HC Deb 25 January 1954 vol 522 c1447
21. Lieut.-Coloael Lipton

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what further investigations have been made and what further information is now available about the disappearance of Mr. Burgess and Mr. Maclean.

Mr. Selwyn Lloyd

Investigations are continuing, but the hon. and gallant Gentleman will understand that no detailed account of their nature can be given without prejudicing the chances of their success.

The House will, however, be aware from the Press that a letter in Mr. Burgess's handwriting, and dated November last, was received by his mother on 22nd December. It was posted in London, but contained no indication of the present whereabouts of either Mr. Burgess or Mr. Maclean. No more definite information has been received.

Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

In view of the fact that these men are apparently still able to maintain communication with persons in this country, is the Foreign Office still unable to say where they have gone, or is this secrecy just a veil for gross negligence on the part of the Foreign Office? Does the Minister think that the public is not entitled to any more information about this matter?

Mr. Lloyd

The hon. and gallant Gentleman will realise that it was not this Administration which was in charge of affairs at the time of their disappearance. So far as concerns the present whereabouts of these people, I think that if the hon. and gallant Gentleman presumed that they are behind the Iron Curtain he would probably be right.