The programme included a report on the release of documents from the archive of the Foreign Office. The reporter said “Some files have been kept back. But there are files on the Mau Mau uprising in Kenya, and on Malaya, where another uprising against British rule was brutally supressed”. A listener complained that the term “brutally suppressed” was seriously misleading in relation to the Malayan uprising.
The consensus among historians is that, while there were some instances of what could be termed brutality, the British response taken overall was a relatively humane instance of counter-insurgency. Nothing in the recently-released files has caused historians to revise that view.
Editors will discuss stories and the scope of research with reporters as material is being prepared.
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