Lacking intelligence?
British intelligence, ministers and the Soviet Union
in Intelligence, security and the Attlee governments, 1945–51
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Chapter Two looks at Ministerial use of, and attitude towards, intelligence after Labour’s 1945 Election victory, drawing on the papers of the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC). While it has been argued that Attlee, a committed internationalist, was opposed to any hostility towards the Soviet Union, the chapter shows that he was kept fully aware of Soviet interests and intentions despite his commitment to renewed Anglo-Soviet relations. In addition to highlighting the role of intelligence in early Cold War crises, particularly the Berlin Blockade, it also looks at Ministerial doubts about the intelligence community, particularly those of Attlee himself. By 1949, he had grown increasingly critical of the intelligence services and, a year later, ordered a review of the intelligence community by the Cabinet Secretary, Sir Norman Brook, which is explored here for the first time.

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