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 451 - 500 of 3725

Per page:
File name File title Begins Ends Release date Any docs withheld? Classification Pages
PREM19/451 Egypt (Visits to UK by Vice President Mubarak in June 1979, May 1980 and September 1980: calls on the Prime Minister) Begins: 1979 May 29 Ends: 1980 Sep 8 Date of release: 2011 Dec 30 Classification: Confidential Pages: 156
PREM19/452 Energy (Mossmorran ethylene cracker project: possibility of Government assistance) Begins: 1981 May 21 Ends: 1981 Aug 17 Date of release: 2011 Dec 30 Classification: Confidential Pages: 21
PREM19/453 Energy (Future of British National Oil Corporation (BNOC); Petroleum and Continental Shelf Bill; Clyde oil field development) (Part 4) Begins: 1980 Jul 4 Ends: 1981 Dec 22 Date of release: 2011 Dec 30 Classification: Secret Pages: 214
PREM19/454 Energy (Proposal for North Sea gas gathering pipeline) Begins: 1979 Jul 2 Ends: 1981 Sep 14 Date of release: 2011 Dec 30 Classification: Confidential Pages: 243
PREM19/455 European policy (Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)) (Part 7) Begins: 1980 Dec 2 Ends: 1981 Mar 31 Date of release: 2011 Dec 30 Classification: Secret Pages: 161
PREM19/456 European policy (Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)) (Part 8) Begins: 1981 Apr 1 Ends: 1981 Nov 19 Date of release: 2011 Dec 30 Classification: Secret Pages: 248
PREM19/457 European policy (European Community budget) (Part 10) Begins: 1980 Sep 23 Ends: 1981 Feb 27 Date of release: 2011 Dec 30 Classification: Confidential Pages: 191
PREM19/458 European policy (European Community budget) (Part 11) Begins: 1981 Mar 4 Ends: 1981 Sep 24 Date of release: 2011 Dec 30 Classification: Confidential Pages: 114
PREM19/459 European policy (European Community budget) (Part 12) Begins: 1981 Oct 9 Ends: 1981 Dec 1 Date of release: 2011 Dec 30 Classification: Confidential Pages: 188
PREM19/460 European policy (Report by the 'Three Wise Men' on European Community institutions) Begins: 1979 Mar 13 Ends: 1981 Jun 30 Date of release: 2011 Dec 30 Classification: Secret Pages: 184
PREM19/461 European policy (European Council meeting in Maastricht, Netherlands, March 1981) (Part 6) Begins: 1981 Feb 24 Ends: 1981 Apr 2 Date of release: 2011 Dec 30 Classification: Confidential Pages: 85
PREM19/462 European policy (European Council meeting in Luxembourg, June 1981) (Part 7) Begins: 1981 May 21 Ends: 1981 Jul 6 Date of release: 2011 Dec 30 Classification: Confidential Pages: 216
PREM19/463 European policy (European Council meeting in London, November 1981) (Part 8) Begins: 1981 Oct 13 Ends: 1981 Nov 24 Date of release: 2011 Dec 30 Classification: Secret Pages: 250
PREM19/464 European policy (European Council meeting in London, November 1981) (Part 9) Begins: 1981 Nov 25 Ends: 1981 Dec 6 Date of release: 2011 Dec 30 Any docs withheld? 1 Classification: Confidential Pages: 171
PREM19/465 European policy (Prime Minister's address to European Parliament, December 1981) Begins: 1980 Nov 3 Ends: 1981 Dec 16 Date of release: 2011 Dec 30 Classification: Confidential Pages: 134
PREM19/466 Fishing industry (EEC Common Fisheries Policy) (Part 4) Begins: 1980 Sep 4 Ends: 1981 Sep 15 Date of release: 2011 Dec 30 Classification: Secret Pages: 256
PREM19/467 Foreign policy (Prime Minister's visit to Saudi Arabia & the Gulf States, April 1981) (Part 1) Begins: 1981 Feb 8 Ends: 1981 Apr 13 Date of release: 2011 Dec 30 Any docs withheld? 3 Classification: Confidential Pages: 201
PREM19/468 France (Visit to UK by Jacques Chaban-Delmas, President of National Assembly, March 1981: meeting with Prime Minister) Begins: 1981 Mar 2 Ends: 1981 Mar 20 Date of release: 2011 Dec 30 Classification: Confidential Pages: 13
PREM19/469 France (Visit to UK by President Giscard d'Estaing, November 1979: Anglo-French Summit) (Part 1) Begins: 1979 Jul 11 Ends: 1981 Mar 10 Date of release: 2011 Dec 30 Classification: Secret Pages: 190
PREM19/470 France (Visits to UK by President Mitterrand, July and September 1981; Anglo-French Summit) (Part 2) Begins: 1981 Mar 20 Ends: 1981 Sep 11 Date of release: 2011 Dec 30 Classification: Secret Pages: 262
PREM19/471 Germany (Prime Minister's meetings with Chancellor Schmidt in Bonn, November 1980 and November 1981: Anglo-German Summits) (Part 2) Begins: 1980 Jun 4 Ends: 1981 Nov 18 Date of release: 2011 Dec 30 Classification: Top Secret Pages: 338
PREM19/472 Germany (Visit to UK by Chancellor Schmidt, March 1980: Anglo-German Summit) (Part 2) Begins: 1979 Aug 13 Ends: 1981 Apr 17 Date of release: 2012 Feb 22 Classification: Secret Pages: 229
PREM19/473 Ghana (Visit to UK by President Limann, May 1981: meeting with Prime Minister) Begins: 1980 Oct 21 Ends: 1981 Jun 2 Date of release: 2011 Dec 30 Classification: Confidential Pages: 155
PREM19/474 Government buildings (Expenditure on government accommodation) Begins: 1979 Jun 20 Ends: 1981 Apr 2 Date of release: 2011 Dec 30 Classification: Confidential Pages: 18
PREM19/475 Government machinery (Organisation of Treasury and Civil Service Department (CSD)) (Part 3) Begins: 1980 Dec 3 Ends: 1981 Feb 14 Date of release: 2011 Dec 30 Classification: Confidential Pages: 253
PREM19/476 Government machinery (Organisation of Treasury and Civil Service Department (CSD); consideration of a 'Prime Minister's Department') (Part 4) Begins: 1981 May 20 Ends: 1981 Oct 30 Date of release: 2011 Dec 30 Any docs withheld? 1 Classification: Secret Pages: 227
PREM19/477 Government machinery (Promotion of efficiency and elimination of waste: the Rayner Scrutiny Programme) (Part 7) Begins: 1980 Nov 26 Ends: 1981 Feb 2 Date of release: 2011 Dec 30 Classification: Confidential Pages: 260
PREM19/478 Government machinery (Promotion of efficiency and elimination of waste: the Rayner Scrutiny Programme) (Part 8) Begins: 1981 Feb 2 Ends: 1981 May 20 Date of release: 2011 Dec 30 Classification: Confidential Pages: 436
PREM19/479 Government machinery (Promotion of efficiency and elimination of waste: the Rayner Scrutiny Programme) (Part 9) Begins: 1981 May 21 Ends: 1981 Sep 16 Date of release: 2011 Dec 30 Classification: Confidential Pages: 341
PREM19/480 Government machinery (Internal audit & financial control in government) (Part 1) Begins: 1979 May 30 Ends: 1981 Aug 12 Date of release: 2011 Dec 30 Classification: Confidential Pages: 331
PREM19/481 Government machinery (Advisory Council for Applied Research & Development (ACARD): reports on IT, computer-aided design & technological change; future of ACARD) (Part 2) Begins: 1980 Aug 1 Ends: 1981 Dec 14 Date of release: 2011 Dec 30 Classification: Confidential Pages: 226
PREM19/482 Government machinery (Reactivation of Civil Contingencies Unit in Cabinet Office: review of contingency planning; proposed Central Press Unit; use of TAVR during industrial disputes) (Part 1) Begins: 1979 May 29 Ends: 1981 Mar 2 Date of release: 2011 Dec 30 Classification: Confidential Pages: 70
PREM19/483 Home affairs (Oil refineries in Canvey Island and Thurrock area: industrial hazards) Begins: 1979 Apr 11 Ends: 1981 Mar 24 Date of release: 2011 Dec 30 Classification: Confidential Pages: 155
PREM19/484 Home affairs (Civil disorder: riots in Brixton, Bristol, Liverpool, Manchester & London; Prime Minister's meetings with community leaders; anti-riot equipment for the police; Urban Programme; implications for local authority spending) Begins: 1980 Apr 2 Ends: 1981 Oct 29 Date of release: 2011 Dec 30 Classification: Secret Pages: 247
PREM19/485 Home affairs (Powers of entry: review by David Mitchell, Parliamentary Under-Secretary at Department of Industry; enforcement powers of Revenue Departments; European Commission powers of entry) (Part 1) Begins: 1979 Oct 23 Ends: 1981 Sep 25 Date of release: 2011 Dec 30 Classification: Confidential Pages: 244
PREM19/486 Immigration (The Nationality Bill) (Part 1) Begins: 1979 Jul 26 Ends: 1981 Oct 29 Date of release: 2011 Dec 30 Classification: Secret Pages: 150
PREM19/487 India (Prime Minister's visit to India, April 1981) (Part 1) Begins: 1981 Jan 14 Ends: 1981 Apr 19 Date of release: 2011 Dec 30 Any docs withheld? 1 Classification: Secret Pages: 357
PREM19/488 India (UK/Indian relations; Indo/Soviet arms deal) (Part 1) Begins: 1980 May 28 Ends: 1981 Jan 28 Date of release: 2011 Dec 30 Classification: Confidential Pages: 165
PREM19/489 Industrial policy (Information Technology: shortcomings of interdepartmental Whitehall machinery; Central Policy Review Staff (CPRS) and Advisory Council for Applied Research and Development (ACARD) reports) (Part 1) Begins: 1980 Jan 25 Ends: 1981 Mar 30 Date of release: 2011 Dec 30 Classification: Confidential Pages: 132
PREM19/490 Industrial policy (Prime Minister's meetings with Confederation of British Industry (CBI) on economic strategy) (Part 2) Begins: 1980 Nov 7 Ends: 1981 Jul 7 Date of release: 2011 Dec 30 Classification: Confidential Pages: 205
PREM19/491 Industrial policy (Industrial relations law) (Part 7) Begins: 1980 Dec 1 Ends: 1981 Oct 2 Date of release: 2011 Dec 30 Classification: Confidential Pages: 291
PREM19/492 Industrial policy (Future of British Leyland (BL)) (Part 4) Begins: 1980 Jul 2 Ends: 1981 Jan 22 Date of release: 2011 Dec 30 Classification: Secret Pages: 257
PREM19/493 Industrial policy (Future of British Leyland (BL)) (Part 5) Begins: 1981 Jan 22 Ends: 1981 Oct 31 Date of release: 2011 Dec 30 Classification: Secret Pages: 308
PREM19/494 Industrial policy (National Union of Mineworkers (NUM): structure and procedures, and leading personalities; likely tactics in pay negotiations) Begins: 1980 Mar 17 Ends: 1981 Oct 27 Date of release: 2011 Dec 30 Classification: Secret Pages: 40
PREM19/495 Information and publicity (Public attitudes on pay determination; presentation of Government's economic policy) (Part 2) Begins: 1980 Jul 11 Ends: 1981 Nov 17 Date of release: 2011 Dec 30 Classification: Confidential Pages: 77
PREM19/496 Iran (Internal situation; US and UK relations with Iran following hostage taking at American embassy in Tehran; demonstration in Grosvenor Square by Iranian students; sanctions) (Part 8) Begins: 1980 May 28 Ends: 1981 Feb 17 Date of release: 2011 Dec 30 Classification: Top Secret Pages: 302
PREM19/497 Iraq (Visit to UK by Foreign Minister Dr Saadoun Hammadi, March 1981: meeting with Prime Minister) Begins: 1980 Nov 13 Ends: 1981 Mar 18 Date of release: 2011 Dec 30 Classification: Confidential Pages: 35
PREM19/498 Ireland (Situation in Northern Ireland; force levels) (Part 8) Begins: 1980 Aug 12 Ends: 1981 Feb 25 Date of release: 2011 Dec 30 Any docs withheld? 1 Classification: Top Secret - UK Eyes A Pages: 224
PREM19/499 Ireland (Situation in Northern Ireland; force levels) (Part 9) Begins: 1981 Mar 3 Ends: 1981 Aug 23 Date of release: 2011 Dec 30 Classification: Secret Pages: 277
PREM19/500 Ireland (Prime Minister's visits to Northern Ireland) (Part 2) Begins: 1981 Feb 5 Ends: 1981 Jul 21 Date of release: 2011 Dec 30 Classification: Secret Pages: 220
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