Irving v. Lipstadt
Holocaust Denial on Trial, Skeleton Argument of the Claimant (long): Electronic Edition, by Adrian DaviesTable of Contents
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The Cavendish-Bentinck Memorandum
139. Cavendish-Bentinck (later Duke of Portland), though dismissively described by Gray J as a "Foreign Office official," was in fact chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee of the War Cabinet, and thus head of British Intelligence. He had automatic access to all Intelligence materials, including the highest grades such as Ultra intercepts and CSDIC interrogations. He stated in writing in August 1943 that the British had no evidence of the existence of gas chambers. The document dated 27 August, 1943, is authentic, signed in his handwriting, and preserved in British files (PRO file FO.371/ 15252). It reads:--
"As regards putting Poles to death in gas chambers, I do not believe that there is any evidence that this has been done. There have been many stories to this effect, and we have played them up in P.W.E. rumours without believing that they had any foundation. At any rate there is far less evidence than exists for the mass murder of Polish officers by the Russians at Katyn. [. . . I think that we weaken our case against the Germans by publicly giving credence to atrocity stories for which we have no evidence. These mass executions in gas chambers remind me of the story of employment of human corpses during the last war for the manufacture of fat [. . ]."