Stewart Menzies

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Person.png Stewart Menzies   Powerbase SpartacusRdf-icon.png
(spook)
Stewart Menzies.jpg
Born30 January 1890
London
Died29 May 1968 (Age 78)
London
NationalityBritish
Alma materEton College
ReligionChurch of England
ChildrenFiona
Parents • John Graham Menzies
• Susannah West Wilson
SpouseLady Avice Sackville

[[|x22px|link=Chief of the SIS]] Chief of the SIS

In office
4 November 1939 - 1952
Devised false flag attacks and operated a personal slush fund of over a million pounds.

Employment.png Deputy Chief of the SIS

In office
1929 or before - 3 November 1939
Preceded byMark Allen, Edward Beddington-Behrens, John Cordeaux, Christopher Curwen, Richard Dearlove, James Easton, Colin Figures, Dick Franks, Barrie Gane, Peter Hayman, Nigel Inkster, John Macgregor Bruce Lockhart, Stewart Menzies, Maurice Oldfield, Lionel Payne, Valentine Vivian, Gerry Warner, George Kennedy Young"strong class="error">Error: Invalid time." contains an extrinsic dash or other characters that are invalid for a date interpretation.
"?" contains an extrinsic dash or other characters that are invalid for a date interpretation.

Employment.png Assistant Chief of the Secret Service

In office
? - 1929 or before
Succeeded by"strong class="error">Error: Invalid time." contains an extrinsic dash or other characters that are invalid for a date interpretation.

Sir Stewart Menzies was head of the Secret Intelligence Service from 1939[1] to 1952.[2] As Chief of the SIS he was involved in setting up operation Gladio[3] and he also suggested Operation Embarrass, a campaign of false flag bombings to try to curb Jewish immigration. In 2017 it was revealed that he had a personal slush fund which may have been used to fund these activities.[4]

Background

Stewart Menzies went to Eton College, where he was a contemporary of the later spymaster Desmond Morton.

Career

Menzies had joined intelligence by 1916.[5] By 1929 he was Deputy Chief of the SIS and he was promoted to full colonel soon afterwards.[6]

Closure of SOE

Menzies, a friend of Winston Churchill, was "a master at using his political and social connections to win time and eventual survival for SIS, indeed so successful was he that in 1946 he persuaded the Labour Government to close down SOE and transfer its best staff and most promising operations to SIS."[5]

Operation Gladio

Full article: Operation Gladio

As Chief of the SIS Menzies contacted Paul-Henri Spaak and agreed to set up a Belgian stay behind group.[7]

"Unofficial reserve"

Full article: MI6/Black budget

Stewart Menzies operated a personal slush fund, which he referred to as the "unofficial reserve", and held in the of 'Captain Theo Spencer'. It was reportedly given to him by "well wishers" of the service, and ran to over £1M, (worth perhaps £40M nowadays). When retiring he informed other members of MI6. "He thought it right to have a large sum to meet such contingencies as (a) a very large inducement to some person in an absolutely key position, or (b) the Vote for the Service being drastically cut in some political emergency in a way which would make it impossible to carry on the Service in the way it was necessary."[4]

Operation Embarrass

Full article: Operation Embarrass

In late 1946 the Labour government of Clement Attlee asked MI6 for "proposals for action to deter ships masters and crews from engaging in illegal Jewish immigration and traffic," adding that "action of the nature contemplated is, in fact, a form of intimidation and intimidation is only likely to be effective if some members of the group of people to be intimidated actually suffer unpleasant consequences." Menzies suggested carrying out false flag bomb attacks on their transport ships, and that a spurious terrorist group "The Defenders of Arab Palestine" could take responsibility. Five attacks were undertaken on ships in Italian ports. One was rendered "a total loss", two were damaged and two mines were discovered before they went off.[8][9]

30 January 1890|29 May 1968|


References

  1. Stephen Dorril, MI6: Inside the Covert World of Her Majesty's Secret Intelligence Service, Touchstone, 2002, p.4.
  2. Stephen Dorril, MI6: Inside the Covert World of Her Majesty's Secret Intelligence Service, Touchstone, 2002, p.494.
  3. Operation Gladio (film)
  4. a b http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-42012380
  5. a b The Mechanisms of an Oppressive State
  6. C: The Secret Life of Sir Stewart Graham Menzies, by Anthony Cave Brown, 1987.
  7. Operation Gladio (film)
  8. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2010/09/19/mi6-attacked-jewish-refugee-ships-after-wwii.html
  9. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11378601