Guy Burgess at the BBC | The early career of the Cambridge spy
Document Type | Internal Memo
20 September 1951
This memo discusses the mysterious return of Guy Burgess' library books and suggests informing the Foreign Office as it may help in the search for the missing diplomat.
Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean absconded on 25 May 1951 and, although there were several sightings in the intervening years, official acknowledgement of their whereabouts didn't come until 11 February 1956. This was an eventful period in international relations, with concern over nuclear arms proliferation, the problem of a divided Germany and the developing Suez crisis. In April 1956, Soviet leaders Nikolai Bulganin and Nikita Khrushchev visited Britain for important strategic talks. The unveiling of the whereabouts of the two defectors and the announcement of their relatively innocuous jobs in publishing went some way to smoothing the path for this visit.
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.
This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.