Right wing extremists and groups
Right wing extremists and groups
Quentin Joyce (KV 2/2894-2898) 1936-1951
Edwin Quentin Joyce, younger brother of William Joyce ('Lord Haw-Haw'), was himself a member of the National Socialist Party in Britain and a former official in the British Union of Fascists (BUF). He was, therefore, a natural focus of Security Service attention.
It is revealed in these files that the Service had doubts about the degree of threat posed by Quentin Joyce. Perhaps the most interesting element of the record is the internal debates about whether or not he should be interned, barred from being called up and, finally, prevented from returning to his former employment at the Air Ministry.
KV 2/2894 (1936-1939) begins with questions about the suitability of Joyce holding a job in the Directorate of Signals in the Air Ministry. A watch on his correspondence showed he was in touch with suspected German intelligence officer Christian Bauer, who used what seemed suspiciously like coded phrases in his letters to Joyce. The file contains copies of Bauer's letters (Joyce's replies evaded interception by the Post Office).
Joyce remained in his job until the outbreak of war, when he was quickly interned and his premises searched. A copy of Joyce's letter protesting his internment is at serial 29a and accounts of his interrogations are at serials 38a and 42a. Even at this early date, the file records how some officers did not think Joyce's internment was justified (for example serial 42a). This file includes statements written in Joyce's hand from Wandsworth Prison supplementing the responses given in these interrogations at serial 43a.
The debate about Joyce's internment continues in KV 2/2895 (1939-1943), until he was eventually released in September 1943. Once Joyce was released the question of his admission to the armed services immediately arose, and there is lengthy internal Service minuting on this subject here and on the following file KV 2/2896 (1943-1945). The Home Secretary's personal interest in the case is noted in minute 275.
The Service eventually determined that Joyce should not be admitted to the armed services - largely on the basis that, having been admitted it was highly likely that he would soon apply to be promoted as an officer, which would pose a greater security threat. This had already happened in the case of Quentin's younger brother. This file notes that Joyce took up contacts with former BUF associates upon his release, and further that he dropped temporarily out of public attention on the illness and death of his mother in September 1944.
After the war ended, Joyce attempted to gain re-admission to his former post in the Air Ministry, as recorded on KV 2/2897 (1945-1947), an attempt that the Air Ministry resisted. The evidence shows that Joyce's conversations with his solicitor on this subject were intercepted and recorded by the Security Service. Interest in Joyce's case was by now waning, and by 1951 a decision was taken to cease monitoring his activities (KV 2/2898, 1947-1951). This last file includes photographs of Joyce.
Brian Fitzgerald-Hume (KV 2/2902-2903)
Fitzgerald-Hume gained later notoriety as the self-confessed, but never convicted, killer of his business associate Stanley Setty, whose dismembered body he threw from a light plane over the North Sea.
However, this tale is the final grisly detail in these Security Service files. The Service initially took an interest in Fitzgerald-Hume in 1937 when, as a military trainee, he was reported as a suspected Communist. However, a year later the minutes in the file note that "…it is quite evident…that this boy has definitely broken off his connection with the Y [young] C [communist] L [league]" – and he was in fact now taking up fascist views.
The file (KV 2/2902, 1937-1949) identifies his unstable mental condition as the reason behind this shift. By April 1941, when he was dismissed from the services on medical grounds, the minutes tell us that "this man's mental trouble may make him potentially a very dangerous fellow, and that his hostility towards authority, a feature of his mental trouble, has now lead him towards pro-Nazi views."
The Service expended a great deal of effort worrying about how to control the possible threat he posed. The file documents his ongoing run-ins with the law, while taking a succession of jobs as a fitter at various armaments factories. There are examples of Metropolitan Police interrogations of Fitzgerald-Hume at serial 38a. On one occasion he attempted to fool his way into the RAF under an assumed name in a false uniform – the file contains a picture of Fitzgerald-Hume in this disguise (serial 72a).
After the war, Fitzgerald-Hume worked as an electrician and became an associate of businessman Stanley Setty, whom he murdered in October 1949. Once Setty's torso was found on the Essex coast Fitzgerald-Hume was arrested, but the police were unable to prove anything more than that Fitzgerald-Hume had disposed of the body. After two trials he was found guilty of being an accessory to murder. He later confessed that he had killed Setty, in a piece for the Sunday Pictorial.
The file compiled by the Security Service for 1950-1958 (KV 2/2903) is thin, as Fitzgerald-Hume was no threat to national security while in prison, and it consists principally of press cuttings from 1958 of the Sunday Pictorial. Fitzgerald-Hume's offer, from Wakefield Prison, to co-operate with the authorities and pass them details of Russian agents, was not seriously considered.