Catalogue description Commonwealth Office: Middle East, Western and United Nations Department and Mediterranean Department: Registered Files (M Series)

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Details of FCO 27
Reference: FCO 27
Title: Commonwealth Office: Middle East, Western and United Nations Department and Mediterranean Department: Registered Files (M Series)

This series contains the records of the Middle East, Western and United Nations Department of the Commonwealth Office and its successor, the Mediterranean Department. The records concern Commonwealth relations with the United Nations until that responsibility passed to the Foreign Office United Nations (Political) and United Nations (Economic) Departments in May 1968, and United Kingdom and Commonwealth relations with Malta and Cyprus (and Greek/Turkish relations). The series also contains some Commonwealth Office files concerning the impact on the Commonwealth of the Arab-Israeli dispute, relations with the Soviet Union, and the situation in Southern Arabia.

Date: 1967-1968

Former file reference order

Related material:

For earlier records and later records relating to the United Nations see:

DO 174

DO 202

DO 220

FCO 58

FCO 61

For files relating to the Communist Bloc see FCO 34

For later records relating to East-West relations see FCO 43

Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Former reference in its original department: M file series
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English

Commonwealth Office, Mediterranean Department, 1968-

Commonwealth Office, Middle East, Western and Mediterranean Department, 1967-1968

Physical description: 380 file(s)
Access conditions: Subject to 30 year closure unless otherwise stated
Immediate source of acquisition:

In 1998 Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Accruals: Series is accruing
Administrative / biographical background:

The Middle East, Western and United Nations Department, which began life in the Commonwealth Relations Office as the United Nations, Western and Middle East Department, was a mixed Department dealing with both general matters of interest to the whole Commonwealth (its earlier responsibilities included disarmament and relations with the international defence organisations) and UK and Commonwealth relations with named states. By January 1967, its responsibilities had been reduced to relations with Malta, Cyprus, the United Nations and Commonwealth interest in East/West relations and the Middle East.

In May 1968, responsibility for relations between the Commonwealth and the United Nations and its various agencies passed to the Foreign Office, and the Department was renamed the Mediterranean Department.

This in turn was abolished upon the creation of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in October 1968, when the department's responsibilities were distributed as follows: residual responsibility for Southern Arabia passed to the Arabian Department; responsibility for Commonwealth interest in the Middle East and the Arab-Israeli dispute passed to the Near Eastern Department; responsibility for East-West relations was divided between the Eastern European and Soviet Department and the East-West Contacts Department; and responsibility for relations with Malta and Cyprus went to the Southern European Department.

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