Documents on Real History
From PRO file WO.208/3466

EXPLANATION: After World War II it was proposed to use the Intelligence gathered by secret means -- codebreaking and secretly recorded conversations -- in the war crimes trials. This raised Intelligence issues. Victor Cavendish-Bentinck, later Lord Portland, was chief of the British Joint Intelligence Committee throughout WWII.


Meeting to be held on Tuesday, June 9th, 1945

Note on JIC/731/45.


Mr Cavendish-Bentinck's suggestion needs careful consideration.

Whether or not a played-back record will be accepted as evidence of "probative value" does not appear to be of first importance at this stage, but I feel that it should be fully realized how almost impossible it is to prove that the voice of any individual is, in fact, the voice alleged to be reproduced on a record.

Even if this could be established, the basic security, from the point of view of the future, of C.S.D.I.C. methods as developed in this war must be considered. A large measure of our success has been achieved by the methods we have employed, and it is the measure of success which has been attained which is of even greater security importance than the methods themselves which have actually been used. From this angle, the greater the effect of playing back these records in open court, the more deeply will the future use of C.S.D.I.C.'s be compromised.

If, however, these records and reports were to be available on a TOP SECRET basis for the purpose of briefing the cross-examiners at these trials, (in order that the accused may be induced to confess or be so shaken that he is discredited), then it would appear that Security would be reserved and the main object of discrediting the accused achieved.

If this course is adopted, I think that the channels through which the records and reports are conveyed should be agreed with the A.G. department (A.G.3 (V.W.)) which is the War Office branch responsible for all matters connected with War Crimes.

I therefore recommend that you ask the meeting to agree:-

(a) to limit the use of C.S.D.I.C. Records an reports on a TOP SECRET basis to briefing interrogation officers and cross-examiners, and

(b) to invite the War Office to decide upon the correct channels for the transmission of the records and reports from the M.I. Directorate to those who would eventually need to make use of them.


4 June 1945.



Cavendish Bentinck said Aug 1943 there were no Intelligence data of gas chambers
Selected reports on interrogations obtained by C.S.D.I.C. methods
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