The West’s Failure To Heed Espionage Reports

Category:  Historical Reprints
Source:  “The West’s Failure To Heed Espionage Reports”, A Section of Pat Walsh’s Seminar Paper delivered to the Australian League of Rights (ALOR).  Published in The New Times (ALOR), based in Melbourne.  October 1968, Vol. 34, No. 10.


The Australian League of Rights (ALOR) seems to have made a booklet (Secret Communist Agents) out of part of the lecture given by Pat Walsh in Australia in 1968, while publishing yet another part in their The New Times newsletter.  Here’s the part from their Newsletter:

The West’s Failure To Heed Espionage Reports

A Section of Mr. Pat Walsh’s Seminar Paper

In the first part of his Paper Mr. Walsh dealt with the histories of secret Communist agents Alger Hiss, Harry Dexter White and Vladimir Petrov.  He continued:

A study of the Hiss, White and Petrov affairs alone made clear to the Free World the definite pattern of Communist espionage.  Yet time and time again vital information given by such top Soviet defectors as Oleg Penkovsky, Igor Gouzenko and General Walter Krivitsky fell on deaf ears.

In the case of General Krivitsky this was disastrous for the West because in the light of Kim Philby’s declarations, we now know for a fact that Soviet spies planted in the British and American governments more than 25 years ago, have delivered to Moscow and Peking the secrets of the atom bomb, nuclear submarines, intercontinental missiles and top NATO secrets.

More alarming still, these same agents helped organize the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and sent to Moscow the names of the agents.  During the Korean War they helped formulate the policies that prevented General Douglas MacArthur from pursuing the Red Chinese Army across the Yalu River.  They were able in 1944 to tell Stalin that Churchill regarded the Soviet Union as the greatest post-war threat.

Let us look briefly at the case of General Krivitsky.

Krivitsky was a former chief of Soviet military intelligence in Western Europe who had defected in 1937.  He was murdered by Soviet agents in 1941.  Bits and pieces of evidence not hitherto available have been fitted together by American, British and Canadian intelligence experts to suggest that Krivitsky was murdered to prevent him from talking about Kim Philbv.

At the time of Krivitsky’s death, Philby was on the point of climaxing an assignment to penetrate British intelligence by official enlistment in MI6, the British secret service — the only British service authorized to collect secret information from foreign countries by illegal means (actually it is roughly the counterpart of the CIA).  Now if Krivitsky had spoken up, eight years of careful preparation would have been lost by Soviet intelligence.  Krivitsky had already blown the whistle on one Soviet agent in the British Foreign Office who was secretly tried and imprisoned.  He identified another, who turned out to be Donald Maclean, but the British just couldn’t believe this information until Maclean fled to the Soviet Union in 1951 with Guy Burgess, another diplomat spy.

For a variety of reasons, including distrust of American and British intelligence security, Krivitsky had held back on identification of other Soviet agents.  Krivitsky is quoted in Human Events  (U.S.A.) of March 9, 1968, as having stated to a friend shortly before being murdered that he was still afraid of Stalin’s vengeance because he hadn’t yet told the most important part of Soviet espionage.

It now appears clear that this “most important” part was Philby’s mission, given him in 1933, the year of his recruitment by the Soviets, to work his way into the British intelligence branch.  As head of the Soviet spy networks in Europe, Krivitsky knew all about this assignment because he directed secret agents in Germany, Austria, Holland, Switzerland and Italy up until 1937 — the very years that Philby was going through his initial Communist training, posing at a “Nazi” all over Western Europe.  Philby had served as a courier for Krivitsky’s network in Hungary after he had been recruited in Vienna.  He married Alice Friedman, an avowed Communist, who now lives in East Berlin with her third husband.  Comrade Alice is a top agent of the Soviet secret police.

How Oleg Penkovsky
Helped The West

There is little doubt that Penkovsky was probably the most successful spy of our times.  As I have pointed out, Penkovsky was not recruited initially by the West but took his own initiative in supplying top military secrets to the West at considerable risk to his own personal safety.  Grenville Wynne, the patriotic British businessman who was goaled in the Soviet Union and later exchanged for other Soviet spies goaled in Great Britain said of Penkovsky:

Oleg Penkovsky was a most extraordinary man.  I have some knowledge of the vast contribution he made to the West with his intelligence information.  But I knew him not only as an intelligence officer, but first as an associate and later as a firm friend.  He was an intense man.  He wanted not merely to give intelligence information, but also to let the people of Britain and the United States know about his motives.

The more I knew him, the more I realized that Oleg Penkovsky was an extraordinary high-minded man.  He did what he did because it was the only way he, as an individual, could strike back at a system that had debased his country.

When Penkovskv was sentenced to death and shot in Moscow in the spring of 1963, few people inside or outside the Soviet Union had realized the scale of his operations as a voluntary agent for the West.  Yet it is clear that in Penkovsky’s case, we have the exact opposite of what had been the motives of spies like Fuchs and Nunn May, because Penkovsky’s motives resulted from a deep conviction, helped by the religious teachings his mother had managed to transmit to him (despite the atheistic atmosphere) that he was serving the cause of human progress and decency.

Surely scientists like Fuchs and Nunn May should have been intelligent enough to realize at the very peak of Stalin’s terror reign that they were not helping humanity by their treasonous acts against the West.  Yet it is the Fuchs and Nunn Mays who have served as models for the never-ending parade of top Communist secret agents who have changed the course of history by their sinister activities within our key Western command posts.  It is indeed a strange state of affairs when we compare the motives of the Soviet defectors to the West with the motives of the dreary Communist secret agents who have betrayed us in the past 40 years or so.  The characteristic difference is in the lack of intellectual arrogance in the Soviet defectors.

The Incredible
Burgess-Maclean Affair

Early in June 1951, both the British and American Governments were shaken by the news that two senior British diplomats with the Foreign Office, Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean, had suddenly left England for an unknown destination.  It was later disclosed that they had gone to Moscow:  to escape threatened arrest, and that they had suddenly left because of an urgent warning by their friend Kim Philby, the mysterious “third man”.

Members of the American administration were deeply disturbed because not only had Burgess and Maclean served in Washington as members of the British Embassy, but Maclean had been the British liaison official to the Anglo-American combined committee on atomic affairs.  Sir Anthony Eden, former British Minister for Foreign Affairs, described Donald Maclean’s post as “perhaps the heaviest and most onerous in the Foreign Office”.  Philby was in Washington at the time of the Burgess-Maclean departure.  Although closely questioned by British Intelligence chief Sir Percy Sillitoe, Philby denied any knowledge of the Burgess-Maclean affair, stating that he was as shocked as everyone else by their sudden flight.

I have often been asked why Burgess and Maclean had been able to operate so long without ever being suspected as top Communist agents.  Many knew that Burgess was a loud mouth, a drunkard, an unconcealed homosexual, viciously anti-American and pro-Communist.  He had been arrested three times for drunken and reckless driving, yet this grubby pervert was able to do incalculable harm to the Free World.  Vladimir Petrov, in his testimony during the Australian Royal Commission Inquiry into Soviet espionage, disclosed that both Burgess and his boy friend Donald Maclean had carried out briefcases full of British Foreign Office documents for microfilming by the Soviet Embassy in London.  Later it was shown that the same state of affairs existed when they were later stationed in Washington in 1950-51.

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