10 Apr 2011


ONE of Australia's leading intelligence experts, Des Ball, says newly released MI5 documents have convinced him to express for the first time publicly, his belief that former Labor leader Herbert Evatt secretly worked for the Soviet Union against Australian interests.
Dr Ball, a Former Labor Party supporter, said he had previously held back from expressing his long-held suspicion that Evatt was a Soviet agent.
"But I have got to the point now where I would be surprised if Evatt was not working for the other side," he said yesterday.
Sorry Dr Ball I do not agree
The MI5 files that were released in London this week did not include any clear evidence that Evatt was a Soviet agent and most historians say there is no firm proof of the theory, which is one of the longest-running controversies in Australian political history.
They do reveal that then prime minister Robert Menzies was so concerned Evatt would win the 1958 election he handed top-secret ASIO documents to US and British spy agencies for fear Evatt would destroy them if he won.
Your assertion that Menzies was frightened of these documents being destroyed has no backing.
That he was terrified of Evatt winning the election is true, the documents were leaked to damage Evatt, and they did, with good affect.

Menzies and the people running the intelligence services were utterly convinced that Evatt was could not be trusted".(He should not be allowed to win the Election was Menzies cry)
The Weekend Australian stated that the newly released MI5 files had revealed an unusual last-minute decision by Menzies just before the 1958 federal election.
Spooked by signs that Evatt might win the November 22 election, Menzies secretly ordered ASIO to hand sets of top-secret documents to Britain and the US for safe-keeping because or so his story goes, of his fear that Evatt would bury or destroy the material if he became prime minister.
Until then the Australian government had refused for four years to give the British and US governments full access to the material, a pile of Russian documents handed over by former KGB man Vladimir Petrov when he defected in 1954.
But two days before the election Menzies suddenly decreed that Britain's spy services MI5 and MI6 should each be given a complete copy of the documents and two more sets should go to the CIA. The originals were held in the PM's office. 
"There is some concern that true copies of these documents are preserved"a warning given by MI5.
Was this a warning to the then Liberal government? 
That these documents could be damaging to it if the Labor party were ever to get hold of them once elected.
It was common knowledge that the Intelligence agencies in Australia were very much pro-conservative in their political views.
Rumour has it that they covertly created a smear campaign against the Labor party whenever they saw the chance.

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