Australian Labour Party leader worked for Soviets, claims historian

H.V. Evatt

H.V. Evatt

By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
One of Australia’s leading intelligence historians has said that Herbert V. Evatt, who led the Australian Labour Party in the 1950s, operated as a secret agent for the Soviet Union. Dr Desmond Ball, professor at the Australian National University’s Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, made the claim following last week’s release in London of previously classified documents relating to Australian intelligence. The documents, which came from the archives of MI5, Britain’s domestic intelligence agency, reveal that Australian Prime Minister Robert Menzies was convinced that Evatt was a Soviet agent. His fear appears to have culminated two days before the national election of November 22, 1958, when he privately expressed the fear that Evatt would destroy Australian counterintelligence documents on the Soviet Union if the Labour Party was elected to power. With this in mind, he ordered the Australian Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO) to share top-secret documents on the Soviet Union with London and Washington. Following Menzies’ directive, the ASIO provided Britain’s MI5 and MI6, as well as America’s CIA with two sets each of a number of intelligence reports acquired through KGB defector Vladimir Petrov. Read more of this post

News you may have missed #492 (history edition)

  • Holocaust spy’s memoir gets movie treatment. The extraordinary memoir of Jan Karski, a Polish resistance fighter who gave the first eyewitness report on the Holocaust to the Allies, is to be made into a film by the producer of The King’s Speech. In 1943, Karski escaped from Nazi-occupied Poland and went to London with a hidden microfilm, revealing the persecution of Europe’s Jews by the Third Reich.
  • British spy files shed light on Nazi saboteurs in the US. Declassified British intelligence files describe the activities of Nazi sabotage teams sent to the US in June 1942 to undermine the American war effort. A detailed new account of the German mission, code-named Pastorius, is provided in a report written in 1943 by MI5 intelligence officer Victor Rosthchild.
  • New information on Evdokia Petrova’s defection. New information has emerged on the 1954 defection to Australia of Evdokia Petrova, wife of Vladimir Petrov, who was the most senior Soviet intelligence official to have defected to the West until that time.
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