London, Oct 7 : British author Ian Fleming, creator of the fictional secret agent James Bond, has been named as the person responsible for saving the real-life MI6.
Reports from the secret files, released after more than 60 years to the National Archives at Kew, southwest London, suggest that when war broke out, British naval chiefs began to lobby Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill to let them start their own rival espionage service.
They reason they wanted to have their own spy service was because an army officer had been put in charge of MI6, a post that had traditionally been held by a navy officer.
Fleming, who was then the British Navy's liaison officer with MI6, steered them away from the idea, warning that if the spy agency was downgraded there was "a grave danger of letting the baby out with the bath water".
The author had instead suggested on April 1940, to insert "new blood" into the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) by allowing it to be infiltrated by members of the Cambridge spy ring.
"I think that the infusion of new blood into the existing organisation would be better than chopping off hoary but experienced heads," the Telegraph quoted him as having said.
Fleming, who was a personal assistant to Raer Admiral John Godfery, director of naval intelligence, was put in charge of liaison with MI6.
Godfery at the same time began lobbying for a separate naval secret service, and along with Admiral Sir Dudley Pound, who was the head of the Navy at that time, told Churchill that they should be able to choose their own man to be deputy chief of MI6 for a six month trial period.
At that time, it had been suggested that if the change did not improve the situation, a separate organisation should be set up.
Churchill called for a review into the British intelligence service, but the report cleared MI6 of any failings, senior naval officers continued to lobby for their own service.
However, it was thanks to Fleming, who intervened with Godrey and the naval bosses on behalf of MI6, that a new service never came to fruition.