HC Deb 27 October 1952 vol 505 cc1574-5
44. Mr. Emrys Hughes

asked the Minister of Supply if he will arrange a visit of hon. Members to the bacteriological and chemical research station at Porton.

Mr. Sandys

Various establishments of the Ministry of Supply are from time to time visited by the Select Committee on Estimates. Should this or any other Committee set up by the House require to visit the establishments at Porton, I shall be glad to afford all necessary facilities.

Mr. Hughes

Could not these facilities be extended to ordinary Members of Parliament who are not on these committees? Could the Minister tell us why there is this iron curtain of secrecy round this bacteriological research station? Is he aware that last week the Prime Minister complained that a large amount of public money had been spent on the atom bomb without Parliament knowing any-think about it? Is this being repeated in the case of the bacteriological research at Porton?

Mr. Sandys

Visits to any of these establishments inevitably interrupt the work of the senior staff, who have to show people round. I am sure that the House will support me in trying to limit visits to those which are really necessary.