Cloak-and-dagger operations were wholly absent from IRD's work; rather was it a store-house of political, military, historical and psychological reflections of high intellectual quality. Some of the men and women responsible for them came from the top layers of British academic expertise. I cannot recall a single "atrocity story" unfounded in actual atrocities, nor any sign of "propaganda" other than speaking the truth in the face of falsehoods.
With Soviet archive materials becoming increasingly available, it is now clear enough that IRD's activities were, if anything, far too limited, especially in the field of neutralising disinformation, on which the USSR spent so lavishly. It was a mild, gentlemanly, elective and very British institution doing its best to protect Western values and interests vis- -vis a sophisticated and implacable ideological opponent.
G R Urban
Hove, SussexReuse content