Prime Minister's Office: Operational Correspondence and Papers
This series is made up of papers originally termed 'Operational'. They relate to the conduct of the Second World War and reflect the activities of the Prime Minister as Minister of Defence, such as the setting up of the Combined Operations Organisation. Briefs concerning the Prime Minister's Statistical Section are also included.
Alphabetical by subject.
When this series was closed the files were numbered and the numbers retained. They were also listed, but the list did not aim to cover all the papers within a file but rather to provide an indication of a file's contents by mentioning the more readily distinguishable items, which in many cases were a small proportion of the contents.
These items were numbered in that list, and the purpose of it has been to amplify that work so as to include all the contents, though frequently this could only be completed by the inclusion of a 'Various' item. Apart from 'Various' items this is largely, though not entirely, a list of the more substantial original 'strings' (i.e. papers brought together on one tag) within a file.
'Various' items may include documents referring to the same topic as one of the major 'strings' and even the major 'strings' are by no means completely exclusive. They frequently contain documents with a bearing on the topics of other 'strings'. Where the first list picked out and numbered two items on a single 'string' these two numbers now share the single description of that 'string'.
Since preparation of the records has been carried out in two stages the arrangement of the items within a file is not completely chronological. In only a very few cases has it been necessary to depart from the previous internal numbering.
The original indexes (PREM 3/516-526) were extant when the series were listed in the early 1960s, but have since been lost.
It should be noted that the production units are the items within the files and both file numbers and sub-numbers must be used for requisition.
For records relating to the combined the offices of Prime Minister and Minister of Defence see CAB 120
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