HC Deb 08 March 1954 vol 524 c1735
40. Mr. Warbey

asked the Minister of Supply why he directed the Rolls-Royce Company to remove: Mr. A. Chambers from employment at their Hucknall works.

Mr. Sandys

That is not quite correct. What I did was to instruct Messrs. Rolls-Royce not to give Mr. Chambers access to information about secret defence projects.

Mr. Warbey

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that as a result of the instruction which he gave to Rolls-Royce this man lost his employment with that firm, because it was unable to find suitable alternative employment for him? Can the Minister say whether there was any inquiry, and whether this man had an opportunity of being represented at that inquiry, either directly or through his trade union representative? Can he also say whether any specific breach of security or specific criminal act was alleged against this man?

Mr. Sandys

I do not think that I can go into all those details in an answer to a supplementary question. I understand that the firm made every effort to find Mr. Chambers alternative employment within the Rolls-Royce organisation, but was unable to do so. Within a week or two of his leaving the firm he himself found suitable alternative employment, which he has accepted. National safety requires us to guard very zealously our technical defence secrets. We try to be as fair as possible to the individual, but we also have to be fair to the community.