To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the availability of archive material relating to George Padmore and Claudia Jones for use by Commonwealth historians; and what steps they have taken to prevent further destruction of any files relating to them held by government departments or other state agencies.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), like other government departments, is responsible for selecting its archive records for permanent preservation in line with the requirements of the Public Records Act. Records selected for permanent preservation are transferred to The National Archives (TNA) where they are available to historians and members of the public, subject to any legal exemptions. TNA holdings can be searched using their online catalogue which is available on their website.
The FCO has identified two paper files relating to George Padmore which we are currently holding. Both of these files were created by the former Colonial Office and were selected for permanent preservation. One of these files has completed the review process under the Public Records Act and is legally retained by the FCO on grounds of sensitivity. The other file will be transferring to The National Archives later this year. We have not identified any files relating to Claudia Jones in the FCO archive.