Documents show Britain bugged King Edward VIII, paid Franco brother

May 24, 2013 at 12:14 AM
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LONDON, May 24 (UPI) -- Newly released documents show British intelligence bugged King Edward VIII before his abdication and paid key Spanish leaders to keep the country neutral.

The documents also include a letter describing a long night Prime Minister Winston Churchill spent eating and drinking with Josef Stalin in 1942 in Moscow, The Guardian reported.

Richard Wilson, who sits in the House of Lords as Baron Wilson of Dinton, said he discovered the documents while he was cabinet secretary and decided to have them reviewed for possible release. He described them as "heaps of paper" gathering dust in a strong room under his office.

The Guardian said Queen Elizabeth's aides are believed to have been consulted about the release of papers involving her uncle, who became duke of Windsor after his abdication.

The papers include a 1936 note from Home Secretary John Simon to the head of the Post Office asking for "interception of telephone communications between Fort Belvedere and Buckingham Palace on the one hand and the continent of Europe on the other." Fort Belvedere was King Edward's private retreat near Windsor Castle, and his future wife, U.S. divorcee Wallis Warfield Simpson, was staying in the south of France at the time.

The documents also show payments of $10 million to Juan March, a Spanish double agent, The Daily Telegraph reported. The money was supposed to be distributed among key people in Spain, including Francisco Franco's brother.

The British had trouble when the U.S. government froze the funds while they were held by a Swiss bank in New York.

A letter from Sir Alec Cadogan, a British Foreign Office official, describes being called to Stalin's quarters at 1 a.m., the Telegraph said. At that point, Churchill and Stalin had already spent 5 hours discussing whether Britain planned to open a second front and would go on for 2 hours more with what Cadogan described as a "fully laden board: food of all kinds crowned by a suckling pig, and unnumberable bottles."

"Everything seemed to be as merry as a marriage-bell," Cadogan said.

Another set of documents show MI6 after the war dealing with one of its agents who had been arrested in Madrid dressed in women's clothing. While he described his cross-dressing outing as a one-off "lark," the documents said his clothes and shoes fit too well for that to be credible.

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