Archive

MT's official files as Prime Minister, 1979-90

MT's official files as PM can be read on this site as they are released, in full and free to all - the confidential files originally stored at No.10, the core record of her premiership.

The files have been copied at the British National Archives (TNA) at Kew in London and can be downloaded precisely as they appear in the reading room.

We are doing something more to help people make sense of this mass of information. The files are subject-based, logically enough, but that system makes it difficult to reconstruct the flow of paper across the Prime Minister’s desk at any point in time, depriving us of a sense of context, of the political cross-winds, some of them overwhelming.

To combat this effect we are uploading a large selection of the most important documents from these files – thousands in total - to our powerful site database. You can search and sort by date, subject and other parameters, getting as close as anyone can now get to reconstructing the Prime Minister’s daily "Red Boxes", the rich diet of foreign and domestic policy papers submitted to her by the No.10 Private Office.

List and links to the PM’s files

Below are links to the downloadable files in numerical order. The subject terms are those used in the original filing system.

An average file has around 200 pages.

You can read here an account of how filing worked at No.10, and the system for archiving MT’s Prime Ministerial papers, both of which had their quirks.

Chancellor of the Exchequer’s Private Office files, 1979-1989

1979-89: Chancellor’s Private Office files [links to hundreds of digitised files from the Chancellorships of Sir Geoffrey Howe and Nigel Lawson]

Engagement Diaries

An alternative way through the material is to read MT’s engagement diaries, jumping day to day.

The engagement diaries link directly to relevant documents in the site database, so this is a good way to recover the perspective from the Red Box.

Showing items 51 - 100 of 3725

Per page:
File name File title Begins Ends Release date Any docs withheld? Classification Pages
PREM19/51 European policy (European Council, Strasbourg June 1979) Part 01 Begins: 1979 May 30 Ends: 1979 Jun 27 Date of release: 2009 Dec 30 Classification: Confidential Pages: 407
PREM19/52 European policy (European Council, Dublin Nov 1979) (Part 2) Begins: 1979 Oct 19 Ends: 1979 Dec 7 Date of release: 2009 Dec 30 Classification: Secret Pages: 300
PREM19/53 European policy (European Community budget) (Part 1) Begins: 1979 May 4 Ends: 1979 Jul 12 Date of release: 2009 Dec 30 Classification: Confidential Pages: 166
PREM19/54 European policy (European Community budget) (Part 2) Begins: 1979 Jul 13 Ends: 1979 Oct 25 Date of release: 2009 Dec 30 Classification: Secret Pages: 244
PREM19/55 European policy (European Community budget) (Part 3) Begins: 1979 Oct 25 Ends: 1979 Nov 30 Date of release: 2009 Dec 30 Classification: Secret Pages: 329
PREM19/56 Fishing Industry (Mourne herring fishery) Begins: 1979 Aug 22 Ends: 1979 Aug 30 Date of release: 2009 Dec 30 Classification: Confidential Pages: 19
PREM19/57 France (MT visits to, Paris June 1979) (Part 1) Begins: 1979 May 8 Ends: 1979 Aug 28 Date of release: 2009 Dec 30 Classification: Secret Pages: 172
PREM19/58 Germany (Chancellor's visits to UK, Schmidt May 1979) (Part 1) Begins: 1979 May 4 Ends: 1979 May 25 Date of release: 2009 Dec 30 Classification: Secret Pages: 220
PREM19/59 Germany (MT visits to, Bonn Oct 1979) (Part 2) Begins: 1979 Jun 11 Ends: 1979 Dec 7 Date of release: 2009 Dec 30 Any docs withheld? 1 Classification: Secret Pages: 156
PREM19/60 Government machinery (Rayner review) (Part 1) Begins: 1979 May 7 Ends: 1979 Jul 14 Date of release: 2009 Dec 30 Any docs withheld? 1 Classification: Confidential Pages: 287
PREM19/61 Government machinery (Rayner review) (Part 2) Begins: 1979 Jul 16 Ends: 1979 Sep 14 Date of release: 2009 Dec 30 Classification: Confidential Pages: 124
PREM19/62 Government machinery (Rayner review) (Part 3) Begins: 1979 Sep 17 Ends: 1979 Nov 29 Date of release: 2009 Dec 30 Classification: Confidential Pages: 255
PREM19/63 Government machinery (Ministerial responsibility for population matters) Begins: 1979 Jun 1 Ends: 1979 Jun 4 Date of release: 2009 Dec 30 Classification: Unclassified Pages: 4
PREM19/64 Government machinery (Judges' expenses) Begins: 1979 Oct 19 Ends: 1979 Oct 30 Date of release: 2009 Dec 30 Classification: Unclassified Pages: 10
PREM19/65 Greece (PM Karamanlis visit to UK, Oct 1979) Begins: 1979 Sep 5 Ends: 1979 Oct 23 Date of release: 2009 Dec 30 Classification: Confidential Pages: 56
PREM19/66 Home affairs (Sale of Isle of Iona) Begins: 1979 May 21 Ends: 1979 Jun 7 Date of release: 2009 Dec 30 Classification: Unclassified Pages: 12
PREM19/67 India (Call on MT by Deputy PM Ram) Begins: 1979 May 24 Ends: 1979 Jun 12 Date of release: 2009 Dec 30 Classification: Confidential Pages: 18
PREM19/68 Indonesia (President Suharto visit to UK, Nov 1979) Begins: 1979 Jun 19 Ends: 1979 Nov 27 Date of release: 2009 Dec 30 Classification: Confidential Pages: 176
PREM19/69 Industrial policy (Meetings with the TUC) (Part 1) Begins: 1979 May 17 Ends: 1979 Dec 21 Date of release: 2009 Dec 30 Classification: Confidential Pages: 414
PREM19/70 Industrial policy (Industrial relations law) (Part 1) Begins: 1979 May 5 Ends: 1979 Sep 27 Date of release: 2009 Dec 30 Classification: Confidential Pages: 191
PREM19/71 Industrial policy (Future of British Leyland) (Part 1) Begins: 1979 Sep 7 Ends: 1979 Dec 13 Date of release: 2009 Dec 30 Classification: Confidential Pages: 119
PREM19/72 Industrial policy (Future of Rolls-Royce) Begins: 1979 Jul 13 Ends: 1979 Nov 14 Date of release: 2009 Dec 30 Classification: Secret Pages: 97
PREM19/73 Industrial policy (Ford Motor Company - meeting with Henry Ford II) Begins: 1979 May 7 Ends: 1979 Jul 2 Date of release: 2009 Dec 30 Classification: Confidential Pages: 71
PREM19/74 Industrial policy (Employee stock ownership - correspondence with US Senator) Begins: 1979 Jul 31 Ends: 1979 Sep 3 Date of release: 2009 Dec 30 Classification: Unclassified Pages: 16
PREM19/75 Industrial policy (National Enterprise Board - Hartlepool titanium project) Begins: 1979 Aug 24 Ends: 1979 Sep 17 Date of release: 2009 Dec 30 Classification: Confidential Pages: 17
PREM19/76 Iran (Internal situation, including hostage crisis) (Part 1) Begins: 1979 May 10 Ends: 1979 Dec 10 Date of release: 2009 Dec 30 Any docs withheld? 3 Classification: Secret Pages: 268
PREM19/77 Iran (Internal situation, including hostage crisis) (Part 2) Begins: 1979 Dec 11 Ends: 1979 Dec 22 Date of release: 2009 Dec 30 Classification: Secret Pages: 225
PREM19/78 Iran (Jewish community - correspondence with President Carter) Begins: 1979 May 15 Ends: 1979 May 24 Date of release: 2009 Dec 30 Classification: Secret Pages: 23
PREM19/79 Ireland (Taoiseach's visits to UK) (Part 1) Begins: 1979 May 2 Ends: 1979 Sep 6 Date of release: 2009 Dec 30 Classification: Secret Pages: 156
PREM19/80 Ireland (Northern Ireland situation) (Part 1) Begins: 1979 May 2 Ends: 1979 Aug 24 Date of release: 2009 Dec 30 Any docs withheld? 2 Classification: Secret Pages: 235
PREM19/81 Ireland (Northern Ireland situation) (Part 2) Begins: 1979 Aug 27 Ends: 1979 Sep 28 Date of release: 2010 Nov 10 Any docs withheld? 3 Classification: Secret Pages: 184
PREM19/82 Ireland (Northern Ireland situation) (Part 3) Begins: 1979 Oct 1 Ends: 1979 Oct 23 Date of release: 2009 Dec 30 Classification: Secret Pages: 107
PREM19/83 Ireland (Northern Ireland situation) (Part 4) Begins: 1979 Oct 24 Ends: 1979 Nov 29 Date of release: 2009 Dec 30 Any docs withheld? 1 Classification: Secret Pages: 225
PREM19/84 Ireland (Intervention by Governor Carey of New York State) Begins: 1979 Aug 1 Ends: 1979 Aug 24 Date of release: 2009 Dec 30 Classification: Confidential Pages: 62
PREM19/85 Ireland (Information policy - correspondence with HRH Prince of Wales) Begins: 1979 Nov 16 Ends: 1979 Dec 17 Date of release: 2054 Jan 1 Classification: Closed for 74 years
PREM19/86 Israel (Farewell call by Israeli Ambassador, July 1979) Begins: 1979 Jul 5 Ends: 1979 Jul 24 Date of release: 2009 Dec 30 Classification: Confidential Pages: 18
PREM19/87 Italy (Italian PM’s visits to UK) (?Part 1) [possible filing error - Part 2 of this file has no clear Part 1] Begins: 1979 Jun 1 Ends: 1979 Jul 16 Date of release: 2009 Dec 30 Classification: Confidential Pages: 104
PREM19/88 Italy (MT’s visits to Italy; Anglo-Italian Summits) (Part 1) Begins: 1979 Sep 20 Ends: 1979 Oct 8 Date of release: 2009 Dec 30 Classification: Confidential Pages: 101
PREM19/89 Legal procedure (Authority to order drafting of Bills) Begins: 1979 May 17 Ends: 1979 May 18 Date of release: 2009 Dec 30 Classification: Confidential Pages: 5
PREM19/90 Local government (Relations with central government, organisation & finance) (Part 1) Begins: 1979 May 10 Ends: 1979 Sep 18 Date of release: 2009 Dec 30 Classification: Confidential Pages: 228
PREM19/91 Local government (Remuneration of local councillors) Begins: 1979 Jul 23 Ends: 1979 Nov 19 Date of release: 2009 Dec 30 Classification: Unclassified Pages: 12
PREM19/92 Middle East (Situation in the Middle East) (Part 1) Begins: 1979 May 17 Ends: 1979 Sep 20 Date of release: 2009 Dec 30 Any docs withheld? 1 Classification: Secret Pages: 223
PREM19/93 Ministers (Ministers assess position they inherited on taking office) Begins: 1979 May 9 Ends: 1979 May 11 Date of release: 2009 Dec 30 Classification: Confidential Pages: 52
PREM19/94 Ministers (Propriety of appointing Minister likely to become MEP) Begins: 1979 May 8 Ends: 1979 May 16 Date of release: 2009 Dec 30 Classification: Unclassified Pages: 12
PREM19/95 National Health Service (Doctors' and Dentists' pay) (Part 1) Begins: 1979 May 4 Ends: 1979 Jul 27 Date of release: 2009 Dec 30 Classification: Confidential Pages: 242
PREM19/96 Nationalized industries (Shipbuilding) (Part 1) Begins: 1979 May 4 Ends: 1979 Nov 29 Date of release: 2009 Dec 30 Classification: Confidential Pages: 121
PREM19/97 Nationalized industries (Steel) (Part 1) Begins: 1979 Jun 1 Ends: 1979 Nov 12 Date of release: 2009 Dec 30 Classification: Confidential Pages: 133
PREM19/98 Nationalized industries (British Rail - cutback in fuel supplies) Begins: 1979 Jun 1 Ends: 1979 Jun 7 Date of release: 2009 Dec 30 Classification: Confidential Pages: 15
PREM19/99 Pakistan (Sale of cargo ships to Pakistan by British Shipbuilders) Begins: 1979 Jul 27 Ends: 1979 Aug 23 Date of release: 2009 Dec 30 Classification: Confidential Pages: 15
PREM19/100 Parliament (Legislative programme) (Part 1) Begins: 1979 May 5 Ends: 1979 Jul 6 Date of release: 2009 Dec 30 Classification: Confidential Pages: 127
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