Open letter to the Foreign Secretary dated 4 March 1998
Your Ref. 114789
The Killing Fields of Nigeria
Thank you for your letter of 20 February 1998. The facts you contest therein were freely admitted by both the Deputy Governor General and the Governor General, making your gloss meaningless, factually incorrect and redundant. I have been grossly maltreated by Whitehall since I first pursued this matter through official channels in Nigeria in 1956, and could well do without further put-downs.
The order from the Governor General in writing instructed me to take all Department (later Ministry) of Labour vehicles and non-European staff from Lagos to campaign in the State Elections for a covert pro-British alliance which eventually we placed in power illegally in Lagos. I refused. (I was a lawmaker at the time, having drafted the highly acclaimed Nigerian Factories Act.) The Independence Elections at national level in 1959, after we foolishly agreed to return to Lagos, were even more flagrantly rigged to ensure a Northern victory. At a meeting with Sir James Robertson at Government House in 1960, Sir James was very pleased with his handiwork and remarked that no one would believe him capable of such a thing.
My senior officer, Major Charles Bunker, carried out orders against his conscience and pressurised multinationals like Shell and BP to supply large sums of money, vehicles and petrol (all free) for pro-British candidates, mainly but not exclusively in the North. Opposition candidates in the North were terrorised by British-backed thugs. Major Bunker deeply regretted his action and, with Victor Beck - a former TUC official - and myself, sought the protection of the Chief Secretary. We were told in no uncertain terms that this covert action was official British Government policy.
Sir Ralph Grey ordered an end to the harassment I endured after our protest, and ordered that a statement be made on my personal file that I had 'been of some service to the State', and this was read out to me. I was to receive the highest references on my work in Nigeria.
In the UK, after my first two-year tour, I took up employment as Personnel Officer at Esso, but was dismissed following a secret communication from Whitehall which was leaked to me. It said that I was never ever to be employed in any responsible capacity in the UK because I was a traitor. The document was rightly condemned as foul and grossly libellous by Justice who employed the most eminent trial lawyer, Sir John Foster, QC, MP, to interrogate me. Sir John found that I was totally truthful, and this was endorsed by a Labour Lord Chancellor in waiting, Gerald Gardiner, who said that I could have massive damages from Government. After Whitehall enquiries he said that an out-of-court settlement was mine for the asking. Later a knighthood was included in the offer. However, we could not accept the sole condition never to reveal this treason. They wanted my word of honour!
The Head of Personnel at the Colonial Office had carried out an enquiry which fully endorsed my account. The Labour Advisor to the Colonial office, on hearing my account, went into shock and died.
My Minister, Julian Amery, was the Prime Minister's son-in-law and yet powerless to help. He told me that he had been advised at the highest level that I had never been a senior civil servant in Lagos, never even set foot in Africa, and that I was a lunatic. When he objected and produced my Contract of Service, they said that they thought he meant someone else. Of course, they knew me but sadly there had been a fire which had destroyed my personal file and every reference Government had to me. In later years I had a very amicable correspondence with Julian about all this and on covert actions in general, in which he was expert. For all that, even Julian had felt that our treason in Nigeria was two million deaths too far!
The criminals to whom we handed over Nigeria could not hold a free election once the British had departed. The Opposition had to be, and was, destroyed. These tyrants could only be deposed by force! Our stooges were shot in a military coup. A British-backed counter coup, including a pogrom against non-Northerners resident in the North, put our boys back in power. The country split, and in the Biafran Civil War the killing fields and a British blockade took, says the UN, two million lives. Harold Wilson said that this was just a tribal war. He complained that the country, Parliament, Labour MPs and even the Cabinet were opposed to his policy. Yet he supplied to our Northern stooges more small arms than the British Army expended throughout the whole of the Second World War.
Barbara says that she was surprised how queasy Jim Callaghan became about the massive death toll, but the killing carried on until Biafra expired in a sea of blood. It is little wonder that Harold died of alcohol-related disease which took away his sanity. This was particularly poignant for us as Marcia was an old friend of ours.
The previous Government, Whitehall, MI6, Sir James Robertson, Lord Grey, the Lord Chancellor, Sir John Foster - all were on hand to ensure that Harold and Jim and Denis knew every detail of what had led up to the killing fields of Biafra. Quite simply, it was British treason to our democracy and Parliament. Harold had the effrontery to write a letter to us like yours, Robin, inventing an enquiry we knew nothing about and at which we had no opportunity to present evidence. You have inherited the responsibility for this evil and now appear to be involved in a cover-up. Appointing yourself as a judge in a case against your Department may be a good wheeze, but it is not to be recommended if you wish to maintain the dignity of your high office.
You are responsible for MI6, Robin, and know nothing of all this?! What are they there for, if not for this? The Security Services were, of course, fully informed, for one of them warned me to flee Lagos immediately as plans were afoot to have me killed. Friends at Permanent Secretary level agreed, obtained an air ticket and saw me off safely back to London.
Quite frankly it is impossible to accept your pleas of deniability when you hold the greatest Office of State after Tony Blair. Your Cabinet Secretary, Sir Robin Butler, had detailed and very serious correspondence with us, as has Tony Blair, Madam Speaker, and others in the Cabinet. We have also fully informed the Leader of the Opposition. (Cabinet Office references A093/927/1152/1281 refer.)
We defied Press 'censorship' and published a full account of British treason in The Wiltshire Times, a Tory County Paper, which ran to five issues, and in Lobster and other magazines. Previous Labour leaders were fully informed of all this. Jim Callaghan has not told you about this? We are now publishing our account world-wide on the Internet, and enclose our current Homepages on this matter for your consideration.
The CIA kept the US State Department fully informed of British treason to its Commonwealth. President Nixon was fascinated that the British could pull this kind of stunt, and became a first-class expert in Nigerian history and politics. He was superbly well informed on Nigeria and British treachery, which puts certain politicians' (pretended?) ignorance to shame. As it happens, we know that Tony Blair and yourself have been fully briefed by the Foreign Office and Jim Callaghan on our treason in Nigeria. The foul treatment of the Smiths for many years has not given your conscience a moment's concern. So much for your ethics, whether old or new.
To learn from History, one must know History. Are the Nigerian people to experience more bloodbaths with British connivance because Whitehall cannot face up to the consequences of its own vile treachery? Are you also in denial, Robin, about the way we deposed Jagan and Mossadeq, and the many other anti-democratic covert colonial and other wars, covert actions, killings and SAS operations, organised by Whitehall over the years? By a strange irony a College friend became our adversary as Head of the Secret Services as Chair of the Joint Intelligence Committee in the Cabinet Office! We have given our word to Admiral Pulvertaft of the Ministry of Defence D-Notice Committee not to reveal names - even to you, Robin! - of Intelligence Officers involved in this tragedy.
Under Old Labour for fifty years there was only criminal and covert bipartisan policies abroad. Under New Labour this has been extended to domestic policies. The Establishment now has two Conservative Parties to serve its ends, one led by Mr Hague and the other by Mr Blair. Is this democracy? A bit rich, as Mr Blair would say.
We are returning your letter for serious reconsideration and redrafting, and look forward to a full hearing (at which we will be represented), and the massive compensation which is our due.
Open Letter (2) to the Foreign Secretary dated 9 May 1998
Rt. Hon Robin Cook, MP, London, SW1A 2AH
Your Ref. 114789
Labour's Killing Fields:
If you can order an independent enquiry into a covert action in a tiny place like Sierra Leone, surely we need one into Labour policies which have turned the African Giant of Nigeria into a political basket case, minus two million of its youngsters, killed by British bullets and British treachery.
We enclose our letter to Lord Sainsbury and attachments for your serious consideration.
The Secret Services, MI5, MI6 and Special Branch, have copies of more than 200 papers we have written on British treachery in Nigeria. If the Foreign office Library would like a set, please let us know.
Yours sincerely,Harold Smith
Bradford-on-Avon, BA15 1UD
Enc. SAINSBURY.001, STATEMENT.257, 259
Open Letter to Lord Sainsbury dated 9 May 1998
Lord Sainsbury of Turville, House of Lords, SW1A 0PWDear David Sainsbury,
Labour desperately needs people with your experience. Mr Kinnock and Mr Cook organised evening classes, which is not quite enough. Hopefully you will be given a Government post worthy of your stature.
In 1960 I was a temporary clerk at the Holloway Labour Exchange and I would push ex-cons the way of your family firm. Your family was much too kind, but our flow of 'fairly decent' ex-cons was never-ending. One of your family, not before time, suggested that I spread my difficult cases around a bit... It was all very good-natured and good-humoured. Some of my ex-cons really had been 'fitted up' by the police, which did not mean they were innocent. I recall feeling let down when one victim of 'police thuggery' said that they had got it in for him because he had done dozens of jobs and was too smart to get caught. The police had actually warned him that their patience was running thin. I also recall wondering whether, if I had applied to your firm for a job as a warehouseman and come clean about my life sentence... Sooner rather than later the secret police would have called.
They caught up with me at Holloway and I was out in the cold. Actually I was fitted up... I had to cover up periods of four and six years to get rough jobs. The years in Oxford were at the University, not the Prison, but it meant the same. My six years abroad were not in jail, but as a senior civil servant drafting laws... The life sentence was pronounced by the Governor General of Nigeria, Sir James Robertson, reluctantly because he wanted me shot. I had been on the run before but had not escaped the long arm of Whitehall and had been returned to Lagos.
I was guilty, of course, I had wilfully disobeyed his orders. The sentence, should I survive the alternative, which he still had in mind, was life-long unemployment and, of course, the mere detail of shame and humiliation of being branded a traitor.
Even if Sainsbury's had allowed me to talk my way into a temporary job - for I had no money - it could not last. If I had tried to tell the truth - well, even Sainsbury's could be frightened off. However, any possible sympathy would have been lost when I finally confessed that I would be spared my life sentence if only I would agree to promotion to the highest level of the Foreign Service with a knighthood and a vast sum of money... Very, very few would resist all that. Sadly, few who admit that they would take the offer would qualify, for they would first have to stand up to being branded a traitor and humiliated and given the Dreyfuss treatment.
All that HM Government asked for was my word of honour not to reveal that Nigeria's Independence Elections had been rigged in favour of the pro-British Northerners, who still rule. I could not do that. I have survived. My marriage has survived. I did not succumb to a ghastly disease that I acquired in very suspicious circumstances. I have not given in to the easy way out - suicide. Carol was able to have a successful career and, through her devotion, kept me alive.
We are not alone. There are many other fugitives from British State terrorism hanging on out there. We were soldiers, diplomats, civil servants, spies, and somewhere, somehow, because of conscience, we became unglued from the corruption of Whitehall and Westminster. William Hague tells me that he is thinking long and hard about the plight of the disgraced traitors like me. We were both at Magdalen but, with no disrespect to William, I doubt he will mount a relief column. The offer of honours and rehabilitation - albeit on the usual terms - seals our fate. We are doomed to a life out in the cold.
Welcome to full-time Labour politics, Lord Sainsbury. I have suggested - in a fit of low spirits - to Roy Jenkins and some fellow SDP elite that they betray our democracy by not speaking out for the Smiths. (Absurd arrogance on our part.) Even worse because my dear friend, Philip Williams, was humiliated to put pressure on me, I had the temerity to suggest that they had revised Forster's dictum by betraying both friend and country. You will recall that Philip was Hugh Gaitskell's biographer. It is, of course, pointless and counter-productive to be judgmental. The political caravan moves on and the cover-up of grotesque state criminality continues unchecked for want of notables who care a fig for British honour.
cc. Madam Speaker
Rt. Hon Tony Blair, MP, The Prime Minister
Rt. Hon Robin Cook, MP, The Foreign Secretary
Rt. Hon Gordon Brown, MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer
Rt. Hon John Major, MP
Rt. Hon Paddy Ashdown, MP, Leader of the Liberal Democrats
Rt. Hon William Hague, MP, Leader of the Opposition
Rt. Hon Lord Callaghan of Cardiff, KG
The Rt. Hon The Baroness Castle of Blackburn
The Rt. Hon Lord Hurd of Westwell, CH, CBE
Ms Diane Abbott, MP
Enc. Essays 257, 259
Mr Blair's Ethical Dimension
Harold Wilson's Government condemned not only those Nigerians who rebelled against Britain's stooges (at a cost of two million lives) to the tender mercies of successive British-backed military dictatorships for another thirty years, but the whole of the Nigerian people, who now in 1998 number approximately one hundred million.
In the arcane negrophobia of the Foreign Office, the lighter-skinned Northerners are almost Arab tribesmen and are therefore worthy of the total British support they have enjoyed since the fake Independence of 1960. For nearly forty years, as a result of British treason, the Nigerian people have endured the loss of two million lives and nearly all political and human rights.
Robin Cook's language is not that of a vulgar racist, but his actions are those of the worst kind, for he covers up the wanton slaughter of two million young people because they were black. Robin Cook would demand justice for the slaughter of one white child, but two million blacks killed do not seem to give him a moment's concern. Clearly, Mr Cook was an ideal candidate for his present post, as his lack of civilised values ensures that he will fit in and be happy at the Foreign Office. With a degree in Literature and experience in organising evening classes, he is unencumbered with any of the wide knowledge of Government or law or foreign affairs that even his newest Oxford PPE graduate will bring to his post. But then Bevin and Callaghan left school at fourteen (as I did). (However, in mentioning Ernest and James we are in the company of truly great and exceptional Englishmen and statesmen.)
We have established Robin's disregard for truth and a built-in racism, but these are not automatic disqualifications for his job. In his personal life he would assuredly be kind to black people and behave as a good citizen. (His personal sexual ethics - or lack of same - are none of our business.) Mr Cook is a man's man, at home on the racetrack, on horseback, and in the pub bar, using coarse language. The sort of man who would defend his overthrowing of our constitution and rule of law, and not be afraid to take on an elderly pensioner who has been shabbily treated by Government for defending that very same democracy which has given Robin paid employment since his student days.
Coming from an abusive, alcoholic family background, and leaving school at fourteen, I had few of Robin's advantages. However, I served in the RAF abroad and had my share of adventure in coming under fire while manning a searchlight tower, and in managing to restore power when the engines and circuits in a Lancaster failed, so that a safe landing was made. As an engineering craftsman I took on Communist election rigging in the AEU, and found myself unemployable. I was forced to give up my trade and took scholarships to Oxford, which gave me the qualifications to serve HM Government in Africa, drafting a Factories Act and other legislation. In Lagos I confronted a hostile mob, which then charged and swept me off my feet. I was very lucky to survive, but skills I had acquired in Egypt helped save my life.
That same life was threatened by HM Government in 1960 when I again opposed election rigging, but this time by Whitehall and Westminster. The Queen's representative and Governor General, Sir James Robertson, told me in Government House that he would have liked me dead. Remarkably, after fleeing Lagos and being told by Whitehall that I no longer existed, I met the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, and the Duke confided to me, in the language favoured by Mr Cook, his view that the Empire was a 'load of bollocks.'
I have undertaken this biographical detour to assure Mr Cook that, though I have endured decades of unemployment and hardship and chronic disease - largely instigated by the Foreign Office that he now presides over - I am calling him to face me and repeat the lies that he has put in writing in a letter to my wife and myself. His cowardly subordinates and their agents, who operate in the dark, are assassins of character and reputation and even the lives of their victims. Clearly Mr Cook is a man of honour and integrity, unlike his minions, and he would not hide behind his newly found fame, but would act with courage and honour as befits his Scottish upbringing.
Shortly before a reign of official Whitehall terror, which hounded me out of employment, Lord Grey (then Sir Ralph), Chief Secretary and Deputy Governor General, insisted on a ceremony and shaking of hands on his behalf. A statement was read to me on his behalf that I had been 'of some service to the State.' And this statement was to be recorded on my personal file.
I left Africa; left the Colonial Service; was hounded for a year and - after official enquiries - returned to service in Nigeria. I was hounded again; had my life threatened by Whitehall; fled to UK; and was told that I no longer existed. That same personal file had been destroyed in a fire. I had never set foot in Africa, or served HM Government. We were lunatics and I would never be employed by anyone ever again.
And yet, when my case was investigated by Justice and found to be totally accurate; after I was cross examined by the most famous QC of his day, a Tory MP, Sir John Foster; and my case reviewed by another famous QC and future Lord Chancellor, Gerald Gardiner, very large sums of money (and later a knighthood) were offered in return for my word never to reveal that the British Government had rigged Nigeria's Independence Elections. There was no way that I could give my word of honour in such circumstances. My word would have been dishonoured irrevocably.
The harassment got under way again... And that treachery, which destroyed democracy in Nigeria, led to a totally unnecessary civil war which cost two million lives, and has produced anarchy and turmoil and bloodshed and coups, countercoups and rebellions and pogroms from that time to this.
We have offered to talk to Mr Cook off the record and in absolute confidence. We have offered, through the Speaker, to speak to politicians of all parties to endeavour to obtain closure on these decades of bad behaviour. Only John Major made a conciliatory gesture which, sadly, was not followed through, perhaps because the Labour Party would not co-operate. (Perhaps Mr Cook knows all about that?)
We are calling you, Mr Cook, on behalf of a giant African nation, almost reduced politically to a basket case through no fault of its own people. We tried to head off this appalling tragedy which killed two million people. The Foreign Office would not listen then. Is it, after all this mayhem and bloodshed, going to listen now? As a man of honour, Mr Robert Finlayson Cook, you know what the proper course of action is. We look forward to hearing from you.
25 April 1998
A Taste of Blood
In public Harold Wilson was a beer and pipe man and would not hurt a fly. He was known to be very nice. In private Harold was a cigar and brandy man and casually killed two million young Africans in the Biafran Civil War. Harold was a bit annoyed because the British had gone to a lot of trouble to put Balewa and his gang in power, and he had been shot in a popular uprising, which Harold only narrowly missed! They would pay for that! Harold wanted revenge.
Harold needed Nigerian oil and thought peace and stability would come quickly if he backed the British stooges whom we had left in charge of the Federation. He supplied more small arms than the British Army expended throughout the Second World War. He could have intervened, as we often did elsewhere, but why bother when our boys were on hand to do the dirty work? In Cabinet no one agreed with Wilson and Stewart, his Foreign Secretary was reported to be a CIA agent. He had little or no support in Parliament or the country either. What Harold could not reveal was that we had rigged the Independence Elections precisely for this contingency. We did not need to intervene and risk the blood of our boys, our kith and kin. Our thugs were already on seat and ready for such a bit of trouble.
Harold's biographers skip over this slaughter of the innocents. Harold wrote that it was just a tribal war. The Foreign Office manipulates the media and exercised a news and historical research blackout on this bloody chapter of British history. The Foreign Office also conducts black propaganda and publishes fat volumes, at taxpayers' expense, full of lies. When Harold had his back to the wall on his bloodbath policy, he feared that his Ministers would overrule him if allowed to take a vote. 'Where will it end if they get a taste of blood?' he complained.
It was a pity that Jim Callaghan, who spoke in Cabinet of his fear of millions of deaths, and Barbara Castle and Tony Benn et al did not get a 'taste of blood', for if they had, two million lives might have been saved. Harold's official biographer gives two pages to Nigeria and Harold's two million victims. Taken at random off my bookshelves, Tony Benn's single volume edition of his Diaries contains not a single index reference to either Nigeria or Biafra.
In a fat volume of history devoted to only forty-five years of post-war history, Ken Morgan remarks that there was little the British Government could do about the civil war. Little Ken could do either to expose this colossal lie. He could not bring himself to mention the appalling two million deaths. Totally ignoring the death pangs of Empire exhibited in Nigeria and in Kenya and in almost every ex-Colony since, Ken concludes that the curtains of Empire went down in 'dignity and tranquillity'! The manner 'in which Britain shed her imperial domain is perhaps the most notable of tributes to national stability and, possibly, maturity in the post-war world.'
Ken actually believes this Enid Blyton version of imperial history, which accurately reflects Foreign Office black propaganda! Nor is he alone, for there are other poltroons who should have their library cards marked, like Professor Peter Hennessy, until they learn the difference between right and wrong. Ken Morgan takes the prize too for the most inept title. 'The People's Peace' hardly sums up a half century in which in only one year, 1968, was the British Army not in action.
Smith's Law states that the greater the act of State terrorism, the less likely the State will ever own up. All politicians lie, we are told, and on Nigeria there are two million excellent reasons - dead people - as excuses for why they lie. And we got two million times X drums of oil in return for those necessary killings, so why argue with a few necessary lies? The Smiths are too squeamish and, anyway, the kids are dead and the oil still flows.
Mr Blair will grin and Mr Cook will glare and Mr Brown will smile, and nothing will bring the kids back to life, and the caravan has moved on and the rivers of bloody oil keep rolling along. If only Wilson's colleagues, like Callaghan, Castle, Healey, Jenkins and Benn, had threatened to resign in 1968, or had resigned, but they simply said that they did not like Harold's policy. Jim and Barbara et al were privy to Harold's secret that the Lagos Government was not the constitutional Government but British stooges. However, it did not change anything, and now they accept collective responsibility and will not breathe a word. As Edith Piaff sang, 'No, I regret nothing...'
Will Anthony Charles Lynton Blair, James Gordon Brown and Robert Finlayson Cook, three proud Scots, learn the lesson of history from Labour's killing fields in Nigeria? How can they when they pretend it never happened like that at all. There was a tribal war in black Africa, and it was a bad business, and it still is because the war between our stooges who run the country and the Nigerian people continues as ever... Whoops, delete that... New Labour calls for, nay demands, an immediate return to democracy in Nigeria. There we have done our duty and the river of bloody oil keeps on rolling along...
2 May 1998