HC Deb 25 October 1955 vol 545 cc28-9
48. Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

asked the Prime Minister whether he will move to appoint a Select Committee to investigate the circumstances of the disappearance of Burgess and Maclean in particular, and the efficiency of Civil Service security arrangements in general.

The Prime Minister

No, Sir.

Lieu1.-Colonel Lipton

Has the Prime Minister made up his mind to cover up at all costs the dubious third man activities of Mr. Harold Philby, who was First Secretary at the Washington Embassy a little while ago; and is he determined to stifle all discussion on the very great matters which were evaded in the wretched White Paper, which is an insult to the intelligence of the country?

The Prime Minister

My answer was "No" to the hon. and gallant Member's Question, which was not about all that but asked for the appointment of a Select Committee. My answer remains "No." So far as the wider issues raised in the supplementary question are concerned, the Government take the view that it is desirable to have a debate, and an early debate, on this subject, in which I as Prime Minister will be glad to take part.

Mr. Robens

Has the Prime Minister made any investigation as to the reason why briefs supplied by Foreign Office officials to Ministers answering Questions in this House have been at so much variance with the facts of the case?

The Prime Minister

That seems to be one of the matters which might well be raised in the debate.