On 5 May 2011, my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary informed Parliament of his intention to release to the public every paper from a large collection of colonial administration files, subject only to legal exemptions, Hansard, column 24WS. We remain on target to release these files by the end of 2013. The fifth tranche will be released at the National Archives (TNA) on 26 April 2013 in line with the published timetable on the www.Gov.uk website.
I also wish to inform the House that, following an initial release in 2005, we are making available a second tranche of files from the Permanent Under-Secretary’s Department (PUSD) on 23 May 2013. These files cover the years 1939-1951. This transfer of PUSD papers to TNA is part of a twin thematic release alongside a tranche of the Cabinet Secretary’s miscellaneous papers being released by the Cabinet Office. Both sets of papers are intelligence-related and the majority date from the second world war.
This Government are fully committed to transparency and openness. The release of Government records is an important part of our commitment.