Tomás Harris

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Tomás Harris
MI5 Case Officer Tomás (Tommy) Harris 1942.jpg
Birth nameTomás Joseph Harris
Born(1908-04-10)10 April 1908
Hampstead, United Kingdom
Died27 January 1964(1964-01-27) (aged 55)
Llucmajor, Mallorca, Spain
Allegiance United Kingdom
BranchSecurity Service
OperationsFortitude

Tomás "Tommy" Joseph Harris (10 April 1908 – 27 January 1964) was a Spanish-speaking MI5 officer who worked with Juan Pujol García, an important double agent for the British during World War II, in what became known as the Garbo deception.

Possible double agent[edit]

In August 1962, during a reception at the Weizmann Institute, Flora Solomon told Victor Rothschild, who had worked with MI6 during World War II, that she thought that Tomás Harris and Kim Philby were Soviet spies.[1][incomplete short citation] She then went on to tell Rothschild that she suspected that Philby and his friend, Tomás Harris, had been Soviet agents since the 1930s. "Those two were so close as to give me an intuitive feeling that Harris was more than a friend."[2]

As a result of this information Kim Philby was forced to resign from the SIS.[citation needed] However, before Harris was interviewed by MI5 he was killed in a motor accident at Llucmajor, Mallorca.[citation needed] Some people have suggested that Harris was murdered.[3][incomplete short citation]

Author Chapman Pincher states in his book, Their Trade is Treachery, that it is possible that Harris had been eliminated by the Soviets:

"The police could find nothing wrong with the car, which hit a tree, but Harris's wife, who survived the crash, could not explain why the vehicle had gone into a sudden slide. It is considered possible, albeit remotely, that the KGB might have wanted to silence Harris before he could talk to the British security authorities, as he was an expansive personality, when in the mood, and was outside British jurisdiction. The information, about which MI5 wanted to question him and would be approaching him in Majorca, could have leaked to the KGB from its source inside MI5."[4]

Pincher goes on to argue that the source was probably Roger Hollis, the director-general of MI5.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

Harris was an avid collector of Spanish prints, which were mostly acquired by the British Museum after his death.[5][incomplete short citation]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Biography of Flora Solomon
  2. ^ Solomon, F. Baku to Baker Street (1984) p. 226
  3. ^ Biography of Tomás Harris
  4. ^ Pincher, C. Their Trade is Treachery (1981) pp. 169–170
  5. ^ British Museum Collection

Bibliography[edit]

  • Seaman, M. (2004). Garbo: The Spy Who Saved D-Day. Toronto: Dundurn Press. ISBN 9781550025040.

External links[edit]