PhD Thesis: Chapter 6: The ‘Enemy Within’

The dangers of carelessness were a constant theme throughout wartime posters: the dangers of throwing away unlit cigarettes (figure 188); thoughtless fuel consumption (figure 189); and wastage of scarce goods (figure 190). The biggest campaign, however, addressed in many different ways and styles throughout the war by the government, was the campaign against rumour and ‘careless talk’. Although a phrase largely associated with the Cold War[1] and thereafter applied to more recent events, particularly terrorist campaigns,[2] this chapter focuses on the idea of the ‘enemy within’. The concept is clearly evident in government careless talk and anti-rumour campaigns which ran throughout the war, with strong fears of a ‘Fifth Column’ to be fought by a ‘Silent Column’. This chapter discusses a range of discourses which underlay the ‘careless talk’ posters, including: carelessness, ‘the other’, ‘the enemy’, visibility, psychology, education, citizenship, family, nation, protectionism, friendship, personal responsibility, and death and humour. As we have seen with the previous two case studies, a wide range of stylistic techniques was used in the ‘careless talk’ campaigns.

The Context and Planning of ‘Enemy Within’ Poster Campaign

Duff Cooper of the Ministry of Information (MOI) defined three types of ‘careless talk’ that were of danger. Each had different consequences, although all could damage the war effort. He considered the most dangerous ‘the talk that is depressing’. Cooper believed that:

Those who spread gloom and despondency do definite harm; they are hurting the cause; they are delaying the victory. They are enemies; unintentional enemies probably – but enemies of our side.

Other problems were the spreading of rumours: ‘false information which may hinder ourselves’, and, more obviously, the danger of passing on ‘true information’ that was of value to the enemy, which could prolong the war, whether intentionally as a spy, or unintentionally in the course of conversation.[3] Whether directly visible or not, the existence of ‘the other’ was assumed to be a fact, something that needed to be fought.

Fears of the enemy drew on longstanding discourses about spies –  ‘person sent secretly’ into enemy territory, ‘to inspect his works, ascertain his strength, movements, or designs, and to communicate such intelligence’.[4] Boyle (and Knightley) describe espionage as ‘the second-oldest and arguably the least honourable of the professions’, with a long history.[5] Spies can variously be described as eavesdroppers, peepers, inside man, shadows, observers, and go-betweens.[6] Spies were defined as a threat to the nation, but the government needed to make it appear that espionage was under control.[7] Surrounded in mystique, the secret world of intelligence, and the very nature of espionage make it a difficult subject to research at the best of times, with a further layer of secrecy added in wartime.[8] It arguably would have been useless to address spies or their go-betweens through posters. Therefore posters needed to focus on those who could aid spies in their information gathering campaigns by talking ‘carelessly’.

Le Queux’s spies were always German, following earlier traditions, including The Spies of Wight (1899) by Headon Hill, which revolved ‘around the sinister machinations of German spies against Britain’, the first of a spate of fictional anticipations of a future Anglo-German war. Erskine Childers ‘famous yarn’ The Riddle of the Sands (1903) soon followed, where heroes Carruthers and Davies expose German plans.[13] The German nation was constructed as one of Prussian militarism,[14] and by the mid-1900s, Germany was the principle threat to the British, involved in a race for naval supremacy.[15] The enmity engendered by this ship-building race was exacerbated by the Northcliffe press, stirring up anti-German feeling among their readers, which warned that there was a ‘secret army’ of trained German soldiers in the UK. Employed as waiters, tailors, etc., this ‘army’ would be ‘ready to act when the German army, guarded by its fleet, fell on British shores’.[16] Anti-German feeling was evidenced in several clear ways. Daschunds were mistreated,[17] and the German Shepherd Dog was renamed the Alsatian, because of their German connections.[18] In 1915 The Royal Family replaced the German-sounding title Saxe-Coburg-Gotha with that of Anglo-Saxon Windsor.[19]

Intelligence collecting activities were common for all nations by the outbreak of the Second World War.[20] Le Queux is credited with helping to create the ‘spy fever’ that led to the formation of the British intelligence service.[21] In March 1906 the London Daily Mail began serialising Le Queux’s The Invasion of 1910, a plot with a successful German invasion of Britain, then converted into a play that ran for eighteen months.[22] In 1909, Le Queux published Spies of the Kaiser: Plotting the Downfall of England. Despite a lack of real evidence, an enthusiastic public responded with their own stories of spies and Germans misbehaving in the UK, information which was passed onto the government.[23] In Februrary 1915, Le Queux’s German Spies in England: An Exposure was published, which fabricated a system of German espionage that ranged from German prostitutes around Piccadilly Circus to ‘naturalised’ businessmen of the highest social standing.[24] This could all have been dismissed as ‘harmless nonsense’, but it influenced Haldane’s subcommittee planning the UK’s secret service. Haldane recommended defence plans to protect vital installations against sabotage,[25] the tightening of the Official Secrets Act,[26] and the establishment of a regular secret service bureau.[27] When war broke out in 1914, only twenty-one German spies were arrested, rather than the thousands of Le Queux’s imagination.[28] Intelligence operations continued in the interwar years, but a spy’s chance of surviving was higher if they were at the ‘upper end of the political and social spectrum’.[29] English spies were deemed men of honour, but heavy sentences imposed by the British were a deterrent to other spies, who were characterised as ‘social misfits, criminals, adventurers, vagabonds, romantics’.[30]

Until the Second World War, due to a long tradition of civil liberties, British citizens carried no official means of identification, unlike most countries in Europe.[31] Character references from a self-nominated person are usually considered adequate for a job, and ‘too close an inquiry into anyone’s personal affairs… is resented’. Much of the Civil Service was like a club: ‘entry to it automatically meant that you were assumed to be totally loyal and the most important virtue was keeping the club together’. In October 1939 John King, a cypher clerk in the Foreign Office, was arrested and convicted of passing information to the Soviet government. Knightley commented that the notion that ‘the threat might come from within never occurred to anyone until the King case’, although it was believed to be so out of the ordinary that attitudes still did not change. There was shock that the upper middle class could betray their country. King was believed to have given into financial temptation: it was not believed that he could be ‘ideologically inspired’.[32] Churchill, however, is described by Stafford as having an ‘exaggerated obsession with German spies before the First World War, fed by a xenophobic MI5’. His ‘widely shared obsession with an internal Fifth Column’ saw him ‘opt for a drastic curtailment of civil liberties unwarranted by the evidence.’[33] The British certainly put out their own spies and saboteurs,[34] both men and women, and would expect the Germans to do the same in case of war.[35] Part of the challenge was to present the German spies as ‘evil’, whilst presenting British espionage activities, when acknowledged, as positive.

The Spanish Civil War had given rise to the expression ‘fifth column’: ‘a subversive group that supports the enemy and engages in espionage or sabotage; an enemy in your midst’.[36] Nationalist General Emilio Mola, explaining to the Press in October 1936 how he was going to take Madrid, said that ‘he would attack with four columns stationed outside the capital, and a fifth stationed within, by which he meant the sympathisers trapped behind enemy lines.’[37] Since then the term ‘fifth column’, ‘torn from its forgotten context’,[38] has described the activities of various spies, saboteurs and terrorists, who support aggressors in attacked countries. A characteristic of the ‘fifth column’ is ‘to apply falsehood and provocation, and to recruit traitors and renegades among the military and civilians of attacked countries’.[39] The idea was not entirely new, in Homer’s Iliad, the Greeks gave a giant wooden horse to their foes, the Trojans, ostensibly as a peace offering’. However, once the horse was inside the city walls, ‘soldiers sneaked out of the horse’s hollow belly and open the city gates, allowing their compatriots to pour in and capture Troy’.[40] The Trojan Horse hid spies in preparation for attack, a fifth column was largely reliant on friendly natives.

Many of those in the highest circles took it for granted that a fifth column existed. Churchill spoke of ‘this malignancy in our midst’ in his Dunkirk speech ‘as though it were a well known fact of important dimensions’.[41] Scare stories in the press appeared. The Sunday Express claimed in January 1940 that Germans living in the UK were blackmailed into spying, with their families threatened.[42] The British were told that their job was to be actively looking for and reporting fifth columnists.[43] The collapse of Britain’s allies in 1940 was believed to be partly the result to infiltration by fifth column, with enemy agents penetrating the system, and traitors sympathetic to Germany involved. There were fears that the same would happen in the UK, fears fuelled by the press.[44] Knightley described the ‘Fifth Column’ as a myth created by British ‘spy masters’ to explain its own intelligence failures.[45] McLaine claimed that the MOI blamed the collapse of many European nations on a fifth column as it ‘shielded the believer from the unpalatable fact that the Germans had won because of superior tactics and greater strength’.[46]

In the summer of 1940 there was widespread internment. Churchill had urged his Cabinet that British Communists, fascists and aliens ‘should be put in protective or preventative internment, including the leaders’.[47] Internment was not new in the Second World War. In the nineteenth century, there were larger movements of populations, immigration rose, and along with that rose a fear of aliens. Refugees from Czarist persecution, Russian and Polish Jews, trickled into England after 1875. There was an illusory fear that they were in competition with British workmen for jobs, and legislation followed: the Aliens Act of 1905, which set the precedent for future immigration laws in the UK.[48] Although this was unique legislation, the Jews were not the first to attract hostility from the British. Thousands of Irish arrived in the UK, particularly in the early nineteenth century, and became associated with poverty, squalor and ignorance. Discrimination was caused by fears of pressure on work, housing, and social status, and was applied to the Irish in their time, and the Jews in their time.[49] In wartime, others became the targets for discrimination, not because of social conditions, but for fears of the ‘enemy within’. In the First World War, 30,000 foreigners were interned, but chaos and suffering ensued. In 1939, the government announced that the action would not be repeated.[50]

In September 1939 there were approximately 60,000 German and Austrian refugees in the UK, as well as 15-20,000 nationals living in UK before the war. Those who were pro-Nazi were quickly interned, with the rest classified by special tribunals: ‘Category A were deemed the most suspect and also interned, B were restricted in their movements, and C were left alone’.[51] As the government ‘lacked both the time and the machinery for effectively discriminating’, a policy of ‘intern the lot’ soon followed.[52] On 10 May 1940, after German attacks on the Low Countries and France, all male aliens living in coastal areas liable to invasion were immediately interned. Within the next week all B class aliens, many refugees from the Nazis, were rounded up and taken to the Isle of Man.[53] On May 22 1940, Defence Regulation 18B was passed, giving the Home Secretary ‘the right to imprison anybody he believed likely to endanger the safety of the realm’. A ‘good number’ were imprisoned under this Act.[54] In June 1940, Italy entered the war, so all Italians were rounded up. By late June 1940, C class alien males under 70 were also interned, and all others had heavily restricted movements.[55] The conditions of internment varied from ‘inconvenient’ to ‘atrocious’,[56] and when the Arandora Star carrying deportees was torpedoed on 2 July 1940 by a German submarine, public outcry was caused, and the policy was changed.[57]

Before the war, many thousands of refugees from Nazi oppression had been given asylum in England, and it was believed that this ‘influx might, in part, have been used by the Germans as a sort of Trojan Horse’.[58] In the Second World War the Nazis expected the British to follow similar, successful, counter-intelligence tactics as they had in the First World War. The Nazis planned a scheme to succeed despite such measures, with two spy layers, one ‘not too well hidden’, to be deliberately sacrificed to London counter-intelligence, whilst the second ‘deeply buried, would lie concealed until the authorities were relaxed, and then go quietly into operation’. Initially they believed that all had gone as anticipated, but the second layer was swiftly swept up, and some 35 key agents and 400 sub-agents were apprehended within the first forty-eight hours of war.[59] Fleming, Longmate and Orwell give examples of how German spies were discovered, mostly through elementary errors: lack of the English language; lack of knowledge of pub laws; strong foreign accents; writing 7 with a stroke through it, and carrying German sausages.[60] Knightley disagrees that all were found, and claimed that there was evidence for at least one who survived.[61]

Traditionally the British feared seaborne invasion, but technology had improved and the ‘airborne bogey’ became feared.[62] By July 1940, unproven parachutist landings were so widely reported that an official denial was deemed necessary.[63] Technology had changed the way wars were fought, with the wireless transmitter, the aeroplane and the ‘trained parachutist’, greatly reinforcing the potential for a traitor, and allowing more opportunities for sabotage.[64] The importance of communications was more evident in the Second World War than in any previous war. Rather than risk stealing documents, it was often safer and more profitable for the spy to keep his ears and eyes open. Fragments of information could be collated quickly into a meaningful whole (figure 191):

Troop and ship movements, the position of power stations and munition plants, the state of public morale … plenty of data useful to the enemy can be pieced together from a few scraps of gossip, innocent in themselves but fatal in bulk.[65]

By 1939 71% of the population held radio licences,[66] and various underground radio stations existed to undermine the war effort.[67] The most famous ‘Fifth Columnist’ was probably William Joyce who appropriated the title ‘Lord Haw Haw’.[68] He caused anxieties for British officials who worried how many were listening to him, particularly with stories of his accuracy regarding, for example, stopped clocks.[69]

When not all the facts can be published, it is natural that people will try and guess. During the first few months of war, particularly the first-few days, rumours were rife. Rumours included exaggerated numbers who died in bombings, the lack of wood resultant from the number of coffins made in preparation, and on bombings that were believed to have been hushed-up. Urging others not to spread rumours became a popular occupation as ‘[n]ewspapers harangued their readers, clergy their congregations, headmasters their pupils’.[70] The public was told not to believe or spread rumours, to double check orders, to keep watch and report suspicious activity to the Police. They were, however, also warned not to be over-suspicious, wasting Police time, as many foreigners hated Hitler.[71] Spies were a popular topic for discussion and rumour. With the era of ‘false whiskers and secret rays’ over, the successful spy could be ‘masquerading as a pedlar, a domestic servant, a journalist, or a commercial traveller’.[72] Balfour describes the difference between careless talk and rumour mongering, with the latter implying an element of falsity, the first only dangerous if true. The speaker either does not realise that the matter talked about could help the enemy, or wishes to appear ‘better informed and thus more important than the next man’. Anyone with a more sinister motive was ‘unlikely to be checked by official publicity’.[73]

In the winter of 1941, the Cabinet raised subject of the dangers of rumour. Home Intelligence (HI) felt that rumour and gossip were to some extent a healthy system of society, aiding the relief of anxiety. Rumours were useful pointers as to what was worrying people, and the best way to deal with them was to find publishable information which would make the rumours less convincing and sinister.[74] A careful watch was kept on rumours and steps were taken to make sure that explanations or denials were either put out through newspapers, or counter-rumours were circulated.[75] The MOI recognised the need to give the public more facts and news to stop them fabricating their own news, but were frustrated that the government would not act.[76] Mass-Observation (M-O) investigated this later in the war, in 1944, and found that a lack of information was not a major gripe any more as people did not feel that any major issues were being concealed except those necessary for security measures.[77]

A problem arose when rumour or gossip became, or appeared to become, defeatism:

it is a British habit to make jocular remarks and facetious remarks which, if reported secondhand or taken at their face value without an exact record of the actual tone in which they were made, might often seem subversive or defeatist.[78]

Following Regulation 18B, some were prosecuted for defeatist talk, although it was agreed that ‘prosecutions should only be made in a few glaring cases, to which as much publicity as possible should be given so that they could act as a warning’.[79] In a war fought to protect freedom democracy against a totalitarian state, care needed to be taken with prosecutions. Prosecution could arouse hostile feelings, although:

People do not resent restriction in wartime, so long as they know where they are and what it all means, and so long as the basic elements of freedom do not appear to be overwhelmingly involved.[80]

The prosecutions for defeatist talk were themselves a topic of conversation, as many had been affected by rumours, fears and criticisms. There was ‘a growing feeling’ that too many campaigns took ‘the form of unconstructive prohibitions’, too many do nots: don’t talk; don’t listen.[81] The poster ‘If you must talk, talk victory’ (figure 192), using dynamic typography, tried to be more positive, and, at the same time, people were told that they could grumble.[82]

The ‘Careless Talk Costs Lives’ campaign that started in early 1940 was ‘aimed at preventing the exchange of information of possible value to the enemy rather than preventing the spreading of supposedly depressing stories’.[83] The campaign was focused on ‘the gossip who likes to talk big and air his knowledge’. According to the authorities, women were not the worst offenders in this respect.[84] The talker who ‘deliberately shows off is perhaps the less dangerous of the two types’ as they ‘talk a lot of nonsense to which the enemy is more than welcome’. The modest man was more dangerous as:

he may find it hard to believe that such as he can know anything about matters; or he may give truthful answers to indiscreet questions merely because he is anxious not to show off with any claim to specialist knowledge.[85]

Valuable information could be given away by ‘casually mentioning that John Smith rejoins his regiment on Saturday afternoon or that Mary Jones can’t get home for lunch because the shadow factory where she works has recently moved to —’.[86] The government believed people needed to be made to realise that they did have information of value to the enemy. A 55-year old female questioned by M-O claimed: ‘I think it’s ridiculous what does anyone know that they have to keep secret? It’s only Government officials that can give anything away.’[87] Some of those questioned felt that the examples of bad talk given were so vague that they might have said such things at any time, and thus it would be ‘exceedingly difficult to avoid saying such things’.[88]

In 1942, a new campaign was issued by the MOI, for the attention of all ranks. Having covered public house talk, wayside conversations with strangers, and ‘harmless chat’ with friends when on leave, the government believed they had identified ‘the major problem’ at last. The campaign was to make a direct appeal along the lines of ‘Cherchez la femme’, as a reminder that ‘when in the company of a beautiful woman, remember that beauty may conceal brains’. Service personnel seemed particularly ready to disclose their station and line of work.[89]  People did not regard comments made about local military events to people they trust, for example down the pub, as ‘careless talk’,[90] although people did not appear to need to know the person. Writing to Advertiser’s Weekly, a reader claimed that in a pub where he was a ‘complete stranger’ he had:

been informed by a garrulous Home Guard N.C.O. of the training, numbers and armament of the local Home Guard and of the exact location of the important and secret military headquarters in the district.[91]

Police stations and military headquarters were inundated with reports of suspicious activities,[92] although this was not proof that there was a problem, just evidence that ‘spy fever’ had gripped the country. M-O collected a number of ‘overheards’ during the week of March 15 1943, of which several referred to careless talk. There were examples of people volunteering information, enough to establish where a large camp was stationed. A young female noted that she had heard workers on the bus talking about the output of their factories. The bus conductress had said ‘Hush, careless talk’, but one of them replied ‘What does it matter? The Germans can find out if they want to’.[93] Attempts to find examples of where careless talk had actually cost lives proved in vain. Having embarked on publicity against rumour and careless talk, the MOI could not stop it without creating impression that it did not matter.[94] In June 1941 ‘it had been agreed that there was little evidence of careless talk and less evidence that it was being put to good use by the enemy’. It was suggested, however, ‘that it would be as well to continue for the present the inexpensive propaganda on specialised lines that was already being done’.[95]

At the end of July 1940, the Planning Committee agreed that ‘the Anti-Rumour campaign should not be abandoned’, although all reference to the ‘silent column’ was to be abandoned. The campaign was also to ‘revert to its original form in concentrating on gossip rather than rumour’.[96] From early July 1940, the ‘Silent Column’ campaign, devised by Crawfords, had run, largely in the Press,[97] supported by a poster campaign, the result of a direct order from Churchill.[98] The idea was that keeping silent was the best way of countering the ‘Fifth Column’.[99] The Silent Campaign showed ‘photographs of typical but dangerous British citizens’, (figure 193) who were to be rebuked and told to: ‘Join Britain’s Silent Column – the great body of sensible men and women who have pledged themselves not to talk rumour and gossip and to stop others doing it.’[100] The Silent Column had been the latest in a series of campaigns ‘based on the assumption that the best way of controlling rumour, etc. is by urging people not to talk about things’. No attempt had been ‘made to deal with the subject constructively or positively’.[101] Sir Kenneth Clark wanted people to be given more information, and propaganda campaigns to concentrate on the ‘positive contribution’ citizens were making ‘to the defence of the country’ rather than ‘passively refraining from something which would hinder it’.[102]

Public Record Office INF files are crammed with planning meetings for ‘careless talk’ campaigns throughout the war years. The location of posters was given a lot of attention, and was largely focused on social meeting places and areas of travel. Designs were planned to be ‘especially suitable’ for public houses,[103] railway carriages,[104] transport cafes,[105] lorry snack-bars,[106] and factories, docks and munition works.[107] After complaints about the cost of the first government poster campaign, voluntary sites only were used for the anti-gossip campaign. Posters were deliberately designed to appeal in order to be voluntarily displayed, and were kept to small sizes so as to be suitable for factories and pubs.[108] Including Fougasse’s posters, the series distributed in February 1940 consisted of 2,500,000 posters, ‘for exhibition by local authorities, Government offices, banks, docks, barber’s shops, hotels and public-houses’.[109] In the next section, we consider the varied designs produced by the government in their attempts to deal with careless talk, rumours and the ‘enemy within’.

The Design of ‘Enemy Within’ Posters

The Prime Minister had ‘stressed the importance of putting out a lot of anti-gossip material, and had recommended variety and the use of pictures’.[110] Variety was important to ensure a lack of boredom,[111] and many different poster designers and graphic techniques were used in the campaign against careless talk. Both Scotland and Wales were to have distinctive posters, including posters in the Welsh language.[112] Soon after war commenced, a small poster, ‘Don’t help the Enemy, Careless talk may give away vital secrets’ (figure 62) was approved by the War Office, ready to be put into production immediately.[113] The first full anti-gossip poster drive was prepared by the MOI in December 1939. A wide variety of posters, in a variety of sizes, pictorial as well as letter designs, were prepared on the theme. The first was ‘Warning’ (figure 194), which looked rather like a death notice, with other posters following shortly afterwards. Unlike the MOI’s first big poster campaign, as discussed in chapter three, the new scheme was prepared and distributed by the Ministry’s own production department.[114]

Talking about the posters chronologically is difficult due to problems dating the posters, and thus it is difficult to follow how they changed, or assess whether they ‘improved’. To deal with this difficulty, we shall discuss the posters thematically. The term ‘fifth column’ may never have appeared officially in British posters, although the term ‘Silent Column’ is used, but the posters are clearly part of a campaign to warn the population against fifth columnists.[115] Very few make specific reference to countering rumours, excepting figure 195, one of many cartoon posters in the anti-rumour campaigns, as the concentration in posters was more on careless and thoughtless talk. The slogan was key to the message, and as we see on page 197, the slogan ‘Careless Talk Costs Lives’ outlived any other.[116] A reader of Advertiser’s Weekly suggested in February 1940 that airmen (who appeared to have spare time to fill) should be consulted regarding slogans. Some had invented ‘security slogans’ such as ‘Tittle-tattle lost the battle’; ‘Why not be as dumb as you look?’ ; and ‘They met, he told, she sold’, suggestive of the female spy of fiction.[117] The phrase ‘the Fifth Column’ had directed vigilance ‘not to suspicious characters but to those not outwardly suspicious’.[118] Suspicion switched from strangers or those on the fringes of society, to those at the backbone. Ironside, Commander-in-Chief, Home Forces noted in 1940: ‘My experience is that the gentlemen who are the best behaved and the most sleek are those who are doing the mischief. We cannot be too sure of anybody.’[119] Unlike in the spy novels, most of the ‘spies’ or ‘enemies within’ illustrated in home front posters are invisible. We would almost expect to see someone hovering in the background, or having furtive meetings in dark shadowy places such as alleyways, similar to places that the ‘oldest profession’, prostitution, took place. Alternatively we may expect to see ‘intrigue in high places’. These do have their place, for example in figure 196, but more commonly ‘the enemy’ is not visible, or if it is, it is frequently Hitler, an ‘identifiable individual who personified, and could be blamed for, all that the Nazis stood for’.[120] This is most clearly shown in figures 197 and 198 where Hitler and the Swastika are presented as one and the same, the ‘Furtive Fritz’. Other recognisable Nazis, such as Goering (figures 5 and 10) Goebbels (figure 199, which used a Kitchener style appeal, and a disembodied head), more rarely make an appearance, whilst other enemies such as the Japanese or Italian are rarely, if ever, visible.[121]

As a MOI pamphlet in 1940 noted, the job of the Fifth Column was to make people think that it did not exist, so that people would stop looking for it. It did not only consist of foreigners.[122] Probably the closest to a stereotypical spy is evident in figure 200 where the man is faceless, and in disguise. In most cases the spy is represented as indistinguishable, as is evident when The Star announced on February 10 1940, when the Fougasse campaign (figures 3 to 10) was launched: ‘Watch Your Step for SPIES! AND THEY WILL NOT BE WEARING FALSE WIGS OR USING SECRET RAYS.’[123] The very ordinariness of the people in the images was designed to show how careful people needed to be in every circumstance. No clear ‘other’ is depicted or recognisable in posters but the assumption that they exist is there. In the ‘This Happened’ series (figures 201 to 205), we see, ‘in each case a “spy” listening to indiscreet talk, and in each case the ‘spy’ is an entirely normal looking British citizen’. In most of this series one character does look fairly ‘shifty’, but in figure 202 it ‘is impossible to be certain which person is the ‘spy’ in the picture’. The ‘campaign represents the ‘spy’ as a normal looking citizen.’[124] The campaign was unafraid to use photographs, juxtapositioning the original careless situation against the possible, but imprecise, consequences, lit by surreal, muted lighting.

Fougasse, already an established cartoonist, offered his services free to the government. He suggested that humour was an ‘ideal vehicle’ for propaganda,[125] offering a ‘unifying quality, where the common understanding of a joke creates a bond, and persuades without causing resentment. He believed that humour can spotlight the ridiculousness or foolishness of actions and irresponsible behaviour without offence. Isolating his posters from surrounding images by the use of white space, he engages the viewer by deliberate intrigue. Each cartoon is drawn in characteristic style, depicting an everyday situation with which everyone could identify.[126] Shapes, colours and the main slogan could be seen from a distance, but in order to enjoy the joke, the viewer was forced to come near enough to read the small caption and then make his/her own conclusions about the situation. This personal involvement was the key to remembering and ‘actioning’ the message.[127] Bartlett was wary about the use of humour, which he labelled a ‘dangerous tool’, only really effective within the artist’s own population. The sense of humour needed to be known ‘intimately’ and ‘sympathetically’.[128] Fougasse, a British artist appealing to a British audience, fitted this criteria, and his cartoons marked ‘a fundamental change from the earlier sober government posters against careless talk’. Depicting scenes from everyday life, Fougasses accurately illustrated ‘human nature’, enabling ‘every viewer to identify with the characters’.[129] Fougasse ‘tried to convey the concept that no place was safe, and that information, once divulged, was beyond control in a compelling spiral of risk to the national security’.[130] For Fougasse, Hitler stands for the enemy, he is ‘ever-present’.[131] Other artists appeared to agree with Fougasse’s notion that Hitler was ever-present, presenting the message both with humour (figure 206), and in a more serious manner. Lacoste’s ‘Beware’ (figures 207 and 208), depicting Hitler ‘with an ear stretched out to hear careless talk’, already used with success with the Army in France, was re-printed for the Home Front.[132] Despite the extreme simplification, economy of line and lack of detail used in figures 206 to 208, it is clear with those few pencil marks on paper that Hitler is represented.

In the early days of the war, the Government was told the only real way to bring home to the public the real danger of careless talk was by ‘pictures which hurt’, but the scheme was turned down as ‘too tough and too realistic for the British public’.[133] Norman Wilkinson’s realistic design (figure 209), showing the end result of careless talk, was produced at the same time as the Fougasse campaign, and the Press picked up on the contrasting use of realism and humour.[134] Figures 209 to 211 in some ways play upon the familiarity with marine landscapes, subverting the tradition, depicting destruction, rather than the magnificance of shipping. It was often difficult to be too realistic, as graphic images of death would not necessarily have been well received. The victim is rarely visible in posters, or if he is, it is the risk of death that is posed (figure 211), rather than the reality. Where the reality is shown, the human cost is rarely visible, rather a ship is seen sinking (figures 209 and 210), or a plane is crashed (figure 202). The only exceptions found were army posters: ‘A Maiden Loved’ (figure 212) shows the ‘grave’ consequences, and Abram Games’ modern designs. Games, as usual, was unafraid to subvert the realism of the image, and use abstract graphic techniques to provide visual links between ‘careless talk’ and the victim (figure 213 and 214). Drawing on psychological discourses, this was aimed directly at the soldiers, who were presumed to live with death on a far closer basis than civilians, and images could therefore be much harsher and more direct. In 1945, however, a campaign aimed at soldiers returning from the fighting fronts was deliberately designed to be humorous (figure 215), with the figure depicted in the bed deliberately drawn in a non-realistic manner, symbolic of the men who ‘shoot their mouth off’. It ‘was not policy to produce starkly realistic posters for men who already knew so much of reality’.[135]

The same places as the posters were to be located were often visibly depicted in the posters. Care was required with conversations, represented as dangerous when located in a social arena such as the pub (figures 216 and 217), particularly associated with the working classes, or the hairdressers (figure 218), particularly associated with women. Both staged photographs and traditional pen and ink drawings were used within these campaigns, with the location depicted in detail, whilst other campaigns, particularly those by Fougasse, used cartoons, with minimal detail. Figure 219, in some ways reminiscent of the French style of figure 44, as does figure 5, depicts places of travel, such as the train, both inside and outside, which offered risk. On trains, with a clever play on words, and use of extreme abstract techniques, passengers were warned to ‘guard’ their conversation (figures 220 and 221). A similar concept was used by Games in figure 222. As with the industrial production posters, one weak link in the chain, in this case one thoughtless comment, could endanger the nation. Figure 191 clearly demonstrated how many innocuous conversations could aid the German intelligence effort, although this would have been suitable for viewing only in locations where there was an opportunity to study the detail. The dangers of modern communication devices were made clear, through evidence of use of equipment such as the wireless (figure 223[136]) and the telephone (figures 224 and 225), particularly significant as they ran through manual exchanges. Hitler is often visible in these situations, overhearing scraps of information that may be of use (figure 4). People in certain occupations, including in telephone exchanges (figure 226), on the docks (figure 227), in the services (figure 228[137]) or in the factories (figure 229) needed to take particular care, and needed convincing that their knowledge, of location and production, was of value to the enemy.

The campaigns appear to be cross-class and cross-gender, both in audience appeal and representations, with a wide-range of everyday locations evident. The campaign needed to make everyone realise that ‘You’ meant them. Everyone had the potential to know information of importance, and thus the capacity to be dangerous to the nation. It was likely that the upper classes would have access to more knowledge, although the working classes were deemed more likely to give away scraps of information without realising the significance. Personified by the cloth cap, the working classes are visible in various posters, chatting away in the pub (figure 216), stoically keeping silent (figure 230), with a head full of technical knowledge (figure 231), depicted in many styles from extreme realism, to extreme modernism. The middle classes do not escape, they are clearly visible in other posters, businessmen commuting (figure 232), the woman in pearls passing on information (figure 233). The ‘They Talked’ and Fougasse series cover a wide range of locations, from the pub (figure 3), the third-class train carriage (figure 5), to the gentleman’s club (figure 8), via a variety of cross-class locations such as a restaurant (figure 205). The ‘Keep it under your hat’ series (figures 234 to 237), as with many careless talk posters, focused on the head areas, indicating whatever knowledge was in your head, it needed to be kept to yourself. The campaign covered a wide cross-section of society: a warden’s helmet, a safari hat (adventurer types), the civilian business man, and the woman’s hat, feminine but not too frivolous. The message was more explicitly, but less succinctly spelt out in figure 238.

Other than when stoically keeping information to his or herself, both men and women could be represented as gossips or spies. Several earlier campaigns were aimed at men, requesting them to careful what information they imparted to women. In 1941 it was agreed that a new appeal ‘should be to women not to tell things to men instead of always being the other way round’.[138] Denault claims that the government treated women as children in propaganda campaigns, and ‘[j]ust as women’s work was seen as fundamentally less valuable in the public sphere, women were judged incapable of controlling themselves on a personal level’. She deems that women ‘in particular were constructed as potentially dangerous to the safety of the state through posters identifying gossip and female spies’ (figure 10).[139] Author A.A.Milne’s speech for Queen Elizabeth, which would no doubt have been reflected in posters, was never made public. Echoing early poster campaigns calling on discourses of the monarchy, the speech would have

had the Queen ordering the women of Britain “to remember, when you are tempted to spread these rumours, or these ugly thoughts of hatred, just to say to yourself, ‘The Queen asked me herself not to. She asked me”.[140]

Families, particularly women, were reminded of their responsibility to their family, calling on discourses of protection for their men overseas, with a need to avoid discussing information that could be of use to the enemy, including sailing dates (figures 239 and 240).

The ‘Cherchez la femme’ campaign referred to on page 184, issued in 1942, was designed by Harold Forster. Forster was truly a ‘chocolate box’ artist, having previously created ‘Black Magic’s alluring ladies’, produced figure 241, which Advertiser’s Weekly described as ‘the most striking of the series’. The image features officers from each of the three services, surrounding ‘their glamorous but dangerous guest’, which the journal christened Olga.[141] The Star noted the Mata Hari, the conventional glamour spy, was as ‘out of date as the aspidastra’, but ‘Olga’ is presented as the seductive spy, or intermediary, a role unique to women.[142] ‘Olga’ makes eye contact directly with the viewer, which, in a ‘western culture where women rarely stare at men… can be perceived as having “bedroom eyes”’.[143] The idea of the prostitute as spy was common, and there was also a need for ‘expendable intermediaries’ to disguise dealings between spies and the secret service.[144] The prostitute, drawing on Victorian imagery, was represented as elusive, merging with the surrounding communities, an invisible danger, transgressing the established social and class boundaries, carrying disease, dirt and death, and undermining the health of the social body.[145] ‘Olga’ was reserved for display in places where commissioned ranks met, such as officers’ messes, where men with significant operational knowledge met. Other realistic, fashionable designs were also produced (figures 242 to 244) for other ranks. Each service man is ‘in the company of a beautiful girl, but (such is the wisdom that comes with non-commissioned status) each is looking determined to keep mum’.[146] Having seen the variety of posters used in the ‘careless talk’ campaign, we consider how the message was received.

The Reception of ‘Enemy Within’ Posters

The Silent Column campaign (figure 193), as we saw on page 185, was not a success. The relationship between the campaign and prosecutions for defeatist talk was considered ‘sinister’.[147] It had created the impression that the authorities ‘regarded almost any exchange of information or opinion on the war as unpatriotic and dangerous’.[148] The timing of the campaign was not good, as, around the same time, Cooper mentioned that press censorship might become compulsory, and thus the press, nervous, kicked up a fuss.[149] The Silent Talk campaign was launched without a clear outline of ‘how and why defeatist talk did harm, nor exactly what was defeatist talk’, and M-O felt that ‘campaigns launched without a background are much more easily opened to misrepresentation and misunderstanding’.[150] The campaign was quickly curtailed and then dropped altogether as ‘the public was, if anything, too well aware of the need for security and that people were being encouraged to distrust one another at a time when it was important for them to pull together’.[151] The government noted that the campaign should not necessarily be considered unsuccessful:

People had reacted strongly and had been encouraged to think about the subject. The fact that they criticised the methods adopted did not necessarily mean that they would not take the lesson to heart.[152]

M-O, however, noted that ‘the virulent press campaign against the Silent Column, which worked on already existing private opinion in favour of further talking, has had an effect antagonistic to any new discretion campaign’.[153] At about the same time, figure 202 was produced. M-O noted that in this poster ‘the point is not at all clear’, ‘for the dangerous remark quoted’ spoken by what appears to be the father with his pilot son, is: ‘Cheerio, old lad, good luck tomorrow’. M-O could not see ‘anything sufficiently specific’ in this remark ‘to lead to a shot down plane pictured on the lower half of the poster’.[154]

Balfour, comparing British and German efforts used the example of Fougasse (figures 3 to 10) to ‘suggest that the subject [of careless talk] was not to be taken seriously’. He described German posters as more serious, and some more sinister.[155] In the UK, however, there was not a stark differentiation between the use of humour and of reality. Neither was used in isolation, they were used alongside each other. Princess Elizabeth claimed: ‘How carelessly we should have talked during the war but for Fougasse’,[156] and his posters were generally enthusiastically received, even though some people disapproved of the official use of humour for such a serious subject.[157] Others believed that a sense of humour was the British ‘secret weapon’.[158] Fougasse himself, in a talk on the BBC a few days after the publication of the posters, justified his use of humour for such a serious subject. He placed humour within a British cultural context and:

explained his emotional function of enabling people to deal with the difficult truths they do not wish to confront. It is precisely their lack of realism than enables cartoons to communicate powerful ideas in a non-threatening manner.[159]

Fougasse exploited humour as a ‘corrective’ device, but his light touch and aesthetic sophistication concealed a tendency to reinforce the belief that fifth columnists were everywhere.[160] When planning another anti-gossip campaign, the Fougasse posters were described as ‘partly Haw Haw propaganda’, he said ‘I know everything, see everything, hear everything’, and this played ‘up the worst Hitler fantasy for the nervous’.[161]

The Times approved of Fougasse’s campaign, noting that although the target may be made to look a fool, ‘Fougasse’s touch is as delicate as it is deadly, and his victims laugh even while they see themselves as Fougasse sees them’. Whether a civilian or in uniform, Fougasse’s message was for everyone, as the anti-gossip campaign would only become effective as everyone realised that it was not necessary ‘to be an out-and-out “long-tongued babbling gossip” to be, potentially, one of the silly asses in the cartoons, jabbering away in public places’. Although Hitler and Goering may not actually be on the bus, the viewer was never to know who was listening, and overhearing information of use to Hitler:

Let Fougasse teach us that there is a Hitler in every hedge, behind every bar, under every table, and lurking, all ears, by every telephone, ready to snap up any unconsidered trifles of information which the latent spot of indiscretion in the most cautious of us may innocently let fall.[162]

A twenty-five year old female noted that she thought the ‘careless talk pictures – with Hitler peeping over telephone booths and out of luggage racks at people’ were ‘excellent’.[163]

Ricardo Brook, a ‘well-known humorous artist’,[164] wrote that he was all for ‘humour in advertising’, when the subject was not serious. The Prime Minister, however, had said that for certain ‘gossip’ the death penalty could be invoked, and then a ‘series of anti-gossip joke comic posters’ were issued. He felt that ‘pictorial jokes are not likely to stop the menace’.[165] Victor Morris agreed, and criticised government ‘comic posters’ as ‘popular vote never yet decided the merit of an advertisement’. The fact that ‘characteristic British comment has shown approval and even enthusiasm for these posters’ was irrelevant. Comic advertising had rarely produced ‘useful results’, and in this case had merely brought ‘the whole object of the campaign into contempt’.[166] Advertiser’s Weekly disputed whether humour was out of place in the anti-gossip campaign, regarding Fougasse as ‘one of the most subtle interpreters of the British idiom that it has ever known’. ‘[C]haracteristic British comment’ on the series, almost without exception ‘amounted to approval; indeed, even to enthusiasm’. Advertiser’s Weekly believed ‘that the humorous Fougasse series has already drawn more attention to, and observance of, the need to hold one’s tongue than all the previous printed sermons put together’. A British characteristic was ‘to treat serious things lightly’, where it is the joke, not the ‘oratorical flourish’, which sees men through to the end.[167]

Gibbons agreed with Morris that the war was a serious subject, and could not be dealt with as thought it was a comic subject:

There is nothing very comic, however, in a ship being sunk by enemy action as the result of confidential information being spread about by those who imagine that they gain some social prestige by so doing. The loss of human life and vital supplies in wartime can best be illustrated by war pictures showing the devastating results of careless talk.[168]

With stocks of poster designs exhausted, a steady demand for supplies, and a delay before new designs could be put into production, Wilkinson’s realistic design (figure 209), along with two others, was considered successful enough by the government to reprint.[169] Talmadge’s poster design (figure 210) could have be viewed as ‘horrific’, but Art and Industry felt that it imparted ‘its message simply and adequately, the test of any good poster’.[170] The Times noted that anti-gossip campaigns could not ‘insist too strongly that the possible connection between a quiet little talk and a horrible catastrophe is not a fond invention of a heated imagination, but a genuine and pressing danger’. They went on to say that at some point, everyone would have information of value to the enemy, and thus ‘no one is too unimportant to keep a watch on his tongue and remember that careless talk costs lives.’[171]

The slogan ‘Careless Talk Costs Lives’, initially not thought to be sufficiently closely connected with the war effort, likely to be revised or superseded, it outlived any other.[172] The phrase was a regular slogan in anti gossip posters and other publicity from early 1940, and ‘was taken up generally by speakers and the press’.[173] It was such a successful slogan, it was parodied in another poster: ‘careless ropemaking’ (figure 245). Shaw, however, complained that this allowed the critic to ask: ‘Does not careless talk any longer costs lives?’.[174] It was also taken over by humorists: ‘What did Father say when Mother told him she was expecting?’ ‘Oh, that careless stork’.[175]

HI requested a report into the slogan ‘Be Like Dad, Keep Mum’ (figures 246 and 247). The general reaction that they found was ‘unenthusiastic approval’, whilst a large number, particularly women, puzzled over the meaning. Previous reports into slogans had demonstrated that ‘people were definitely irritated after a time by the official use of slogans’. Many spontaneously compared the slogan to other government slogans: ‘People are now definitely conscious of the Government’s use of slogans to influence them, and some seem to resent it’. This slogan was seen as ‘easy to memorise, with a humorous element’. The investigators got the impression that although many found it humorous, they did not take the message itself seriously. The upper and middle classes were more cynical and critical about the message. Punning was seen as cheap undignified: ‘More educated people are often consciously critical of punning (a thing you have to apologise for doing in middle strata of society).’ They were also more self-conscious than the working classes about addressing their parents publicly as ‘Mum’ and ‘Dad’. Furthermore, they were more likely to refer to their parents as ‘Mummie’ and ‘Daddie’ or ‘Mother’ and ‘Father’. M-O noted that the message may not have been intended for middle-class people, but ‘its presence conspicuously displayed under official auspices may well lead to adverse comment’ from critical and vocal middle-class citizens.[176]

M-O observed that the slogan did not necessarily work for the working classes either, as ‘keep’ was an ambiguous term. It appeared that the working classes read ‘no subtle meaning into the word “keep”, that is, they do not have any association in their minds with “kept woman”’. The working classes tended to use ‘elaborate circumlocutions’, rather than particular phrases to describe ‘kept women’, where it did not appear to imply the legal relationship that it did for the upper classes. They certainly did not appear to see the pun in the words straight away, but it appeared that it was the word ‘Mum’ that was obscure, rather than ‘keep’. When the pun was pointed out to them by the investigator, ‘the usual reaction was to brighten up and laugh, fully appreciating the joke’.[177] M-O found the message to be ‘essentially masculine’, as in general, ‘women showed less association and less interest than men, though usually they are particularly stimulated both by slogan and by joke appeals’. Many women deemed the message ‘obscure’ as ‘[t]hey are quite unable to think of themselves in the situation when they would “Be Like Dad”’, whilst many housewives did not consciously feel that they were kept by their husbands. The message was considered particularly inappropriate for spinsters and widows. The message may have been difficult to understand initially, but M-O concluded that this may actually have worked in its favour ‘so long as the message is not adversely criticised or does not set up hostile reactions among those who do not understand it in the early stages’.[178] This pre-testing thus gave general approval to the campaign, and it appeared on the hoardings.

Dr Edith Summerskill criticised the ‘Be like Dad, Keep Mum’ poster campaign, and called for it to be withdrawn from the hoardings. She felt that it was ‘offensive to women’, and ‘a source of irritation to housewives, whose work in the home if paid for at current rates would make a substantial addition to the family income’. Summerskill described the posters as being in the ‘worst Victorian music-hall taste’, and thus out of touch with a modern audience. Cooper responded that he liked Victorian music halls, and apologised that words ‘intended to amuse should have succeeded in irritating’, although he could not believe that the irritation was ‘very profound or widely spread’.[179] Described in 1996 as having been ‘a seriously formidable lady’,[180] Summerskill was an English Labour politician, physician, boxing abolitionist, author and, as a member of the House of Commons (1938-61), an advocate of women’s rights.[181] Considering Summerskill’s involvement with the Married Women’s Association, which she initiated her in 1938, her objections are unsurprising. The primary objectives of the Association were to promoted legislation that would provide equal rights within the marriage relationship, particularly with regard to parenting rights and financial security.[182] O’Connor felt that the poster that Summerskill had condemned, and others had said ‘tickles the fancy of the public’ was part of a whole campaign that had ‘failed in its purpose’. He listed various conversations he had overhead which were against the war effort, and noted:

Let anyone try, as I have done, to call these offenders to order. He will only meet with unpleasant rebuffs. He will be told, as I have been told, that this is a free country, and that they (the offenders) were jolly well going to say what they pleased.

O’Connor claimed that such conversations were occurring every day, and that if there was a real desire to put a stop to it, ‘jokes, cartoons and comic pictures will never succeed’. There was a need for more serious warnings, and offenders to be punished.[183]

Opinion was divided as to whether it was worth spending money on careless talk posters, and whether they would help the problem. In 1943, a forty-year old male barber based in Oxford Street noted that he would be pleased to display a new careless talk posters, as it was awkward when a regular client said things when ‘he had much better keep his mouth shut about’. Another forty-year old male, having said that he did not think careless talk existed, and thus posters were not ‘worth the cost in paper’, wanted police to check up on foreign refugees who could get work in hairdressers and pass on some ‘fine reports’. He did not see any inconsistency in his comments. A young female noted that ‘posters and talks won’t have any effect on such people’.[184] Negative comments on posters are numerous. Longmate describes figure 194 as a ‘pompous pronouncement’, typical of MOI at the time.[185] Figure 215 infuriated some British soldiers, who went so far as to tear the posters down. Sending comments to William Hickey of the Daily Express, one soldier objected to the way soldiers are ‘depicted in their beds as screaming and gesticulating lunatics’. Service men and women felt that a ‘dignified and effective request’ could easily have been designed ‘instead of this insulting production which would be hard to beat for lack of psychological insight’. Exception was taken to the message, as ‘men returning from the front wanted to get their experiences “off their chest”,’ which may have had medical benefits but was not good ‘from the military point of view’. Advertiser’s Weekly noted that not many posters were being torn down, but the negative publicity would at least indicate that people had taken notice: ‘Whatever was thought about it, the message had gone home’.[186]

Positive comment is also evident. One of the earliest careless talk campaigns, Keep it dark (figures 248) was described by a M-O interviewee, as a ‘nice little rhyme – something anyone could learn’,[187] although several commented to M-O that it would have been nice for the colouring to be patriotically red, white and blue.[188] Images depicting young, glamourous women, evidently intent on gaining information, such as figures 212 and 249 were popular in many countries, although Lant claims that such images were really only used in the UK before it was realised what a shortage of “manpower” there was going to be.[189] Figure 212 was praised for presenting a ‘complete story in twelve words, full of pep and punch and straight to the point’.[190] McLaine described the campaigns in figures 234 to 237 as clever, as they ‘avoided browbeating the public’,[191] and described figure 191 as ‘heavily didactic’.[192]

As with the Blitz and the British bombing offensive in Germany, two similar activities had to be presented in different lights.[193] British spying activities were heroic, whilst the enemy doing the same job needed to be presented as underhand, sly and evil. ‘Careless talk’ campaigns particularly used the IPA technique of ‘name-calling’, with members of enemy nations as ‘bad’, as threats. Every member of the nation needed to jump on the ‘bandwagon’, called to join everyone else in protecting the nation, taking personal responsibility for the effect that they could have on the war effort. The wide range of styles from didactic detailed diagrams, through modern and typographic designs, and a large number of cartoons, ensured that all classes, occupations, and genders, were addressed. All campaigns were noticeably aimed at adults, with children conspicuous by their absence from campaign images. Propaganda campaigns stressed the omnipresence of danger from the ‘enemy within’, despite the lack of evidence as to the existence of any real threat, using ‘card-stacking’ to present facts to the contrary. Cartoons proliferated throughout the campaign, in the hope of disarming the audience, but realistic designs fought possible complacency. Those in the services had access to information that could help the enemy to invade, but as we saw in the previous chapter, the industrial effort was key, and thus locations and production schedules needed to be protected from bombing raids. As the following chapter demonstrates, the VD campaign also depicts the ‘enemy within’, which could harm the British war effort. The health of the nation depended on healthy bodies, needed to fight, to man the war effort on the home front, and to produce a future generation to populate the New Jerusalem.

[1] For instance, Heale, M.J., American Anti-communism: Combating the Enemy Within, 1990; Rawsley, G.D., Cold-War Propaganda in the 1950s, 1999, and Katz, A., ‘The Enemy Within/Without: A Marxist Critique of Cold War Ideology’,, accessed June 6 2003 (originally from The Alternative Orange, Vol. 1, No. 5, April-May 1992, pp.3, 15-16).

[2] For instance, Dillon, M., The Enemy Within: the IRA Inside the United Kingdom, 1994; Milne, S., The Enemy Within: MI5, Maxwell and the Scargill Affair, 1996; Schulhofer, S.J., The Enemy Within: Intelligence Gathering, Law Enforcement, and Civil Liberties in the Wake of September 11, 2002. The first three articles on for “the ‘enemy within’+ terrorism’ on June 6 2003 were Vidal, G. the ‘enemy within’,, (originally from The Observer, October 27 2002, Review Section, Pages 1-4); Anderson, K., the ‘enemy within’,, last updated June 7 2001; Guerin, B. ‘Indonesia: The Enemy Within’,, last updated October 15 2002.

[3] M-O FR 286, ‘Prediction, restriction and jurisdiction: Enemy propaganda, control of rumour, restriction of civilian activity and reaction of public to new military-civil courts’, July 1940, quoting Duff Cooper.

[4], ‘’,, accessed May 20 2003, (originally from ‘Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary’, 1996)

[5] Boyle, A., The Climate of Treason: Five Who Spied for Russia, 1979, p.11; Knightley, P., The Second Oldest Profession: The Spy as Bureaucrat, Patriot, Fantasist and Whore 1986, gives examples on p.3. Knightley’s is the key text for the history of ‘the spy’, with a new edition of the text released at the end of 2003: Knightley, P., The Second Oldest Profession: Spies and Spying in the Twentieth Century, 2003.

[6], ‘’,, accessed May 20 2003, (taken from Roget’s Interactive Thesaurus, 2003)

[7] Look for example, at Farnsworth, E. interviews Rosenblatt, R.: “Online NewsHour: The Dreyfus Affair’”,, written January 13 1998, accessed January 3 2004, the Dreyfus Affair of 1898 in France. This was discussed one-hundred years after Émile Zola wrote his later famous ‘J’accuse’ which brought the case to public attention. Zola wrote to the President of France to complain about the imprisonment of Alfred Dreyfus for treason, on the basis of shaky evidence. Dreyfus, a Jewish Alsatian with possible access to the appropriate material, was accused, tried, stripped of his military honours and incarcerated on the basis of a handwritten note that was falsely believed to be in his handwriting. Despite the real culprit being discovered two years later, the army covered up, more concerned with their image than justice. See Zola, E., Pages, A. (ed.), Leviuex, E. (Translator), The Dreyfus Affair: “J’accuse” and Other Writings, 1996 for original texts.

[8] West, N., Unreliable Witness: Espionage Myths of the Second World War, 1984, p.1.

[9] Chapman, J., Licence to Thrill: A Cultural History of the James Bond Films, 1999, p.20, notes that films released in the nineteen-thirties included The Man Who Knew Too Much, The 39 Steps, The Secret Agent, The Lady Vanishes, The Return of Bulldog Drummond, Bulldog Drummond at Bay, Sexton Blake and the Hooded Terror, Q-Planes and The Four Just Men.

[10] Woods, B.F., ‘The Paumanok Review- Summer 2003’,, accessed January 3 2004. Woods is author of The Spy Novel: A History of Espionage Fiction, 2003.

[11] Chapman, J., op.cit., 1999, pp.25-6.

[12] Knightley, P., op.cit., 2003, pp.13-23.

[13] Ferguson, N., ‘Books & Reading, Chapter 1’,, written 1999, accessed January 3 2004.

[14] Michail, E., ‘After the War and After the Wall’,, last updated December 31 2002, accessed January 3 2004.

[15] Black, J., A History of the British Isles, 1997, p.212.

[16] Citrine, G., ‘Christ Church, Birkenhead: A Picture of the Age: Part Three 1899 – 1924’,, accessed January 3 2004. The Northcliffe press included the Daily Mail, The Sketch, the newly launched Daily Mirror, The Times, and The Observer.

[17] ‘billgerat’ (Washington) in discussion forum: ‘Freedom Fries? Asylum Forums’,, written August 2000, accessed January 3 2004.

[18] Anonymous, ‘A Dog by Any Other Name’,, accessed January 3 2004.

[19] The Royal Household, ‘History of the Monarchy: Saxe-Coburg-Gotha’,, accessed January 3 2004.

[20] Knightley, P., op.cit., 2003, pp.1-4.

[21] Ibid., pp.11-24.

[22] World War I Document Archive, ‘Great War Timeline, 1870-1914’,, last updated November 28 1997, accessed January 3 2004.

[23] Woods, B.F., ‘Critique: War, Propaganda and the Fiction of William Le Queux’,, accessed January 3 2004.

[24] The National Archives, ‘The First World War: Spotlight: Espionage’,, accessed January 4 2004.

[25] Knightley, P., op.cit., 2003, pp.20-22.

[26] Spartacus Schoolnet, ‘Military Intelligence: MI5’,, accessed January 3 2004, noted that foreigners were collecting information about Britain’s ships, factories and harbours, but this was not illegal until the Official Secrets Act was changed.

[27] Knightley, P., op.cit., 2003, p.22.

[28] The National Archives, ‘The First World War: Spotlight: Espionage’, op.cit., accessed January 4 2004.

[29] Knightley, P., op.cit., 1986, p.100.

[30] Ibid., p.41.

[31] Ibid., p.179. Longmate, N., How We Lived Then: A History of Everyday Life During the Second World War, 1979, p.97: On September 29 1939, a National Registration Census compiled details of every citizen, and this was followed by the issue of a National Identity Card, expected to be carried at all times.

[32] Knightley, P., op.cit., 2003, pp.194-196, (emphasis in original). Public Record Office, ‘Public Record Office: New Document Releases: MI5 material 7-8 May 2002’,, accessed January 3 2004, notes that John King was convicted partly on the evidence of Walter Krivitsky, a Soviet spy who defected in 1937.

[33] Richards, M., Finest Hour, 96,, accessed May 3 2003, quotes a review by Stafford, D., ‘Churchill and the Secret Service’. Stafford, D., ‘A Lifelong Engagement: Churchill and the Secret Service’,, accessed January 3 2004, notes that Churchill was a ‘practised veteran’ of the intelligence wars, introduced to the concept of codebreaking in the First World War. Thurlow, R., Fascism in Britain: A History, 1918-1985, 1987, p.207 notes that the Rothermere press ‘whipped up’ the ‘fifth-column issue’, putting pressure on the Security Service to block off all potential allies for the Nazis, should Invasion occur.

[34] There is extensive literature on the Special Operations Executive (SOE), particularly heroic narratives: West, N., Counterfeit Spies: Genuine or Bogus? An Astonishing Investigation into Secret Agents of the Second World War, 1998, p.3 refers to the ‘remarkable mythology’ that had grown around the French resistance in particular, the result of a fertile imagination and a ‘gullible publisher’. See more in, for instance: Bennett, R., Behind the Battle: Intelligence in the War With Germany, 1939-45, 1994; Cunningham, C., Beaulieu: The Finishing School for Secret Agents, 1998; Dear, I., Sabotage and Subversion: Stories from the Files of the SOE and OSS, 1996; Foot, M.R.D., Six Faces of Courage, 1978; Foot, M.R.D., SOE in the Low Countries, 2001; Mackenzie, W., The Secret History of SOE: The Special Operations Executive 1940-1945, 2000; Stafford, D., Secret Agent: The True Story of the Special Operations Executive, 2000 (accompanying a BBC series); and West, N., Secret War: The Story of the SOE, Britain’s Wartime Sabotage Organisation, 1992.

[35] Dear, I., op.cit., 1996, p.7 notes that sabotage and subversion are always part of warfare, and that the Nazis had used these to good effect in the Sudentenland in 1938, before invasion. Knightley, P., op.cit., 1986, pp.104-109, notes that before the war, intelligence operations in Britain by the Nazis were not extensive, with the Soviets the more active. Kim Philby and his friends were recruited at Cambridge University, men who were committed to Communism, but did not find the idea of ‘betraying’ their country repugnant. As we saw in the previous chapter, the Communists were sometimes presented in a positive light, for instance Love on the Dole (1940).

[36], ‘ Column’,, accessed May 3 2003, (originally from WordNet 1.6, Princeton University, 1997).

[37] The Visual Front, ‘The Visual Front – Posters of the Spanish Civil War’,, accessed May 5 2003.

[38] Fleming, P., Invasion 1940: An Account of the German Preparations and the British Counter-measures, 1958, p.53.

[39] Neumann, P., ‘Second World War 1939-1945: ‘Fifth Column’’,, accessed May 5 2003.

[40] Jupitermedia, ‘Trojan Horse’,, accessed June 6 2003. A Trojan Horse is now a term used for certain computer viruses.

[41] Calder, A., The People’s War, 1969, p.134.

[42] Hylton, S., Their Darkest Hour: The Hidden History of the Home Front 1939-1945, 2001, p.5.

[43] McLaine, I., Ministry of Morale: Home Front Morale and the Ministry of Information in World War Two, 1979, p.75.

[44] Childs, D., Britain Since 1939: Progress and Decline, 1995, p.47.

[45] Knightley, P., op.cit., 1986, p.219. Fleming, P., op.cit., 1958, p.58, agreed.

[46] McLaine, I., op.cit., 1979, p.75.

[47] Boyle, A., op.cit., 1979, pp.187-188. See Thurlow, R., op.cit., 1987, pp.138-232 on internment policies regarding the British Union of Fascists (BUF).

[48] Gainer, B., The Alien Invasion: The Origins of the Aliens Act of 1905, 1972, Preface. See more on immigration in Holmes, C., Immigrants and Minorities in British Society, 1978; Royle, E., Modern Britain: A Social History 1750-1997, 1997 (Second Edition), pp.69-78; Solomos, J., Race and Racism in Britain, 2003 (Third Edition), pp.32-47.

[49] Gainer, B., op.cit., 1972, p.212. See more in Davis, G., The Irish in Britain 1815-1914, 1991.

[50] Gillman, P., and Gillman, L., “Collar the lot!”: How Britain Interned and Expelled its Wartime Refugees, 1983, p.5.

[51] Henderson, D., ‘The Alleged British ‘Fifth Column’ – Scotland’,, accessed May 3 2003.

[52] Fleming, P., op.cit., 1958, p.101. See Gillman, P., and Gillman, L., op.cit., 1983, for the definitive history of internment in the Second World War, and Cesarani, D., and Kushner, T. (eds), The Internment of Aliens in Twentieth Century Britain, 1993 for a more general history of British internment.

[53] Fleming, P., op.cit., 1958, p.100.

[54] Calder, A., op.cit., 1969, p.133.

[55] Henderson, D., ‘The Alleged British ‘Fifth Column’ – Scotland’, op.cit., accessed May 3 2003.

[56] McGuffin, J., ‘English Internment 1916-1945’,, accessed May 13 2003.

[57] Fleming, P., op.cit., 1958, pp.100-101.

[58] Ibid., p.55.

[59] Allinson, I., A History of Modern Espionage 1965, p.42.

[60] Fleming, P., op.cit., 1958, pp.170-172; Longmate, N., op.cit., 1971, p.96. Orwell, G., ‘Wartime Diary: 1942’ (13 June), in Orwell, S., and Angus, I. (eds), The Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters of George Orwell, Vol. 2: My Country Right or Left 1940-1943, 1968, p.431.

[61] Knightley, P., op.cit., 1986, p.143.

[62] Fleming, P., op.cit., 1958, p.49. Bennett, R., op.cit., p.xv notes that the revolution in intelligence began in December 1901, when Marconi demonstrated that wireless communication could work over long distances, providing immediate transmission.

[63] Calder, A., op.cit., 1969, p.135.

[64] Fleming, P., op.cit., 1958, p.55.

[65] M-O T/C 42 3-C, The Star, February 10 1940. Aldgate, A., and Richards, J., Britain Can Take It: The British Cinema in the Second World War, 1994 (Second Edition), pp.96-114, note that the film The Next of Kin (1942) promoted a similar message, using a rapid cutting and editing technique to demonstrate how fast information could be sent from source to Berlin. Despite the commercial success of the film in Britain, there were difficulties in exporting the film to America, as the British soldiers in the film appeared stupid, careless and inept, guaranteed to increase the fears of American mothers, whose sons would die because of British incompetence.

[66] Doherty, M., Nazi Wireless Propaganda: Lord Haw-Haw and British Public Opinion in the Second World War, 2000, pp.1-2.

[67] Henderson, D., ‘The Alleged British ‘Fifth Column’ – Scotland’, op.cit. Radio Caledonia was a ‘black propaganda’ radio station that ran from July 1940 to August 1942. It was set up by the German Foreign Ministry to support a possible Scottish Fifth Column, and purported to report from within Scotland. See Bergmeier, H.J.P., and Lotz, R.E., Hitler’s Airwaves: The Inside Story of Nazi Radio Broadcasting and Propaganda, 1997 for more information on Nazi inside propaganda.

[68] See Doherty, M., op.cit., 2000, for detailed coverage of this subject.

[69] Longmate, N., op.cit., 1971, p.93; Weale, A., Renegades: Hitler’s Englishmen, 1994, p.33.

[70] Longmate, N., op.cit., 1971, p.95.

[71] PRO INF 1/257, ‘Efforts to combat defeatism and Fifth Column activities’, 1940.

[72] M-O T/C 42 3-C, The Star, February 10 1940.

[73] Balfour, M., Propaganda in the War 1939-45, Organisations, Policies and Publics in Britain and Germany, 1979, p.191.

[74] Ibid.

[75] PRO INF 1/76, ‘Letter to Parliamentary Secretary from Dr Taylor, Home Intelligence Division’, March 31 1944, p.216.

[76] McLaine, I., op.cit., 1979, p.79.

[77] Anonymous, Untitled, Advertiser’s Weekly, Vol. 124, No. 1,615, May 4 1944, p.167.

[78] M-O FR 286, ‘Prediction, restriction and jurisdiction: Enemy propaganda, control of rumour, restriction of civilian activity and reaction of public to new military-civil courts’, July 1940, p.14, (emphasis in the original).

[79] PRO INF 1/249, ‘Planning Committee – agenda and minutes’, July 17 1940, p.42. Weale, A., op.cit., 1994, p.33 note that in the spring of 1940, in the hysteria that surrounded invasion scares, two prosecutions were made (a civil servant in Mansfield and a Birmingham businessman) concerning rumours about Lord Haw-Haw.

[80] M-O FR 286, ‘Prediction, restriction and jurisdiction: Enemy propaganda, control of rumour, restriction of civilian activity and reaction of public to new military-civil courts’, July 1940, p.28.

[81] PRO INF 1/264, ‘Morale – summaries of daily reports’, July 26 1940, p.82.

[82] PRO INF 1/249, ‘Planning Committee – agenda and minutes’ July 15 1940, p.39.

[83] McLaine, I., op.cit., 1979, p.82.

[84] M-O T/C 42 3-C, The Star, February 10 1940.

[85] The Times, February 7 1940, p.7.

[86] M-O T/C 42 3-C, The Star, February 10, 1940.

[87] M-O FR 442, ‘Slogan: “Be Like Dad, Keep Mum”: Reactions’, October 1940.

[88] M-O FR 286, ‘Prediction, restriction and jurisdiction: Enemy propaganda, control of rumour, restriction of civilian activity and reaction of public to new military-civil courts’, July 1940, p.13.

[89] INF 1/292C, ‘Home Intelligence Report, No. 104’, September 22-29 1942, pp.360-365.

[90] INF 1/292D, ‘Home Intelligence Report, No. 187’, April 25 – May 2 1944, p.250.

[91] Reader’s Letter from ‘L.B.’, Picture Post, June 7 1941, p.5.

[92] Fleming, P., op.cit., 1958, p.55.

[93] M-O FR 1630, ‘Various indirects collected during the week of 15 March 1943: Reports of informal conversations on Russia, General Giraud and General de Caulle, careless talk in hairdressers’ shops’, March 22 1943.

[94] Balfour, M., op.cit., 1979, p.192.

[95] PRO INF 1/73, ‘Minutes of the meetings of the Executive Board’, 27 June 1941, p.87.

[96] PRO INF 1/249, ‘Planning Committee – agenda and minutes’, July 23 1940, p.49.

[97] Balfour, M., op.cit., 1979, p.190.

[98] McLaine, I., op.cit., 1979, pp.81-82.

[99] Balfour, M., op.cit., 1979, p.190.

[100] Calder, A., op.cit., 1969, p.136.

[101] M-O FR 286, ‘Prediction, restriction and jurisdiction: Enemy propaganda, control of rumour, restriction of civilian activity and reaction of public to new military-civil courts’, July 1940, pp.11-12.

[102] PRO INF 1/849, ‘Ministry of Information Policy committee: minutes and papers’, July 8 1940, p.41.

[103] PRO INF 1/6, ‘Progress reports 3 Sept.-11 Dec.1939’, October 1939.

[104] PRO INF 1/264, ‘Morale – summaries of daily reports’, June 22 1940, p.159.

[105] PRO INF 1/249, ‘Planning Committee – agenda and minutes’, March 13 1941, p.224.

[106] Ibid., January 1 1941, p.175.

[107] Ibid., September 30 1940, p.101.

[108] Anonymous, ‘Anti-Gossip Drive by M. of I.: Series of Double Crown and Smaller Posters’, Advertiser’s Weekly, Vol. 105, No. 1,387, December 21 1939, p.210.

[109] Anonymous, ‘2,500,000 Anti-Gossip Posters’, Advertiser’s Weekly, Vol. 107, No. 1,394, February 8 1940, p.98.

[110] PRO INF 1/249, ‘Planning Committee – agenda and minutes’, February 27 1941, p.213.

[111] Timmers, M. (ed.), The Power of the Poster, 1998, p.158.

[112] M-O TC 42 3-C, ‘Government Printing 2,500,000 Anti-Gossip Posters’, World’s Press News, February 8 1940, February 8 1940, p.9.

[113] PRO INF 1/6, ‘Progress reports 3 Sept.-11 Dec.1939’, September 17 1939.

[114] Anonymous, ‘Anti-Gossip Drive by M. of I.: Series of Double Crown and Smaller Posters’, op.cit., December 21 1939.

[115] Chapman, J., The British at War: Cinema, State and Propaganda, 1939-45, 1998, p.227, notes that the idea of the ‘fifth columnist’ did make its way into film. In Went the Day Well?, (1942), the local squire and pillar of the community is exposed as a fifth columnist, aiding the advance guard of the German invasion forces. Aldgate, A., and Richards, J., op.cit., 1994, p.98, notes that in Traitor Spy, (1939), the storyline focuses on the ‘unmasking of a worker at a vital armaments factory as a saboteur and spy’.

[116] PRO INF 1/250, ‘Meetings and reports of Home Morale Emergency Committee’, possibly February 1941, p.79.

[117] Anonymous, ‘Should the M. of I. Learn to Fly’, Advertiser’s Weekly, Vol. 107, No. 1,395, February 15 1940, p.113, quoting Peterborough, Daily Telegraph columnist, in previous Saturday’s issue.

[118] Fleming, P., op.cit., 1958, p.54.

[119] Ibid., quoting Ironside, Commander-in-Chief, Home Forces, addressing LDV Commanders, 5 June 1940.

[120] Kertesz, M., ‘The Enemy – British Images of the German People during the Second World War’, Unpublished PhD, University of Sussex, 1992, p.63 (p.25 onwards deals with stereotypes). HLRO, Hist. Coll. 271, Davidson Papers, ‘Policy Committee: It’s the Same Old Hun’, January 23 1941, noted that many had felt that the Germans were barbarians as in the First World War. This ‘may be justified by history’ but was disastrous for propaganda. There was a need to stress the differences from the First World War, to emphasise that the German is not incurable, that once the war has been fought, the cultural elements could return.

[121] Kertesz, M., op.cit., 1992, p.5, noted that although the Germans were not the only enemy, they were the most significant for the British. The Italians were largely viewed as ‘harmless ice-cream sellers’, fit only for ridicule. The Japanese were regarded as a more serious threat, but the Asia-Pacific war was considered peripheral except for those with family directly involved. Childs, D., op.cit., 1995, p.57 notes that many British and Americans saw the Japanese as ‘racially inferior beings who could scarcely be regarded as a match for European forces’, with Sir Alexander Cadogan, Permanent Under Secretary of the Foreign Office, referring to the Japanese in his diary as ‘beastly little monkeys’ and Punch in January 1942 depicting Japanese troops swinging from the trees in the jungle.

[122] Aldgate, A., and Richards, J., op.cit., 1994, p.96.

[123] M-O T/C 42 3-C, The Star, February 10, 1940, (emphasis in original).

[124] M-O FR 286, ‘Prediction, restriction and jurisdiction: Enemy propaganda, control of rumour, restriction of civilian activity and reaction of public to new military-civil courts’, July 1940, pp.12-13.

[125] Anonymous, ‘Anti-Gossip Drive by M. of I.: Series of Double Crown and Smaller Posters’, op.cit., December 21 1939.

[126] Timmers, M. (ed.), op.cit., 1998, pp.156-158.

[127] Fougasse, A School of Purposes, 1946, p.27.

[128] Bartlett, F.C., Political Propaganda, 1940, p.87.

[129] Anonymous, ‘Anti-Gossip Drive by M. of I.: Series of Double Crown and Smaller Posters’, op.cit., December 21 1939.

[130] Caption at the Power of the Poster exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum, 1998.

[131] Press, Advertising and the Trade, September 1939 – September 1940, p.37.

[132] Anonymous, ‘2,500,000 Anti-Gossip Posters’, op.cit., February 8 1940.

[133] Anonymous, ‘Pictures Which Hurt’, Advertiser’s Weekly, Vol. 116, No. 1,511, May 7 1942, p.122.

[134] Anonymous, ‘2,500,000 Anti-Gossip Posters’, op.cit., February 8 1940; ‘Hush Hush’, The Times, February 7 1940, p.9; ‘Government Printing 2,500,000 Anti-Gossip Posters’, op.cit., February 8 1940; ‘Drawings are Coming But Their Meanings Are Serious’, News Chronicle, February 7 1940, p.3.

[135] Quoted in Anonymous, ‘War Poster that Infuriates Wounded’, Advertiser’s Weekly, Vol. 127, No. 1,659, March 8 1945, p.340.

[136] Darracott, J., and Loftus, B., Second World War Posters, 1972 (1981 edition), p.61, described this image as only ‘weakly’ repeating his First World War character of ‘Old Bill’.

[137] This issue still appears to be important post-war, as figure 228, dealing with careless talk, was not published until 1946.

[138] PRO INF 1/249, ‘Planning Committee – agenda and minutes’, February 24 1941, p.211.

[139] Denault, L., ‘War of Words: Women, Propaganda and The State 1939-1945’,, accessed March 5 2003 (Originally from History, 295, March 27 1999).

[140] Hartley, Jenny (ed.), Hearts Undefeated, 1994, pp.60-61.

[141] Anonymous, ‘“Olga” is Mascot in Anti-Rumour Campaign for Services’, Advertiser’s Weekly, Vol. 112, No. 1,462, May 29 1941, p.146.

[142] M-O T/C 42 3-C, The Star, February 10, 1940. Knightley, P., op.cit., 2003, pp.47-50, gives details of Mata Hari, the epitome of a dedicated spy: ‘the beautiful girl who, for money and thrills, wormed out of her lovers the most important secrets of state’. Surrounded by myth and legend, ‘[h]er story seems to have all the elements traditionally associated with spying – deception, excitement, high living, power, money and, in the end, amazing bravery’. She was reputed to be a high class exotic dancer and prostitute using clients for secrets.

[143] Thinkbomb, ‘Sexual eyes paint a thousand intentions’,, accessed May 20 2003.

[144] Knightley, P., op.cit., 2003, p.23.

[145] Goodman, J., ‘Sex and the City: Educational Initiative for “Dangerous” and “Endangered” Girls in Late Victorian and Early Edwardian Manchester’, Paedagogica Historica, Vol. 39, No. 1/2, 2003, pp.79-83.

[146] Anonymous, ‘“Olga” is Mascot in Anti-Rumour Campaign for Services’, op.cit., May 29 1941, p.146.

[147] PRO INF 1/264, ‘Morale – summaries of daily reports’, July 22 1940, p.94.

[148] McLaine, I., op.cit., 1979, p.83.

[149] Balfour, M., op.cit., 1979, p.190; McLaine, I., op.cit., 1979, p.83.

[150] M-O FR 286, ‘Prediction, restriction and jurisdiction: Enemy propaganda, control of rumour, restriction of civilian activity and reaction of public to new military-civil courts’, July 1940, p.33.

[151] Balfour, M., op.cit., 1979, p.191.

[152] PRO INF 1/849, ‘Ministry of Information Policy committee: minutes and papers’, July 23 1940, p.53.

[153] M-O FR 442, ‘Slogan: “Be Like Dad, Keep Mum”: Reactions’, October 1940.

[154] M-O FR 286, ‘Prediction, restriction and jurisdiction: Enemy propaganda, control of rumour, restriction of civilian activity and reaction of public to new military-civil courts’, July 1940, pp.12-13.

[155] Balfour, M., op.cit., 1979, p.190.

[156] Hauser, E., ‘The British Think It’s Funny’, Saturday Evening Post, 28 January 1950, p.27, quoting Princess Elizabeth.

[157] Anonymous, ‘Anti-Gossip Drive by M. of I.: Series of Double Crown and Smaller Posters’, op.cit., December 21 1939; Wainwright, W., ‘Posters in Wartime’, Our Time, June 1943, p.16 questioned: ‘How can one be earnest about the matter when humour makes fun of the whole thing?’

[158] Briggs, S., Keep Smiling Through, 1975, p.64.

[159] Timmers, M. (ed.), op.cit., 1998, p.158.

[160] McLaine, I., op.cit., 1979, p.83.

[161] INF 1/251, ‘Planning Committee – papers circulated’, January 22 1941, p.300.

[162] The Times, February 7 1940, p.7.

[163] M-O T/C 43 4-B, (F25B), ‘Silent Column overheards’, undated but probably mid-1940.

[164] Anonymous, ‘Advertising and the British Tradition’, Advertiser’s Weekly, Vol. 107, No. 1,396, February 22 1940, p.140.

[165] Brook, R., ‘Dislikes Humour in Anti-Gossip Posters’, Letter to Advertiser’s Weekly, Vol. 107, No 1,396, February 22 1940, p.146.

[166] Morris, V., ‘Faults of Govt. Advertising’, Letter to Advertiser’s Weekly, Vol. 107, No. 1,397, February 29 1940, p.164.

[167] Anonymous, ‘Advertising and the British Tradition’, Advertiser’s Weekly, Vol. 107, No.1396, February 22 1940, p.140. Brook had been working on a campaign sponsored by the MOI ‘in an endeavour to curtail the loss of life due to the black-out’, which took ‘its grim subject with all seriousness’.

[168] Gibbons, T.G., ‘Tragedy Pictures – Not Humour’, Letter to Advertiser’s Weekly, Vol. 107, No. 1,400, March 21 1940, p.228.

[169] PRO INF 1/249, ‘Planning Committee – agenda and minutes’, November 4 1940, p.133; November 6 1940, p.135.

[170] L.A.C., ‘Artists in Uniform: R.H. Talmadge’, Art and Industry, Vol. 35, No. 208, October 1943, p.122.

[171] The Times, February 7 1940, p.7.

[172] PRO INF 1/250, ‘Meetings and reports of Home Morale Emergency Committee’, possibly February 1941, p.79.

[173] INF 1/251, ‘Planning Committee – papers circulated’, February 13 1941, p.322.

[174] Shaw, C.K., Industrial Publicity, 1944, p.40.

[175] Longmate, N., op.cit., 1971, p.96.

[176] M-O FR 442, ‘Slogan: “Be Like Dad, Keep Mum”: Reactions’, October 1940.

[177] M-O T/C 42 4/A, ‘“Keep”, an Ambiguous Term’, Note by NM/CF, October 9 1940.

[178] M-O FR 442, ‘Slogan: “Be Like Dad, Keep Mum”: Reactions’, October 1940.

[179] 371 H.C. DEB. 5s, May 7 1941, cols 838-9.

[180] The United Kingdom Parliament, ‘Lords Hansard text for 11 Jan 1996 (160111-20)’,, accessed May 3 2003.

[181] Anonymous, ‘Edith Clara Summerskill (1901-1980) at Famous Creative Women’,, accessed May 3 2003, and Anonymous, ‘Boxing Quotes’,, accessed May 3 2003. Note that Summerskill was MP for Fulham West, an area where M-O investigations were conducted.

[182] AIM25, ‘AIM25: The Women’s Library: Papers of the Married Women’s Association’,, accessed May 3 2003.

[183] O’Connor, Letter to Advertiser’s Weekly, Vol. 116, No. 1,514, May 28 1942, p.ii.

[184] M-O FR 1630, ‘Indirects collected during week of March 15 1943’, March 22 1943.

[185] Longmate, N., op.cit., 1971, p.95.

[186] Anonymous, ‘War Office Poster that Infuriates Wounded’, Advertiser’s Weekly, Vol. 127, No. 1,659, March 8 1945, p.340.

[187] M-O T/C 42 2/B, (F WC 45), Bar, Brook Green Hotel, 13 October 1939.

[188] M-O T/C 42 2/B, (F 40 C), AH & JA questioning at Shepherds Bush, 30 September 1939.

[189] Lant, A., Blackout: Reinventing Women for Wartime British Cinema, 1991, p.76 (emphasis in original).

[190] Daily Mail, February 7 1940, from a selection of newspaper cuttings, collected by E. Embleton 1939-1946, held at the Imperial War Museum.

[191] McLaine, I., op.cit., 1979, p.83.

[192] Ibid., between pp.214-215.

[193] Fisher, S. J., ‘The Blitz and the Bomber Offensive: A Case Study in British Home Propaganda, 1939-45’, Unpublished PhD: Edinburgh University, 1993, p.8.

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