British burnt embarrassing documents before independence

Britain’s colonial governments burned massive numbers of documents, reports the Guardian, rather than hand them over to their successor states.

Under what the British called “Operation Legacy”, they destroyed anything that “might embarrass [the] government”. In Northern Rhodesia this specifically included “all papers which are likely to be interpreted, either reasonably or by malice, as indicating racial prejudice or religious bias on the part of Her Majesty’s government

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