Collection QUINLAN - QUINLAN, Sir Michael (1930-2009)

Key Information

Reference code



QUINLAN, Sir Michael (1930-2009)


  • 1976-2008 (Creation)

Level of description



33 boxes

Scope and content

Correspondence, articles, texts for speeches, notes and background information relating to defence issues, particularly nuclear deterrence, in an ethical and theological context. Specific topics include:Iran's nuclear programme, 2005-2006; Iraq; background information, 1960s-1970s on intermediate range nuclear missiles; nuclear issues in South Asia, 1998-2008.

Correspondence, 1976-1998, used in Tanya Ogilvie-White (editor) On nuclear deterrence: the correspondence of Sir Michael Quinlan (London, Adelphi Books, 2011), transferred from the International Institute for Strategic Studies. Correspondents are civil servants, politicians, theologians, campaigners and academics, including: General Sir Hugh Beach, Rev Robert Beresford, T F Burns, Sir Frank Cooper, Leonard Cheshire, Lawrence Freedman, David Fisher, John Finnis, Cardinal Basil Hume, Sir Arthur Hockaday, Rev Jack Mahoney, Gerald Mahon, Dan Martin, Lawrence Martin, Richard Perle, Walter Stein and Francis Winters.

System of arrangement

The files are held in three separate series. The original file arrangement has been retained.

General Information

Name of creator


Biographical history

Born in 1930; educated at Wimbledon College and Merton College, Oxford; served in RAF, 1952-1954; Assistant Principal, Air Ministry, 1954; Private Secretary to Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Air, 1956-1958; Principal, Air Ministry, 1958; Private Secretary to Chief of Air Staff, 1962-1965; Assistant Secretary, Ministry of Defence, 1968; Defence Counsellor, UK Delegation to NATO, 1970-1973; Under-Secretary, Cabinet Office, 1974-1977; Deputy Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence, 1977-1981; Deputy Secretary, HM Treasury, 1981-1982; Permanent Secretary, Department of Employment, 1983-1988; Permanent Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence, 1988-1992; Director of the Ditchley Foundation, 1992-1999; Chairman, the Tablet Trust, publisher of the Catholic review The Tablet, 2001-2009.

Custodial history

Presented to the Centre by Quinlan in 1993, and bequeathed by Quinlan, 2009-2010. Additional correspondence was transferred from the IISS, 2011.

Conditions governing access

Open, subject to signature of Reader's undertaking form, and appropriate provision of two forms of identification, to include one photographic ID.

Access may be granted to researchers, and upon signature of a special undertaking, providing such research is for purely statistical purposes and published data is anonymised such as to prevent the identification of individuals.

Conditions governing reproduction

Copies, subject to the condition of the original, may be supplied from open material for research purposes only.

Requests to publish original material should be submitted to the Trustees of the Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives, via the Archives.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Finding aids

This collection level description. Further finding aids may be available in the Reading Room.

Existence and location of originals

Off-campus collection

Please note: We require 7 days notice to retrieve this collection as part, or all of it, is held off-campus. Read more ›

Related materials

The LHCMA also holds the papers of Sir Frank Cooper and the Council on Christian Approaches to Defence and Disarmament.

Related descriptions


Compiled Feb 1997, updated June 2015.

Alternative identifier(s)

People and Organisations

Genre access points

Rules and/or conventions used

Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000.


Accession area