'ROLE OF MI5'
The Times – 6 March 1985
For nearly four years this organisation, run by three Conservative candidates at the last election, has been monitoring the activities and political affiliations of the leadership of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. We have not sought help from the security service, nor – judging from the amateurish revelations about CND in the banned Channel Four programme – would MI5 have been in a position to supply it had it wanted to do so.
Our detailed analyses of the 1983 and 1984 CND election results were respectively published in The Times (December 17, 1983) and the Daily Telegraph (December 17, 1984). In an internal CND report dated January 2, 1984, Bruce Kent conceded that we had published "a complete 'political' breakdown of those elected at conference to council". Our accuracy in these matters has been verified by journalists again and again.
It was in January 1983 that I finalised the confidential report on the 1982 CND conference which, together with internal CND literature, provided by far the greatest part of information used by two ministers in exposing the left-wing affiliations of most CND leaders. this applies to the April 23, 1983, speech by Mr Heseltine excerpted in the Channel Four film.
When it was objected that the CND Executive Committee was more important than the council members elected at conferences, I prepared a further report, dated May 2, 1983, which revealed that the executive was also governed by a majority of committed Labourites, socialists or communists. A fortnight later, the Defence Secretary was reported (Daily Telegraph, May 18, 1983) as stating:
"It now emerges that a clear majority of the executive, which is the body which meets monthly to run CND, is also of the left (whether Labour, socialist or communist)."
The hint by the banned programme that it might have been Miss [Cathy] Massiter's [MI5] report to DS 19 [at the Ministry of Defence] which formed the basis of party political attacks on CND, has been turned into categorical assertion by such commentators as your occasional columnist Peter Kellner ('What the Papers Say', March 1, 1985) and the Guardian (report, February 21, 1985).
The truth is that most of the material used came from the researches of our organisation which has been attacked in print often enough by CND and its sympathisers – including Guardian journalists – for supplying it to politicians and the media.
Dr JULIAN LEWIS
The Coalition for Peace Through Security