HC Deb 11 May 1950 vol 475 cc567-8
45 and 46. Miss Irene Ward

asked the Prime Minister (1) whether he can give an assurance that steps have been taken to ensure that the spy operations of the four names, other than Dr. Fuchs, sent by the Canadian authorities, have ceased;

(2) why action was not taken to remove Dr. Fuchs from his position in atomic research following the notification of his name as a spy by the Canadian authorities.

48. Mr. Hollis

asked the Prime Minister what representations were received from the Canadian Government after the Canadian spy trials concerning the unreliability of Dr Fuchs; and what action was taken on those representations.

The Prime Minister (Mr. Attlee)

I have nothing to add to the statement made in another, place on 5th April by my noble Friend the Lord Chancellor, of which I am sending the hon. Members copies.

Miss Ward

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the Canadian Minister of External Affairs has recently repeated the information which, he asserts, he gave to His Majesty's Government, and could the Prime Minister state the date on which he received this information and what action was taken on its receipt?

The Prime Minister

If the hon. Lady will study the reply which was given by my noble Friend in another place, she will see that she is under some misapprehension as to the exact facts.

Earl Winterton

Can we have an assurance from the Prime Minister that, assuming that some of us raised the question of this very mysterious action in Debate in this House, we should not be told that the Prime Minister or Lord President were not prepared to answer because a full statement had been made in another place? This is a rather important constitutional point.

Mr. Emrys Hughes

In view of all this horror and indignation about spying, could the Prime Minister assure us that the £3 million which is spent on our Secret Service is not spent on bribing people of other countries to spy?

Mr. Nigel Davies

In the interests of national security will the Prime Minister assure the House that in future no one will be employed on atomic research who is known at any time to have been a Communist or fellow traveller?

The Prime Minister

I am quite sure that if the hon. Member studies the full account which was given by my noble Friend in another place he will see that this was a wholly exceptional position, in which no one had any reason to suspect that this person was a Communist except from a vague allegation by Nazis of a great many years before.

Sir Waldron Smithers

May I ask the Prime Minister if, in dealing with these difficult questions, he will seek the advice and guidance of the Secretary of State for War, with his tremendous and unusual qualifications?