HC Deb 26 November 1953 vol 521 cc506-8
14. Mr. W. Griffiths

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what alterations in security procedure as applied to employees of Government Departments have been put into operation since October, 1951.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

Certain changes in procedure were introduced early in 1952 in relation to staff employed on exceptionally secret work. For particulars of this I would refer the hon. Member to the full reply I gave to the hon. and gallant Member for Brixton (Lieut.-Colonel Lipton) on 19th November.

Mr. Griffiths

Will the hon. Gentleman draw the attention of the Minister of Supply to this reply, because on 16th November he was trying to tell the House that there had been no change in the procedure since the last Government were in office? Will the hon. Gentleman also tell me for what reason this new procedure has been embarked upon, because it is strongly objected to by the staff side?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

I do not accept the implications in the last part of that question, and, as far as the first part is concerned, I think the hon. Gentleman is misapprehending the answer of my right hon. Friend.

18. Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many civil servants have, by reason of Fascist or Communist associations, respectively, been transferred to other posts or dismissed since 11th March, 1952, when the present form of security questionnaire was introduced.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

Since 11th March, 1952, 11 civil servants have been transferred to other posts and one has been dismissed, all on grounds of Communist associations.

Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

Fortunately, the number of unreliable characters appears to be small. Can the hon. Gentleman say whether the revised security methods introduced on 11th March, 1952, have uncovered a smaller or a greater number of unreliable persons than the arrangements which were previously in force?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

I am glad to be able to say that since these arrangements were introduced the number of these cases with which it has been necessary to deal has been appreciably lower than during the three years preceding their introduction.