Policing the Comintern Network in Asia: "The Lefranc Affair" and the British Security System

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Abstract

After World War I, the International Communism Movement, led by the Third International (the Comintern), was one of the major threats to the British Empire. The Comintern constructed a worldwide liaison network of comrades called the Comintern Network to try to penetrate the "Western World." In order to police this Comintern Network, the British Empire constructed its own Security System consisting of the Intelligence Service (the Political Intelligence Bureau or the Special Branch) and the Passport Control System. This paper uses "the Lefranc Affair" as a case study to demonstrate how the British Security System policed the Comintern Network, particularly in Asia. A French agent of the Comintern named Serge Lefranc, alias Joseph Ducroux, who worked in Asia from 1926, was arrested in Singapore on 1 June 1931. This paper describes how the British Security System monitored his activities and took action against him, and summarizes the structure of the British Security System by focusing on cooperation between the Intelligence Service and the Passport Control System.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-318
Number of pages16
JournalSoutheast Asian Studies
Volume43
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2005
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Political Science and International Relations

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