A possible motive behind the death the Somerton Man.
It was established in an earlier post that there was evidence of a parallel investigation taking place into the Somerton Man Case well before Detective Brown interviewed Paul Lawson at the morgue on June 8th and as noted by Paul Lawson in his work diary.
Brown’s knowledge of the relationship that existed between Boxall and Harkness before it came about in an interview with Detective Canney six weeks later on July 25/26th indicates another investigation had the Rubaiyat in its possession prior to its reported handing in by Chemist Freeman and Jessica Harkness had already been interviewed.
The story as it goes ….
Robert Hemblys-Scales of the MI5 accompanied his Director, Roger Hollis to Australia in August 1948 and stayed on to reorganise the Australian security operation which was ruthlessly described by Hollis in a report to London:
“Australia’s name stinks in the security world.”
Then Hollis let loose on Longfield Lloyd.
“Hollis wrote in August 1948 that Eric Longfield Lloyd, the head of ASIO’s precursor, the commonwealth intelligence service, claimed to know all about Russian espionage methods but “in fact he demonstrably knows nothing of these matters and has almost no resources to cope with them”.
(Quotes from The Australian April 16, 2011 Peter Wilson)
So, from the Russian point of view you could say they were winning by more than a body length in atomic age Australia 1948, but with the news that Roger Hollis was leaving Hemblys-Scales in the country, you might expect a Russian reaction. Spying is competitive that way.
And the quickest way to stall Hemblys-Scales’ budding efforts in ridding the CIS of Russian assets was to stall him through his Aunt Lica.
The anonymous man who handed the Rubaiyat to DS Leane six months after it was found is now thought to have been Dr. Delprat or a colleague of Robert Hemblys-Scales. It could not have been Chemist Freeman as he told Leane the book had remained in his glovebox for the entire six months.
Dr. Delprat would have been aware of the risks of engaging Russia in espionage activities as she was the daughter of a Dutch diplomat and Robert Hemblys-Scales, her nephew by marriage, was currently employed by the British Government as their senior MI5 representative in Canberra and was busy rooting out some very long-term Russian assets from the Australian security services.
But Russians are known for the complexity and ruthlessness of their retaliatory plots. It wasn’t enough for them to implicate Hembly-Scales in an unsolved murder through Dr. Delprat, they decided to round up a couple of Australian spooks as well, which was fair enough given how many Russian spooks HS was turfing out of Canberra.
Paul Lawson overheard the police discussing Jessica Harkness and Alfred Boxall’s covert relationship in exchanging classified shipping information while both were working in Sydney. Boxall was stationed on Sydney Harbour, Harkness, a trainee nurse, worked in a major hospital.
The only way that works, given both of them were working for allied purposes, was for Boxall to create false information before passing it to Harkness who then passed it along to a communist party operative who was lured to Adelaide in November 1948 and murdered.
Re-awaken SM’s covert relationship with Harkness and send him to Adelaide to make contact.
Take him as soon as he arrives.
Tuck the Tamam Shud slip into his pocket.
Deposit his body close to Moseley Street.
Deposit the Rubaiyat inside Lica Delprat’s car.*
Then, and crucially, … expect the police to find the slip when they first search the body.
This information will no doubt make its way to the newspapers quickly so when Delprat finds the Rubaiyat she will make the connection and hand it in to the police straight away.
They will see the code, the phone number.
This too will make the news. And as newspapers are known to be inquisitive they will, with our help, have a close look at Lica Delprat’s background, her family.
And up will pop Robert Hembleys-Scales of the MI5 who is now irretrievably and fatally connected to a coded book found inside his aunt’s car and a mysteriously worded slip torn from it lodged secretly inside the trouser pocket of an unidentified dead man found close to the home of a woman once engaged in covert activities.
Moss said he didn’t find the slip when he searched the body, and Cleland delayed in finding it when he had the opportunity to search the clothes worn by the dead man, then he delayed proceedings again in telling DS Leane about it, who delayed yet again before giving it to Brown to investigate, which delayed the news getting out.
And whoever had the book from Lica, bless his anonymous MI5 head, delayed a full six months before giving it back which in turn delayed the police interviews of Harkness and Boxall until after the inquest.
So, it looks like old Hemblys-Scales beat the Russians at their own game – no wonder they whizzed him over to Beirut later on and settled him close to Kim Philby.
You know it makes sense.
It is not known if Dr. Delprat drove a Hillman Minx.
Bringing down Hembly-Scales would have wide political ramifications. That’s Billy Hughes (Australian PM from 1915 to 1923) with his hat in hand and wishing the newly-married Hembly-Scales well.
* Dr Delprat and her husband once had a surgery close to Chemists Freeman’s pharmacy, when her husband died in 1934, Lica Delprat moved her practice to Unley – 20 minutes away.
Following courtesy of Byron Deveson.
Robert Victor Hemblys Scales wife’s aunt was married to Dr Milmo Sprod.
Tania Virginia Hemblys-Scales (nee Teppema)
Birthdate: circa 1925
Birthplace: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Daughter of Petrus Ephrem Teppema and Elizabeth Francisca Carmen Delprat
Milmo Sprod’s wife was “Lica” Elizabeth Theodora Delprat
BIRTH 1882 Jorga, Spain
DEATH 18 JUN 1963 South Australia
Father Guillaume Daniel Delprat(1856–1937)
Mother Henrietta Marie Wilhelmine Sophia Jas(1858–1937)
Marriage 11 Apr 1916 Victoria to Dr. Milo Weeks Sprod (1882–1934)
In other words Elizabeth Francisca Carmen Delprat (Hembly Scales’ mother in law) was a sister to Milmo Sprod’s wife.