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Thanks to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical, the Profumo Affair is once again in the public eye. Now, of course, we have a good idea about how the scandal developed and what it involved. Yet back in 1963, while it was taking place, most people literally didn’t know what to think. Even the Secretary of State for War’s own Cabinet colleagues were in the dark about much of what had gone on, so comprehensively had Profumo lied to them, and so implausible did many aspects of the case seem.

John Profumo, Secretary of State for War in the early 1960s and Christine Keeler's lover.

John Profumo, Secretary of State for War in the early 1960s and Christine Keeler’s lover. Source: Getty.

The initial public inquiry, which was carried out by the Master of the Rolls Lord Denning, was deemed to be essential reading when it was first published in the autumn of 1963. Copies sold in their tens of thousands. And yet it is now acknowledged that Denning omitted many important facts and exonerated some figures who did not deserve exoneration. Only the celebrity osteopath Stephen Ward, who killed himself over the affair, was vilified absolutely in the document, just like he was in the court case which led him to take his own life.

Stephen Ward, a society osteopath and talented amateur artist. He wanted to go to Moscow to draw Khrushchev and other Communist leaders.

Stephen Ward, a society osteopath and talented amateur artist. He wanted to go to Moscow to draw Khrushchev and other Communist leaders.

Already by the time Lord Denning’s report was published, however, Harold Macmillan’s Cabinet had had the benefit of a more revealing analysis, authored by the Lord Chancellor, Lord Dilhorne (aka Reginald Manningham-Buller, the father of the future head of MI5, Eliza Manningham-Buller). Dilhorne’s report was Top Secret and thus able to discuss the role of the Security Services in the Profumo Affair in a way that Lord Denning could not. Back in 1963, the very existence of MI5 and MI6 was still not officially admitted.

Lord Dilhorne, author of the first, Top Secret report on the Profumo Affair.

Lord Dilhorne, author of the first, Top Secret report on the Profumo Affair. Source: National Portrait Gallery.

The Dilhorne report remains a fascinating read today, even more than fifty years after the event, and continues to be an excellent means of uncovering the more unusual aspects of the affair. It summons up the cosy – and clearly unpleasantly claustrophobic – interconnectedness of London society in these years, reminding us, among other things, of how Ward came to know Captain Ivanov, the KGB agent – the man who introduced them was none other than the editor of the Daily Telegraph, Sir Colin Coote. Dilhorne also demonstrates how the establishment’s first thought, once the scandal broke, was to protect itself – and to justify itself to itself. Ward’s role in running unofficial messages between the British Foreign Office and the Russian Embassy during the Cuban Missile Crisis is admitted in the document, but Ward himself is simultaneously derided and ridiculed. Having once been useful to the authorities, he is now dismissed as a fantasist. Meanwhile, all the talk of bathing pools and house parties and art trips to Moscow are as beguilingly exciting and transgressive as ever. Lord Dilhorne’s own admission of a conflict of interest, in paragraph 60 of the report, adds, I think, one final dark twist.

The report is reproduced in full below.

Christine Keeler, pictured in Cannes in 1963, at the height of the scandal.

Christine Keeler, pictured in Cannes in 1963, at the height of the scandal. Source: Corbis.


The circulation of this paper has been strictly limited.



14 June, 1963


1. On 30th May, 1963, just before the Parliamentary recess you asked me to examine the security reports and other documents you had received in relation to what I may call the Stephen Ward case, to make such enquiries as I thought necessary of the security authorities and of the police and to advise you whether in my opinion any further action is necessary.

2. I have now completed my investigations and the following are my conclusions.

a. There is no ground for supposing that any breach of security in fact occurred.

b. The Security Service did not known of Mr Profumo’s association with Miss Keeler until the evening of the 28th January 1963 when Mr Profumo told them of it. He did not tell them of its true nature but asserted that it was innocent.

c. From the time when he first saw the Law Officers on this matter until the date of his resignation, Mr Profumo, when seen by Ministers and officials, consistently alleged that he was being victimised and that his relationship with Miss Keeler was without any impropriety.

d. No information about Mr Profumo’s relationship with and visits to Miss Keeler was ever given by Mr Ward to the Security Service.

e. The Security Service after they had learned of Mr Ward’s friendship with Captain Ivanov in the summer of 1961 warned Mr Ward, and after they had learned that Mr Profumo’s acquaintanceship with Mr Ward was more than just a meeting at Cliveden they took steps to see that Mr Profumo was warned about Mr Ward. He was not warned in relation to Miss Keeler, for the Security Service had no information of Miss Keeler’s association with Mr Ward or with Capt. Ivanov, or of her association with Mr Profumo.

f. The warning was given to Mr Profumo by Sir Norman Brook, then Secretary of the Cabinet. He did not give any warning about Miss Keeler and nothing was said by him or by Mr Profumo on the 9th August, 1961, when the warning was given, about Miss Keeler. Sir Norman Brook knew nothing about Miss Keeler at the time and he did not report to the Prime Minister that he had warned Mr Profumo about Mr Ward.

g. It it be the fact that the effect of giving the warning on 9th August, 1961, to Mr Profumo was the termination by him of his association with Miss Keeler and with Mr Ward, as he has stated to me, then it may be said that an immediate warning would or might have prevented Mr Profumo from getting so involved. The knowledge the Security Service then possessed did not suggest to them that there was any immediate urgency. Their assessment of Mr Ward’s character and his close friendship with Capt. Ivanov led them to suppose that Mr Ward was unreliable but they had not at that time any grounds for supposing that a watch upon Mr Ward’s flat would be productive of any useful information.

h. In failing to inform any Minister of the information they received on the 7th February, 1963 to the effect that Mr Ward had attempted to induce Miss Keeler to obtain certain information from Mr Profumo, when they had been called to Admiralty House on the 1st February, 1963, and informed of the information given that day by the General Director of a Sunday newspaper, the Security Service committed an error of judgement.

i. Mr Ward acted for and on behalf of Capt. Ivanov for the purpose of obtaining information from the Foreign Office and introduced Capt. Ivanov to a number of people he might not otherwise have met. Whether he is to be regarded as a dupe of Capt. Ivanov’s or as an active collaborator, I cannot say. He admitted to the Foreign Office that he knew that anything he said to Capt. Ivanov which was of interest to the Soviet authorities would be communicated to them.

With his patients including many in prominent positions and with the acquaintances he was able to make through living on the Cliveden estate and through his artistic activities, he was in a position should any of his patients, sitters or acquaintances be guilty of an indiscretion, of rendering services to the Russians. But I can find no indication that any such indiscretion occurred.

I am satisfied that he knew of and connived at Mr Profumo’s association with Miss Christine Keeler. It was not until May, 1963 when Mr Ward saw the Prime Minister’s Principal Private Secretary and when he wrote to Mr Harold Wilson, to the Home Secretary and to his MP, and when he knew that the police were making enquiries about him, that he alleged that Mr Profumo’s statement in the House of Commons was false, and he repeatedly asserted what he must have known to be untrue, namely, that he had reported to the Security Service Mr Profumo’s association with Miss Christine Keeler and his visits to her at the Wimpole Mews flat at the time they took place.

j. In the light of the information contained in this report it is not possible to determine when the association between Mr Profumo and Miss Keeler in fact terminated.

So that you may see on what my conclusions are based, I propose to set out in detail and so far as possible in chronological order the facts as they appear as a result of the examination and enquiries I have made.

3. Mr Stephen Ward practices as an osteopath in London. In recent years he has also practised as an artist. He was commissioned by the Illustrated London News to do a series of pencil drawings of prominent people including Ministers for the paper.

4. In the late 1940s Sir Godfrey Nicholson, MP, became one of his patients. Since then Sir Godfrey has been treated by him on a number of occasions. Sir Godfrey found the treatment so satisfactory that he recommended Mr Ward to many of his friends and acquaintances. He has also endeavoured to help Mr Ward by getting prominent people to sit for him. Sir Godfrey never went to any of Mr Ward’s parties or to his cottage at Cliveden.

5. One of the persons introduced by Sir Godfrey to Mr Ward for treatment was Sir Colin Coote, the Editor of the Daily Telegraph. Mr Ward told Sir Colin several times that he would like to go to Moscow and sketch some of the personalities there. Sir Colin thought that such a visit might be useful for his paper. He had met Capt. Ivanov, the Soviet Assistant Naval Attache, when a party of Attaches had visited the Daily Telegraph building in Fleet Street.

Sir Colin had invited Capt. Ivanov to lunch with him at the Garrick Club to meet the Daily Telegraph Special Correspondent on Communist affairs and in view of Mr Ward’s desire to go to Russia to make sketches, he invited Mr Ward to join them. The luncheon party took place on the 20th January, 1961.

It was in this way that Mr Ward made the acquaintance of Capt. Ivanov.

6. Thereafter Mr Ward became very friendly with Capt. Ivanov. This came to the notice of the Security Service and on the 8th June, 1961 they warned Mr Ward about Capt. Ivanov.

7. On Friday the 7th July, 1961 Mr and Mrs Profumo were staying with Lord Astor at Cliveden. Mr Ward was at his cottage on the estate. He was allowed to use Lord Astor’s bathing pool. That evening he was at the bathing pool accompanied by four or five girls, one of whom was Miss Christine Keeler, and Capt. Ivanov. The Profumos went with other guests of Lord Astor to the bathing pool and there met Mr Ward, Capt. Ivanov and the girls who were with Mr Ward. It was on this occasion that Mr Profumo first met Miss Christine Keeler.

8. Three days later on Monday the 10th July Mr Ward telephoned a Security Officer and said that he had some information to give him. They agreed to meet for lunch on Wednesday the 12th July. Mr Ward then said that Capt. Ivanov had told him a few days before that the Russians knew as a fact that the American Government had taken a decision to arm Western Germany with atomic weapons and that Capt. Ivanov had asked him to find out through his influential friends when this decision was to be implemented. Capt. Ivanov, according to Mr Ward, implied that if Mr Ward secured this information, the trip, which Mr Ward wished to make to Moscow would be facilitated. Mr Ward was very keen to go to Moscow and to draw Mr Khrushchev.

Mr Ward was most anxious that no action should be taken against Capt. Ivanov on this information and asked what he should do about Capt. Ivanov’s request. He suggested that this was perhaps an opportunity for him to assist the Security Service and asked whether it was not possible for him to be given some information for passing to Ivanov to ensure that the Russians would not take political decisions on false information.

Mr Ward was warned that he must make no attempt to comply with Capt. Ivanov’s request.

9. It would seem probable that this conversation between Mr Ward and Capt. Ivanov took place during the course of the week commencing the 7th July. It was on that weekend that Mr Profumo first met Capt. Ivanov. I have questioned Mr Profumo about this and asked him whether Mr Ward or Capt. Ivanov said anything to him that weekend on this or any other political issue of that character. Mr Profumo assured me that no conversation took place between him and Capt. Ivanov that weekend on any such matters and that he did not disclose to him anything he should have kept secret. It is indeed inherently improbable that Capt. Ivanov should have raised such a question on his first meeting with Mr Profumo.

So far as I can ascertain, Mr Ward has never asserted that during this weekend he had any political discussion with Mr Profumo. Mr Profumo has told me that he has no recollection of having had one with Mr Ward.

10. At the meeting on the 12th July, 1961 with the Security Officer, Mr Ward revealed that he had met Mr Profumo during the weekend of the 7th July. When the Security Officer was later questioned by his superior on his report of the interview of the 12th July, he supplemented his report by stating that Mr Ward had said that the weekend of the 7th July was not the only occasion on which he had met Mr Profumo, that Mr Ward claimed that he and Mr Profumo were quite close friends and Mr Profumo had visited him at his London home.

In view of these allegations the Security Service thought it desirable to report the matter to Sir Norman Brook, the Secretary of the Cabinet. The Security Service would not have thought it necessary or advisable to do so if the meeting at Cliveden between Mr Ward and Mr Profumo had been the only meeting and the only acquaintanceship of Mr Profumo with Mr Ward.

Sir Norman Brook did not think it necessary to report the matter to the Prime Minister but warned Mr Profumo about Mr Ward on the 9th August, 1961.

It is right to point out that apart from knowledge of their meeting at the bathing pool at Cliveden on the 7th July, the Security Service did not at this time know anything about any association between Mr Profumo and Miss Christine Keeler, and consequently Sir Norman Brook at the time he warned Mr Profumo had no knowledge of that.

Mr Profumo has told me that he met Mr Ward a long time before 1961, that he was introduced to him by Lord Astor and that he had on occasions been to parties at Mr Ward’s home.

The Security Officer who interviewed Mr Ward on the 12th July did not report to his superior that Mr Ward had told him of any visit by Mr Profumo to Mr Ward’s flat between the 7th and 12th July. He has no recollection of having been told that, and if he had been told that by Mr Ward, he is confident that he would have mentioned it in his report.

I therefore conclude that Mr Ward’s reference on the 12th July to Mr Profumo’s visit to his home related to visits made before Mr Profumo met Miss Christine Keeler.

11. Mr Profumo told me when I saw him on 7th June, 1963, that he terminated his association with Miss Christine Keeler on receipt of this warning on the 9th August, 1961, and that he has not seen her since then. In his statement to the House of Commons on the 22nd March, 1963, he said that he last saw Miss Christine Keeler in December, 1961.

Mr Profumo told me that he was mistaken about this. He knew he had received the warning about Mr Ward in the course of a Parliamentary recess and he was under the impression that it was the Christmas recess. He knew that he had written to Miss Keeler the same day.

There is no doubt that the warning was in fact given to him on the 9th August, 1961 and I have now seen a photostatic copy of a letter written by him to Miss Christine Keeler dated the 9th August, 1961.

After he had received the warning Mr Profumo told me that he did not see or speak to Mr Ward until January, 1963 when he had occasion to speak to him with regard to the events which were then occurring. Between the weekend of the 7th July and the 9th August, 1961, he said he saw Mr Ward for a few minutes on one or two of the occasions when he visited Miss Christine Keeler at Mr Ward’s flat. After the weekend of 7th July, 1961, he did not see Capt. Ivanov on any occasion except at a reception given in honour of Gagarin when he had a few words of polite conversation with him.

12. On the 2nd August, 1961 Lord Astor wrote to the Foreign Office saying that his friend Mr Stephen Ward had become a friend of Capt. Ivanov who was always asking him questions about the general political intentions of the British. He said that Mr Ward was struck by how hard they (the Russians) seem to find it to assess British opinion and intentions accurately. Lord Astor said he had met Capt. Ivanov who was, according to Mr Ward, “an absolutely dedicated Communist and also a nice person”.

Lord Astor said that it had occurred to him after talking to Mr Ward that if the Foreign Office wished to ensure at any particular moment that the Russian Embassy was absolutely correctly informed as to Western intentions, Capt. Ivanov might be useful. He said Mr Ward would pass on information himself or could very easily arrange for Capt. Ivanov to meet at a meal anyone the Foreign Office wished.

13. In consequence of this letter, Mr Ward was seen on the 18th September, 1961 by a member of the Foreign Office. Mr Ward said he was no Communist but sympathetic in many respects with Soviet policy, that he saw a good deal of Capt. Ivanov, that in fact Capt. Ivanov spent most weekends with him at Cliveden, that they sometimes avoided politics but often discussed them, that Mr Ward’s impression was that Capt. Ivanov was very interested to learn of any opinions which Mr Ward might have and even more of opinions which Mr Ward might pass on from his numerous influential acquaintances. Mr Ward said that he hoped he might be able to turn his friendship with Capt. Ivanov to useful account and that if at any time there was anything which the British Government might wish to get across to the Russians he would be very pleased to act as an intermediary. Mr Ward said he was sure that anything he let slip would be immediately recorded by Capt. Ivanov and suitable attention taken of it by the Soviet authorities.

He was told that the Foreign Office would not be wanting to avail themselves of this offer.

14. On the 21st February, 1962 Sir Godfrey Nicholson MP who had been introduced by Mr Ward to Capt. Ivanov, spoke to the Foreign Office about a conversation he had had with Capt. Ivanov. As a result of that conversation the Foreign Secretary had a note sent to Sir Godfrey about the British Government’s views on disarmament and said that he had no objection to Sir Godfrey giving Capt. Ivanov a copy of the paper. Sir Godfrey did not send him this note but sent him a letter dated the 28th February, 1962, the terms of which were first approved by the Foreign Office.

15. On the 6th March, 1962 Sir Godfrey Nicholson saw the Foreign Secretary and told him that Capt. Ivanov was pressing him for a statement on the British position over Berlin which he could communicate to the Russian authorities. The Foreign Secretary warned him in strong terms that Capt. Ivanov must be regarded as working for the Russian Intelligence Service and advised Sir Godfrey to have nothing more to do with him. Sir Godfrey maintained that as an MP he must be allowed to talk to members of any foreign embassy he chose. The Foreign Secretary said that he could not risk Sir Godfrey giving a wrong impression of the Government’s policy and would therefore supply him with a note on the official British line on Berlin.

Sir Godfrey drafted a letter to Capt. Ivanov, submitted it to the Foreign Office for approval and, after approval of its terms by the Foreign Office, sent it to Capt. Ivanov on 8th March, 1962.

16. On the 13th March Sir Godfrey again saw Capt. Ivanov who asked him a question about the British attitude to the Oder-Neisse Line. Sir Godfrey wrote him on 14th March, 1962, a further letter on this, the terms of which were also first approved by the Foreign Office.

17. On the 5th April, 1962 Sir Godfrey invited Sir Harold Caccia to lunch with him. One of the other guests was Mr Ward, who spoke about his contacts with Capt. Ivanov and suggested it might be useful if he could put Sir Harold Caccia in touch with Capt. Ivanov direct. That invitation was declined. Sir Harold subsequently met Capt. Ivanov at the Russian Embassy at the celebration of the Russian National Day in November, 1962. He met Mr Ward on one other occasion. He and Lady Caccia were staying the weekend of the 13th May, 1962 at Cliveden with Lord Astor. Mr Ward came in one evening for a drink before dinner. Sir Harold had no conversation of substance with him.

18. On the 24th October, 1962 (the time of the Cuban crisis) Mr Ward telephoned the Resident Clerk at the Foreign Office and said that he had been recommended to contact Sir Harold Caccia by Lord Astor. He gave the Resident Clerk an account of a conversation he had just had with Capt. Ivanov who Mr Ward said had called on him at his own (Capt. Ivanov’s) request. Among other things he said that Capt. Ivanov had stated that the Americans had created a situation in which there was absolutely no opportunity for either the Russians or the Americans to compromise and that the Soviet Government looked to the United Kingdom for their one hope of conciliation. The Resident Clerk thanks Mr Ward for the information. Mr Ward then said that he would be seeing Capt. Ivanov again within the next two days and offered to speak to him on any line the Foreign Office might suggest.

19. On the next day, the 25th October, 1962, Sir Godfrey Nicholson went to the Foreign Office and saw Sir Hugh Stephenson, then Deputy Under-Secretary. He said that Capt. Ivanov had been to see him earlier that day and had told him that the whole Russian Embassy was in a “flat spin” and that they must have, to restore the balance, some indication that the British Government were considering working towards negotiations at the summit. Capt. Ivanov told Sir Godfrey that the whole Russian Embassy knew that he was approaching him.

Sir Hugh Stephenson told Sir Godfrey that this was a matter of high policy on which he could not possibly give an answer. Sir Godfrey however insisted on some sort of answer since failure to answer in some way would be taken by the Russians to mean that a summit meeting was rejected.

Sir Hugh Stephenson then told Sir Godfrey that the Russian Charge d’Affaires had seen the Foreign Secretary on the same afternoon. Sir Godfrey immediately seized on this as an opportunity, as he expressed it, of getting off the hook and volunteered that these unofficial channels were not at all satisfactory. He then tried to telephone Mr Ward and Capt. Ivanov from Sir Hugh Stephenson’s room but did not succeed in getting in touch with them.

I should, I think, make it clear that the Foreign Office do not use “unofficial channels” for conveying official information about Government policy and that on the occasions on which information was given to Sir Godfrey for communication to Capt. Ivanov, it was to avoid all possibility of misrepresentation of British policy of which the Foreign Secretary considered there was a real danger.

20. Later the same afternoon Mr Ward spoke on the telephone to Sir Harold Caccia’s Private Secretary, and told him the same story about Capt. Ivanov as Sir Godfrey Nicholson had told Sir Hugh Stephenson. The Private Secretary said that the official channel was open to the Russians if they wished to use it and that the Russian Charge d’Affaires had seen the Secretary of State earlier that day.

21. The same day, Thursday, 25th October, 1962, Lord Astor told Lord Arran that there was a Russian official who was seeking to pass information of an urgent nature to the British Government.

On the following day, 26th October, 1962, Mr Ward telephoned Lord Arran and said that he would like to bring Capt. Ivanov to his house for discussions the next morning. Lord Arran agreed to this and Capt. Ivanov and Mr Ward came to see him on the 27th October. Capt. Ivanov stated that his purpose was to get a message to the British Government by indirect means, asking them to call a summit conference in London forthwith. He said that Mr Khrushchev would accept the invitation with alacrity and that by doing this Great Britain would break the deadlock over Cuba. Lord Arran said that it appeared to him that what was being attempted by the Russians was to drive a wedge between Great Britain and the Americans. A full report of this interview was sent by Lord Arran to the Foreign Office and to Admiralty House.

22. On the Sunday following, the 28th October, 1962, Lord Arran dined with Lord Astor at Cliveden. He found his fellow guests were Mr Ward and Capt. Ivanov. At this time Mr Khrushchev’s agreement to take the missiles out of Cuba had become known.

23. On the 31st October, Mr Iain Macleod’s daughter gave a party in his flat. A guest to the party brought Mr Ward and “someone from the Russian Embassy”, presumably Capt. Ivanov, to the party. [CROSSED OUT: It may be safely presumed that the intention was to press on Mr Macleod the same points in relation to Cuba as had been put to the Foreign Secretary] In fact Mr Macleod was not present and has never met Mr Ward or Capt. Ivanov. Mr Macleod reported the incident both orally and in writing to the Foreign Secretary. No further attempt was made to contact Mr Macleod nor any member of his family.

24. On the 7th November Mr Ward wrote to Mr Harold Wilson MP, telling him that on Friday, 26th October, an offer was made by the Russians to the Foreign Office in relation to Cuba, namely the proposal that this country should call a summit conference which the Russians would attend. He asserted that he could “vouch for the authenticity of this since I was the intermediary”. He asserted too that this offer was laid before Mr Macmillan personally. The letter of 7th November, 1962, was handed to the Prime Minister by Mr Harold Wilson, on 27th March, 1963.

25. Apart from the telephone calls referred to in paragraphs 18 and 20 above, there is no shred of evidence of any personal approach by Mr Ward to any Minister. That he acted as an intermediary for Capt. Ivanov in getting Sir Godfrey Nicholson to visit and communicate with the Foreign Office and in approaching Lord Arran is clear.

26. On the 14th December, 1962 the shooting incident occurred outside Mr Ward’s flat in Wimpole Mews. Miss Christine Keeler was in the flat.

27. On the 26th December, 1962 Mr Tomkins, then Head of the Central Department of the Foreign Office, with his wife dined with Lord Ednam. Mr Ward and Capt. Ivanov were also guests at the dinner party. At the beginning of the evening Mr Tomkins got involved in a discussion about the Nassau agreement and the possibility of the Germans acquiring nuclear weapons. The Nassau meeting had only just taken place and all Mr Tomkins knew about it was what he had read in the newspapers.

28. Mr Profumo told me that at the end of January Lord Astor asked to seem him urgently and told him that Miss Keeler had been deteriorating rapidly and that she had sold her story to the Sunday Pictorial and had mentioned Capt. Ivanov as one of her friends in high places.

Mr Profumo told me that he had immediately asked the Head of the Security Service to see him. The Head of the Security Service saw him on the 28th January, 1963 in his room at the War Office. He told the Head of the Security Service how he had come to meet Miss Keeler and Capt. Ivanov at Cliveden. He said that he had visited Mr Ward’s flat in Wimpole Mews on a number of occasions, generally when there had been parties there but once or twice he had found Miss Keeler there alone.

He said he had been warned that the Sunday Pictorial and the News of the World had got a story from Miss Keeler in which she alleged an association with him. He said that there was nothing in it or words to that effect. He said he had written a number of notes to her but that they were harmless ones simply regretting that he was unable to come to parties and such like.

Although Mr Profumo did not ask it directly, the Head of the Security Service gained the impression that he was being invited to take some action to stop publication of Miss Keeler’s story.

29. On the 29th January, 1963, Capt. Ivanov left the United Kingdom.

30. On Friday the 1st February, 1963 the General Director of a Sunday newspaper went to Admiralty House and saw one of the Prime Minister’s Secretaries. He said that he had come on a security matter. He said that he had heard that Mr Profumo had compromised himself with a girl who was involved with a negro in a shooting case; that the girl’s story had been sold to the Press and that it included passages in which she was involved with Mr Profumo and also the Russian Naval Attache; that Mr Profumo was, among other things alleged to have met the girl through Lord Astor at Cliveden and that the girl had got into this company through a Mr Ward; that Mr Profumo visiting her at Ward’s house had passed in the passage the Russian Naval attache on his way out and that the girl had two letters on War Office paper signed J. although it was not suggested that these letters were anything more than ones of assignation.

31. On receipt of this information, the Security Service were communicated with and a member of the Service went that evening to Admiralty House. He was told what the General Director of the newspaper had said.

I have seen the note made by the Security Officer of that interview. This was not meant to be a full record of what was said and was more or less in the nature of an aide memoire. In the note the Security Officer recorded that he had said that the Head of the Security Service had had a confidential talk with Mr Profumo in which the latter had recounted a story which was substantially in accordance with what the General Director of the newspaper had said.

I have seen the Security Officer concerned and he has told me that by this he meant that the General Director’s story was recognisably about the same matter as had been Mr Profumo’s conversation with the Head of the Security Service. He did not mean by the words “substantially in accordance” etc. that he understood Mr Profumo to have made any admission of misconduct.

I have also seen a note of the meeting between Mr Profumo and the Head of the Security Service. This completely confirms the statements made to me by the Security Officer for whereas the clear implication of the General Director of the newspaper’s statement is that a guilty association had existed, the note of an interview between Mr Profumo and the Head of the Security Service does not convey that implication, and indeed Mr Profumo then asserted to the Head of the Security Service that there had been nothing wrong in his association with Miss Keeler.

32. Following the interview with the Security Office, the Prime Minister’s Principal Private Secretary called on Mr Profumo on the evening of the same day.

The Principal Private Secretary told Mr Profumo that he had a story about an article which might appear in the Press and which would show him in a bad light: that normally the matter would have been reported to the Prime Minister but he was out of the country.

Mr Profumo said that he had been in continuous touch with the Law Officers during the past week and that he was also being advised by his own solicitors. I have seen both the Law Officers and they have told me that from their first meeting with Mr Profumo until the date of his resignation, Mr Profumo had consistently and firmly asserted that there had been only an innocent association between him and Miss Keeler and that there was no truth in the allegations of an improper association. Mr Profumo also said that pressure was being put by him on the newspaper concerned not to publish “smear” articles.

Mr Profumo suggested that the Principal Private Secretary need not bother the Prime Minister at this stage. He was told that he should see the Chief Whip without delay. This was arranged for Monday the 4th February.

Mr Profumo did not reveal that he had seen the Head of the Security Service on the 28th January.

33. On Monday, 4th February, Mr Profumo saw the Chief Whip. He said the events referred to had all taken place between July and December 1961. He gave an account of how he had met Miss Keeler. He said there had been a letter which started “My Darling” – in fact it started “Darling” – but that it had been quite harmless. He admitted giving her a small present, a cigarette lighter. He said his lawyers had seen Miss Keeler on the Saturday, 2nd February, when she had stated that the money the newspapers were offering her for her story was not enough and she wanted more.

Mr Profumo said that his lawyers had advised him to do nothing but to wait and see what if anything was published. If this was libellous he could then issue a writ.

Mr Profumo asserted throughout this interview that he had done nothing improper with Miss Keeler. He asked whether he should resign on account of the rumours about him. The Chief Whip said that if they were true, of course he should resign, but if untrue it would be a great mistake.

The Chief Whip reported this to the Prime Minister that evening.

34. I have seen a report to a Divisional Detective Superintendent of the Metropolitan Police dated the 5th February, 1963. This report inter alia states that when seen by Sgt. Burrows of the Metropolitan Police on the 26th January, 1963 for the purpose of serving upon her notice to attend the trial at the Central Criminal Court, Miss Keeler stated that – “on one occasion when she was going to meet Mr Profumo, Ward had asked her to discover from him the date on which certain atomic secrets were to be handed to West Germany by the Americans; that this was at the time of the Cuban crisis.”

This information was given to the Security Service on the 7th February.

35. I have also seen a report dated the 30th January, 1963 from an Inspector of the Special Branch of the Metropolitan Police. It stated that information had been received that “only a month or so ago, Miss Keeler had said, she was asked by Mr Ward to obtain if possible certain secret information from Mr Profumo regarding the transfer of documents from America to Western Germany.”

The reference to “documents” would appear to have been an error and it would seem should have been to “bombs”.

This report was received by the Security Service on the 7th February.

36. On the 25th March, 1963 the Security Service received information that a Miss Paula Marshall whose address was given as 38, Devonshire Street, London, (the address of Mr Ward’s consulting rooms) had been told by Miss Keeler that Mr Ward had asked her to ask Mr Profumo, in the course of one of their social meetings, when exactly the Germans were likely to get “the bomb”; that Mr Ward had told Miss Keeler that he wanted the information for Capt. Ivanov and that when Miss Keeler declined the suggestion, Mr Ward said “she was a very foolish girl”.

37. In a statement made to the police on the 4th April, 1963, Miss Keeler said “Ward has asked me to get information from Jack about the Americans giving the Germans the bomb. I did not get this information because it was ridiculous and could have been made in a joke.”

38. The Security Service did not inform any Minister of the information they had received set out in paragraphs 34 and 35 hereof at this time. Bearing in mind the fact that they were sent for to Admiralty House to be told the information set out in paragraph 30 on the 1st February, I must express my opinion that in failing to communicate the information received by them on the 7th February, to a Minister or to one of the Prime Minister’s Secretaries, they committed an error of judgement.

39. On the 27th March, 1963, the Home Secretary, who had not previously been connected with any part of this case, asked the Head of the Security Service to come to see him in order to put him in the picture. The Head of the Security Service gave the Home Secretary a resume and said that the Security Service’s interest in the matter was in the association between Mr Profumo and Capt. Ivanov and that when following the arrest of Edgecombe Capt. Ivanov had left the country, their interest had ceased.

He also told the Home Secretary of statements that Ward had urged Miss Keeler to ask Mr Profumo for information about American intentions to provide the West Germans with the bomb but said that they thought the witnesses in any prosecution in relation to this would prove unreliable and that they were not inclined to pursue the matter.

He expressed the view that the Security Service interest in the whole case was limited to Capt. Ivanov and his contacts and that it was no part of their business to concern themselves with what Ward was up to in connection with the girls with whom he associated.

The Home Secretary was under the mistaken impression that this information was already known to those dealing with the Profumo case and that was why he took no personal action on it.

In fact it is clear that those then dealing with the Profumo case were not aware of this.

40. It will be noted that in the statement made on the 26th January referred to in paragraph 34 Miss Keeler states that the request was made when she was going to meet Mr Profumo at the time of the Cuban crisis (i.e. the autumn of 1962) and that in the statement in the report dated the 30th January, 1963 referred to in paragraph 35 she is stated to have said that the request was made “only a month or so ago”.

If these statements are true, then both Mr Profumo’s statement in the House of Commons on the 22nd March, 1963 and his statement to me as to the date of termination of his association with Miss Keeler are false.

41. I have questioned Mr Profumo on whether he was ever asked any such question by Miss Keeler. He is positive that at no time did Miss Keeler or Capt. Ivanov ask him any such question.

42. On the 22nd March Mr Profumo made his statement in the House of Commons.

43. On the 26th March Colonel Wigg MP received at the House of Commons a telephone message asking him to telephone Mr Ward. He did so. Mr Ward told him that three of Colonel Wigg’s statements made on television on the night before about Capt. Ivanov were incorrect. He said Capt. Ivanov did not drive a sports car, wear Savile Row suits or visit night spots. Asked what his interest was, Mr Ward replied that Capt. Ivanov was a friend of his and was not here to defend himself. Mr Ward agreed to come to the House of Commons to see Colonel Wigg and did so that evening.

Mr Ward asserted to Colonel Wigg that on at least two occasions his friendship with Capt. Ivanov had been used in the interests of this country. The first occasion was at the time of the Berlin crisis. Capt. Ivanov had used him to inform Sir Harold Caccia and other senior Foreign Office people that the Soviet Union were prepared to adopt a conciliatory attitude over Berlin in return for Western guarantees of the Oder-Neisse line. When asked whether he had conveyed the information personally, he hedged and asserted that many important people in the Conservative Party including MPs had been involved in these matters.

The second occasions was, he said, over Cuba. Capt. Ivanov, Mr Ward said, on the Friday, 27th October, 1962 had asked him to pass on the view of the Russian Government that the British Government should take the initiative in summoning a conference in London. This information Mr Ward said was conveyed personally to Lord Home and the Prime Minister. Mr Ward would not say that he had given the information personally but said that very important people were involved.

44. These statements by Mr Ward clearly refer to the matters dealt with in paragraphs 14 to 20 above. I can find no indication that any MP other than Sir Godfrey Nicholson was involved in these approaches.

45. At the same interview with Colonel Wigg Mr Ward stated that as far as he knew nothing improper took place between Mr Profumo and Miss Keeler. He said that the Intelligence Service knew all about Mr Profumo’s visits, that he had kept records and had supplied the Intelligence Service with full particulars of the visits.

According to reports I have seen in the Press, Mr Ward has repeatedly asserted that he informed MI5 of Mr Profumo’s visits to Miss Keeler.

I have seen every report of every conversation which took place between Mr Ward and members of the Security Service. Mr Ward did not on any occasion mention Mr Profumo’s association with Miss Keeler. He did not report Mr Profumo’s visits nor did he supply anyone in the Security Service with full, or indeed any details of them.

I am satisfied that these statements made by Mr Ward are not true. I do not propose to speculate on Mr Ward’s motives in giving the widest publicity to a story which is patently false.

46. Mr Ward told Colonel Wigg that he had made considerable efforts to suppress publication in a newspaper of Miss Christine Keeler’s “story” and that he did a deal which involved publication of his story and the suppression of her story and for which he received nothing except certain legal costs. He alleged that Miss Christine Keeler had received payment for her story and he complained that Miss Christine Keeler and another person had got considerable sums from the Press which should rightfully be his.

47. Colonel Wigg gave a full account of his conversation of 26th March with Mr Ward to Mr Harold Wilson who on the 9th April, 1963 sent a copy to the Prime Minister.

48. The copy was sent to the Security Service and in a letter dated the 25th April to the Prime Minister’s Principal Private Secretary, the Security Service, having referred to the warning given to Mr Profumo in 1961, stated “there is no truth in the story that the Security Service was informed of the dates or of anything else in connection with Mr Profumo’s alleged visits to Ward or Miss Keeler”.

49. On the 7th May, 1963 Mr Ward telephoned the Prime Minister’s Principal Private Secretary and asked to see him. He saw him at 9 o’clock that evening. The Prime Minister had been informed and agreed to the meeting, subject to a member of the Security Service being present.

Mr Ward complained that enquiries the police were making of his patients and others were ruining his practice, that his only hope of redress was to bring a libel action and to call Mr Profumo and Lord Astor as witnesses. He said that the attachment between Mr Profumo and Miss Christine Keeler was deeper than had been represented, but apart from this statement he produced no facts or evidence in support of this allegation. He asserted that he had made a considerable sacrifice for Mr Profumo, “the biggest sacrifice he had made in his life”, in that in exchange for an article written by Miss Keeler and for a letter, he had written or allowed an article to be written under his own name and published. He asked whether there was any action which could be taken by the authorities to clear his name and so allow him to drop his libel action. He was told there was not.

50. On the 19th May, 1963, Mr Ward wrote a letter to the Home Secretary. In view of the publicity that has been directed to this letter, I think I had better state its contents. It ran as follows:-

“Dear Sir,

It has come to my attention that the Marylebone Police are questioning my patients and friends in a line however tactful which is extremely damaging to me both professionally and socially. This enquiry has been going on day after day for weeks.

The instructions to do this must have come from the Home Office.

Over the past few weeks I have done what I could to shield Mr Profumo from his indiscretion about which I complained to the Security Services at the time.

When he made up a statement in Parliament I backed it up although I knew it to be untrue.

Possibly my efforts to conceal his part and to return to him a letter which Miss Keeler had sold to the Sunday Pictorial might make it appear that I had something to conceal myself.

I have not.

The allegations which appear to be the cause of the investigation and which I only know through the line of questioning repeated to me are malicious and entirely false. It is an invention of the Press that Miss Keeler knew a lot of important people.

It was by accident that she met Mr Profumo and through Lord Astor that she met him again. I intend to take the blame no longer.

That I was against this liaison is a matter of record in the Home Office.

Sir Godfrey Nicholson, who has been a friend for twenty-five years, is in possession of most of the facts since I consulted him at an early stage.

May I ask that the person who has lodged the false information against me should be prosecuted.

Yours sincerely,


51. In fact no complaint and no information by Mr Ward about Mr Profumo’s relationship with Miss Christine Keeler was ever received by the Security Service or the War Office. It will be seen that although Mr Ward referred to Mr Profumo’s “indiscretion” and “liaison” and to his efforts to conceal Mr Profumo’s part, he did not in this letter state any facts in support of his allegations.

52. On the 20th May a letter was sent to him from the Home Office telling him that the police, in making whatever enquiries they thought proper, do not act under Home Secretary’s direction.

53. The same day, the 20th May, Mr Ward wrote letters to Sir Wavell Wakefield MP and to Harold Wilson MP. His letter to Sir Wavell Wakefield was substantially to the same effect as that which he had written to the Home Secretary. He complained of the police enquiries. He said that a Minister had not told the truth in Parliament, but again he did not give any grounds for that statement. He said he was not present when Mr Profumo met Miss Christine Keeler except on the weekend of the 7th July, 1961 and he asked that those who had given false and malicious information about him should be prosecuted. He ended his letter by saying “I will not endure this persecution any longer. I intend further to make a statement to the Press about this at a later date.” His letter to Mr Harold Wilson MP was substantially to the same effect.

54. After Mr Harold Wilson MP had seen the Prime Minister on the 27th May, the Security Service were asked to advise the Prime Minister as to the position. They reported to him by letter dated the 29th May, 1963 and in this letter they stated that Miss Keeler had said that on one occasion Mr Ward had asked her to discover the date on which certain atomic secrets were to be handed to West Germany by the Americans and that it was understood that Miss Keeler denied having ever put such a question to Mr Profumo.

This was the first occasion on which the Prime Minister was notified of this.

55. On 30th May, 1963, you asked me to undertake this investigation.

56. I have now stated what appear to me to be the relevant facts in relation to this matter. There is one minor matter which for the sake of completeness I should mention. Mr Hugh Fraser MP at one time was preparing to take a cottage on the Cliveden estate. About four years ago, when he was having tea at Cliveden he met Mr Ward. He also met him in March 1962, at lunch at Cliveden. So far as he can recollect the conversation was entirely general. He never visited Mr Ward’s cottage at Cliveden and, apart from saying “hello” to him on one occasion on the river bank, had no other conversation with him.

57. I have not sought to interview those who were treated by Mr Ward as an osteopath or those who sat to be drawn by him, either for publication in the Illustrated London News or for commissioned drawings. Ministers, MPs and civil servants have of course always to be on their guard and it would appear most improbable that any of those who sat for him or were treated by him would have disclosed to him anything which should have been kept secret.

I have not in the course of my enquiries found anything which points to the communication to Mr Ward or to Capt. Ivanov of any matter which should not have been disclosed.

58. I heard a report that it was being said that the institution of criminal proceedings against Mr Ward was being delayed at the instance of the Government. I have thought it right to make enquiries about this though it seemed to me inconceivable that there could be any substance in this suggestion. I have seen the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Commissioner of Metropolitan Police and they have assured me that such delay as has occurred has been due to the need to complete their enquiries and to consider the case. They have both assured me that no attempt has been made by anyone to delay the institution of proceedings.

59. The only evidence that I have seen of an attempt to use Miss Christine Keeler for the purpose of securing information is that set out in paragraphs 34 to 37.

60. As you know, Sir Godfrey Nicholson is my wife’s brother-in-law. Despite the embarrassment I have questioned him searchingly upon these matters. I am satisfied that in seeking to communicate and in communicating to Capt. Ivanov information approved by the Foreign Office, he was inspired by the hope that his actions might help to alleviate the situation.

61. I have made a thorough an investigation as I can of all the matters which appear to me to be relevant from the security angle. I have not seen Miss Christine Keeler nor have I seen Mr Ward but I have read the statements they have made.

I do not think that any further investigation of what took place between Capt. Ivanov’s arrival in this country on the 27th March, 1960, and his departure on the 29th January, 1963, would serve any useful purpose nor do I consider that an oral examination of either Mr Ward or Miss Christine Keeler would throw any further light on the security question.

It is for these reasons that I myself feel that no further enquiry is necessary or could be useful from the security angle.


House of Lords, SW1

13th June, 1963.



Since I made my report to you on the Ward case, I have received information that on Sunday the following will be published in the News of the World as a statement by Miss Keeler:-

“Stephen Ward asked me to find out from Jack Profumo when Germany was going to be armed with atomic weapons. He told me he wanted to tell Ivanov.

He asked me this back in 1961. I didn’t quite cotton on to what this was all about and I said to Stephen: “What gives? How can I ask him a thing like that?”

He said, “Don’t you worry my little darling. Just do as I ask you. There is a lot of money in this!”

I didn’t answer him. I didn’t know how to grasp what he wanted. I knew instinctively, and deep down, that this was spying.

But I also knew that even if I was capable, which I wasn’t, I couldn’t do it. Hack and I were just not that way. He never talked to me about business or affairs of State, as I suppose the correct term is.

I made up my mind that I would never ask him. And I never did. And I never told Ivanov what Stephen had asked me to do.”

This statement conflicts with her statements as recorded in paragraphs 34 and 35 of my first report as to the time when this request was made to her by Mr Ward.

2. I have seen a report from the Buckinghamshire police dated the 24th March, 1963, which was passed to the Security Service. This report states that Miss Keeler’s mother and her step-father called at Colnbrook Police Station on the evening of Saturday, 23rd March, 1963, and that they stated that a Mr Eddowes had called on them earlier that evening and had told them that the tale she (Miss Keeler) must tell concerning her knowledge of Mr Profumo and Captain Ivanov was that she was deeply in love with Ivanov and that she obtained information from Mr Profumo which she passed on to Ivanov only as a joke; and also that it was essential that Miss Keeler stuck to this account as this story would protect her at any future enquiry and that by sticking to it she would get anything between £5,000 and £10,000. They said that Mr Eddowes did not in fact say where this money was coming from, but they assumed that the national press was concerned. On the 23rd March, Miss Keeler was not in this country. It is not clear to me what part Mr Eddowes was playing in this matter, but having regard to the fact that he was saying what statement Miss Keeler should make, I do not think it possible to place any reliance on any statement that he, Mr Eddowes, makes about what Miss Keeler may or may not have said to him.

3. I have now received from the Police a copy of the statement made by Mr Eddowes which was received by the Police on the 29th March, 1963. I understand the Police told Mr Eddowes that his statement would be passed to the the proper authorities. [However, as] they had already obtained a statement from Miss Keeler herself and had received another report on these matters, they did not attach importance to what Mr Eddowes alleged that Miss Keeler had said to him on these matters and having on 7th February, 1963 informed the Security Service both of Miss Keeler’s statement and of the other report they did not pass Mr Eddowes’ statement to the Security Service.

Also she said that Capt. Ivanov had asked her to obtain from Mr Profumo the date of delivery of nuclear warheads to Western Germany. She said she had not obtained this information. When asked if she had passed any other information to Capt. Ivanov which she obtained from Mr Profumo, she said “Nothing important really” and went on to say that Mr Profumo had told her that we nearly had a nuclear explosion in England when a rat had gnawed through a cable.

Mr Eddowes says he told her she was behaving in a dangerous way and that if she did not stop her association with Mr Profumo and Capt. Ivanov she would land herself in gaol on a charge of treason, and that then Miss Keeler said she did not think she would be seeing Mr Profumo again.


14th June, 1963