Having joined the Secret Intelligence Service after fighting and being wounded with his regiment in World War I, Maj. Frank Foley was posted to Berlin under Passport Control Officer cover in 1920. His task was to represent SIS, liaise with the local authorities, monitor the subversive activities of the Indian nationalists based in Germany, and recruit useful agents. His star source was a disaffected Comintern agent, Johann de Graff, later known as Jonny X, but increasingly his time was dedicated to handling an increasing number of visa applications from Jews seeking to reach Palestine. In 2003 Foley’s distribution of entry permits, which saved many thousands of lives from the Holocaust, was acknowledged at Yad Vashem in Israel.
Foley remained at his post until the outbreak of war, when he was withdrawn and posted to Norway, where he played a vital role in the evacuation by maintaining a radio link with England. Later he would interrogate Rudolf Hess, following his unexpected arrival in May 1941, and represent the SIS on the Twenty Committee. After the war Foley returned to Berlin to work with the Control Commission. He died in May 1958.