HC Deb 11 June 1953 vol 516 cc26-7W
32. Mr. G. Thomas

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what representations he has received from the Civil Service Clerical Association concerning the incident at the United States Camp, Burtonwood, when a British civil servant was screened by the American authorities; and what reply he has given.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

United Kingdom civilians employed by the United States authorities at Burtonwood are provided for them by the Air Ministry. They are United Kingdom civil servants, and clearance for security purposes is carried out by the Air Ministry in accordance with United Kingdom practice. This was in fact done in the present case, which is that of a clerical officer employed by the United States authorities in a confidential post. Last January, however, this clerical officer had her fingerprints and photograph taken for purposes of record in a personal file. This is routine United States procedure, and was mistakenly carried out by a United States officer who was not aware of the proper procedure. The mistake was an isolated one, and the United States authorities have taken steps to see that it is not repeated.

In view of the publicity received by this case, I should like to emphasise that the photograph and fingerprints were taken solely for the purpose of record and identification, and not for the purpose of screening or investigation by the United States authorities, and I am assured that no such screening or investigation in fact took place. No question therefore arises here of the application of United States security methods to United Kingdom citizens.

Forward to