Guy Burgess at the BBC | The early career of the Cambridge spy
Document Type | Internal Memo
11 July 1944
According to his line manager, Director of Talks George Barnes, Burgess is good at foreign affairs, understands subjects quickly and has a wide circle of acquaintances. However, his administrative abilities (as borne out by some of the documents in this collection) leave much to be desired.
'The Week in Westminster', one of the programmes Burgess worked on, began in 1929 as a straightforward talk aimed at women. The right to vote had only been extended to females under the age of 30 in 1928 and it was felt that they would be too busy with household chores to read the newspapers. As producer of the programme, Burgess was an early champion of broadcasting parliamentary proceedings and wrote in a memo 'Speeches are meant to be heard and not read.' The programme is still running today, and now does include audio of actual proceedings.
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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