Thursday, 3 January 2008

Churchill's Secret Enemy


Major Sir George Joseph Ball (1885-1961) Confidant and Political Advisor to British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain 1937-1940. He was headhunted out of career with the British Security Service MI5 to become Deputy of Publicity with Conservative Central Office in 1927 and then Director of the Conservative Research Department 1930-45. Ball secretly operated agents in the British Labour and Liberal Party headquarters, activities described by a retired MI6 Officer in the London Times as Britain's Watergate. He covertly controlled an anti-jewish journal called Truth used to character assassinate Chamberlain's opponents such as Winston Churchill and Anthony Eden. Ball whilst working at MI5 was responsible for the publication of the forged Zinoviev Letter derived from MI6 intelligence leaked in breach of the Official Secrets Act and published through the activities of ex-MI5 officer Donald im Thurn. The Letter led to the defeat of Britain's First Labour Government at the polls in 1924 and the destruction of the British Liberal Party (as a party of government reducing a national party with 159 MPs to a rump of 40 MPs) with the unseating of Liberal ex-Prime Minister Herbert Asquith. The Letter led to a massive Conservative landslide, Ball was responsible for covert operations against the trade unions in the General Strike in 1926 and was shortly after employed by the Conservative Party. Ball was responsible for the cover-up of the role of the intelligence agencies and conservatives in the Zinoviev Letter publication, preventing the truth about the story reaching the media in 1928, 1931 and 1956. His Private papers reveal that he purchased Im Thurn's letters after the latters death in 1930,and that he had also obtained im Thurn's journal which was also found in his papers. Having persuaded Guy Kindersley from publishing his book on the affair in 1956, the truth emerged in the 1966 Sunday Times investigation which demonstrated the letter was forged. This was upheld in a secret MI5 report by Millicent Bagot in 1970 following a 3 year investigation and kept out of the public domain for 29 years until the Bennett Report of 1999 proved the letter was after all a forgery and named Ball as one of the serving intelligence officers implicating in it's illegal publication. Joseph Ball then went on to mastermind the Maundy Gregory Honours scandal cover-up in 1933, and made arrangments for Gregory be spirited to France after his brief imprisonment to live the high hog in Paris on secret funds. Ball was a key figure in the 1930's appeasement of Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. He sponsored a series of covert backchannels to Nazi and Fascist Leadership figures. Ball arranged for a British Maltese Lawyer named Adrian Dingli who he knew from Grays Inn since 1912 to advice the Italian Embassy in London and become a link to Fascist Italian Ambassador Count Dino Grandi. He sponsored the Conservative MP Henry Drummond-Wolff to visit Herman Goering in Berlin in a succession of visits from 1937 to 1939. With the arrival of the Second World War these links continued with a meeting of pro-peace peers at the Duke of Westminster's London residence to support a negotiated peace with Nazi Germany. Whilst Dingli was despatched to Rome in 1940 on a secret mission to Mussolini. When Dingli attempted to publish details of his mission, his book was seized by MI5 under the OSA. In a chilling letter to leading appeaser Samuel Hoare in the 1950's BAll described how MI5 dealt with him in the usual manner and described how Dingli shot himself after being investigated for alleged financial embezzlement. Ball was an acquaintance of James Bond writer Ian Fleming and whilst at MI5 had been the Boss to the legendary "M" - the MI5 officer Maxwell Knight. Ball maintained a strong working relationship with pro-appeasement Press Baron Lord Kemsley who was an important sponsor of Fleming's career at the Sunday Times. Ball had been a key adviser to Neville Chamberlain in the events running up to "Plan Z" the strategy to arrange for the aging Prime Minister to surprise the world by flying to Germany to meet with Hitler in person. As a political fixer, dirty tricks expert, spin doctor and a master in black propaganda Ball orchestrated the secret campaign against Winston Churchill's attempt to resist appeasement. He coordinated the campaign via Conservative Central Office to see Churchill deselected in his Epping Constituency follow the latters brave and unpopular opposition to Munich. He arranged for a smear campaign in 1939 which effectively blocked Churchill's entry to the cabinet prior to september 1939 which might have sent the clear signal of British intend to resist Nazi aggression. He boasted to Munich rebel Ronald Tree that he had bugged his telephone. In June 1939 Ball met with the anti-semitic Right Club leader Archibald Ramsay at the Carlton club to hear evidence of a supposed Judeo-Masonic Conspiracy against Neville Chamberlain and invited Ramsay to collect further evidence which in 1940 led to White Russian German Spy Anna Wolkoff using American Diplomat Tyler Kent to spy on Churchill's secret communications with US President Franklin Roosevelt. Wolkoff and Ramsay were interned under the DR I8B legislation dealing with British Faccists whilst Tyler Kent was imprisoned by the USA. Ball's anti-semitic editor of Truth, Henry Newnham attended clandestine pro-peace meetings with far right figures such as Ramsay, Admiral Domvile and Oswald Mosley but but escaped internment and prosecution. After the Fall of Chamberlain in May 1940, Ball was appointed at Chamberlain's insistance on the Home Defence Security Executive as Deputy Chairman under appeaser Lord Swinton in opposition to Winston Churchill's wishes. Ball was given overarching supervision of both MI5 and MI6 following the dismissal of MI5 founder Sir Vernon Kell by Churchill. He exerted dominance through his Chairmanship of the Secuity Intelligence Centre and saw the appointment of his friend Sir William Crocker causing alarm in MI5. Churchill was furious when he learned of Ball's appointment and alarmed that Ball be placed in a senior position to the heads of MI5 and MI6. Swinton was ready to cancel the appointment but Churchill was not in a position to refuse and minuted his Personal Intelligence Advisor Desmond Morton "Say I agree" He however ensured that Morton attend every meeting to keep a close eye on Ball, "watching in your interests". In Berlin, the Pro-Nazi Renegade William Joyce, AKA Lord Haw-Haw was receiving clandestine intelligence from the Right Club's Anna Wolkoff that "Truth, this is only free newspaper, circulation bounding, editor fearless,anti-war monger and lie exposer, big man behind paper, no fear ruin". Ball was preparing to resign his position to move into open opposition to Churchill's government, offering to do so in correspondance with Neville Chamberlain when his patron, now Lord President fell ill with Cancer.
1941 saw Ball uniquely positioned to continue his anti-Churchill stance, and his sacked old Boss Vernon Kell holds the curious position of being the first wartime diariest to record Nazi Deputy Rudolf Hess's dramatic arrival in Scotland, on the day it happened, 3 days before the news was made public. Onetime Conservative MP, The Duke of Hamilton a key figure in the events was known to Ball and may have met with Ball and Horace Wilson in Wiltshire on or around May 18th.
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