Royal Commission on Intelligence and Security

From 1974 to 1977 the Royal Commission on Intelligence and Security, headed by Justice Robert Marsden Hope, investigated the Australian intelligence agencies. Some reports were published at the time, others have been securely stored for 30 years.

Now, the National Archives of Australia is releasing much of the material from the reports and more than 1000 records created or received by the Royal Commission.

At the time of the Royal Commission, most Australians were only aware of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO), set up in 1949. But Justice Hope also investigated the Joint Intelligence Organisation (JIO), the Defence Signals Division (DSD) and the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) whose existence was not officially confirmed until 1977. Today the Australian security and intelligence community very much reflects Hope’s vision.

More information about the release and how to access the records can be found in Royal Commission on Intelligence and Security.

  • read caption below
    The Hon. Justice Robert Hope, 1975
  • read caption below
    George Brownbill, 1975
  • read caption below
    Hope with Rockefeller
  • read caption below
    Approval for Royal Commission
  • read caption below
    Press statement and terms of reference
  • read caption below
    Cover of RCIS Seventh Report
Copyright National Archives of Australia 2014