april memories / 20


20th April, 1954 : The wife of the defecting Soviet Embassy official, Vladimir Petrov, will stay in Australia. Mrs Evdokia Petrov decided to accept political asylum today rather than fly on to the Soviet Union. Northern Territory police disarmed two Soviet couriers accompanying her in rough s scenes at Darwin Airport before escorting her away so that an official offer of asylum could be made. Weeping and undecided, she took three hours to accept. Mr Petrov, 47, the Third Secretary at the Soviet Embassy, requested and received political asylum in Sydney a week ago. Mr Petrov, who was also an officer in the Soviet secret police, has given the Government evidence of Soviet spying that implicates some Australians.

[To this very day some Australian socialists believe that the whole matter was staged in order to get Robert Menzies re-elected. (Some, of course believe that the devastating result of the last Queensland elections was the work of CIA.) The mental framework of deliberately blind socialists was exhibited by Dr H V Evatt, then the Leader of Australian Labor Party. Two of his staffers were implicated in the spy ring. He wrote to the Foreign Minister of USSR, Vyacheslav Molotov, asking if indeed Soviet secret services had any spies in Australia. Having received the not entirely unexpected negative reply, Dr Evatt, former High Court judge and former President of UN General Assembly, read out Molotov’s letter in the House of Representatives, as a proof of Soviet innocence.]

About Avadoro Worden

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