Doctor Ramsey, the Archbishop of Canterbury and head of the Anglican communion, said in London today (Wednesday, 9 December) he had been aware that there were paid police informers among those people to whom he preached during his recent visit to South Africa.
CU Archbishop Ramsey.
TRANSCRIPTS: (SEQ 2): RAMSEY: "Because the whole population is aware of it. Secret police, special branch policemen and amongst the Africans paid informers spying on meetings, spying on conversations."
REPORTER: "Do you feel yourself that you were being spied upon. Did you feel that your room might be bugged even ?."
RAMSEY: "Sometimes I used to say to myself "Is the room bugged" but the bugging of the room didn't seem to be the issue so much as that people who talked to me might be interrogated about me, what they were talking to me about."
REPORTER: "And what of the church. Are there informers within the church, do you think ?"
RAMSEY: "There was no doubt all that at the meeting of the church's synod on my first morning there were paid informers so that Africans were inhibited as churchmen from speaking their minds through knowing they might be got at and interrogated. WE know what that means if they did."
Initials PBS/DW/CO/2.12 PBS/DW/CO/2.15
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Background: Doctor Ramsey, the Archbishop of Canterbury and head of the Anglican communion, said in London today (Wednesday, 9 December) he had been aware that there were paid police informers among those people to whom he preached during his recent visit to South Africa. Speaking during an interview after his South African tour, the Church of England leader said there were times when he wondered if his room had been fitted with concealed listening devices. However, his biggest concern, he said, was for the welfare of people whose conversations with him may have been overheard and reported.