HC Deb 25 May 1976 vol 912 cc150-1W
Mr. Gordon Wilson

asked the Prime Minister what security vetting of Scots is now carried out by the Civil Service; and whether sympathy for or membership of the SNP is classified as a security risk barrier to employment and promotion in the Civil Service.

The Prime Minister

Security inquiries known as positive vetting are made about all civil servants and others who are to be employed on exceptionally secret work. No distinction is drawn between Scots and any other person to whom these procedures apply. The inquiries are designed to provide sufficient knowledge of an individual in the round to enable a judgment to be made whether he or she may be entrusted with exceptionally secret information. Membership of any organisation, whether political or not, is inevitably part of the background to an individual. The State is not concerned with the political views, as such, of its servants and the present policy about political affiliations which are unacceptable from a security point of view is that followed since 1948 by successive Governments.