Interview with Mr R Hughes of 'The Sunday Times'
Richard Hughes was in Moscow when Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean presented themselves to a select group of journalists after their exposure as traitors and subsequent escape from the UK. Back in London, Hughes speaks to Leonard Parkin about his meeting with the men and his first impressions of the notorious spies. Richard Hughes refers in his interview to a familiar face from Reuters, who was journalist Sidney Weiland.
The conference with Burgess and Maclean in fact consisted of little more than a prepared statement, with no opportunity for detailed questions. They asserted through their statement that "we neither of us have ever been Communist agents", explaining that their joint trip to the Soviet Union was made with the intention of gaining "better understanding between the Soviet Union and the West".
Experts at the time speculated that the conference was a public relations exercise, linked in some way to the opening of the Soviet Communist Party Congress, the first such congregation since the death of Stalin three years earlier.