House of Lords written question – answered on 30th April 2012.

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Photo of Lord Avebury Lord Avebury Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will place in the Library of the House a list of the files referring to Sarawak released by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office during the Easter Recess; and whether there are any documents mentioning Sarawak that are still classified.

Photo of Lord Howell of Guildford Lord Howell of Guildford Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (International Energy Policy)

Files from the colonial administration of Sarawak were released at The National Archives (TNA) on 18 April 2012 as part of the first batch of colonial administration files. The list of files from Sarawak is now publicly available on The National Archive (TNA) website ( The range of TNA reference numbers for these files is from FCO 141/12277 to FCO 141/13099. The TNA has also published on its website a guide to the first batch of files (including Sarawak) as well as a file list for Sarawak, which can be downloaded.

There are known to be documents covering Sarawak affairs that did not originate from the Sarawak colonial administration itself. For instance, there are a number of such documents in the North Borneo file series, which has already transferred to TNA. It would be a considerable undertaking to inspect all the colonial administration files for any mention of Sarawak, since this could be carried out only through a detailed inspection of the files themselves-thus incurring disproportionate cost.

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