UK foreign office is illegally hiding millions of files on slavery

Historic papers about the slave trade are among the enormous cache of public documents that the Foreign Office has unlawfully hoarded in a secret archive, the Guardian has learned.

Some of the papers appear to date back to 1662 and are thought to contain information about England’s involvement in slavery, while others were created in the 19th century and detail British attempts to suppress the trade.

They are contained in a vast archive of 1.2 million files that the Foreign Office has kept at Hanslope Park, a high-security compound that it shares with MI5 and MI6 in the Buckinghamshire countryside north of London…

The scale of the hidden archive is demonstrated by an inventory that the Foreign Office has published, which appears to show that one of the listed items may itself contain 2.9 million documents.understood to occupy around 15 miles of shelving at Hanslope Park, although this is difficult to verify as the Foreign Office says it will not permit members of the media to enter the compound. [link]

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