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New government files released

Contaminated food - Catalogue reference WO 185-4885(8)

Contaminated food - Catalogue reference WO 185-4885(8)

26 June 2009

New files released by The National Archives cover subjects ranging from biological and chemical warfare in the Second World War to drinking on trains.

The latest Cabinet Secretary's notebook has also been released. This is the 17th notebook to be released, covering a period from November 1957 to December 1958. The notebooks contain the handwritten notes made by the Cabinet Secretary - in this case Sir Norman Brook - at Cabinet meetings.


Anthrax and other poisons for biological warfare (WO 188/695)

This file covers research into biological weapons during the Second World War, looking at their effects and suitability for battle situations. Research took place into the use of poisoned darts that could be delivered from the air, and the file includes initial designs.

Chemical warfare in Japan (WO 189/4875)

This file includes a memorandum entitled 'Attack on Tokyo with Gas Bombs', dated May 1944, assessing the probable effects of a chemical warfare attack on the city.

South Africa (FCO 45/2362)

This file from 1978 covers South African townships. In particular, it contains correspondence about supplying electricity to Soweto, and the possibility of private financing to do so from companies such as Barclays.

Paul Alexander SCOTT - born c.1881 (HS 9/1333/3)

Paul Scott, a former South African rugby player, was determined to serve in the Second World War. Having been turned down by South Africa (he was around 60 years old), he signed up with HM Forces, knocking more than 20 years off his true age on the application form.

Alcohol consumption on trains (MT 124/1613)

This file from the late 1970s details correspondence and meetings about drinking on trains, following trouble on services between London and Glasgow when the England-Scotland football match was played at Wembley.

Decontamination and salvage of food: report on a series of demonstrations carried out in 1943 (WO 189/4885)

This file from 1943 contains details of a series of demonstrations of food contamination, analysing the effects of mustard gas on foods including potatoes, meat and cheese.


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