HC Deb 02 March 1967 vol 742 cc696-7
Q3. Mr. John Hall

asked the Prime Minister if there has been any change in the security arrangements at Chequers since he informed the House about those arrangements in his answers to Questions on 2nd December, 1964.

The Prime Minister

Yes, Sir, but it would be contrary to practice to give details.

Mr. Hall

Does the right hon. Gentleman not recollect that he gave details in answer to questions raised by hon. Members on 2nd December? Further, is he not aware that, on two occasions in the last six months, there have been cases of breaking and entering into Chequers, the last of which came to notice only because the people concerned were caught? Would he not also agree that this evidence of the weakness of security in Chequers is giving considerable anxiety about his personal safety to his hon. Friends below the Gangway? Should he not do something about it?

The Prime Minister

I do not think that I should comment on the circumstances in which certain events became known, but as all matters relating to the break-in are at present sub judice—I should have thought that his own remark would come within that recognition—it would be inappropriate for me to comment on anything to do with the break-in to which he referred. It is true, as he says, that I gave an Answer on the first part of his Question on 2nd December, 1964, when Questions about special security arrangements were asked at the time of our defence conference at Chequers in November, 1964. I gave one detail, that the normal security protection is given by the Buckinghamshire police. That is not giving too much away, but it would be contrary to practice to say what the situation has been since then.

Mr. Hogg

Was a D notice issued in respect of the loss of the Constable?

The Prime Minister

The right hon. and learned Gentleman will be aware that the last D notice issued was issued not by this Government but by the Government of which he was a member, in June, 1964.

Mr. Lipton

Can my right hon. Friend explain why there was such a long time lag between the date of the last illegal entry into Chequers and the release of the news that an illegal entry had taken place?

The Prime Minister

When events of this kind occur, it must be a matter for the police to decide how to handle these questions. They were pursuing inquiries which led to certain action, on the consequences of which, being sub judice, I cannot comment.