Soviet Intelligence Agents and suspected agents

In this release

Guy Burgess

aliases Roger Styles, Jim Andreyevich Eliot

Catalogue reference: KV 2/4102
Date range: 4 June 1951–12 June 1951
This file has been digitised.

Among documents written by Philby in this file is what he calls ‘a summary of my knowledge of Guy Burgess’, written after Burgess’s defection. Philby begins by saying that, as a student at Cambridge, Burgess was ‘a strong personality with a bold and brilliant brain’ and ‘an incredibly wide range of acquaintances’. The part of the report which Philby probably found most difficult to write was his explanation of why he allowed Burgess to stay with him while working at the Washington embassy, at a time when Philby was the MI6 representative in the United States. Philby claimed that he had been ‘faced with a conflict which I had difficulty in resolving. On the one hand, his behaviour around the house was such that I was reluctant for him to prolong his stay; on the other hand, I feared that if he moved into quarters of his own, some major scandal might ensue.’ Philby claimed that Burgess did eventually find other accommodation in Georgetown but was recalled to London before he could move into it.

File contains a statement from Blunt (June 1951) that after B&M missed the 11.20 train from St Malo they had taken a car and were heading to Paris. ‘Anthony confirmed that to best of his knowledge Maclean was homosexual’. Also included is a statement from Garonwy Rees (June 1951) that Burgess was working for the Comintern ‘or rather a secret branch of it’ and had left the communist party under direction from Moscow. He had received letters from Burgess when he was in Washington stating that the US was ‘deliberately provoking a third world war which was now imminent’.

There are further interviews with Jack Hewit, Burgess’s flatmate whom was described as ‘a loathsome creature’. Hewit contended that that Burgess suffered concussion of the brain in a motor car accident a ‘had never been the same since’.  The file also contains a telegram received by Burgess’ mother that purported to show that Burgess was embarking on a Mediterranean cruise, ‘Terribly sorry for my silence. Am now embarking on long Mediterranean holiday. Do forgive. All love. GB’. Also a letter from Philby to ‘C’ explaining B’s behaviour in Washington and stating that there was ‘little doubt the Burgess had available the essential requirements of an espionage agent’.

Catalogue reference: KV 2/4103
Date range: 13 June 1951–21 June 1951
This file has been digitised.

File contains interviews with Peter Pollock (acquaintance), Alan Maclean and Esther Whitfield.

Preface to letter from Guy Burgess to his mother (catalogue reference:  KV2/4113)

Preface to letter from Guy Burgess to his mother (catalogue reference: KV2/4113)

Catalogue reference: KV 2/4113
Date range: 28 February 1956-16 March 1956
This file has been digitised.

Most of the correspondence is of an amicable nature but a letter in this file from the Royal National Lifeboat Institution turning down a subscription from Burgess curtly informed him that ‘We do not accept money from traitors.’

Included in this file is a copy of a letter from Burgess to his mother about his life in the USSR which paints a positive picture (dated 26 October (serial 648A) but it is suggested that this was an incorrect date and it should have been February). There is also a letter to Pollock from Burgess (serial 654) dated 29 February which describes his life and his dog. This letter includes a drawing by Burgess depicting MI5 looking at his letters. A further letter from his mother indicating how much she was looking forward to going to Russia and seeing him.

Catalogue reference: KV 2/4116
Date range: 15 June 1956–17 September 1956
This file has been digitised.

This file contains correspondence between Guy Burgess and his mother, with copies of letters sent from Burgess in Moscow. There is one photograph of his mother (786a). It also contains transcripts of phone conversations involving Burgess’ mother and her husband, Colonel John Retallack Bassett

Catalogue reference: KV 2/4118
Date range: 19 October 1956–28 November 1956
This file has been digitised.

Donald Maclean

aliases Richard Curzon, Mark Frazer, Percy Maclean, S Madzoevsky

Catalogue reference: KV 2/41404164
Date range: 23 June 1949–03 April 1963
This file has been digitised.

The files on Maclean contain details of surveillance of Curzon (Maclean). File KV 2/4140 contains a chronology of events leading to his disappearance. Information was gleaned by the use of wiretaps and from enquiries made about Maclean’s activities while he was a student at Cambridge. This file (KV 2/4140) also contains an interview with Mrs Maclean who was unable to explain the disappearance ‘except to say that when under influence of drink he did the most extraordinary things.’ She had been introduced to Roger Styles [Burgess] on night of disappearance was claimed that she had never met him before.

Catalogue reference: KV 2/4142
Date range: 6 June 1951-12 June 1951

File KV 2/4142, includes an extract of a statement by Kim Philby on his knowledge of Guy Burgess which mentions Donald Maclean (serial 224). There is also a telegram to overseas stations about the Home Office Warrant for Burgess and Maclean, confirming them to be pre-war communist sympathisers and giving their personal particulars (serial 221b). Also contained in this file is a note entitled ‘The Maclean Story’ (serial 200a) and enlarged copies of telegrams from Maclean to his mother and wife, which reads ‘Had to leave unexpectedly. Terribly sorry. Am quite well now. Don’t’ worry darling. I love you. Please do not stop loving me. Donald.’

Tags: espionage, mi5, spies

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