Jack Profumo

Dec 1971/January 1972: Father Trevor Huddleston’s patronage & Righton’s ‘enforced’ resignation

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ACCESS Minutes, 8 December 1971, PSY/WOL/4/1 p1.

 

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ACCESS Minutes, 8 December 1971, PSY/WOL/4/1 p2

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ACCESS Minutes, 8 December 1971, PSY/WOL/4/1 p3

 

 

 

Within 9 months of starting ACCESS Righton’s ‘enforced withdrawal’ from Chairmanship takes place due to potential adverse publicity  – just after The Times announces him as Director-Designate heading up a two-man team at the National Children’s Bureau. [ https://spotlightonabuse.wordpress.com/2013/12/16/the-national-childrens-bureau-12-05-93/

On 8th December ACCESS met at the National Institute of Social Work with only 5 attendees: Peter Righton (Chair), Doreen Cordell (Secretary), Rev. Malcolm Johnson, David Allen (Honorary treasurer, formerly in same role for Albany Trust but left due to Michael De La Noy), and Dr Theo Schlict. Looking at the minutes, it may be that Righton had already wished to make the announcement that he had been forced to step down as Chairman at the 8th December meeting but due to the poor attendance held back his news on being ‘forced’ to step down along with Claire Raynor’s resignation.

“In spite of there being so few members present it was agreed to proceed with the business of the meeting owing to the urgency of the situation and as there was no defined quorum at this stage.”…

Item 4. The Chairman’s opening remarks were brief, the main content of what he had wished to say being deferred to the next meeting at which it was hoped more members would be present.”

On taking advice from their honorary solicitor (Ambrose Appelbe – also Hon. Solicitor for the Albany Trust) regarding redrafting their application for charitable status with a more medical emphasis, all due to a disappointing reply from the Charity Commission, Peter Righton suggests seeking the patronage of Father Trevor Huddleston, Bishop of Stepney for Vice President “or some other honorary office”.

Father Trevor Huddleston (Bishop of Stepney) shows an interest in Peter Righton’s new counselling outfit via Canon Eric James

[see Blog Post: Trevor Huddleston & Others: Famous Mr X and the Rule of Law 25/11/2014]

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Anti-apartheid campaigning Huddleston was the subject of headlines planned and then spiked by John Junor of the Sunday Express during mid 1974, (less than two and a half years after Righton’s suggestion to seek his patronage for ACCESS on Total Sexuality). When accused of ‘sexually harassing’ two school age boys by their mother, both the Bishop of London and the prebendary of Fleet Street’s St Brides got together to quash John Junor’s threat to publish an article.

Huddleston’s obituary for the Independent, written by former Albany Director Michael De La Noy (who gives the impression of a man intent on blackmailing Lord Beaumont and Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Ramsey), stated Trevor was moved from Stepney to the Indian Ocean of Mauritius in 1978 to ‘hush up a scandal which will raise a few eyebrows today.” De La Noy appears to have been someone who never shied away from an opportunity to point to what he knew about Anglican prelates’ sexual proclivities in print.

All the South African intelligence service BOSS’s files on Trevor had been shredded according to Canon Eric James who searched for them when writing his biography of Huddleston during the 1990s.

“5. Charitable Status: Discussion ensued on such other help as could be obtained and the Chairman suggested arranging an appointment with the Bishop of Stepney, who had already shown interest in ACCESS through Canon Eric James, with a view to inviting him to become associated with ACCESS. The Chairman’s suggestion was approved and discussion ensued on the possibility and advisability of inviting the Bishop to become a Patron or Vice President or some other honorary office…

5b. An approach to be made to the Bishop of Stepney and Professor Lafitte in the first instance to become associated with ACCESS on the lines indicated above.”

Jack Profumo secures Righton’s Counselling Group rooms at Toynbee Hall

“6. Toynbee Hall: ” It was reported that a letter had been received from the Resident Director of Attlee House, Mr Richard Pentney, dated 23rd November 1971, on behalf of the Warden of Toynbee Hall and himself.”

The Warden of Toynbee Hall was Jack profumo, who Doreen and Righton had met during October/November [insert link to post on Lord Beaumont’s Letter(s) & Peter Righton meets Jack Profumo). Remarkable to think of Macmillan’s former Secretary of War sorting premises for where MI5 blocked Dr Robert Chartham/Ronald Seth and Peter Righton sought to take over the Albany Trust’s counselling case files, all as part of his atoning ‘good deeds’.

What Profumo did next (The Telegraph, 17 November 2003)

 January 1972: ACCESS needs a new Chairman

By Monday 24th January 1972, Doreen Cordell was looking for nominations for a new Chairman for ACCESS.

“I would refer to my note about Mr Righton’s enforced withdrawal from the Chairmanship of ACCESS and our request that nominations should be received by me prior to the next meeting, at which Dr Theo Schlict has agreed to take the chair.”

Dr Chartham/Ronald Seth, although unable to attend because Wednesday was his clinic day (where?), appeared keen to take the reins but wasn’t available until July and wanted Dr Theo Schlict while on sabbatical (from Royal Northern Hospital, Holloway Road?) to take temporary charge

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In a letter to (later to be Albany Trustee) Dr Charlotte Wolff, Doreen writes also on 24 January 1972:
“I am hoping that Peter will retain the Chairmanship of the Counselling & Training sub committee (which does not necessitate public identification and is essentially his special sphere) because this is very important and it is vital that we get a training scheme off the ground and that we establish a reliable roster of vetted people to help at Toynbee.” [My emphasis]
No trace of irony from Doreen using the term vetted in the same sentence as Righton and his ‘enforced’ resignation.

“At the January meeting Dr Schlict agreed to take the Chair, at least for the time being. We did not proceed to electing Robert into the Deputy Chair because we only had a small number and it was felt that this should be done, if at all, with a more representative group. I also explained how you felt about things, which was understood. Claire Raynor insisted to Peter that her resignation went forward so we accepted that.”

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Doreen Cordell writing to Dr Charlotte Wolff, 1 February 1972 [Wellcome PSY/WOL/4/1]

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“Peter has retained the Chair of the Counselling & Training Sub Committee, thank goodness, and as, you know, it only comprised Theo, Michael Butler and Peter…”
On 26th January 1972 Dr Theo Schlict took over as Chair of ACCESS and David Allen, Peter Righton, Rev Malcolm Johnson and Mrs Doreen Cordell all attended. Claire Raynor’s resignation was finally announced having been given to Righton before the 8th December meeting, and one room at Toynbee Hall was ready with the telephone connected as promised, radio

“i. Mr Righton outlined the situation which had arisen in connection with his new appointment which precipitated his enforced resignation as Chairman. He re-affirmed that this did not imply any loss of interest or confidence in ACCESS or the cause it sought to promote and he was willing, subject to the concurrence of the members, to remain on the committee to give such service as he could as an ordinary member. He expressed thanks to Dr Schlict for agreeing to preside in the emergency.”

ii. Nominations for the Office of Chairman Members had been circulated as to the situation and nominations had been called for.

A letter was read from Dr Chartham nominating Dr Schlict and it was reported that others had made this suggestion. Dr Chartham expressed the hope that Dr Schlict would consider taking Office permanently but if he did not, he offered himself for the position as from next July, subject to the approval of the committee, suggesting that Dr Schlict might consider taking Office in the interim.”

Righton’s step down appears to be related to the need to stress that membership of ACCESS was done ‘on a personal basis rather than on a representative basis of any other organisation’. How had his new appointment at the National Children’s Bureau precipitated his resignation? Had  this been requested as a condition of his appointment at the National Children’s Bureau? And if so, how and whose decision at the NCB had it been to ask Righton to step down?

Another consequence of Righton’s step down was that he’d not been able to approach the Bishop of Stepney and it was therefore decided Rev. Malcolm Johnson would do this.

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ACCESS minutes 26 January 1972, p.1

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ACCESS minutes, 26 January 1972 p.2

 

Meanwhile back at the Albany Trust, Edgar Wright (Antony Grey) was firmly back in control and Dr John Robinson, former Bishop of Woolwich and Dean of Trinity College, Cambridge was putting the case for the age of consent to be lowered to 14

The Times, July 6th, 1972 Basil Gingell, ‘Dr Robinson puts case for age of consent to be 14′ – Dr John Robinson, Bishop of Woolwich, Dean of Trinity College, Cambridge

September 1971: Lord Beaumont’s letter(s) & Righton meets Jack Profumo

Spychiatric Struggles – Righton’s attempt to gain control over Albany Trust’s counselling files

1. May 1971: In which Righton & Cordell establish ACCESS with Dr Robert Chartham (aka Ronald Seth – of potential interest to MI5) named on a draft trust deed and plan to takeover Albany Trust’s counselling casework files

2. July 1971: In which Righton gets called to the House of Lords by Lord Beaumont, ex Liberal party Chairman & Treasurer for an emergency meeting of the 12 friends of the Albany Trust

3. September & October 1971: In which Righton and Dr Chartham realise they will have to get the Trust’s counselling casework files via less confrontational means and Righton takes advice from Jack Profumo [see below]

4. August 1971: Doreen Cordell’s anxious letters to Dr Charlotte Wolff and Peter Righton [to be posted]

5. December/January 1972: Righton’s ‘enforced’ resignation as Chair of ACCESS [to be posted]

On 2nd September ACCESS held it’s third meeting at the National Institute for Social Work Training with Peter Righton chairing and seven attendees: Mr Don Burge, Dr Robert Chartham [aka Ronald Seth – more on whether MI5 were watching him here], Mr Peter Earl, Canon Eric James (BBC R4 Thought for the Day regular, one third of the Church of England’s ‘South Bank’ trio with Dr John Robinson former Albany Trust Chairman, and unlikely Chaplain Extraordinary to the Queen from 1985), Miss Claire Raynor (then magazine Agony Aunt for Nova and Rave – pre-TV days – and perplexed by ACCESS’s lack of interest in the more mundane marital bedroom issues like impotence), Dr Charlotte Wolff (later Albany Trustee and confidant of Antony Grey) and last but not least, Michael De La Noy’s apparent nemesis and Peter Righton’s right hand woman, Secretary of ACCESS Mrs Doreen Cordell.

Canon Eric James declined Peter Righton’s invitation to take up a position as a Trustee and deferred to him allowing Righton to become Trustee as well as Chair of ACCESS and ultimately Head of the Training Sub-Committee he establishes.

When Righton had left for his summer holidays shortly after the July House of Lords emergency meeting of the 12 Friends of the Albany Trust, all had seemingly been settled. Righton had defended Doreen’s involvement staunchly to Lord Beaumont despite Michael De La Noy’s refusal to communicate or even set eyes on her and Beaumont had agreed. Over a three month period the counselling casework and referrals would be handed over to ACCESS.

“The subsequent discussion between the Chairman and Lord Beaumont took place on this decisions when agreement was reached on the following points:

i. The Chairman had been informed that the Trustees and the Director had agreed that the referral and counselling work of the Trust should, at the end of a 3-month period, be taken over by ACCESS

ii. The Chairman insisted that the Secretary should no longer operate under a blanket and should be recognised as a member of ACCESS, to which Lord Beaumont agreed, together with the comment that she should be involved in any future negotiations irrespective of the feelings of the Director, to which Lord Beaumont also agreed.

iii. Neither the Trust nor ACCESS, it was agreed, would engage in publicity about the takeover otherwise than by mutual agreement after a meeting of representatives of both organisations and publicity at a properly convened press conference.

iv. It was agreed that the meeting of representatives should take place as soon as might be arranged in order to decide details; it was further agreed that Michael Schofield should be the Trustee acting for the Albany trust, with its Director, and Michael Butler, Charlotte Wolff and the Chairman should be the representatives of ACCESS.

Subsequent publicity: The Chairman outlined events which followed from the telephone request from the Director on behalf of Lord Beaumont to Charlotte Wolff and Michael Schofield’s refusal to accept the Secretary at the proposed meeting, which he then cancelled. This was followed by a circulation from Lord Beaumont to those attending the advisory meeting thanking them for their presence and confirming the arrangement made with the Chairman. However, simultaneously a wide circulation had been sent out by the Director which had also been quoted in the press stating that the referral and counselling would, in future, be transferred to Michael butler and a team of trained Samaritans. The Chairman understood that this had done without Michael Butler’s knowledge or consent. Had caused him great difficulty as, being unable to attend the advisory meeting, he had simply indicated that, in an emergency, he was prepared to continue backstopping the casework, as he had been doing since February, but only as a temporary measure.

….

d. Future relationships: The Chairman explained that one of the reasons why the meeting had been postponed was because he had hoped to be able to have some discussion with one of the Trustees but this had not been possible. He pointed out that ACCESS had kept to the agreement on every point but the Albany Trust had committed a breach of this. In view of all the circumstances, the Chairman said he felt disinclined to have contact with the Director of the Albany Trust except in the presence of other witnesses in which he was fully supported by the committee.

Dr. Chartham stated he had written a letter to Lord Beaumont, following the publicity regarding the casework, which was read to the meeting and with which the meeting concurred.

After discussion, it was agreed that the Chairman and Dr Chartham should together make one more attempt to arrange a meeting with Lord Beaumont.

It was further agreed that irrespective of the arrangements made by the Albany Trust, the committee should proceed with its own arrangements as a matter of urgency.”

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ACCESS September minutes, p. 1, Wellcome Library, PSY/WOL/

 

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September minutes p2

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September minutes p.3

 

 

 

 

On 21 October 1971 ACCESS met for the fourth time. Lord Beaumont had replied to Dr Robert Chartham’s letter, agreeing, again, entirely to the handover of Albany Trust’s counselling casework within 3 months. However according to the minutes Dr Chartham wasn’t sharing the contents of the letter he’d received subsequently. Was this from Lord Beaumont too? There was much concern amongst the ACCESS group that personal details of who had been counselled for what discussed in committee at Albany Trust were going to be published by Michael De La Noy. For some reason Dr Theo Schlict was particularly concerned over the level of detail he had put into specific Albany Trust counselling casework files, above and beyond his normal approach. It was agreed to try and ignore Michael De La Noy’s threats, pretend the transfer to Rev. Michael Butler of the Samaritans was going ahead, and then negotiate the casework files into the hands of Righton and ACCESS.

 

“The Chairman explained that this related to the future relationship between ACCESS and the Albany Trust and asked members to check the record of his report to the last meeting most carefully for accuracy, which was done to the satisfaction of the committee.

He stated that he had given careful thought to the situation as it now existed and had decided not to go ahead with a meeting with Mr Michael Schofield as the work which ACCESS had set itself to do was in no way the concern of the Trust. In his opinion, when ACCESS was ready, negotiations would take place with Michael Butler and the Samaritans, and he felt it would complicate matters to an unbearable degree if an approach was made to Lord Beaumont.

One remaining serious matter was the question of the records which had already been discussed in committee. It was already known that if this issue was raised it would cause great difficulty so far as the trust was concerned.

The Chairman enquired if Dr Chartham had received a reply to the letter he had sent to Lord Beaumont which he had read to the last meeting to which Dr Chartham stated that Lord Beaumont had agreed with its entire contents. He had had a subsequent letter which was private and confidential.

The concern of ACCESS in the record situation was related to its takeover of the casework complete and the possibility that this material would be used for publication purposes without the consent of those involved. Dr Schlict added his concern since he had written confidentially in greater detail than he would normally do to an agency on certain cases.

In discussion it was pointed out that the case records were legally the property of the Trust and it was agreed that ACCESS should proceed with its own identity and negotiate with the Rev Michael Butler for the necessary transfer without further reference to the Albany Trust.”

But however dispiriting Righton found the continued failure to wrest the trust’s counselling case files from De La Noy’s hands, in other news he and Doreen were able to report to the Committee they’d met Jack Profumo down at Toynbee Hall in the East End with some positive outcomes for fundraising and somewhere ACCESS could call home.

Before long ACCESS would be settled in the East End at 35, St George’s House, Toynbee Hall, 28 Commercial Street in one of London’s most significant charitable institutions and the first university settlement [for more on Mansfield Settlement and the conviction of Sir Ian Horobin MP a decade earlier for abusing boys in the East End see here].

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