Arthur Alexandrovitch Adams

  • Catalogue ref: KV 2/3787
  • Date: 9/03/1945 - 17/11/1960
Arthur Alexandrovitch Adams (catalogue reference: KV 2/3788)

Described as one of the most important Soviet espionage agents known to have operated in North America, Adams entered the USA illegally under business cover in 1938 to target military secrets. In the 1940s his task was to penetrate the US atomic bomb project, which he did with success. He returned to the USSR in 1945 before he could be arrested.

KV 2/3787 contains a copy of a December 1945 FBI report on Russian espionage in the United States. Newly released information from Russian archives suggests Adams was one of the Soviet Union's top atomic spies and in 1999 he was awarded Russia's top civilian honour, 'Hero of the Russian Federation', by Vladimir Putin. In later years he befriended Kim Philby during his exile in Moscow.

The files span KV 2/3787 to KV 2/3788.  


Whittaker Chambers/Alger Hiss

  • Catalogue ref: KV 2/3791
  • Date: 20/01/1950 - 3/09/1958
Whittaker Chambers (catalogue reference: KV 2/3793)

Editor of the US Daily Worker, Chambers moved in 1931 from an overt role in the US Communist Party to serve in the communist underground.  During this time, he later confessed, he was operating as a Soviet espionage courier. As a Soviet agent Chambers serviced a network of agents, one of whom was Alger Hiss who had been with President Roosevelt at the Yalta conference in 1945 and was then working in the US State Department.

KV 2/3792 contains an account of an interview in London with the author Rebecca West after it was claimed she had information on Hiss. West was interviewed by the future Director General, Michael Hanley in January 1951 and, among other things, denounced 'The Times' newspaper for harbouring a 'Communist cell' within its organisation. She also believed there was a 'Communist element' at the Daily Mail and called Lord Beaverbrook 'very old and very stupid'. Hanley wrote that 'Miss West seemed to be unduly influenced by personal considerations. She is rather pompous and clearly regards herself as the high priestess of anti-communism'.

The files span KV 2/3791 to KV2/3793. KV 2/3792 has been digitised.