Communists and suspected communists, including Russian and communist sympathisers

In this release

Photograph of George Ives, who worked as a chauffeur for various Eastern European embassies, taken in 1929 (catalogue reference: KV 2/4024)

Photograph of George Ives, who worked as a chauffeur for various Eastern European embassies, taken in 1929 (catalogue reference: KV 2/4024)

George Ives

Aliases Ines, Eyan, Smith, Brown

Catalogue reference: KV 2/40244026
Date range: 14 June 1926–23 June 1958

Ives was a well-known communist and a leading member of the Britain-China Friendship Association. In 1936 he attended a training course at the Lenin School in Moscow and in 1938 he joined the International Brigade in Spain. During the same period his Party work included the preparation of subversive material for use with the armed forces.

Security Service interest was based primarily on his work as a chauffeur for the Soviet and Polish Embassies and Hungarian Trade Delegation. By 1957 he was also a driver for the General Post Office and there were concerns he was using his position to act as a courier for Soviet intelligence.

Raphael Jack Spector

Catalogue reference: KV 2/40274029
Date range: 27 November 1931–8 August 1961

Spector was born in London in 1907 to Russian parents. He was a journalist who sought employment with the Soviet Tass news agency in 1935 and later worked for the Jewish Chronicle.

Spector was described as ‘an active and intelligent communist’ (KV 2/4027). He was considered for a position with the Ministry of Information in Moscow and wanted to work as an interpreter with the Control Commission in Germany. However, while observation during his wartime service produced no evidence of subversive behaviour, his left-wing background prevented him from securing either post. He submitted a grievance to the War Office about his treatment and later published a booklet entitled Freedom for the Forces on his experience (KV 2/4027).

After the war he worked for the UN in Geneva and for UNESCO. While at the UN, a source stated Spector sent a ‘restricted’ US report on the effects of radioactive fallout to the Daily Worker but it was never published (KV 2/4029).

Passport photograph of Hyman Berger in 1932 (catalogue reference: KV 2/4034)

Passport photograph of Hyman Berger in 1932 (catalogue reference: KV 2/4034)

Hyman Berger

Aliases Harry Berger, Herman Berger

Catalogue reference: KV 2/40314035
Date range: 8 July 1935–11 September 1964

Known as Harry, Berger was an active communist who was court martialled in 1943. Later he became secretary to John Platts-Mills who was elected Labour Member of Parliament for Finsbury in 1945. A suspected communist, Platts-Mills was chair of the Independent Labour Group, a far left organisation that supported Soviet foreign policy. Platts-Mills was subsequently expelled from the Labour Party, and lost his seat in the 1950 general election. During the Second World War, Berger was involved in the infiltration of the UK armed forces (KV 2/4035).

The Security Services were concerned that Berger, a member of the Lawyers Group of the Communist Party of Great Britain, was using his position following the war to gather intelligence and contacts for Soviet Intelligence. In this connection, he was seen delivering a parcel to the Hungarian Trade Delegation.

Peter Rhodes’ wife Ione pictured in 1941 (catalogue reference: KV 2/4037)

Peter Rhodes’ wife Ione pictured in 1941 (catalogue reference: KV 2/4037)

Peter Christopher Rhodes

Aliases Peter Christopher Beutinger and Johan Kazer; Ione Estelle Sarah Rhodes, alias Boulenger

Catalogue reference: KV 2/40364037
Date range: 31 May 1935–27 August 1962

Peter Rhodes was born in Manila, Philippines in 1911. His family moved to the United States in 1914 where his father Christof Beutinger divorced and re-married.

In July 1916 Beutinger was shot dead in his New Jersey home. Rhodes’s mother, Margaret, who had previously worked for British intelligence, was charged with the crime but eventually acquitted on the grounds of self-defence.

From 1934 to 1936 Rhodes was a Rhodes Scholar at Oriel College, Oxford, where he was also a member of the university’s Communist Student Group. He was a journalist based in Europe between 1936 and 1940. In November 1941 he arrived back in the UK as assistant foreign editor for the Foreign Monitoring Service of the Federal Communications Commission, working at the BBC and having access to an office at the US Embassy (KV 2/4036). Rhodes may have been a contact of Soviet intelligence early in his career.

Montagu Shapiro

Catalogue reference: KV 2/40384039
Date range: 5 April 1937–14 October 1960

Born in South Africa, Shapiro was a member of the Communist Party and secretary of the Soviet front organisation, the British Youth Peace Assembly. During the Second World War he was a leading member of the Holborn Tenants Defence League, later joining the RAF. His plane was shot down over Germany and he spent the rest of the war as a prisoner. Following his release, he became secretary of the Communist Party’s Psychologists Group resigning his post in 1956 over the Lysenko affair.

David Hedley Ennals, Lord Ennals of Norwich

Catalogue reference: KV 2/40414042
Date range: 17 July 1946–9 November 1962

David Ennals was a human rights campaigner and Labour Party politician. Born in Walsall in 1922, he served with distinction during the Second World War, rising to the rank of captain.

After the war, he became secretary of the Council for Education in World Citizenship (1947-52) and then of the United Nations Association (1952-57). He stood unsuccessfully as a Liberal parliamentary candidate before joining the Labour Party. He appeared to abandon his communist sympathies after the Soviet invasion of Hungary in 1956.  As Labour Party’s overseas secretary from 1957, he would frequently accompany Harold Wilson on foreign trips. He entered Parliament in 1964 and rose to the post of Secretary of State for Social Services in 1976.

These files cover concerns raised by French and American diplomats that Ennals was a security risk – partly in conjunction with his brothers Martin and especially John – and requests for information on Ennals from a member of the United Nations Association board prior to his appointment as secretary (KV 2/4041).

Martin Francis Anthony Ennals

Catalogue reference: KV 2/40434045
Date range: 15 July 1946–22 February 1963

Martin Ennals was a human rights activist, and younger brother of David Ennals. He came to notice in 1946 as having pro-Russian and communist sympathies. He joined UNESCO in 1951, moved to Egypt in 1954 and on to Paris in 1956. He was general secretary of the British National Council for Civil Liberties from 1960-66 and a founder member of the Anti-Apartheid League. He was secretary-general of Amnesty International from 1968 until 1980.

These files cover suspicions about Ennals’ possible communist sympathies and his movements in and out of the UK.

Maurice Goldsmith

Catalogue reference: KV 2/40464051
Date range: 7 June 1936–23 March 1960

Goldsmith was a member of the Committee of the London Journalists Group of the Communist Party. He was appointed to UNESCO as a scientific editor and later established the Science Information Service in London.

The Security Service was concerned that Goldsmith was using his position for espionage activities to obtain information about British scientific research. The Service was particularly interested in his relationship with Rudolf Peierls (KV 2/16581663), a German-born British physicist who had a major role in Britain’s nuclear programme.

An undated photograph of Doris Lessing who was a member of the Communist Party of Great Britain until 1956 and was the drama critic for the Daily Worker in 1954 (catalogue reference: KV 2/4058)

An undated photograph of Doris Lessing, who was a member of the Communist Party of Great Britain until 1956 and was the drama critic for the Daily Worker in 1954 (catalogue reference: KV 2/4058)

Doris May Lessing

Aliases Dorothy Lessing, Doris May Wisdom, Doris May Taylor

Catalogue reference: KV 2/40544058 (KV 2/4054 (PDF, 11 MB) has been digitised)
Date range: 23 March 1943–5 April 1964

Lessing first came to the attention of the Security Service in the 1940s because of the left wing views held by her second husband, Gottfried Lessing. At the time Lessing was associated with a number of left wing groups in southern Africa.

The Security Service remained interested in Lessing following her move to London; however much of the concern still came from the colonial African intelligence community, especially the Federal Intelligence and Security Bureau of the Central African Federation. Lessing had joined the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB) by 1953 at the latest and in 1954 was the Daily Worker’s drama critic. Her growing acclaim as a writer brought further scrutiny. She was particularly active in opposing racial discrimination and promoting decolonisation in southern Africa.

In 1956 Lessing split with the CPGB over the Soviet invasion of Hungary and was a signatory on a letter of opposition with other left wing intellectuals including E P Thompson and Christopher Hill (KV 2/39413946). Nevertheless, Lessing retained strong left wing views and continued to be active on African colonial issues. She was in contact with other left wing anti-colonial figures such as Dr Cheddi Jagan.

Arthur Paul Hogarth

Catalogue reference: KV 2/40594064 (KV 2/4063 (PDF, 21 MB) has been digitised)
Date range: 6 October 1939–2 September 1964

Paul Hogarth was a cartoonist and illustrator who worked for Graham Greene and John Betjeman, among others. He joined the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB) in 1936 and fought for the republicans against Franco in the Spanish Civil War. He resigned from the CPGB in 1957, due to unhappiness with the party’s response to Soviet actions in Hungary and with its treatment of writers and artists more generally (KV 2/4063).

The files include copies of his CPGB membership cards (KV 2/4059, 4063), Drawings from Poland, a catalogue of artworks from his visit to the country (KV 2/4062) and coverage of his visit to Southern Rhodesia with Doris Lessing (KV 2/4063).

Tags: communism, communists

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