British PM feared Russian spies

June 1, 2005 at 3:13 PM
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LONDON, June 1 (UPI) -- British Prime Minister Harold Wilson was convinced Russian spies were watching him even when he took his holidays.

Wilson's paranoia that somebody was spying on him was so acute that he could not even relax on holiday in the Scilly Islands without fretting that he was being watched, the Guardian newspaper reported Wednesday.

Downing Street files released at the National Archives showed that when Wilson returned from his summer holiday in September 1974 he asked his private secretary, Lord Bridges, to find out if any Russian "spy" trawlers had been sent to eavesdrop on his holiday conversations.

Wilson also asked Britain's Ministry of Defence to find out if there had been any activity by Soviet vessels off the islands while he was on holiday there. Wilson wanted to know in particular if any Soviet spy ships disguised as trawlers had been sent to keep watch on him.

The Ministry of Defence confirmed that though a Soviet intelligence vessel had been on patrol in the Channel, on only one occasion - Aug. 27 - had it been anywhere near the Isles of Scilly, when it was 30 miles south-west of St Mary's, the main port.

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