Daphne Park

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Daphne Park (1921-2010), later Baroness Park of Monmouth, was a former senior MI6 controller.[1] According to Stephen Dorril, Park worked with the CIA in trying to overthrow the Government of Patrice Lumumba following the independence of the Congo. [2]

Early life

Park was brought up in rural Tanganyika until she was sent to England at the age of 11 to attend the Rosa Bassett grammar school. She subsequently read French at Somerville College, Oxford.[3]

Special Operations Executive

On her graduation in 1943., Park joined the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (FANY) in 1943. She trained Jedburgh teams at Milton Hall in Leicestershire, but was posted to North Africa in 1945, for insubordination. in 1946, she was posted to Vienna, where she set up an offce for 1946 to set up an office for Field Intelligence Agency Technical (FIAT), work which secured her an interview for entry to MI6.[3]


Park joined MI6 in 1948. After two years in London, she went to Cambridge to learn Russian. She then spent two years in Paris working under the cover of the UK delegation to NATO/ In 1954 she was appointed second secretary at the Moscow embassy.[3]

She was posted to the Belgian Congo in 1959.[3]

Park was posted to Zambia in 1964.[3]

She was posted as consul-general in Hanoi in September 1969.[3]

She then became charge d'affaires in Mongolia in 1972.[3]

Park was appointed MI6's Controller Western Hemisphere in 1975.[3]

Park retired early in 1979 to become principal of Somerville College.[3]


Park was a governor of the BBC from 1982 to 1987. Director General Alasdair Milne regarded her as an opponent. She opposed a controversial Real Lives documentary on Northern Ireland.[3]

'Risk, Threat and Security'

Park was a member of a private seminar series which met between May 2006 and January 2008 and produced an article in the RUSI Journal called 'Risk, Threat and Security: The Case of the United Kingdom'. The article expressed concerns that the 'politicisation' of defence policy and a national 'lack of confidence' made the UK vulnerable to security threats. It suggested therefore the partial removal of defence policy from democratic control.

In assessing the supposed security threats to the UK, the article expressed a concern that the country was ‘soft’ and lacked a cohesive identity which made it vulnerable to enemies. It complained of a ‘lack of leadership from the majority which in misplaced deference to ‘multiculturalism’ [has] failed to lay down the line to immigrant communities’. [4]


External Resources


  1. Rachel Sylvester, 'A licence to kill? Oh heavens, no!', telegraph.co.uk, 24 April 2003.
  2. Stephen Dorril, MI6: Inside the Covert World of Her Majesty's Secret Intelligence Service, Touchstone, 2002, p.721.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 3.9 Baroness Park of Monmouth, telegraph.co.uk, 25 March 2010.
  4. Gwyn Prins & Robert Salisbury, 'Risk, Threat and Security: The Case of the United Kingdom (PDF)', RUSI Journal, Feb 2008, Vol. 153, No. 1