§ 16. Mr. Paget
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will make a statement on the representations made by Her Majesty's Government to the Federal German Government regarding, the application of the Status of Forces Agreement in the light of the hearings now being conducted in Bonn into allegations by Herr Verner Paetsch regarding wire-tapping.
§ Mr. P. Thomas
These representations were concerned with safeguards for confidential information passed to the Federal German authorities in accordance with the terms of the Status of Forces Agreement, some of which is relevant to the hearings of the Bundestag Committee of Enquiry which is investigating certain security procedures of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution.
§ Mr. Paget
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that as this was a security Question it was put down to the Prime Minister? We were somewhat surprised a short time ago to learn that security was the affair of the Secretary of State for the Home Department, but we are not in the least surprised to learn that this or any other subject has been passed to the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. Since this is a matter affecting the security of the forces of the West at present in Germany, will the hon. Gentleman tell us why that is not a matter which should be dealt with as part of the security of N.A.T.O. and respected by the N.A.T.O. Governments as such? Is not a public inquiry into these security questions affecting the safety of the forces of the West very undesirable?
§ Mr. Thomas
I will have to consider that supplementary question as I would not like to give an answer without notice. All I can say is that certain information of a classified nature had been given to the German authorities and that we 9 made representations to make sure that this information was not disseminated but was safeguarded.