File Title Report by Sir David Petrie on the Security Service (MI5)
Reference CAB 301/25
Date 11 February 1941 - 1 March 1941
Government Department Cabinet Office
File Accession Date 23 May 2013


A file containing a report by Sir David Petrie on the state of the Security Service (MI5) at the beginning of 1941, as well as a series of letters and memoranda commenting upon it, including several by Winston Churchill. Petrie was Director General of MI5 from 1941 to 1946. The report describes the organisation of the service, including a description of the activities of each subsection and identifies a number of areas for improvement. These include the command structure of the service, the recruitment and training of employees, the processing of intelligence reports, and the organisation of the service registry and archives. The report recommends the reorganisation of MI5 into several sections grouped by function: policy, administration, and counter-espionage. The report's key argument is that "there has been no central direction worthy of the name".

Document Title Date
i Front Cover Download PDF (118 KB)
1st Report by Sir David Petrie on the Security Service (MI5) Download PDF (8.66 MB)
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