Jack Lindsay and MI5: More than Surveillance


In December 2012, together with Dr Anne Cranny-Francis, I visited the National Archives at Kew Gardens in London to view the MI5 files relating to my father, Jack Lindsay. His files had been released in 2009 and I had been curious about them for some time. Motivated by a desire to shed light on this aspect of his life, I arranged the trip to the archive. Anne and I collected the first few files and took them to our table and for the first few minutes as we thumbed through the papers I found it difficult to make sense of what we were seeing. There were papers that listed phone calls, copies of forms and reports, interspersed by letters in Jack’s distinctive hand-writing and typescript. It was disorienting and peculiar to see letters written by Jack next to intelligence reports about him, together with accounts from informants on his activities. Surely this was the stuff of espionage and spy fiction; why collect all this information on Jack? He wasn’t a spy – or was he?

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Published 1 November 2015 in Volume 30 No. 4. Subjects: Jack Lindsay.

Cite as: Lindsay, Helen. ‘Jack Lindsay and MI5: More than Surveillance.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 30, no. 4, 2015, doi: 10.20314/als.5cb50ca395.