History of the UK’s Secret Intelligence Service (SIS/MI6)
In the early 1900s, the British government was increasingly concerned about the threat to its Empire posed by Germany’s imperial ambitions. This led to scare stories of German spies and even the Director of Military Operations was convinced that Germany was targeting Britain. These rumours proved to be overblown, but the Prime Minister, Herbert Asquith, reacted to popular concern. He ordered the Committee of Imperial Defence to look into the matter and they established a Secret Service Bureau in July 1909.