Guy Burgess at the BBC | The early career of the Cambridge spy
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From: Mr. Guy Burgess 201 B.H.
10th November, 1943
To: 1. A.D.T.
3. C (H)
Copy to:- A.A. (Talks)
A.A. has rejected an expenses claim for a first class ticket to Cambridge to
represent the Corporation at John Hilton's funeral. I would wish to appeal
against this rejection. My reasons for this appeal (which I have told A.A.
I shall be submitting) are:-
(1) A.A's predecessor successfully supported a claim on my part in the
past to travel first class when travelling under wartime conditions doing
work on Corporation duty. A.A. has not been able to find these papers. (I saw
them at the time - it was over a visit to Sir Dennis Bray at Winchester).
(2) As far as I can remember my claim was supported as being reasonable by
the then A.A. on the grounds of war time travel conditions and that it was
an accident of age that put me into a different position from other talks
producers in higher salary grades, whose first class claim would be
allowed. This distinction neither he nor I were willing to accept as valid.
I regret the present A.A. does not find herself justified in extending
equal support and confines herself to saying that without the papers she
can do nothing.
I do not, however wish to base myself only on my recollection of A.A. files
that have been subsequently lost. Since, apart from the reasons quoted above,
which of course exist independent of the papers it should be pointed out:
(3) That on the occasion now under dispute I was representing the
Corporation officially at an official function. (Incidentally, I was
wearing my best clothes, which matter for such an occasion. Incidentally also,
I normally travel first class).
(4) I knew that representatives of the War Office were also travelling to
Cambridge for the Service. Though personally promising it could, I think,
have been not suitable from the Corporation's point of view to have got
involved in the possibility of class distinction between official
representatives and colleagues on such an occasion.
(5) I had taken work to do on the train. I am sorry to bother every
one with this controversy. It was not of my seeking nor need, nor should,
it, I think, have occurred.
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Document Type | Internal Memo
10 November 1943
In this ardent defence of his decision to travel first class, Burgess itemises his justifications, stating that he is normally in the habit of travelling in this way and was wearing his best clothes.
Read the first document in this chain of correspondence.
John Hilton, the man whose funeral sparked the expenses row, was a social scientist and broadcaster who was also a pioneer in addressing and advising on consumer-affairs issues for the poor. From a working-class background himself, he dedicated his life to understanding the plight of the poor and offering practical advice on ways out of poverty.
The relative merits of three Cambridge graduates are assessed by the university.
A Cambridge don provides a reference for Guy Burgess
An astute assessment of Burgess' strengths and weaknesses by his Cambridge University tutor.
Burgess is pursued for a photograph by an exasperated BBC administrator.
Burgess, as a BBC producer, advises Blunt about speaking on the radio
Burgess recounts his conversation with a mistrustful Churchill.
Burgess fails to clear his desk when he leaves the BBC.
Burgess forgets to sign his BBC staff contract and is unhappy with the salary offered.
The case of the locked door.
A concerned Director of Talks reports on his handling of Burgess and the locked door incident.
Burgess gives his version of events in the case of the locked door.
Burgess insists on travelling first class and claims for visiting the House of Commons.
A revealing insight into Burgess' working day from an exasperated administrator.
Alarm is expressed at Burgess' profligate use of BBC funds for entertaining MPs.
'MPs are expensive to entertain.'
Burgess' case for travelling first class is disputed.
Burgess persists with his claim for first-class travel.
His country needs him: Burgess is required for essential war work.
The head of the Talks Department is reluctant to let Burgess go.
Guy Burgess plans to leave the BBC to join the Foreign Office.
The manner and timing of Burgess' departure from the BBC causes concern.
A summary of Burgess' strengths, weaknesses and suitability for re-employment.
The BBC may have uncovered a clue to Burgess' recent movements.
The BBC and the Foreign Office are called to account for employing Burgess.
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