Geoffrey Stewart-Smith

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Dudley Geoffrey Stewart-Smith, was a soldier, editor, politician, and anti-communist activist (born December 28 1933, Colombo, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka); died March 13 2004)

The Conservative Geoffrey Stewart-Smith, reported the Guardian 'hit the headlines when he sensationally ousted Labour's former foreign secretary, George Brown, from his seat in Belper, Derbyshire, in the 1970 general election. His brief parliamentary career was more notable, however, for demonstrating that the establishment would not tolerate a British incarnation of Senator Joseph McCarthy. It was anticipated that Stewart-Smith might use his Commons position to spread the obsessive anti-communism he had earlier deployed in alliance with the China lobby, professional redbaiters in the United States, the Taiwan government and apartheid South Africa. Instead, he tamely accepted his whip's instructions that Edward Heath did not want to be embarrassed by any British recrudescence of the McCarthyism that had faded in the US a decade earlier. To general surprise, Stewart-Smith emerged as a progressive Tory.'[1]


Stewart-Smith was educated at Winchester College, (1947-52) where he gained7 "0" levels, and had 'fluent French and basic Russian.' Stewart Smith then attended the R.M.A. Sandhurst (1952-54).[2]


Army years

Stewart-Smith spent 6 years on active service in the military. From 1954-56 he was with the 1st En. The Black Watch, spending one year in Berlin. From 1956-60 we was with 'Colonial forces in Nigeria', where he 'saw active service against Communist-dominated U.P.C. rebels in the Cameroons. Practical experience gained in subversive warfare working with Special Branch and Surete.'

Obitaries in the press when he died refer to him 'resigning'[3] his commission, but did not discuss further the circumstances. According to declassified Central Intelligence Agency documents from 1963, released under the US Freedom of Information Act in 2007 the circumstances in which Stewart-Smith resigned his commission were as follows:

our records show that STEWART-SMITH was requested to resign his commission on 10th July, 1960, because of "an illegal act on the Cameroun Republic frontier and for disobeying orders". This "illegal act" was "improperly and without authority taking a British patrol from Nigeria into the Cameroun Republic. During the patrol an African suspect was wounded and abandoned. The man subsequently died. Due to legal and political difficulties, it was not possible to charge Lt. STEWART-SMITH with murder or manslaughter. After the return of the patrol, Lt. STEWART-SMITH repeatedly lied to his Commanding Officer". These quotations are taken from War Office letters to the Foreign Office.[2]

It can be noted that the information above appears to come from British intelligence files. It is contained in a letter passed to the CIA from 'SMOTH' a cryptonym used by the CIA for an agent of the 'British Intelligence Service'.[4] The information was said to be for the attention of 'Chief KUWOLF' a cryptonym for the CIA's 'Political and Psychological Staff'.[4]


According to the Telegraph, after resigning his commission in the Army in 1960, 'he worked as a financial public relations consultant in addition to his anti-Communist activities.'[3] The Guardian reports that 'he joined the Sunday Express, and then the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). While there, he began his anti-communist work with books like The Defeat Of Communism (1964), Non-Military Warfare In Britain (1966) and No Vision Here (1970), produced by the Foreign Affairs Publishing Company he ran from his home in Petersham, Surrey.' No Vision Here 'alleged that "vitally important" intelligence reports were being suppressed or blocked from reaching the Prime Minister.'[3]

'He also produced East-West Digest, which was distributed free to MPs and was described as the "journal of the foreign affairs circle", a body headed by the likes of the Dowager Lady Birdwood. The funds to subsidise this operation came mostly from "foreign friends".'[1] The Foreign Affairs Circle was created in 1962 and the journal began by 1964.[5]

'As director of the Foreign Affairs Circle and editor of its journal East-West Digest, he saw himself as "one of those awkward non-conformists who feel that we Europeans have both an obligation and duty to help further the cause of liberty in Communist countries".'[3]

'From 1965, Stewart-Smith was involved with an outfit called the British Military Volunteer Force, trying to recruit British officers to fight in Vietnam, though he saw himself strictly as a fundraiser. "I would never have fought alongside them," he said.'[1]


'Stewart-Smith was adopted as the prospective Parliamentary Conservative candidate for Belper in 1966, and four years later pulled off the most sensational result of election night when he ousted George Brown by 2,000 votes... During his four years in Parliament, Stewart-Smith was trenchant in his support for his constituents, to the point of demanding that the government raise their pay offer to miners during the strike. He surprised his Right-wing friends even more by attacking Mrs Thatcher on the ending of school milk.[3]

Apartheid support

'In 1974, he fell out with the World Anti-Communist League over its anti-semitism. In 1987, during his bankruptcy appearance, he disclosed that the main contributor to his Foreign Affairs Research Institute had been apartheid South Africa.'[1]


Personal life

Stewart-Smith married in 1956, Kay Mary Johnstone (divorced, 1990), with whom he had three sons.[6] One of his sons is the journalist turned PR operative Charles Stewart-Smith.



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Andrew Roth Obituary Geoffrey Stewart-Smith Rabidly anti-communist MP with a moderate streak The Guardian, Tuesday 13 April 2004 01.33 BST.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Obituaries Geoffrey Stewart-Smith Daily Telegraph, 12:03AM GMT 20 Mar 2004.
  4. 4.0 4.1 National Archives Research Aid: Cryptonyms and Terms in Declassified CIA Files: Nazi War Crimes and Japanese Imperial Government Records Disclosure Acts. CIA Records. Accessed 9 September 2014.
  5. Giles Scott-Smith Western Anti-Communism and the Interdoc Network: Cold War Internationale (Palgrave Macmillan Transnational History Series), 2012: 111-2.
  6. 6.0 6.1 [Dudley Geoffrey Stewart-Smith (1933-2004)] Google Groups alt.obituaries 3 September 2004.