Dated twenty-one days before the D-Day launch of Operation OVERLORD, the first memo in a file designated as FO 1093/292, has the subject "Assassination Priorities for OVERLORD," and states, "The Chief of Staff has asked me to look into this, and to advise him about suitable candidates to whom attention might be paid, prior to, on and after 'D' day. On the German side Stulpnagel, Runstedt, and Rommel look likely, but there may be some Vichy collaborators whose removal from the scene would assist."
This file contains dialogue about the possibility of the British Foreign Office and The Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), commonly known as MI6, providing a list of French and Germans who would be priorities for assassination, most likely by the Special Operations Executive (SOE), which conducted operations in occupied Europe, after the launch of Operation OVERLORD.
The British Foreign Office on consideration thought it likely to provoke bloody reprisals, and doubted its effectiveness. Writing to Charles Peake, who was attached to Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF) on 16 May 1944, British diplomat Thomas E. Bromley said: "If we designate individuals to be liquidated and reprisals are taken by the Germans, we incur a measure of responsibility. Moreover, it is likely that for every successful assassination there will be two or three failures, as past records of these attempts show".
The files show that "C" the code name for Chief of the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), at the time Major-General Sir Stewart Menzies, did not like the idea either, saying that the removal of certain Germans would have little effect on the efficient functioning of "so widespread and highly organized a machine". By his own words Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee, Victor Cavendish-Bentinck, was opposed "not out of squeamishness, as there are several people in this world whom I could kill with my own hands with a feeling of pleasure and without that action in any way spoiling my appetite," but because it was "the type of bright idea which in the end produces a good deal of trouble and does little good."
The file contains memos regarding a story that Adolf Hitler was living in disguise in Perpignan, France. Though this was thought to be "quite fantastic", as the appointed British ambassador to France, Duff Cooper put it, "so was the story of Hess". "C" indicated that that reports confirmed Hitler was at his headquarters. Permanent Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Sir Andrew Cadogan minuted on 21 June 1944: "I suppose we should bomb Hitler if we could. I would much rather catch him, but I fear that is very unlikely."