HC Deb 26 April 1971 vol 816 cc21-2
21. Mr. Hastings

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the total number of accredited diplomatic and ancillary staff at the Court of St. James's.

Mr. Kershaw

The number is 4,473, Sir.

Mr. Hastings

Has my hon. Friend noticed various recent reports, which so far as I know have not been denied, to the effect that 40 per cent. of the Soviet Embassy staff belong to the notorious K.G.B.? Have we really enough secrets to go around? If they are not after military secrets, what precisely are they up to? Does my hon. Friend not think it time to review this whole matter and to suggest to the Soviet Government that they take these people away?

Mr. Kershaw

My hon. Friend will be aware that we do not have any limit to the number of diplomats who are accredited here except in one case; that is to say, the Russian Embassy.

Mr. Biggs-Davison

Could not the explanation be that the K.G.B. find it much more agreeable to live in London than to live in Moscow?

Mr. Kershaw

I do not know how intelligent the K.G.B. is—I understand that they are not very intelligent—but I should have thought that was a good idea.

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