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Nov Advocate 2017

THE ADVOCATE V O L . 7 5 P A R T 6 N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 7 939 you, please whip me”. She suggested that he was either a cabinet member or a member of the royal family. The scandalous lives of the upper classes captured the public’s imagination. Prime Minister Macmillan instructed Lord Denning, Master of the Rolls, to investigate the whole unseemly mess. As Denning put it in his report: One of the most critical points of my inquiry is this: Did Stephen Ward ask Christine Keeler to obtain from Mr. Profumo information as to the time when the Americans were going to supply the atomic bomb to Germany? If he did ask her it was probably at this time in July, 1961: for it was the very thing that Captain Ivanov had asked Stephen Ward to find out from his influential friends. I am very dubious about her recollection about this. She has given several different versions of it and put it at different dates. (She once said it was at the time of the Cuban crisis in October, 1962.) The truth about it is, I think, this: There was a good deal of talk in her presence, between Stephen Ward and Captain Ivanov, about getting this information. And Stephen Ward may well have turned to her and said “You ought to ask Jack (Profumo) about it”. But I do not think it was said as seriously as it has since been reported. Stephen Ward said to me (and here I believed him), “Quite honestly, nobody in their right senses would have asked somebody like Christine Keeler to obtain any information of that sort from Mr. Profumo—he would have jumped out of his skin.” Lord Denning’s investigation got underway around the same time that Ward was committed to trial on charges of “living off the earnings of prostitution” and “procuration of a girl under twenty-one”. Ward was released on bail with his trial beginning later in July 1963. The main witnesses against him were Christine Keeler and Mandy Rice-Davies. The latter infamously responded to a question from defence counsel who put to her that one of the men on the list of people allegedly at one of the sex parties, Lord Astor, denied any involvement with her with a curt: “Well, he would, wouldn’t he?” Ward was present for the summing up by the prosecution, but on the evening of July 30, 1963 he took an overdose of sleeping pills. The next day he was found guilty in absentia. Sentencing was postponed until Ward was fit to appear, but he died on August 3, 1963 without having regained consciousness. Not revealed to the jury at Ward’s trial was the fact that Gordon’s conviction had been overturned when new evidence emerged that Keeler had fabricated her evidence. The two other witnesses had been located. Keeler pleaded guilty to perjury in the fall of that year and ended up being sentenced to nine months in prison. Lord Denning’s report was greatly anticipated. However, it concluded that no security leaks in the Profumo affair had occurred and that the secu-


Nov Advocate 2017
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