Special Intelligence Section Reports

E Herbert Norman.pdf

"E. Herbert Norman," head of the wartime Special Intelligence Section. [1971-271 NPC] PA-134317, LAC.

This briefing book is primarily made up of analytical reports produced by Canada's Special Intelligence Section. Many of these documents are cited in Sam Eberlee's "Scholar, Diplomat, Intelligence Pioneer: Herbert Norman and Canada's Special Intelligence Section, 1942-1945." 

The documents on the left hand side of this page correspond to the Canada Declassified identifiers in the article's footnotes.

The article is available online at https://doi.org/10.1080/02684527.2023.2287801.

Article Abstract:

Using recently declassified documents, this article examines the wartime work of Canada’s Special Intelligence Section under diplomat Herbert Norman. This was the first experiment with all-source strategic intelligence analysis in Canada. The SIS scrutinized intercepted Japanese and French communications, and prepared regular intelligence reports on enemies’ conduct of the war. Its analysis sometimes veered into prescriptions of Allied policy and grand strategy for the benefit of readers like Prime Minister Mackenzie King. During the Second World War, Canada’s SIS demonstrated that intelligence personnel with deep expertise could produce insightful analyses of key global developments for strategists and decision-makers.

Alan Barnes's "First Steps: Intelligence Analysis in Canada During the Second World War" takes a broader look at the wartime development of new Canadian intelligence capabilities. The article is available online at https://scholars.wlu.ca/cmh/vol29/iss1/1/.

The full package of SIS reports released under the Access to Information Act can be downloaded as CDSI00040. CDSI00041 is an unpublished draft chapter on Canadian diplomats' intelligence activities during the Second World War. It was originally intended for inclusion in an official history of the Department of External Affairs. The primary documents on this site were requested and made available by the Canadian Foreign Intelligence History Project. For more information about CFIHP, please visit https://www.csids.ca/canadian-foreign-intelligence-history-project.

Special Intelligence Section Reports