HC Deb 17 November 1964 vol 702 cc197-8
Q8. Sir Richard Glyn

asked the Prime Minister what steps he has taken to ensure that the persons who have been engaged in an advisory capacity to assist him or other Ministers or Departments have been informed that they are subject to the Official Secrets Act and to all the instructions as to official behaviour which apply to established civil servants.

The Prime Minister

It is the duty of Departments to bring the provisions of the Official Secrets Acts to the notice of their staffs, both established and temporary, and new entrants are required to sign, on entry, a declaration acknowledging that this has been done. Departments are also responsible for informing their staff of the instructions governing the conduct of civil servants. This action has been taken in the case of the persons referred to in the hon. Member's Question.

Sir Richard Glyn

Can the Prime Minister say what steps he personally has taken to satisfy himself on the security aspects of these appointments, bearing in mind the great interest which he has always taken in security matters and also the unfortunate experience of the last Socialist Government with a foreign-born atomic scientist?

The Prime Minister

The last Government of this country, which was not a Socialist one, also had a number of very distinguished foreign-born advisers and no problem arose. I am quite sure that hon. Members opposite had the fullest confidence in those persons, one of whom has now been reallocated in an advisory capacity in the Cabinet Office. But I very much deprecate some of the statements made, whether in the form of Question at Question Time or in speeches, reflecting on the loyalty of some advisers in respect of whom the security proceedings could not have been more thorough and who have been British nationals for a very long time and have given very good service to this country.