Documents have been released revealing a large very secret slush fund - used in the 50s
Even by the standards of a secret service, the account was remarkably clandestine. No-one knew about it. "Not the Treasury or the Foreign Office. Certainly not ministers. And not even MI6's own finance director,"
What the BBC's article does not reveal is where it came from. Although very old ( introduced under William and Mary) and totally unfit to manage a modern government structure (Maggie replaced most of it with the Financial Initiative in the 80s) the one thing the old Vote Accounting System did well was to ensure that there were no large secret funds in government not under parliamentary scrutiny - after all that was what it was intended for - to stop the crown from being able to do things without parliament knowing and voting the money through.
Such a fund would allow MI6 to carry out covert operations without the knowledge or approval of the British government.
There used to be a persistent rumour that the fledgling CIA had had a slush fund that Congress knew nothing off - originally created by the theft of the Bavarian Gold Reserves by "US military and German civilian personnel" in 1945. I wonder if MI6's secret stash had similar nefarious origins.