HC Deb 05 February 1957 vol 564 cc233-4
38 and 39. Mr. W. Griffiths

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Works, as representing the Lord President of the Council (1) to what extent, when appointments on a temporary basis to posts in a sensitive area are being considered by the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, the Department arranges for a security check; and what information is given to the applicant that a check is being made;

(2) how many persons passed to the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research by the Ministry of Labour for appointment in a temporary capacity have been rejected by the Department on security grounds.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Works (Mr. Harmar Nicholls)

For the great majority of appointments to the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research no security check is necessary, but such a check is carried out where the candidate is to be employed in posts in a sensitive area. It is not the practice to inform candidates if only a negative check is carried out. Information is not available to show the particular grounds on which individual candidates have been rejected.

Mr. Griffiths

In view of the behaviour of the security officers in the past and the fact that in the course of their inquiries they have unnecessarily destroyed the reputation of completely innocent people, surely the Minister realises that men and women who are applying for jobs of this type should know the kind of inquiries which are being made about them. He has admitted that there are such cases.

Mr. Nicholls

I do not think there is any evidence to justify the sweeping assertion which the hon. Member has just made. As for the list, the hon. Member put the same question to the Minister of Labour and was told that no statistics are kept of applications or rejections.