Former Foreign Office Officials (Disappearance)

Oral Answers to Questions — Egypt – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 7th November 1955.

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Photo of Lieut-Colonel John Cordeaux Lieut-Colonel John Cordeaux , Nottingham Central 12:00 am, 7th November 1955

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (1) why the secret and widespread inquiries begun by the security authorities in January, 1949, as stated in Command Paper No. 9577 of September, 1955, included no inquiry into the background of Mr. Donald Maclean before he joined the Foreign Service in 1935;

(2) how many Foreign Service officers, having access to highly secret information, have been discharged from the service or removed from their posts as a result of the security checks on all such persons recommended in the report of the committee of inquiry in November, 1951, and put into effect in 1952.

Photo of Miss Irene Ward Miss Irene Ward , Tynemouth

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, in view of the fact that Guy Burgess's Communist leanings were common knowledge during his career prior to his applying for entry to the Foreign Service, why his Department was unaware of this information; and what steps he has taken to satisfy himself of the suitability for further employment in the Foreign Office of the persons who sponsored his entry into the Department.

Photo of Mr William Warbey Mr William Warbey , Ashfield

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will appoint a committee to inquire into methods of recruitment to, and promotion and training within, the Foreign Service.

Photo of Miss Irene Ward Miss Irene Ward , Tynemouth

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs how many entrants to the Foreign Service have been accepted since the war in each year in spite of unfavourable security reports.

Photo of Mr Robin Turton Mr Robin Turton , Thirsk and Malton

I would ask the hon. Members to await this afternoon's debate.

Photo of Miss Irene Ward Miss Irene Ward , Tynemouth

Would not my right hon. Friend be helping the debate if he gave us a little more information before the Foreign Secretary speaks?

Photo of Mr Robin Turton Mr Robin Turton , Thirsk and Malton

I am sure the Foreign Secretary is going to make a very full statement at the beginning of the debate, which will give my hon. Friend all the help she needs.