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In the Highest Degree OdiousDetention without Trial in Wartime Britain$
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A. W. Brian Simpson

Print publication date: 1994

Print ISBN-13: 9780198259497

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198259497.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 17 April 2021

The British Fifth Column

The British Fifth Column

(p.146) 8 The British Fifth Column
In the Highest Degree Odious

A. W. Brian Simpson

Oxford University Press

On May 20, a group led by Charles Maxwell-Knight raided the flat of Tyler G. Kent, a code and cipher clerk in the United States Embassy. Herschel V. Johnson, the Counsellor, agreed to the waiving of Kent's diplomatic immunity, being assured that any proceedings would be in camera. Waiver was confirmed by Ambassador Joseph Kennedy and, after the arrest, by the State Department. Since his arrival on October 5, 1939, Kent had been strongly suspected of espionage; the Stockholm police had reported to Military Intelligence Section 5 on Ludwig Mathias, a naturalised Swede of German extraction thought to be a Gestapo agent. This chapter focuses on the trial of Kent and the existence of a Fifth Column, that is, a number of individuals who were, with some element of organisation, clandestinely assisting the enemy, in Britain. So far as the British Union was concerned, the number of their members involved in this Fifth Column was tiny.

Keywords:   Charles Maxwell-Knight, Tyler G. Kent, United States, Britain, Herschel V. Johnson, espionage, Fifth Column, British Union, Ludwig Mathias, Joseph Kennedy

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