Letter: Moral questions raised by Philby sale

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The Independent Online
Sir: Nicholas Bethell's article on Kim Philby prompts me to suggest that our security services operate double standards.

While, to Lord Bethell's dismay, no steps have been taken to hinder the sale of Philby's effects for the benefit of his family, the Attorney General, Sir Nicholas Lyell, has brought an action against George Blake, another MI6 agent, to sequester the royalties of his autobiography to prevent his 'unjust enrichment' on the grounds that they are the proceeds of his breach of confidentiality as a former secret service agent.

But then Philby, like Sir Anthony Blunt, was part of the well- connected upper-class 'Establishment', while Blake is a parvenu foreigner and therefore easy game.

Yours faithfully,

BENEDICT BIRNBERG

London, SE3

7 September

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