One of the earliest disucssions of the Circle was in Lobster magazine in 1986:
- The Pinay Circle was set up in 1969 around the former Prime Minister of France, Antoine Pinay. Pinay was very old and seems to have been little more than a figurehead. Its chief fundraiser and leading light is the former lawyer, Jean Violet. A senior figure in the French equivalent of the CBI, Violet has also been a member of SDECE, the French equivalent of the CIA and MI6. (Faligot, 1985 p 194). According to reports from West German intelligence (in Intelligence/Parapolitics (Paris) December 1984) Violet had links with South African, American, British, Swiss and West German intelligence. The West German BND is said to be one of his sources of finance.
- With these contacts Violet had put together an informal group of conservative, anti-communist politicians, bankers, journalists etc - 'The Pinay Circle'. It is said to meet twice a year discussing how to promote the conservative cause. The following are said to have been, or still are, members of the circle:
- Julian Amery MP, Brian Crozier, Nicholas Elliot (B) (ex MI6), William Colby (ex DCIA), Edwin Feulner of The Heritage Foundation, and General D. Stilwell (DIA).
- Pinay projects are said to have included the promotion of Mrs Thatcher in the UK and Strauss in West Germany.
- ISC records from as early as 1972 mention efforts by the Pinay Circle to generate moral and financial support for ISC: Crozier was apparently hoping for £20,000 from the Circle in 1973 - a large contribution by ISC's standards. The Circle paid for an ISC study "European Security and the Soviet Problem". Further correspondence from 1975 shows the Circle active in organising meetings in "Madrid, Rome, Milan, Brussels and Bonn .... with the object of raising money for the Institute (ie ISC) and enhancing its reputation." (Time Out 27 June 1975)