HC Deb 12 February 1951 vol 484 cc33-5

The following Question stood upon the Order Paper:


To ask the Attorney-General the terms of the charge on which Mr. Glading was given six years' penal servitude.

Mr. Thurtle

On a point of order. I appear to have suffered an injustice, Sir. My Question No. 65 addressed to the Attorney-General was handed in to the Table before other Questions which have already been answered by the Attorney-General today. In the circumstances, I wondered whether you would allow me to put that Question to him.

Mr. Speaker

I cannot allow hon. Members to put Questions out of their turn. I know nothing about how this Question came on the Order Paper. It is really a matter for the Minister concerned. If he chooses to ask permission to answer that Question, I will gladly give it to him.

The Attorney-General

If I may have the permission of the House, I will answer this Question, Sir, which appears to be of some interest. The answer is as follows:

Yes, Sir. Glading pleaded guilty to five charges of obtaining plans and information for a purpose prejudicial to the safety or interests of the State, contrary to Section I of the Official Secrets Act, 1911. The first charge related to the plan of a naval gun, the second to a part of an anti-tank mine pistol, the third to plans of an anti-submarine bomb fuse, the fourth to information contained in a book relating to explosives and the fifth to four blue prints relating to a pressure bar apparatus.

Mr. Thurtle

Can the Attorney-General tell the House anything about the antecedents of Mr. Glading, and what his present position is in the Communist Party?

The Attorney-General

Yes, Sir. In 1929, Mr. Glading was elected to the Communist Party Central Committee and he subsequently served as a member of the politbureau and agitprop departments. In 1925 he had been to India as an agent of the Communist Internationale in Moscow and after returning to England he worked in close association with Mr. Harry Pollitt. He later became a professional spy for the Soviet Union. It is difficult to state the exact position occupied by those in the Communist hierarchy, but Glading is believed to occupy an important position.

Mr. Keeling

Is he a British subject?

The Attorney-General

He is a British subject.

Mr. Tomney

Can the Attorney-General tell us what is the official peacetime capacity of Mr. Glading?

The Attorney-General

So far as I know, Mr. Glading is employed in the Amalgamated Engineering Union.

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