HC Deb 21 May 1963 vol 678 cc187-8
Q4. Lieut.-Colonel Cordeaux

asked the Prime Minister if he will make a statement on the incidents in which unauthorised persons recently forced their way inside a Government building used by certain branches of the Security Service and took photographs of people working there.

The Prime Minister

I would refer my hon. and gallant Friend to the replies which I gave to Questions on this subject on 16th May.

Lieut.-Colonel Cordeaux

While not being aware of any definite reply made by my right hon. Friend on this point, as opposed to the question of interfering with telephone lines, may I nevertheless ask him whether any arrests were made of people interfering with telephone communications or forcing their way into any of these establishments, and whether any proceedings are pending against them?

The Prime Minister

As far as my information goes, there was only one incident, and there was no question of a forcible entry. As I told the House last Thursday, a caller who said he was a reporter declined to give his name, entered the hall of the building and was then refused entry. He subsequently took a photograph of the outside. There is no offence in that and no question of prosecution therefore arises.

Mr. G. Brown

As reference has been made to the supplementary question about telephone calls, may I ask the Prime Minister whether the numbers have now been changed and in what form they will be made public?

The Prime Minister

Really, the right hon. Gentleman must not let failure go to his head.

Mr. Grimond

Is the Prime Minister answering Questions Nos. 3 and 4 together?

Mr. Speaker

No. 3 was not called. The Prime Minister answered No. 4.

Mr. Grimond

Is it not a fact that photographs were taken of people going into this building and also of people inside it? Can the Prime Minister tell the House whether any photographs were taken of people going into or leaving this building? If there were any such photographs, is not this a much more serious matter than the House has so far been led to believe?

The Prime Minister

I could not answer Question No. 3, because it was withdrawn. My information is that a photograph was taken from the outside. It is difficult to make that into a crime, although I am bound to say that I can see the point made by the right hon. Gentleman. If somebody tries to hang about and to make it a habit, whether by photograph or other means, to check on all callers, that might be different, but I do not think that we can bring a prosecution against someone who just stands and takes photographs.