Motorist's Road Map of England, Wales & Scotland

RUSSIAN OIL PRODUCTS LTD. Motorist's Road Map of England, Wales & Scotland.

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RUSSIAN OIL PRODUCTS LTD. Motorist's Road Map of England, Wales & Scotland. London R.O.P., [c. 1937].

Folding map in three colours printed on both sides of one sheet (45 x 56 cm), with printed card covers; these with a little wear and light spotting.
Apart from being a very detailed road map of Britian the main interest lies in the company who issued it. 'A released Home Office file (HO 144/17917) deals with concern that R.O.P. Ltd. were engaged in dubious activities circa from July 1932 to August 1933. Officials were concerned that this company was being used as a base for communist political activities leading to espionage and sabotage. Apart from the Home Office severely limiting the large number of applicants to join the board of R.O.P. Ltd., there are files which include profiles of communist activists and employees, both Russian and British, and submissions from surveillance officers and ex-employees. For example, in 1932 Volodarsky, clumsily posing as a Romanian journalist, offered bribes to Shell Mex employees in return for oil industry information. Volodarsky was in fact an OGPU agent, posing in Britain under cover of being employed by Russian Oil Products. At this time Volodarsky was living at 160 Highbury New Park, an address associated at the time with many Soviet agents … Later, security files also disclose that MI5 kept a close watch on the company which was suspected of being a cover for Soviet espionage during wartime' (http://www.blisworth.org.uk).

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