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71 While such portraits give the PM his due, they overlook a key fault emanating from his personal style of intelligence management. Churchill’s resistance to the numerous requests to initiate improvements in the coordination of the major intelligence services, while doubtless stemming from his personal inclination to be his own intelligence officer, was nevertheless largely responsible for the limitations of the disjointed SIS-SOE relationship documented above. 72 He steadfastly refused to act on all proposals brought to him for refining the coordination and structuring of the clandestine services.

54 More information came to light later that day. The COS noted that ’[i]t appeared that SIS had had doubts for some time as to the situation in Holland, and had issued warnings to SOE on the subject’. The Minister of Economic Warfare, Lord Selborne, countered that such warnings had been received only recently. He also noted that when heavy Dutch casualties arose in June 1943, parallel SOE and SIS enquiries had both been negative. 55 The JIC report on their enquiry into the fiasco was considered by the COS on 3 January 1944.

There was, curiously, no SIS representation. It became clear by June 1939 that closer integration was required of the service intelligence departments, and that Foreign Office political input would have to be incorporated into the JIC as well. The Sub-Committee from then onwards consisted of the service intelligence chiefs or their deputies, and a Counsellor from the FO who also served in the capacity of unofficial chairman. 9 This essentially amounted to a mandate to produce operational intelligence appreciations for the War Cabinet and COS, and it was a nominal first for British intelligence.

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