary to Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, 1947-1949, and as Assistant Under-Secretary for Information and Cultural Affairs at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London, GB, 1970-1974.
REEL 1: Aspects of period as diplomat with Foreign Office and as Private Secretary to Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in Berlin and London, 1946-1970: historical background to start of Cold War; role evolving and implementing four power directives; reaction to Potsdam Conference; opinion of Ernie Bevan and Anthony Eden; story of separate department for German affairs being set up at Norfolk House, London; description of role as Private Secretary to Frank Pakenham (Lord Longford) in Berlin and London, 1947-1949; language skills; story of writing minute about possibility of Russian blockade of Berlin; description of planning and implantation of Berlin Air Lift and opinion of success, 1948; opinion of Lord Longford; reasons for airlift and effect on relations with Russians; role of Christopher Mayhew in Yugoslavian affairs; problem of Russian dominance of media; story of Foreign Office Information Research Department (IRD) being set up to counter Russian propaganda, 1948.
REEL 2 Continues: further comments on setting up IRD and role in providing briefings for ministers and press; attitude to use of black propaganda against Russians including information about deportations and gulags; method of obtaining research material and intelligence; story about Guy Burgess; role of IRD in providing information for BBC; question of IRD not being a covert organisation; funding of IRD; reaction to Russians revealing covert CIA funding of Radio Free Europe and other organisations; story about Russian Novosti news agency; opinion of BBC World Service and Anatole Goldberg; problem of Russians jamming radio and TV broadcasts; use of IRD resources by British and American newspaper journalists.
REEL 3 Continues: further comments on journalists; role in supplying research material and intelligence during Hungarian Uprising, 1956 and fall of Sukarno in Indonesia, 1967; methods of keeping IRD source secret; question of selectivity in distributing information; use of IRD material by British trade unions; story of communist infiltration into Electrical Trades Union and Fire Brigades Union; use of IRD material by MPs and overseas embassies; role of IRD during early de-colonisation of African countries during 1960s; opinion of Westminster Foundation’s work in eastern European countries.
REEL 4 Continues: role of IRD helping voluntary organisations across world; opinion of Charity Knowhow fund. Aspects of period with Foreign Office Information Research Department (IRD) in London, GB, 1955-1959: opinion of Christopher Mayhew and political beliefs; role of IRD during Suez Crisis, 1956; attitude to bureaucracy in IRD; changing relations with Soviet Union following death of Stalin and appointment of Khrushchev; story of Mayhew setting up Soviet relations department with British Council; question of ministerial support for IRD; role with IRD during Hungarian Uprising including drafting UN report on Hungary, 1956; opinion of Eden’s role during Suez Crisis, 1956; story of distributing wireless receivers in Egypt during Suez Crisis.
REEL 5 Continues: reaction to Mountbatten report criticising inadequacy of IRD during Suez Crisis; opinion of Charles Hill as head of IRD. Aspects of period as Assistant Under-Secretary for Information and Cultural Affairs at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London, GB, 1970-1974: role and responsibilities; liaison with British Council, Foreign Office and BBC; work with voluntary organisations; reaction to election of Edward Heath as prime minister; role with Foreign Office promoting case for joining Common Market and cultural co-operation with Europe following entry, 1971; funding for NGO’s and voluntary organisations, 1973-1974; opinion of success at IRD and reaction to closure, 1977; story of unsuccessful attempt to revive IRD, 1981-1982; posts and employment after leaving Civil Service, 1988.
REEL 6 Continues: importance of English language programmes and teaching in China and Japan; problem of funding being cut for overseas broadcasting; opinion of BBC Overseas Service; question of need for IRD or similar organisation during Bosnian war; nature of links between IRD, MI5, MI6 and GCHQ; attitude to lack of recognition for work of IRD; reflections on success of IRD and role in ending Cold War; importance of maintaining secrecy of IRD as source.