British spies tried to 'get rid of' Krishna Menon

Christopher Andrew, author of ‘The Defence of the Realm, The Authorized History of MI5’ at a news conference to present the book, in London on Monday. APThe attempt to oust the High Commissioner V K Krishna Menon failed because of the support of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, says the book “The Defence of the Realm: The Authorized History of MI5” unveiled on Monday before the world’s press.

The British Joint Intelligence Committee discussed the question of “Communist influence on the Indian high commission,” says the book written by Cambridge University historian Christopher Andrew. But the discussion was considered so sensitive that no record was made of it.

However, Guy Liddel, one of the most distinguished deputy director generals of the MI5 — Britain’s internal spying agency — noted in his diary that he told the committee: “We were doing what we could to get rid of Krishna Menon.”

The book says the attempt failed because Menon enjoyed the support of Nehru. “Though Menon was reported to be threatening to resign after press attacks in India, he was able to count on Nehru’s support and did not do so,” says the book, whose author told journalists on Monday that he was given unprecedented access to nearly 4,00,000 secret MI5 files. “Fears of Menon’s pro-Soviet sympathies were well founded. On at least one occasion during his later political career in India, the (former Soviet spy agency) KGB paid his election expenses.”

The book says Menon was held in “deep distrust” not only by the British spy agencies, but also by T G Sanjevi, head of independent India’s first domestic security service, the Delhi Intelligence Branch. In 1933 the MI5 had obtained a Home Office Warrant on Menon on the grounds that he was an “important worker in the Indian revolutionary movement” with links to the Communist Party of Great Britain. Menon, a Labour Party councillor in London, had founded the India League in 1932 to campaign for Indian independence.

Hitler called Chamberlain names

London, IANS: Keen to ensure British PM, Neville Chamberlain, was fully aware of the threat posed by Adolf Hitler in 1938, Britain’s intelligence agencies told him that the German leader had called him an “arsehole”, says the book, ‘The Defence of the Realm: The Authorized History of the MI5’.

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