The Raid on the Premises of the Russian Trading Delegation
SOON AFTER THE RUSSIANS were allowed to open trade relations with England in 1926 they established a central agency in London called "Arcos Ltd.," with offices in Moorgate Street in a building specially constructed at a cost of over £300,000. It became known to the Special Branch that this office was not used exclusively to conduct trade, but was in fact the centre for political business that could not safely be transacted at the Russian legation. In fact, Arcos Ltd. was conducting in London an international campaign for the overthrow of existing institutions in all the so-called capitalist countries. It was significant that the building itself contained massive strong rooms with thick concrete walls and steel doors with elaborate bolts and locks. Within these strong rooms were heavy steel safes, and in other parts of the building steel safes were built into the walls behind the wood panelling.
All this had been known from early in 1926 onwards. It was known, moreover, that a number of subversive societies were drawing their funds from Russia through the medium of Arcos. British labour and British trade unionism were restless and indignant at the failure of the general strike, and though there was no evidence that the strike itself had been financed from Russia it was certain that one or two of the unions affiliated with the Trade Union Con-