Tomas Harris
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Tom%C3%A1s Harris
Tomás Harris
MI5 Case Officer Tomás (Tommy) Harris 1942.jpg
Birth nameTomás Joseph Harris
Born(1908-04-10)10 April 1908
Hampstead, United Kingdom
Died27 January 1964(1964-01-27) (aged 55)
Llucmajor, Mallorca, Spain
Allegiance United Kingdom
BranchSecurity Service

Tomás "Tommy" Joseph Harris (10 April 1908 - 27 January 1964) was a Spanish-speaking MI6 officer who worked with Juan Pujol García, an important double agent for the British during World War II, in what became known as the Garbo deception.

Harris continued his father's successful art dealing business, and was an essentially amateur artist himself. Harris had an important collection of Spanish prints, especially those of Goya, which was mostly acquired by the British Museum after his death. The British Museum has 708 objects formerly in his collection, including 22 prints he made himself,[1] and in 1981 published Juliet Wilson Bareau's, Goya's Prints, The Tomás Harris Collection in the British Museum.[2]

His only sibling was Enriqueta Harris (1910--2006), an art historian specializing in Spanish art.

Possible double agent

In August 1962, during a reception at the Weizmann Institute, Flora Solomon told Victor Rothschild, who had worked with MI6 during World War II, that she thought that Tomás Harris and Kim Philby were Soviet spies.[3][incomplete short citation] She then went on to tell Rothschild that she suspected that Philby and his friend, Tomás Harris, had been Soviet agents since the 1930s. "Those two were so close as to give me an intuitive feeling that Harris was more than a friend."[4]

As a result of this information, MI-5 wanted to interview Harris. However, before Harris was interviewed by MI5 he was killed in a motor accident at Llucmajor, Mallorca.[] Some people have suggested that Harris was murdered.[5][incomplete short citation]

Author Chapman Pincher states in his book, Their Trade is Treachery, that it is possible that Harris had been eliminated by the Soviets:

"The police could find nothing wrong with the car, which hit a tree, but Harris's wife, who survived the crash, could not explain why the vehicle had gone into a sudden slide. It is considered possible, albeit remotely, that the KGB might have wanted to silence Harris before he could talk to the British security authorities, as he was an expansive personality, when in the mood, and was outside British jurisdiction. The information, about which MI5 wanted to question him and would be approaching him in Majorca, could have leaked to the KGB from its source inside MI5."[6]

Pincher goes on to argue that the source was probably Roger Hollis, the director-general of MI5.[]

Harris and Pujol

Together they made up a fictional team of 27 fake sub-agents, who were created in order to convince German intelligence that Garbo was a reliable spy. This resulted in what became known as the Garbo deception.

Pujol's and Tomás' Network of Fictitious Agents

                AGENT                               SUB-AGENT
               |Agent ONE -------------------------|J(2) KLM pilot and courier
               |KLM steward                        |
               |-resigned in 1943                  |J(3) Head of Spanish MOI Section
               |                                   |
               |                                   |J(4) Censor in MOI
               |                                   |
               |                                   |J(5) Secretary in Cabinet Office
               |Agent TWO -------------------------|2(I) WIDOW
               |William Gerbers                    |     Mrs. Gerbers
               |-died in Bootle, England in 1942
               |Agent THREE -----------------------|3(I) Pilot Officer
               |BENEDICT                           |
               |-"Carlos", a Venezuelan student    |3(2) Officer in British 49th Infantry Division
               | in Glasgow, Scotland              |
               |                                   |3(3) Greek seaman and deserter
GARBO/ARABEL --|Agent FOUR ------------------------|4(I) ALMURA
(Juan Pujol)   |CHAMILLUS                          |     radio operator
               |-Gibraltarian NAAFI waiter based   |
               | in Chislehurst (London), England  |4(2) Guard based in Chislehurst
               |                                   |
               |                                   |4(3) US NCO based in London
               |Agent FIVE ------------------------|5(I) Agent FIVE's cousin in Buffalo, USA
               |-a Venezuelan based in Ottawa,
               | Canada
               |-brother of "BENEDICT"
               |Agent SIX
               |Field Security NCO
               |-died in 1943
               |Agent SEVEN -----------------------|7(I) Soldier in British 9th Armoured Division
               |DAGOBERT                           |
               |-Ex-seaman in Swansea, Wales       |7(2) DONNY
                                                   |     Leader of World Aryan Order
                                                   |7(3) Wren in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka)
                                                   |7(4) DICK
                                                   |     Indian fanatic
                                                   |7(5) DRAKE in Exeter, England
                                                   |7(6) Welsh fascist in South Wales
                                                   |7(7) DORICK in Harwich, England


  1. ^ British Museum Collection database
  2. ^ British Museum Publications, ISBN ISBN 0714107891
  3. ^ Biography of Flora Solomon
  4. ^ Solomon, F. Baku to Baker Street (1984) p. 226
  5. ^ Biography of Tomás Harris
  6. ^ Pincher, C. Their Trade is Treachery (1981) pp. 169-170


External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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