Guy Burgess at the BBC | The early career of the Cambridge spy
Document Type | Record of Telephone Conversation
14 February 1956
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.
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.
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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