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The Infamous Triumvirate: Burgess, Maclean and Philby

  • Category(s): Politics Essays
  • Created on : 04 December 2014
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  • Author: Richard Michael Lamb


They fled to Russia in 1951 and 1963 and never returned to desecrate our Lands with their tyrannical treachery – Thank God!

1. Introduction:

These Cambridge educated British renegades who spied for the KGB were guilty of treachery when the death sentence was still on our Statute Book for treason and other crimes. They faced a severe risk, if arraigned and convicted of Capital Offences in the reign of George VI, of being sentenced to death by the Kings Bench Division Judge presiding at their trial. The sentences would not have lead to reprieve by the Home Secretary at this time of grave and heightened Cold War tension in the aftermath of Stalin’s occupation of Central and Eastern Europe. If sentences of death had been properly passed they would have been carried out expeditiously in high security. All three slipped the net and our Security Services never forgave themselves for being hoodwinked.

2. Kim Philby:

His deceit was clever and appallingly brazen. No one could penetrate his labyrinthine thoughts – a man like a silk stocking filled with excrement: A description applied to Talleyrand, the French statesman of the late 18th and early 19th Century. How much damage did he do? Far more than we will ever know. He was totally untrustworthy and should never have been made party to our Country’s top secrets. Philby was a man of straw and even more a traitor than the British Secret Service Agent, George Blake, who was convicted of spying for our Cold War enemy the Soviet Union’s KGB. Blake received a sentence of forty-two years for his treachery at the Old Bailey in the early 1960’s. Not long after he was “sprung” from Brixton Prison in South London and escaped to Soviet Russia. Philby was a nightmare for our Security Services who could not break him down. For unclear reasons he was allowed to continue in his post for far too long when he had become a liability to his Country.

3. Guy Burgess:

A rogue of the first order and his unreliable and errant conduct were legendary. A man who was simply off the Geiger counter always risking the unmasking of his partners in deceit: Philby and Maclean. He must have been of some value to the Soviets but on occasion I have thought even they could not trust him. He somehow kept the right side of his handlers and without doubt caused serious harm to his Country’s interests. There was more than enough evidence to indict him for a Capital crime if he had been arrested before he fled in May 1951 with Maclean. He is regarded as, of these three, the least danger to our National interest – no – he created a hole in our defences as big as Philby did if in different quarters.

4. Donald Maclean:

I reserve Maclean as the last of the three to consider because he came to the Foreign Office and diplomacy from a good family, with a clean sheet, and an honest desire to serve his Country. He was an open and passionate Communist and he would have argued his treachery helped our wartime ally: Stalin, to develop the atom bomb at a time when we were both fighting Nazism. I am afraid Maclean’s plea fails on the rock that as a British high ranking diplomat in the making, you never act against the interests of your Country, and more importantly, you never take the law into your own hands and deceive your own superiors, indeed double-cross them as he well knew. The diplomatic service is the crème de la crème because of this absolute obedience to the Cabinet Secretary – (the Head of the Civil Service) and the Permanent Under Secretary then and now. The Foreign Secretary at the time of Maclean’s betrayal of his Country was the Rt. Hon. Sir Anthony Eden MP, destined for the highest office and a man of tried and tested integrity. Moreover the Crown, represented by George VI, was the Head of the Diplomatic Corps in the Royal Court. Maclean betrayed the British Crown, Churchill, Eden and his colleagues and superiors. He very nearly gave away the Cold War. Greater treachery cannot be imagined. He escaped trial at the Old Bailey for a Capital crime and the gallows by the skin of his teeth, but not public shame. His contemporaries and colleagues particularly were aghast at his terrible capitulation to the Soviet Union – a regime with no respect for liberty, life and honour. Stalin was a ruthless and very determined tyrant who would stop at nothing to reach his evil ends. Murder and lies were his methods to achieve his targets. He had no conscience, nor did Donald Maclean his hand servant ignominious.

5. Conclusion:

These three Englishmen were the worst spies or moles in our long illustrious history without a shadow of doubt. I have singled out each one of this triumvirate. The modus operandi varied, but the aim was the same, to betray their Country’s people. Why do I go back over this ground? To remind my readers of their atrocious deceit and also that we should not let our guard drop. There is no Cold War but the danger is now within namely complacency in our establishment, thereby weakening our Country’s very Soul and its influence for good abroad. My views are well known – think twice before you let our Country be sold down the river to those who do not have justice and mercy at heart. I will always defend England, her people and her Crown. I will never tolerate an Iscariot to besmirch and taint the Holy Name of Christ, nor will I allow evil cohorts to overrun our green and pleasant land – so long as there is life in R.M. Lamb Esq.