• Christopher Andrew
  • David Dilks


SECRET intelligence has been described by one distinguished diplomat as ‘the missing dimension of most diplomatic history’.1 The same dimension is also absent from most political and much military history. Academic historians have frequently tended either to ignore intelligence altogether, or to treat it as of little importance. The distinguished editor of a major volume of military diaries published in 1972 failed to realise that the references to ‘C’ and ‘C’s information’ referred to the head of the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS); the author of an important political history published in 1979 confused the head of the Special Branch with the head of the Security Service (MI5). A. J. P. Taylor’s brilliant 875-page survey of English History 1914–1945 finds space (quite rightly) for George Robey and Nellie Melba but none for heads of the intelligence community. In this respect at least, Mr Taylor merely follows long-established precedent among modern historians.


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Notes and Reference

  1. 1.
    David Dilks (ed.), The Diaries of Sir Alexander Cadogan O.M. 1938–1945 (London, 1971), p. 21.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    F. H. Hinsley et al., British Intelligence in the Second World War (London, 1979—). The first two chapters of volume I contain a useful retrospect on the pre-war development of the intelligence community. Curiously, despite the publication of Professor Hinsley’s volumes, the government has decided not to release the official histories commissioned by it on wartime counter-espionage and deception. The forthcoming (non-official) collection of essays edited by Ernest R. May, Knowing Ones Enemies: Intelligence Assessment before the Two World Wars (Princeton) promises to add significantly to our knowledge of the role of intelligence on the eve of the world wars.Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    House of Commons Education, Science and Arts Committee (Session 1982–83), Public Records: Minutes of Evidence, pp. 76–7.Google Scholar
  4. 5.
    Chapman Pincher, Their Trade is Treachery (London, 1981). Nigel West, A Matter of Trust: MI5 1945–72 (London, 1982). Both volumes contain ample evidence of extensive ‘inside information’.Google Scholar
  5. 6.
    Nigel West, MI5: British Security Operations 1901–1945 (London, 1981), pp. 41, 49, 58. One of the most interesting studies of British peacetime intelligence which depends on a substantial amount of inside information is Antony Verrier’s history of post-war British foreign policy, Through the Looking Glass (London, 1983). Though Mr Verrier’s references are inevitably far from complete, they are generally sufficient to indicate at what points he depends on unattributable evidence. Nigel West, MI6: British Secret Intelligence Operations 1909–1945 (London, 1983) was published after this volume went to press.Google Scholar
  6. 9.
    Sunday Times, 4 Sept 1983. A rather different but by no means uncontroversial version of Reilly’s life appears in Michael Kettle, Sidney Reilly: The True Story (London, 1983). The TV Times Special produced to accompany the Reilly series contains an ‘exclusive extra episode’ by the scriptwriter Troy Kennedy Martin which describes a dramatic encounter between Reilly and Sir Mansfield Cumming, head of SIS, in 1924. This episode aptly illustrates some of the limitations of Mr Martin’s research. Cumming (whose name Mr Martin consistently misspells) died in 1923.Google Scholar
  7. 10.
    H. Montgomery Hyde, Cynthia, Ballantyne Books edition (New York, 1979): a more valuable work than the publisher’s sensational presentation suggests.Google Scholar
  8. 17.
    Ewan Butler, Mason-Mac (London, 1972), p. 75. Interestingly, it was decided not to attempt Hitler’s assassination during the war.Google Scholar
  9. 18.
    Christopher Andrew, ‘France and the German Menace’, forthcoming in Ernest May, Knowing Ones Enemies, and ‘The Mobilization of British Intelligence for the Two World Wars’, in N. F. Dreisziger (ed.), Mobilization for Total War (Waterloo, Ontario, 1981).Google Scholar
  10. 19.
    R. C. Elwood, Roman Malinovsky (London, 1977).Google Scholar
  11. 20.
    W. C. Beaver, ‘The Development of the Intelligence Division and Its Role in Aspects of Imperial Policymaking 1854–1901’ (Oxford D. Phil dissertion, 1976).Google Scholar
  12. 21.
    Major-General Lord Edward Gleichen, A Guardsmans Memories (London, 1932), p. 325.Google Scholar
  13. 22.
    Lieutenant-General Sir (later Baron) Robert Baden-Powell, My Adventures as a Spy (London, 1915), pp. 11–12, 159.Google Scholar
  14. 23.
    Andrew, ‘Mobilization of British Intelligence’, p. 93.Google Scholar
  15. 24.
    See below, pp. 35–8.Google Scholar
  16. 25.
    Andrew, ‘Mobilization of British Intelligence’, pp. 94–7.Google Scholar
  17. 26.
    GC&CS was, however, initially suspicious of mathematicians, believing that ‘the right kind of brain to do this work’ was ‘not mathematical but classical’. Christopher Andrew, ‘Governments and Secret Services: A Historical Perspective’, International Journal, xxxiv, no. 2 (1979), 167.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 27.
    Hugh Trevor-Roper, The Philby Affair (London, 1968), p. 47.Google Scholar
  19. 29.
    The most recent study of the National Security Agency and Anglo-American cooperation in communications intelligence is James Bamford, The Puzzle Palace (Boston, Mass., 1982).Google Scholar
  20. 30.
    Christopher Andrew, ‘Whitehall, Washington and the Intelligence Services’, International Affairs (July 1977), 396–7.Google Scholar
  21. 31.
    Lord Vansittart, The Mist Procession (London, 1958), p. 597.Google Scholar
  22. 32.
    Andrew, ‘Whitehall, Washington and the Intelligence Services’, p. 395.Google Scholar
  23. 34.
    Michael Handel, ‘Avoiding Political and Technological Surprise in the 1980s’; David S. Sullivan, ‘Evaluating United States Intelligence Estimates’; R. Pipes, ‘Recruitment, Training and Incentives for Better Analysis, Part 2’, all in R. Godson (ed.), Intelligence Requirements for the 1980s: Analysis and Estimates (Washington, 1980).Google Scholar
  24. 37.
    William Colby, interviewed by Christopher Andrew in Part 5 of ‘The Profession of Intelligence’, first broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on 30 Aug 1981.Google Scholar
  25. 38.
    Sir Harold Wilson. The Governance of Britain (London. 1976). chapter 9.Google Scholar
  26. 39.
    House of Commons, Parliamentary Debates, 28 July 1977, col. 1223.Google Scholar
  27. 40.
    Chapman Pincher, Inside Story (London, 1978) pp. 15–21, 32–40.Google Scholar
  28. 41.
    David Owen, Alan Beith, Roy Hattersley, Robin Cook and Jonathan Aitken, interviewed by Christopher Andrew in ‘File on Four’, BBC Radio 4, 4 and 11 Aug 1982 (Producer Peter Everett).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Christopher Andrew, Robert Cecil, David Dilks, David Kahn, Ian Nish, Eunan O’Halpin, Alasdair Palmer, Harry Howe Ransom, Jürgen Rohwer, Jean Stengers, Wesley K. Wark 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher Andrew
  • David Dilks

There are no affiliations available

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