Sydney Morrell was born in 1912. He became a journalist who worked for the Daily Mirror and the Daily Express. He became the newspaper's European correspondent. During this period he became friendly with Lord Beaverbrook and married his secretary. It has been argued that Beaverbrook recruited Morrell in 1940 into British Security Coordination (BSC). As William Boyd has pointed out: "The phrase (British Security Coordination) is bland, almost defiantly ordinary, depicting perhaps some sub-committee of a minor department in a lowly Whitehall ministry. In fact BSC, as it was generally known, represented one of the largest covert operations in British spying history... With the US alongside Britain, Hitler would be defeated - eventually. Without the US (Russia was neutral at the time), the future looked unbearably bleak... polls in the US still showed that 80% of Americans were against joining the war in Europe. Anglophobia was widespread and the US Congress was violently opposed to any form of intervention." An office was opened in the Rockefeller Centre in Manhattan with the agreement of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and J. Edgar Hoover of the FBI.
William Ross-Smith later recalled: "When Morrell first arrived at BSC he worked in my section for a while and did excellent, he soon moved on to dealing with press, radio, black propaganda and anti British pro-German organizations." In July 1941 he was asked to write a report on the organisations that had been set up with the help of the BSC. "The Non-Sectarian Anti-Nazi League. Used for the vehement exposure of enemy agents and isolationists. Prints a wide variety of pamphlets, copies of which have been sent to you. Has recently begun to attack Lindbergh and the many other conscious or unconscious native Fascists.... Friends of Democacy. An example of the work of this organization is attached. It is a complete attack upon Henry Ford for his Nazi leanings."
Morrell was especially pleased with the progress he had made with the Fight for Freedom group. He explains that important members included Allen W. Dulles, Joseph Alsop, Dean G. Acheson, Lewis William Douglas, and several journalists including Herbert Agar (Louisville Courier-Journal), Geoffrey Parsons (New York Herald Tribune) and Elmer Davis (CBS). However, Morrell believed that more could be achieved if they created one unified organization: "The most effective of all propaganda towards the US would be through a unified organization which could be used to attack the isolationists, such as America First, on the other hand, and to create a Nation-wide campaign for an American declaration of war upon the other."
Sydney Morrell died in 1985.
(i) The Non-Sectarian Anti-Nazi League. Used for the vehement exposure of enemy agents and isolationists. Prints a wide variety of pamphlets, copies of which have been sent to you. Has recently begun to attack Lindbergh and the many other conscious or unconscious native Fascists.
(ii) The League for Human Rights. A subsidiary organization of the American Federation of Labour which in its turn controls 4,000,000 trade unionists....
(iii) Friends of Democacy. An example of the work of this organization is attached. It is a complete attack upon Henry Ford for his Nazi leanings.
(iv) Fight for Freedom Committee. Both this and (iii) above are militant interventionist organizations whose aim is to provide Roosevelt with evidence that the U.S. public is eager for action.
(v) American Committee to Aid British Labour. Another branch organization of tile American Federation of Labour. It is organized along the lines that British labour is in the front line defending American labour. The latest activity of this organization has been to inaugurate a week during which all American trade unionists are asked to donate towards a fund in aid of British labour....
(vi) Committee for Inter-American Co-operation. Used this for sponsoring SO.1 work in Central and South America. It is now being used intensively for penetration in all Latin American countries, both as cover for agents and for sponsoring pamphlets.
(vii) American Last. A purely provocative experiment started in San Francisco in an attempt to sting America into a fighting mood.