HC Deb 11 April 1956 vol 551 cc199-200
31. Dame Irene Ward

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs why it was decided to retain Maclean in the Foreign Service after his behaviour in Cairo.

Mr. Nutting

I have nothing to add to the statement on this point made by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the course of his speech on 7th November, 1955.

Dame Irene Ward

Would my right hon. Friend, in the interests of the foreign service which he is supposed to represent—[HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."]—kindly tell us whether, in fact, Maclean was retained at the Foreign Office through the recommendation of the Ambassador, the Establishment Department of the Foreign Office, or by political interference? Will he bear in mind that it is absolutely urgent that the country should be told, because the way the information has been withheld is absolutely scandalous? I do not care what anybody has said in the past.

Mr. Nutting

No information has been withheld from the hon. Lady or from the House of Commons. The circumstances and the reasons for Maclean's retention in the Foreign Service after the episodes in Cairo were fully explained at great length to the House by the Chancellor of the Exchequer last November. As to his re-appointment as head of the American Department, that was done in accordance with normal procedure at that time, a procedure which has now been altered.