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steps to authenticity

Two men have been instructed to meet for a handover at a pre-designated place at a precise time. They are to wear something that distinguishes them from the ordinary. A straw hat, a flower in the lapel. Each man knows what to look for in the other. This is the second step of identification. The third step is a scripted question / answer routine. Something banal.

‘Have you eaten an orange today?’

‘I only like apples.’

Both tests passed, both men satisfied. Information passes from one to the other folded into a newspaper or hidden between the leaves of a book.

The information reaches its destination, but before decryption begins the first step must be  confirmed.

The information must have a signature.

How else could they be assured it was authentic?

Call sign Danetta.

20 Comments Post a comment
  1. B Deveson #

    There is a connection between the Loveday internment camp at Barmera and Alfred Watt, communist and later SA State Secretary of the Communist Party of South Australia. Alfred Watt was living in Durham Street, Glenelg in 1948 and I note that Durham Street runs off Jetty Road very close to where one witness said the “Hillman Minx” car was normally parked.
    Watt appears to have had access to information concerning the death of Francesco Fantin in the internment camp and passed on this information to the Crown Prosecutor. See:

    I note that a “listening post” was established in Glenelg only a couple of hundred yards from 90a Moseley Street. I also note that the contents of the NAA Archives 1949 file dealing with the Communist Party of South Australia Glenelg Branch appear to have been returned to ASIO. Is it still of operational interest to ASIO? Why?

    October 10, 2016
  2. What was the connection, BD, just visiting or stirring up support?

    October 10, 2016
  3. Nice work Byron, there’s one connection that is solid and I think you’ll find there are more.

    October 10, 2016
  4. Here we go: Alf Watt wrote a book called ‘Rocket range threatens Australia’ – it’s on Trove and has a libraries Aust ID 2573487 –
    Summary follows.
    The author sets out the Communist Party’s opposition to the rocket range proposed for Mt Eba on the grounds of peace, environmental and international relations.
    Rockets and missiles feature.

    More … it’s no wonder they (Commonwealth agency?) had a listening station near Watt’s home – his book was at the centre of discussion in the federal parliament in May 1947 and caused a rift between the CPA and the Labor party.

    More .. Fantin was killed in his internment camp by a fascist Italian, Watt’s position was that opposing political internees be separated.

    October 10, 2016
  5. B Deveson #

    Alfred Watt was living at 32 Durham Street, Glenelg and was a member of the CPA Central Committee late 1948 hit was noted that Alfred was missing from Adelaide and traced by CIS to a secret CPA training school in Sydney. I would guess that the Woomera rocket range was discussed at the meeting and may have been the main focus of the meeting.

    October 10, 2016
  6. B Deveson #

    Stalin would have known all about the aims of the Woomera rocket range, and the plans for nuclear weapons testing in Australia so Soviet intelligence would have been working on developing every intel source they could. Alfred Watt is described as being a fanatical communist and was in a good position to help. His position with various unions would have given him plausible cover under which to snoop and develop contacts at Woomera. There are six volumes of intel on Alfred in the NAA. Anyone care to check his hand writing, or if he owned a Hillman Minx in 1948?

    October 10, 2016
    • I can short cut to a discussion here by suggesting if he did own a Hillman, the book was planted. He wasn’t unknown about town, there was a listening post around the corner and from what I’ve read of the man today, he had honourable intentions. Nevertheless he was judged to be an enemy of Australia.

      October 10, 2016
  7. Some connections for Alfred Watt:
    Ralph Gibson, Gerald O’Day and Ernie Thornton. All stood for Parliament in the Victorian State elections 1935. All were standing for the CPA.These man amongst others were part of the inner sanctum of the CPA. I think you’ll find more in the CPA Victorian Branch records.

    October 11, 2016
  8. As a matter of interest, a Frank Keane ran for the labour party in Coburg in that same election. I think this was the same Mr. Keane that was on the blog some 2 years ago as a Union organiser at the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation at Fishermans Bend.

    October 11, 2016
  9. All within minutes of each other – Jessica living at 90A Moseley Street, Watt living at Durham Street, a body found across the road from the Childrens Home and a CIS listening post in the middle of it all.

    October 11, 2016
  10. I think the listening post was set up after December 1st 1948

    October 11, 2016
    • That might have made the eavesdropping even more interesting, particularly if Watt had some knowledge of SM’s death, and living so close he would have known all about it.

      October 11, 2016
  11. B Deveson #

    Gordon, I wonder if the listening post was set up because of the events of 1st December 1948?

    October 11, 2016
  12. Pete, sounds like a fair assumption. It may be possible that given the high level of involvement of certain senior public servants and possibly ministers, then details of the station may have been leaked.

    Byron, my understanding is that the post was only there for a relatively short while, it would maybe pay to review what events transpired during that time and for say the two months after the station was closed down. I am thinking in terms of publicly known events and maybe arrests or press items detrimental to the CPA.

    October 11, 2016
  13. Not a bad set of logistics if you were a CIS unit … a body on the ground in mysterious circumstances, probable connections to an internment camp, Kaldor in the neighbourhood and Watt just around the corner, also with connections to internment camps. And Woomera.
    Be worth a listen in, you reckon?

    October 11, 2016
  14. I reckon. I understand that CIS was likely testing some new RF gear around that time. It wouldn’t only be the listening post, they would be in direct touch with people on the ground, the watchers, and followers. Th posts and watchers go hand in glove. You would have to think that they had a specific target/s and a goal in mind.

    I think that Adelaide was only one part of the story, one would wonder what was happening in far off fields in this same time frame.

    There had already been a ‘gathering of the clan’ from the UK, NZ and Canada in November, what and where was the next big event and in what way would Australia have been involved? Consider those high-level public servants and politicians busy doing what they were doing.

    October 11, 2016
  15. Jews only shared (secret intelligence) information with other Jews … fair statement ?

    October 11, 2016
  16. I think that given the era and the dreadful crimes against them as a people and, in this instance, of arrests and deportation to a country thousands of miles from everything and anyone they knew, it would be difficult in the extreme for Jewish people to share a secret outside of their own culture. I wouldn’t say it was impossible, though, a hair’s breadth away from it.

    Perhaps that’s why Mossad has always had a spectacular reputation for effectiveness; a traitor exposed in their ranks would be a rarity.

    October 12, 2016
    • By the sight the prominent minorah behind Kate Thomson in her 60 minutes interview, we could assume someone in the family converted to the Jewish faith. Perhaps the same can be said of SM?

      October 12, 2016
  17. A agree, SM could have been a convert or he could have always been Jewish but from one of the Reform movements as indeed was Tibor Kaldor. Some were against circumcision and also against the ban on cremations.

    October 12, 2016

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