§ 3. Mr. Hector Hughes
asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air if he has studied the details sent to him by the hon. and learned Member for Aberdeen, North, concerning an enemy alien taken prisoner by British forces during the war, who later escaped and joined the Royal Air Force under an assumed name; and what precautions are now taken against a recurrence of this incident and the consequent possibility of espionage.
The implications of this case were very carefully examined in 1951. Since that date, security checks have been introduced which should help to prevent this sort of thing happening again. It would be wrong for me to say publicly what these precautions are.
§ Mr. Hughes
Can the hon. Gentleman say how many ex-enemy aliens joined the Royal Air Force under misrepresentations such as those set out in the book, "The Other Side"? Does this not involve a terrible risk to the safety of Britain and, indeed, to the lives of other members of the R.A.F.?
As far as I know, there have been no cases of enemy aliens obtaining entry into the R.A.F. by false declaration, although I should like to have notice of that question. In any case, the man who is the subject of this Question was in the Royal Air Force between 1948 and 1950. Our security arrangements have been tightened up since then, and descriptions of what is said to have happened five years ago are not necessarily true of the R.A.F. today.
§ Mr. Hughes
Is the Minister aware that my objection and my Question are directed to ex-enemy aliens joining the Royal Air Force under misrepresentations such as those set out in the book, "The Other Side," which I have already mentioned?