Guy Burgess at the BBC | The early career of the Cambridge spy

Record of a telephone conversation between the BBC and the Foreign Office

The BBC and the Foreign Office are called to account for employing Burgess.

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Record of a telephone conversation between the BBC and the Foreign Office.

Page: 1 2 Back | Next

Document Type | Record of Telephone Conversation

14 February 1956

Text version

Writtenin

1956

Synopsis

Three days after official acknowledgement comes of the defection of Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean to communist Russia, questions are being asked in Parliament about how such a treacherous character as Burgess could have secured trusted positions at both the BBC and the Foreign Office. This telephone conversation between the two organisations records attempts being made to apportion and escape blame.

The key phrase, seemingly quoted by the Foreign Office as evidence of the BBC's apparent endorsement of Burgess, can be seen in this document.

Did you know?

Thomas Anthony Keith Elliott went on to have a glittering career in the diplomatic service. In 1973, when he was British Ambassador to Finland, he was instrumental in getting agreement on the agenda and terms of reference for the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, which was set up to find a way to ease tension between the Soviet and Western blocs. This led to the Helsinki Final Act (also known as the Helsinki Accords) and detente between East and West in 1975, opening the way for the eventual end of the Cold War in 1990.

Contributors

JH Arkell
Recipient
Referenced
TAK Elliott
Referenced
JH Rowley
Writer
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Record of a telephone conversation between the BBC and the Foreign Office.

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The BBC and the Foreign Office are called to account for employing Burgess.

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