To report an imminent threat call 999 or ring the Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321
Current national threat level: SEVERE Read more about threat levels >>

Sir Dick White (Director General 1953–56)

Sir Dick White (1906–93) was a unique figure in the British intelligence services, as the only person to have headed both the Security Service and the Secret Intelligence Service. He joined the Security Service in January 1936 after being recruited by a friend who had joined the Service a couple of years earlier.

During the Second World War he was closely involved with operating the highly successful "Double Cross" system against Nazi Germany. He was responsible for recruiting his former history tutor, J. C. Masterman, who headed the committee responsible for the "Double Cross" system.

He became Deputy Director General in 1952 and succeeded Sir Percy Silitoe as DG in 1953. During his time in office he carried out a major reorganisation of the Service, in which the existing three divisions of the Service were replaced by six branches named A to F. His term was cut short in 1956 when the Prime Minister, Sir Anthony Eden, moved Sir Dick from the Security Service to head the Secret Intelligence Service. He retired from SIS in 1968.

Fact or Fiction?
Films and TV give an accurate insight into the work of MI5.

True False

Latest News

view ALL News

Why MI5 was right for me

Why MI5 was right for me - Being LGBT+ in the Security Service

Read Full Article ›

MI5 signs Race at Work Charter

We are pleased to announce MI5 is a signatory of the Business in the Community Race at Work Charter.

Read Full Article ›