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Title: Dark matter : economic intelligence in Whitehall, 1928-1980
Author: Davies, Peter
ISNI:       0000 0004 2721 7058
Awarding Body: Queen Mary, University of London
Current Institution: Queen Mary, University of London
Date of Award: 2011
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British economic intelligence has a longer pedigree than the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) and is the precursor of inter-departmental intelligence coordination in Whitehall. Notwithstanding its ancestry, importance and the extensive resources committed to it, economic intelligence remains a missing field of intelligence history. This thesis is a history of a core intelligence capability from its emergence as a discrete field in the 1930s to the end of detente. For the postwar period Britain's economic intelligence expertise was located in the Ministry of Defence (MoD). The thesis explains how this anomalous situation arose, flourished and was eventually overthrown. It examines the organisations collating, analysing and assessing economic intelligence, placing special emphasis on the roles of the MoD's Joint Intelligence Bureau and Defence Intelligence Staff - two vital organisations almost entirely missing from intelligence historiography - and which together with economic intelligence constitute the 'Dark Matter' of Whitehall's intelligence machine. While most intelligence histories acknowledge the uniqueness of the intelligence process this study questions the reality of an intelligence 'community', proposing that the identification of intelligence assessment with the JIC has been at the expense of deeper knowledge of how the intelligence machine functions. Instead it emphasises the compartmentalisation and rivalries within and between departments, and their determination to resist central encroachment on their authority. Treating economic intelligence holistically presented special difficulties for Whitehall. The economic Departments resented the MoD as the locus of economic intelligence but were not prepared to undertake the work themselves or accept a central Cabinet Office capability. The result was a net loss of economic intelligence capability in Whitehall at the very moment when it was required to assess emerging global economic issues.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available