The spy who asked for a tax rebate
A tax rebate request from Russian spy, Donald Maclean, sent Edward Heath's government into panic in 1972, with ministers wanting the file to be 'mislaid' to avoid payment.
The Inland Revenue file, released yesterday by the public record office, showed that the rebate request, worth £123 15s 3d, was enough to cause a crisis in Whitehall.
Patrick Jenkin, the then chief secretary to the Treasury, told the Revenue: ‘This alarms me. The government is already being criticised by its own supporters for paying handouts to strikers and layabouts, giving aid to hostile regimes and surrendering to violence and militancy. If this goes ahead they will say, “to crown it all they pay taxpayers” money to declared traitors.’,p>But Joseph Godber, a foreign minister, came up with idea of ‘mislaying the application for the time being’.