Catalogue description Dominions Office and Commonwealth Relations Office: Original Correspondence

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Details of DO 35
Reference: DO 35
Title: Dominions Office and Commonwealth Relations Office: Original Correspondence

This series contains general original correspondence of the Dominions Office. The series also includes earlier papers of a number of Commonwealth Relations Office series, including those which would otherwise be found in DO 156, DO 157, DO 158, DO 159, DO 160, DO 163, DO 164, DO 165 , DO 169, DO 170, DO 171, DO 174, DO 175, DO 176 and DO 182.

A small number of miscellaneous files, including some relating to the Hugh Lane Picture Collection, are included in this series.

Date: 1915-1971

From 1930-1936 registration was purely numerical, blocks of numbers being assigned in advance to different countries or subject: e.g. 4000 onwards to Constitutional Affairs, Imperial Conferences etc; 6000 onwards to Foreign Affairs, League of Nations etc.

On 1 January 1937 a modified form of the 1930-1936 registration system was introduced. From that date papers were registered in groups according to their subject matter, each group being indicated by a letter. The prefix letters were allocated as follows:

  • A. Aviation (Civil).
  • C. Constitutional (including Imperial Conference, Coronation, Petitions to His Majesty).
  • D. Defence (including Disarmament, Naval Conferences, Naval, Military and Air Force matters).
  • E. Establishment (including Representatives in the Dominions of His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom).
  • F. Foreign Affairs (including League of Nations, Non-Economic Treaties, Drugs).
  • G. Geographical.
  • H. Honours and Ceremonial (including Naval, Military and Air Force ceremonial matters).
  • K. Consular and Diplomatic.
  • M. Migration.
  • N. Newfoundland.
  • O. Inter-Imperial Trade Questions (including Research Bureaux and Dominion Financial questions).
  • P. Passport and Nationality (including Aliens and Naturalisation cases).
  • Q. Cables, Wireless and Broadcasting.
  • R. Southern Rhodesia.
  • S. Shipping.
  • T. International Trade Questions.
  • W. Polar.
  • X. Irish Free State.
  • Y. Basutoland, Bechuanaland Protectorate and Swaziland.
  • Z. Miscellaneous (including Copyright and Patents, Medical, Education, International Conferences and Exhibitions, Maintenance Orders, Repatriation and Deportation questions).

Groups were subdivided into various subordinate subjects by means of numbers (starting from 1) placed after the appropriate letter.

This procedure was further modified on 1 January 1947 when each subject group was renumbered from 2000. The same prefix letters were retained and the following list indicates the subject matter allocated to each file series:

  • A. Aviation and air passages.
  • B. Naval, Military and Air. (Personnel and Misc).
  • C. Constitutional.
  • D. Defence questions of policy etc.
  • E. Establishment, mails, privileges etc; UK and Dominion Trade Commissioners. Service Dominion Government Appointments in the UK.
  • F. Foreign Affairs - Preparation of Treaties etc, Polar matters.
  • G. Dominion Internal affairs and Dominion Government Appointment with the Empire, other than UK.
  • H. Honours, Medals Ceremonial. Flags Loyal Messages.
  • I. Prisoners of War, Internees etc.
  • J. Dominion legislation; External Application.
  • K. Diplomatic and Consular Appointments (other than Eire).
  • L. Application of Foreign Treaties, Agreements and Conventions to Dominion Governments (other than Trade).
  • M. Migration questions, rehabilitation in Dominions on demobilisation.
  • N. Newfoundland.
  • O. Finance, Currency, Exchange control.
  • P. Passports, Nationality and Aliens.
  • Q. Communications, code and cypher questions.
  • R. Southern Rhodesia
  • S. Shipping and sea passages.
  • T. Commercial relations, commodities etc.
  • U. United Nations Organisation.
  • V. Information, cultural and educational; broadcasting and press.
  • W. Whaling, Social Services, Conferences, Copyright.
  • X. Eire. (Including Eire diplomatic appointments).
  • Y. B. B. and S. (Basutoland, Bechuanaland Protectorate and Swaziland).
  • Z. Miscellaneous.

The Dominions Office files for the years 1943-1946 were transferred to the Public Record Office in two stages. Those files originally classified as 'secret' were listed following those which were not classified.

PLEASE NOTE: The middle part of the series (DO 35/1110 - DO 35/1231) is heavily itemised. For these catalogue entries, the last digit of the item catalogue reference does not refer to any reference on the original document; individual files within the overall piece may be physically identified by using the original (former reference) numbers. The upper case text which appears at the start of the descriptions reflects the groupings and arrangement in the original paper lists from which the online descriptions are derived.

Related material:

For earlier correspondence of the dominion departments of the Colonial Office, see CO 532

See Planning and Research Unit registered files in DO 193

Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English
Physical description: 10921 files and volumes
Access conditions: Open unless otherwise stated
Accruals: No further accruals are expected.

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