Defence Secretariat 19

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Defence Secretariat 19 (DS19) was a special unit set up within the Ministry of Defence by Michael Heseltine in March 1983. Its purpose was to combat the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.[1]

Shortly after talks between Heseltine and the head of MI5, a senior DS19 official approached the superiors of F Branch officer Cathy Massiter. Massiter was told via F Branch director David Ranson, that the Deputy-Director General Cecil Shipp would look favourably on a application for a telephone check against a CND target who could be classified as a subversive. The result was an operation against CND vice-president John Cox.[2]

Former staff

In July 1986, Roger Freeman, gave the House of Commons, the following information about former staff in DS19:

The former head of DS19, Mr. J. K. Ledlie, is now the chief of public relations in the MOD. Three of the other former members of the division have resigned from the Civil Service. One has taken up a posting overseas with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and another is serving in the Cabinet Office. Of the remaining two, one is serving in the MOD public relations organisation and one in an equipment secretariat division in the Procurement Executive.[3]

Notes

  1. Stephen Dorril, The Silent Conspiracy: Inside the Intelligence Services in the 1990s, Mandarin, 1994, p.25.
  2. Stephen Dorril, The Silent Conspiracy: Inside the Intelligence Services in the 1990s, Mandarin, 1994, p.26.
  3. Defence Secretariat 19, Hansard, HC Deb 25 July 1986 vol 102 cc646-7W.