Virginius Frank Coe

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Secret apparatus
Board of Economic Warfare
Foreign Economic Administration
Silvermaster group

Virginius Frank Coe (1907-1980) worked in the Board of Economic Warfare and later became the Director of Monetary Research in the United States Department of the Treasury. Coe also worked in the Foreign Economic Administration. Coe was technical secretary at the Bretton Woods Conference in 1944.

After World War II Coe was a leading official of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) from 1946 to 1952. Coe was a member of the Soviet spy group known as the Silvermaster ring.

When testifying before the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee on 1 December 1952, Coe interrupted his testimony by invoking the Fifth Amendment when asked if he knew Philip Jessup, who at the time was being considered for the World Court. 3 days after his testimony the IMF requested his resignation.

Coe denied under oath having ever been a member of the CPUSA before a House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) hearing in 1948 chaired by Congressman Karl Mundt; after Alger Hiss's conviction for perjury, when asked the same question in a 1953 hearing of the McCarthy Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (PSI), that day being chaired by then Senator Karl Mundt, Coe declined to answer on Fifth Amendment grounds. Coe, on advice of councel, could not answer whether he knew William Taylor, Coe's assistant for many years at the IMF, under protection of the Fifth Amendment. The (PSI) heard prior testimony from Economic Cooperation officials that the high rate for Austrian currency in 1949 worked against Austria's financial stability and in favor of Soviet occupation forces. The IMF, where Coe was secretary, objected to efforts to devalue the currency.

CCP Chairman Mao Zedong with Israel Epstein (first left), Anna Louise Strong (third left), Frank Coe (second right), and Solomon Adler (first right).

In 1958 Coe moved permanently to China to work for the Maoist regime during the Great Leap Forward, culminating in what Chinese history recalls as the Three Years of Disasters. By 1959, Coe was writing articles justifying the Rectification campaign, which the Epoch Times characterized in December 2004 as "darkest and most ferocious power game ever played out in the human world".

Coe died in China in 1980.


Haynes, John Earl & Klehr, Harvey, Venona: Decoding Soviet Espionage in America, Yale University Press, (2000). ISBN 0300084625

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