| Julian Amery |
(politician, spook, deep politician)
|Died||1996-09-03 (Age 77)|
|Alma mater||Oxford University/Balliol College|
|Member of||Le Cercle|
MI6, deep politician who chaired Le Cercle for several years.
- 1 Career
- 2 Opinions
- 3 Deep politics
- 4 Family connections
- 5 Affiliations
- 6 Events Participated in
- 7 References
Special Operations in the Balkans
As an agent of MI6's Section D in Belgrade in 1941, Amery recruited Albanian exiles in Greece and Turkey to fight the Italians. Along with David Smiley and Neil McLean, Amery made up a group known as 'the musketeers' which favoured Albanian nationalist and royalist groups, which were less reliably anti-Nazi than Enver Hoxha's communists.
Amery still believed that an allied intervention could prevent a communist takeover when he entered Albania with McLean and Smiley in April 1944, as part of the Consensus 11 mission. However, their superiors disagreed and they were forced to abandon their local allies.
In 1948, Amery was approached about a possible operation in Albania by Colin Gubbins, who retained a relationship with MI6 in post-war retirement. Amery began lobbying around this idea, claiming that Stalin was using Albania as submarine and rocket base. In a January 1949 article he suggested the Hoxha regime was ripe for overthrow, a claim that was disputed by Albanian exiles.
In a March 1949 article in The Nineteenth Century and After Amery called on the defence authorities to embrace 'Resistance' as a branch of warfare, arguing for a reply "to communist revolutions in China, Malaya and Greece by launching insurrections or sabotage campaigns in the Balkans or Turkestan.
Amery and McLean met at Buck's Club in London some weeks later with Frank Wisner who approved US support for an operation in Albania. Amery and McLean then toured the Mediterranean, linking up with their Albanian exile contacts. Although the subsequent Anglo-American operations in Albania were widely regarded as a complete failure, Amery believed that they "forced the Soviets and Albanians to call off the civil war in Greece."
Congress for Cultural Freedom
In June 1950, Amery attended the Berlin Congress for Cultural Freedom as a member of the British delegation, which was funded by the Foreign Office through the Information Research Department. In October, James Burnham wrote to Amery asking him to conciliate Hugh Trevor-Roper and A.J. Ayer who had been critical of the conference proceedings, and to form "a potential nucleus for the Congress in England."
Amery was also present at the foundation of the Congress's London affiliate, the British Society for Cultural Freedom at the Authors' Club, Whitehall on 11 January 1950. A meeting of the society's executive in July 1951 noted Amery's intention of keeping 'in touch informally' with the Foreign Office. Amery resigned from the society in January, a struggle over CCF patronage between Michael Goodwin and Stephen Spender.
British League for European Freedom
In January 1952, Amery was a delegate of the British League for European Freedom at a Church House conference of Eastern European exile groups organised by the European Movement. Stephen Dorril suggests that the presence of ACUE and NCFE observers indicates the conference was funded by the CIA.
Prior to the overthrow of King Farouk in 1952, Amery passed Anthony Eden a tip-off from a British military instructor that a group of Egyptian officers was ready to seize power, but his assessment was contradicted by MI6 Amery went on to become a member of the 'Suez Group' of Tory MPs formed in 1953 to oppose any change in Britain's relationship with Egypt. As Secretary of the Suez group, Amery was involved in discreet contacts with Egyptian opponents of Nasser, including members of the Muslim Brotherhood. His favoured candidate to replace Nasser was Prince Abdul Monheim.
As Under-Secretary for War in January 1958, visited Muscat to discuss the prospect for a fresh assault on the rebels then fighting the Sultan. After consulting David Smiley he proposed an innovative solution: sending in the SAS under cover of a training mission.
As Colonial Minister in 1958, Amery persuaded George Young and John Bruce-Lockhart that MI6 should join in the fight against EOKA in Cyprus. MI6 intelligence was subsequently credited with a key role in enabling Amery to negotiate the 1959 agreement which allowed for a continued British military presence in an independent Cyprus.
Following the Nasserite coup in Yemen in September 1962, Amery met with King Hussein of Jordan and agreed to send fellow Le Cercle member Neil McLean to report on the situation. on 7 January 1963, Amery took part in the Cabinet Overseas and Defence Committee which considered McLean's findings and rejected any move to recognise the new regime, a position which put Britain at odds with the United States.
Harold Macmillan gave Amery the remit to organise covert support for the royalists. In late March 1963, he met at White's with Neil McLean, David Stirling, Col. Brian Franks and Alec Douglas-Home to organise an unofficial mercenary operation. He subsequently introduced Stirling, McLean and Col. Jim Johnson to the royalist foreign minister Ahmed al-Shami. In June 1963, Amery introduced McLean to Prince Faisal and Prince Sultan of Saudi Arabia, seeking Saudi support for the proposed operation.
The ideological continuity is brought into sharper focus when you consider Julian Amery’s racist anti-immigrant views and his devotion to the British empire, particularly white-ruled Rhodesia and South Africa. In a 1965 Monday Club pamphlet, Amery offers an insight into his imperial worldview and the profit motive that underscored it:
“The prosperity of our people rests on the oil in the Persian Gulf, the rubber and tin of Malaya, and the gold, copper and precious metals of South And Central Africa. As long as we have access to these; as long as we can realise the investments we have there; as long as we trade with this part of the world, we shall be prosperous. If the communists [or anyone else] were to take them over, we would lose a lot.”
Amery was a good friend David Stirling and a supporter of the establishment's interests worldwide. His 1996 obituary in The Independent noted that "He threw himself with zest into the role of a backbencher, intervening, in that great, rumbling voice of his, on a wide variety of subjects but, increasingly, in support of the rebel Rhodesian government headed by Ian Smith, thus showing he was his Imperialist father's son to the core."
Julian Amery's father was Leo Amery, a noted hawk and Secretary of State for India and Burma during World War II. His father-in-law was Harold Macmillan. His brother, John Amery was a suspected psychopath and Nazi sympathiser who made pro-Hitler broadcasts was interviewed by MI5 and hung for treason in 1945.
- British Economic League for European Co-operation
- United Europe Movement
- Congress for Cultural Freedom
- British Society for Cultural Freedom
Events Participated in
|Le Cercle/1978 (Washington)||December 1978||Washington DC|
|Le Cercle/1982 (Wildbad Kreuth)||11 June 1982 - 13 June 1982|
|Le Cercle/1983 (Bonn)||30 June 1983 - 3 July 1983||Bonn|
|Le Cercle/1984 (Bonn)||5 July 1984 - 7 July 1984||Bonn|
|Le Cercle/1984 (Capetown)||12 January 1984 - 15 January 1984|
|Le Cercle/1985 (Washington)||7 January 1985 - 10 January 1985||Washington DC|
- Julian Amery dies, The Independent, 4 September 1996.
- Stephen Dorril, MI6, Touchstone 2002, p.356.
- Stephen Dorril, MI6, Touchstone 2002, p.357.
- Stephen Dorril, MI6, Touchstone 2002, pp.359-360.
- Stephen Dorril, MI6, Touchstone 2002, p.364.
- Stephen Dorril, MI6, Touchstone 2002, p.365.
- Stephen Dorril, MI6, Touchstone 2002, p.366.
- Stephen Dorril, MI6, Touchstone 2002, p.370.
- Stephen Dorril, MI6, Touchstone 2002, p.371.
- Stephen Dorril, MI6, Touchstone 2002, p.372.
- Stephen Dorril, MI6, Touchstone 2002, p.402.
- Frances Stonor Saunders, Who Paid the Piper, Granta Books, 2000, p.76.
- Hugh Wilford, Calling the Tune? The CIA, the British Left and the Cold War, Frank Cass, 2003, p.195.
- Frances Stonor Saunders, Who Paid the Piper, Granta Books, 2000, p.88.
- Hugh Wilford, Calling the Tune? The CIA, the British Left and the Cold War, Frank Cass, 2003, p.196.
- Hugh Wilford, Calling the Tune? The CIA, the British Left and the Cold War, Frank Cass, 2003, p.198.
- Frances Stonor Saunders, Who Paid the Piper, Granta Books, 2000, p.110.
- Stephen Dorril, MI6, Touchstone 2002, pp.446-447.
- Stephen Dorril, MI6, Touchstone 2002, p.572.
- Stephen Dorril, MI6, Touchstone 2002, p.601.
- Stephen Dorril, MI6, Touchstone 2002, p.603.
- Stephen Dorril, MI6, Touchstone 2002, pp.628-629.
- Stephen Dorril, MI6, Touchstone 2002, p.663.
- Stephen Dorril, MI6, Touchstone 2002, p.554.
- Stephen Dorril, MI6, Touchstone 2002, pp.556-557.
- Stephen Dorril, MI6, Touchstone 2002, p.679.
- Stephen Dorril, MI6, Touchstone 2002, p.683.
- Stephen Dorril, MI6, Touchstone 2002, p.684.
- Stephen Dorril, MI6, Touchstone 2002, p.687.
- Stephen Dorril, MI6, Touchstone 2002, p.685.
- File:1984 01 Cercle South Africa meeting.pdf
- File:1984 07 Cercle Bonn meeting.pdf
- File:1985 02 Cercle Washington DC meeting.pdf