Friends in high places!

Alan Travis in the Guardian, ‘The establishment’s tendency to cover up its own scandals is on full display in the latest releases from Whitehall’s cupboard of secret “too hot to handle” files. The “top secret and strictly personal” files, known as the cabinet secretary’s miscellaneous papers, date back to 1936 and include material on double agents Kim Philby and John Cairncross, the Profumo affair and corruption concerns over a future Tory home secretary, Reginald Maudling . . . it was decided not to disclose that Cairncross had been a Soviet spy because his brother was chief economic adviser to the government at the time . . . The Philby file, which documents the flight to Moscow of the ‘third man’ in the Cambridge spy ring on 23 January 1963, confirms a similar unwillingness to blame those in high places. Philby had been working as a journalist in Beirut since he was officially cleared in 1955 by the then foreign secretary, Harold Macmillan. It was not until 1 July 1963 that his defection was officially confirmed . . . As far as Maudling was concerned, his ‘too hot to handle’  file shows concerns were raised about his probity 11 years before he resigned as home secretary amid the Poulson corruption scandal.’ click here