How discomfiting to see the late Sir Peter Hayman, British High Commissioner to Canada from 1970-1974 and a deputy director of MI-6, implicated in the ever-darkening Operation Fairbank investigation in the UK.
Scotland Yard has been investigating a purported ring of politically-connected pedophiles, who sexually abused an unknown number of boys in the 70s and 80s during bacchanals at Dolphin Square, a luxury apartment building conveniently located near Westminster.
The probe into the decades-old sex crimes is now also a murder investigation, as one of the alleged victims, a man publicly identified only as ‘Nick,’ says he witnessed a Tory MP strangle a boy at one of the shindigs, that another of the kids was run down by his abuser’s car, and a third murdered in the presence of a cabinet minister.
‘Nick’ was also the one who named Sir Peter as a member of the ring and one of his abusers.
“He used to kiss and touch, liked me to do that to him,” he told the muckraking website Exaro, “But it would always culminate in being raped. That is what happened all the time.”
Sir Peter, who went to his, er, reward in 1992, had previously been identified as a keen admirer of child pornography, but not an active sexual predator.
Back in 1981, Tory MP Geoffrey Dickens, shielded by parliamentary privilege, outed poor Sir Peter in the House of Commons as a member of the Pedophile Information Exchange (PIE), an organization which swapped child porn between them and lobbied to lower the age of consent to four — or abolish it entirely — in the interests of the little ones’ “sexual freedom.”
The glabrous Sir Peter, affectionately known by the sobriquet Humpty Dumpty Haypot, commenced his great fall in 1978 when he absentmindedly left a packet of kiddie porn on a bus, addressed to an apartment he had rented under the clever alias Peter Henderson.
When cops raided the apartment, they found 46 volumes of his journals, 80 pages each, containing, Private Eye reported, “explicit and detailed diaries cataloguing years of his sexual activities which involved every conceivable perversion. Much of what he recorded was fantasy, but some of the events clearly had occurred.”
Sir Peter was never prosecuted, although two of his PIE pen pals were. He did pay a fine for gross indecency after being caught in flagrante in a men’s room in 1984, but that’s another story.
That Hayman’s erotic diaries reportedly covered his time in Ottawa was of remarkably little interest to the government that had accepted his credentials.
In the finest Canadian tradition, then-Sol. Gen. Bob Kaplan quickly sprang into inaction at any suggestion that any Ottawa children could have been the subject of Sir Peter’s unspeakable attentions during his time in the colonies.
For posterity, Frank reproduces his, er, measured response to questions in the House from Tory MP Peter Elzinga, March 19, 1981:
Mr. Peter Elzinga (Pembina): Madam Speaker, my question is directed to the Solicitor General. Can he indicate to the House whether the government was aware of the activities alleged to have been indulged in by the former British High Commissioner to Canada, Sir Peter Hayman and if so, what action has been taken, or what action does the government plan to take?
Hon. Bob Kaplan (Solicitor General): Madam Speaker, the RCMP were not aware of the matters to which the hon. member refers. We do not propose an investigation into them. If the matter requires the attention of anyone, which is not for us to say, it would be a matter for British authorities.
Mr. Elzinga; Madam Speaker, my supplementary question is also directed to the Solicitor General. In view of the fact that there alleged overtones of sexual involvement with children, and in view of the fact that the High Commissioner had close links with the intelligence community in Canada, does the government not think that this warrants an investigation in order to clear the air in Canada, since he was High Commissioner for that period of time?
Mr. Caplan: Madam Speaker, any improper or illegal activities that might have involved children, as the hon. member knows, would be a matter for municipal police forces or provincial police forces and would not fall within the federal policing program of the RCMP.
So far as the national security interest is involved, we are not aware of any national security interest that was prejudiced by any of these alleged acts.
So that’s all right, then!
Chalk up another Heritage Moment, and never mind the very notion that Hayman, a top-ranked diplomat whose tenure in Canada began during the October Crisis kidnappings, had not been closely watched by the RCMP Security Service, might strain the credulity of a roofied eleven-year-old.
Still, it’s at least more palatable than the prospect that they did watch, but decided not to see.
Michael Sherwood is 106.