Catalogue description Foreign Office: Claims Department: Correspondence and Claims Files

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Details of FO 950
Reference: FO 950
Title: Foreign Office: Claims Department: Correspondence and Claims Files

This series contains files of the Claims Department concerning compensation claims by British nationals against foreign governments arising out of the Second World War and subsequent claims by individuals and the government against foreign states, and by foreign states and their nationals against the United Kingdom.

The series includes a collection of compensation claims files for those British nationals who suffered Nazi persecution and who made a claim under the British Victims of Nazi Persecution compensation agreement for Nazi persecution by British nationals. The files were created by the Foreign Office Claims Department in 1964 to record British enquiries and claims for compensation. The Nazi persecution claim files (prefix HNP) consists of a completed standard form, personal (mainly handwritten) testimonies of Nazi persecution recording events and occurrences, documenting individuals' experiences during the holocaust and internment in concentration camps or prisons, and related correspondence.

The series also includes files about the Foreign Compensation Commission's activities, and administration files relating to the Nazi Persecution claim files.

The Nazi persecution claim (HNP) files from FO 950/830 comprise the following:

  • Files that were created but have empty file covers; these are listed and prepared in the same way as other pieces, except that (empty cover) is added at the end of each description. It is possible that a file for the same individual may be elsewhere in this series.
  • Files that were created but never progressed to a full claim.
  • Files that were created but the claimant was not successful.

The series also contains pre-Second World War material, in particular files concerning enemy debts from the post-First World War period.

Date: 1919-1990
Arrangement: Arrangement

From the beginning of 1950 a revised filing system was adopted by the Foreign Office. This system was based on: i) an initial letter (or letters) indicating the Department concerned; ii) a file number; iii) a further number indicating the particular paper in the file.

A separate series of code numbers for countries was used together with file numbers for papers filed in the Claims, Consular and Information Policy Departments. This modification does not affect the basic filing principle, thus KG 1021/7 stands for paper 7 on file 1 in the Consular Department's Argentina series.

Claims Department index letters: H - Claims; H - General; HG - Geographical;HNP - Claims, Nazi Persecution.

Related material:

Indexes are in FO 409

For policy surrounding the compensation for victims of Nazi persecution, see FO 371/118387

For later records see FCO 64

Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English

Foreign Office, Claims Department, 1946-1958

Foreign Office, Claims Department, 1960-1968

Foreign Office, Consular Department, 1893-1968

Physical description: 5362 file(s)
Access conditions: Open unless otherwise stated
Immediate source of acquisition:

From 1976 Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Selection and destruction information: The Nazi persecution claim files (prefix HNP) were selected under 5.5.1 of OSP 48: some case files may be of value if they relate to persons, notable events/causes célèbres, or other events that gave rise to significant contemporary interest or controversy or attracted considerable national press interest and the records add significantly to what is already known.
Accruals: No further accruals are expected.
Unpublished finding aids:

A list of countries with their code number for this series is available: please speak to staff at the enquiry desk for the precise location.

Administrative / biographical background:

In November 1945 a Claims Section was established within the Consular Department to deal with claims from members of the public in respect of damage resulting from the Second World War. Its responsibilities included both cases of claims made against the British government by foreign governments and those where there was any question of the British government taking up individual grievances with foreign governments, and were similar to those performed by the Foreign Claims Office set up during the First World War.

Much of the work had previously been dealt with by the Political Departments and the Foreign Office legal adviser. In May 1946 the section became a separate Claims Department; its area of responsibility was still restricted to war claims, but it was intended that it would eventually handle all claims matters reaching the Foreign Office. In 1958 it again became a section of the Consular Department, and a separate department once more in 1960.

From 1964, the Foreign Office Claims Department was responsible for reviewing compensation claims in accordance with the Agreement between the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Federal Republic of Germany concerning Compensation for United Kingdom Nationals who were Victims of National-Socialist Measures of Persecution (TS No 42, 1964).

The agreement was announced by the Foreign Secretary on the 9 June 1964, in a statement to the House of Commons. Applications for claims closed on 31 March 1966.

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