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Public Records (Colonial Documents)

Volume 542: debated on Monday 26 March 2012

In my statement to the House on 5 December 2011, Official Report, column 6WS, about the colonial administration files held by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), I informed the House that the first batch of files would be available at the National Archives (TNA) in April 2012. I am pleased to be able to confirm that those files will be open to the public from 18 April.

This first batch will include files from Aden, Anguilla, Bechuanaland, Brunei, British Indian Ocean Territories, Sarawak, Seychelles and Malaya as well as the first tranche of papers from Basutoland, Bahamas, Kenya and Cyprus.

Following the schedule approved by Professor Badger, the independent reviewer for the migrated archives of colonial administration files, the remaining files will be released progressively over the next 20 months. A timetable has been published on the FCO’s website. The aim is to have all the material available for public view at the National Archives at Kew by the end of 2013.