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 151 - 200 of 3725

Per page:
File name File title Begins Ends Release date Any docs withheld? Classification Pages
PREM19/151 Civil Service (Long-term management and manpower policy: efficiency of central government; Civil Service manpower; Sir Derek Rayner’s recommendations for reforms) (Part 5) Begins: 1980 Aug 5 Ends: 1980 Sep 30 Date of release: 2010 Dec 30 Classification: Confidential Pages: 167
PREM19/152 Civil Service (Long-term management and manpower policy: efficiency of central government; Civil Service manpower; Sir Derek Rayner’s recommendations for reforms) (Part 6) Begins: 1980 Oct 1 Ends: 1980 Nov 14 Date of release: 2010 Dec 30 Classification: Secret Pages: 182
PREM19/153 Civil Service (Civil Service manpower: action to reduce size of Civil Service and staff costs) (Part 3) Begins: 1980 Jan 3 Ends: 1980 Mar 5 Date of release: 2010 Dec 30 Classification: Secret Pages: 142
PREM19/154 Civil Service (Civil Service manpower: action to reduce size of Civil Service and staff costs; Civil Service pay; early retirement) (Part 4) Begins: 1980 Mar 5 Ends: 1980 Jul 31 Date of release: 2010 Dec 30 Classification: Secret Pages: 273
PREM19/155 Commonwealth (Heads of Government Meeting in Lusaka, August 1979) (Part 2) Begins: 1979 Aug 1 Ends: 1980 Feb 6 Date of release: 2010 Dec 30 Classification: Secret Pages: 131
PREM19/156 Commonwealth (Five Power Defence Arrangements: joint exercises; proposal from Prime Minister of Australia) (Part 2) Begins: 1979 Sep 11 Ends: 1980 Oct 7 Date of release: 2010 Dec 30 Classification: Secret Pages: 27
PREM19/157 Cyprus (Prime Minister’s meeting with Alecos Michaelides, President of Cyprus House of Representatives, November 1980) Begins: 1980 Mar 12 Ends: 1980 Nov 26 Date of release: 2010 Dec 30 Classification: Confidential Pages: 37
PREM19/158 Defence (Defence equipment trade with USA; possible sale of improved Harriers - the AV-8B) Begins: 1979 Dec 14 Ends: 1980 Jul 31 Date of release: 2010 Dec 30 Classification: Confidential Pages: 42
PREM19/159 Defence (UK Strategic Nuclear Deterrent) (Part 2) Begins: 1979 Dec 4 Ends: 1980 Jun 9 Date of release: 2012 Jun 21 Classification: Top Secret Pages: 199
PREM19/160 Defence (Nuclear release procedures; UK/US understandings on the use of nuclear weapons and bases) (Part 1) Begins: 1979 May 9 Ends: 1980 Mar 25 Date of release: Retained Classification: Unknown
PREM19/161 Defence (Defence budget) (Part 1) Begins: 1979 May 10 Ends: 1980 Jan 17 Date of release: 2010 Dec 30 Classification: Secret Pages: 129
PREM19/162 Defence (Defence budget) (Part 2) Begins: 1980 Jan 17 Ends: 1980 Jan 25 Date of release: 2010 Dec 30 Classification: Secret Pages: 297
PREM19/163 Defence (Defence budget) (Part 3) Begins: 1980 Jan 25 Ends: 1980 Oct 16 Date of release: 2010 Dec 30 Classification: Secret Pages: 248
PREM19/164 Economic policy (Public Spending) (Part 7) Begins: 1980 Jan 25 Ends: 1980 Oct 16 Date of release: 2010 Dec 30 Classification: Secret Pages: 178
PREM19/165 Economic policy (Public Spending) (Part 8) Begins: 1980 Jan 29 Ends: 1980 Feb 29 Date of release: 2010 Dec 30 Classification: Secret Pages: 176
PREM19/166 Economic policy (Public Spending) (Part 9) Begins: 1980 Mar 3 Ends: 1980 Jul 2 Date of release: 2010 Dec 30 Classification: Secret Pages: 184
PREM19/167 Economic policy (Public Spending) (Part 10) Begins: 1980 Jul 2 Ends: 1980 Oct 22 Date of release: 2010 Dec 30 Classification: Secret Pages: 241
PREM19/168 Economic policy (Public Spending) (Part 11) Begins: 1980 Oct 22 Ends: 1980 Nov 7 Date of release: 2010 Dec 30 Classification: Secret Pages: 137
PREM19/169 Economic policy (Public Spending) (Part 12) Begins: 1980 Nov 11 Ends: 1980 Nov 24 Date of release: 2010 Dec 30 Classification: Secret Pages: 220
PREM19/170 Economic policy (Privatization) (Part 3) Begins: 1980 Feb 11 Ends: 1980 Oct 29 Date of release: 2010 Dec 30 Classification: Secret Pages: 182
PREM19/171 Economic policy (Strategy) (Part 4) Begins: 1979 Oct 12 Ends: 1980 Jan 30 Date of release: 2010 Dec 30 Classification: Secret Pages: 220
PREM19/172 Economic policy (Strategy) (Part 5) Begins: 1980 Feb 1 Ends: 1980 Jun 30 Date of release: 2010 Dec 30 Classification: Confidential Pages: 219
PREM19/173 Economic policy (Strategy) (Part 6) Begins: 1980 Jul 1 Ends: 1980 Sep 3 Date of release: 2010 Dec 30 Classification: Secret Pages: 215
PREM19/174 Economic policy (Strategy) (Part 7) Begins: 1980 Sep 19 Ends: 1980 Dec 31 Date of release: 2010 Dec 30 Classification: Secret Pages: 377
PREM19/175 Economic policy (Budget) (Part 2) Begins: 1979 Jun 11 Ends: 1980 Feb 28 Date of release: 2010 Dec 30 Classification: Secret Pages: 225
PREM19/176 Economic policy (Budget) (Part 3) Begins: 1979 Mar 1 Ends: 1980 May 12 Date of release: 2010 Dec 30 Classification: Secret Pages: 198
PREM19/177 Economic policy (Domestic monetary policy) (Part 3) Begins: 1980 Jan 7 Ends: 1980 May 2 Date of release: 2010 Dec 30 Classification: Secret Pages: 214
PREM19/178 Economic policy (Domestic monetary policy) (Part 4) Begins: 1980 May 6 Ends: 1980 Sep 22 Date of release: 2010 Dec 30 Classification: Secret Pages: 161
PREM19/179 Economic policy (Domestic monetary policy) (Part 5) Begins: 1980 Sep 23 Ends: 1980 Oct 28 Date of release: 2010 Dec 30 Classification: Secret Pages: 310
PREM19/180 Economic policy (Domestic monetary policy) (Part 6) Begins: 1980 Oct 31 Ends: 1980 Nov 26 Date of release: 2010 Dec 30 Classification: Secret Pages: 229
PREM19/181 Economic policy (Public sector pay policy; possible industrial disputes; the pay round) (Part 1) Begins: 1979 Jul 19 Ends: 1980 Jun 19 Date of release: 2010 Dec 30 Classification: Secret Pages: 164
PREM19/182 Economic policy (Public sector pay policy; transitional problems; arbitration arrangements; comparability and cash limits) (Part 2) Begins: 1980 Jun 25 Ends: 1980 Oct 29 Date of release: 2010 Dec 30 Classification: Secret Pages: 193
PREM19/183 Economic policy (Prime Minister’s meetings with Gordon Pepper) (Part 1) Begins: 1979 May 16 Ends: 1980 Mar 31 Date of release: 2010 Dec 30 Classification: Secret Pages: 202
PREM19/184 Economic policy (The Brandt Commission: report on international development issues; proposal for a North/South summit meeting) (Part 1) Begins: 1979 Oct 26 Ends: 1980 Nov 18 Date of release: 2010 Dec 30 Classification: Confidential Pages: 217
PREM19/185 Economic policy (Inflation proofed pensions in the public sector; independent enquiry) (Part 1) Begins: 1980 Jan 10 Ends: 1980 Jun 30 Date of release: 2010 Dec 30 Classification: Secret Pages: 229
PREM19/186 Economic policy (Pay comparability and the future of the Standing Commission (Clegg Commission); Government response) (Part 1) Begins: 1979 May 8 Ends: 1979 Sep 19 Date of release: 2010 Dec 30 Classification: Secret Pages: 193
PREM19/187 Economic policy (Pay comparability and the future of the Standing Commission (Clegg Commission); appointment of members) (Part 2) Begins: 1979 Sep 21 Ends: 1980 Jul 1 Date of release: 2010 Dec 30 Classification: Secret Pages: 183
PREM19/188 Economic policy (G7 Summit - Venice) (Part 3) Begins: 1980 Jan 3 Ends: 1980 Jun 20 Date of release: 2010 Dec 30 Classification: Secret Pages: 265
PREM19/189 Economic policy (G7 Summit - Venice) (Part 4) [Part 5 of this file has been destroyed] Begins: 1980 Jun 20 Ends: 1980 Aug 28 Date of release: 2010 Dec 30 Classification: Secret Pages: 189
PREM19/190 Economic policy (Public Service pay negotiating machinery) Begins: 1980 Jan 4 Ends: 1980 Feb 13 Date of release: 2010 Dec 30 Classification: Confidential Pages: 14
PREM19/191 Economic policy (Proposal for a national investment trust to promote wider property ownership: report by Leo Pliatzky, July 1980) Begins: 1980 Jul 17 Ends: 1980 Dec 23 Date of release: 2010 Dec 30 Classification: Confidential Pages: 59
PREM19/192 Economic policy (Demonetisation of old sixpence) Begins: 1980 Jan 25 Ends: 1980 Jan 28 Date of release: 2010 Dec 30 Classification: Unclassified Pages: 6
PREM19/193 Economic policy (Top Salaries Review Body reports on salaries of senior civil servants, senior armed forces officers, judges, nationalised industries board members, Ministers and MPs) (Part 1) Begins: 1979 May 9 Ends: 1980 Jun 30 Date of release: 2010 Dec 30 Classification: Secret Pages: 114
PREM19/194 Economic policy (Small firms: eliminating undue burdens; enterprise proposals; assistance; tax relief) (Part 1) Begins: 1979 Jun 27 Ends: 1980 Jun 20 Date of release: 2010 Dec 30 Classification: Secret Pages: 173
PREM19/195 Economic policy (Possible changes in the taxation of bank profits) Begins: 1979 Nov 14 Ends: 1980 Mar 20 Date of release: 2010 Dec 30 Classification: Secret Pages: 61
PREM19/196 Economic policy (Liability to tax of UK resident beneficiaries of overseas trusts: the Vestey case, November 1979) Begins: 1980 Oct 7 Ends: 1980 Nov 21 Date of release: 2010 Dec 30 Classification: Confidential Pages: 20
PREM19/197 Economic policy (Seminar with academic economists, 13 July 1980) Begins: 1980 May 9 Ends: 1980 Jul 15 Date of release: 2010 Dec 30 Classification: Confidential Pages: 34
PREM19/198 Education (Future of the Inner London Education Authority (ILEA)) (Part 1) Begins: 1979 Jul 4 Ends: 1980 Jun 20 Date of release: 2010 Dec 30 Classification: Confidential Pages: 131
PREM19/199 Education (Future of the Inner London Education Authority (ILEA)) (Part 2) Begins: 1980 Jun 20 Ends: 1980 Nov 28 Date of release: 2010 Dec 30 Classification: Confidential Pages: 36
PREM19/200 Education (Teachers’ pay) (Part 1) Begins: 1979 May 4 Ends: 1980 Jun 17 Date of release: 2010 Dec 30 Classification: Confidential Pages: 154
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