HC Deb 15 July 1963 vol 681 cc28-9
33. Mr. G. Craddock

asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will cause to be raised in the Security Council, as a threat to world peace, the activities of espionage agents throughout the world, with a view to establishing an international convention to outlaw their activities.

Mr. Heath

No. Sir.

Mr. Craddock

Notwithstanding the fact that the Minister's reply is no longer and gives no more information than was given in 1956, in view of the fact that the major Powers in U.N.O. conduct espionage on a grand scale which harms international relationships, why cannot action be taken at the Security Council at least to try to get this matter discussed?

Mr. Heath

I think the main reason is because of the obvious difficulty of enforcing such an agreement.

Mr. John Hall

Would my right hon. Friend not consider this matter? Would it not have the effect of stimulating the secret service to become really secret?

Mr. Thorpe

Does the right hon. Gentleman not agree that this is an essential part of international diplomacy, and what the House would really wish would be to see it changed so that we caught more of other people's agents and they caught fewer of ours?

Mr. Heath

I do not know whether the hon. Gentleman has adequate information on which to make a judgment on this matter.