George Rodger, wonders (Saturday, February 5, 2005) Did the Duke of Hamilton have a secret meeting with Hess before the one recorded in the archives?
When did Duke of Hamilton first speak with Hess?
I was re-reading your book Hess : The Missing Years and then was intrigued to come across an account by Air Vice-Marshal Sandy Johnstone that contradicts the accepted time of 10am the following day as being the Duke of Hamilton's first meeting with Rudolf Hess after his arrival.
The account comes from an 'Oral Histories' section of a Glasgow City Council Museum's book published in 2003, and probably not well-known - Glasgow's Spitfire; in this, and Johnstone mentions that he was having dinner with the Duke and Duchess when Hamilton was called away to the telephone to be told of the arrival of a German named Alfred Horn, who wanted to see him.
"But the intelligence people seemed to think there was something on, so Douglo went off to Glasgow where they had taken him, into Maryhill Barracks, he'd landed at Eaglesham. I went back to Turnhouse, to the Ops room and about one o'clock in the morning the Duke of Hamilton then came in and took me into the rest room, and I thought he looked very agitated and he shut the door, I always remember him locking the door, and shutting the ventilators. I thought, 'My goodness', and he said, ' Don't think I'm mad, but I think Rudolph Hess is in Glasgow.' I was probably the second person to hear this, he never let on to the people who had taken him through to Glasgow. I reckon I was the number two to hear about it."
It thus appears that Hamilton had a secret initial meeting with Hess before the 'official' meeting at 10am.
You can access the whole section at http://www.glasgowmuseums.com/shop.cfm - scroll down the book listings, the ninth is Glasgow's Spitfire, and then click on the 'Related Documents' excerpts richtext version link.
I haven't seen this acount by Johnstone cited anywhere else, and I hope that it may be of use or interest to you.
Mr Irving replied:
WHEN Hess first arrived, the police inventory indicated that he was carrying a letter (addressed to HM King George VI). Later inventories omit this letter, leaving it possible that it had been handed to the duke, who had lunch with His Majesty a few days later and perhaps handed the letter to him. The Royal Archives will not anwer my question whether they hold such a letter.