Security

Oral Answers to Questions — Science – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 21st May 1963.

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Photo of Lieut-Colonel John Cordeaux Lieut-Colonel John Cordeaux , Nottingham Central 12:00 am, 21st May 1963

asked the Prime Minister if he will make a statement on the incidents in which unauthorised persons recently forced their way inside a Government building used by certain branches of the Security Service and took photographs of people working there.

Photo of Mr Harold Macmillan Mr Harold Macmillan , Bromley

I would refer my hon. and gallant Friend to the replies which I gave to Questions on this subject on 16th May.

Photo of Lieut-Colonel John Cordeaux Lieut-Colonel John Cordeaux , Nottingham Central

While not being aware of any definite reply made by my right hon. Friend on this point, as opposed to the question of interfering with telephone lines, may I nevertheless ask him whether any arrests were made of people interfering with telephone communications or forcing their way into any of these establishments, and whether any proceedings are pending against them?

Photo of Mr Harold Macmillan Mr Harold Macmillan , Bromley

As far as my information goes, there was only one incident, and there was no question of a forcible entry. As I told the House last Thursday, a caller who said he was a reporter declined to give his name, entered the hall of the building and was then refused entry. He subsequently took a photograph of the outside. There is no offence in that and no question of prosecution therefore arises.

Photo of Mr George Brown Mr George Brown , Belper

As reference has been made to the supplementary question about telephone calls, may I ask the Prime Minister whether the numbers have now been changed and in what form they will be made public?

Photo of Mr Harold Macmillan Mr Harold Macmillan , Bromley

Really, the right hon. Gentleman must not let failure go to his head.

Photo of Mr Jo Grimond Mr Jo Grimond , Orkney and Shetland

Is the Prime Minister answering Questions Nos. 3 and 4 together?

Photo of Mr Jo Grimond Mr Jo Grimond , Orkney and Shetland

Is it not a fact that photographs were taken of people going into this building and also of people inside it? Can the Prime Minister tell the House whether any photographs were taken of people going into or leaving this building? If there were any such photographs, is not this a much more serious matter than the House has so far been led to believe?

Photo of Mr Harold Macmillan Mr Harold Macmillan , Bromley

I could not answer Question No. 3, because it was withdrawn. My information is that a photograph was taken from the outside. It is difficult to make that into a crime, although I am bound to say that I can see the point made by the right hon. Gentleman. If somebody tries to hang about and to make it a habit, whether by photograph or other means, to check on all callers, that might be different, but I do not think that we can bring a prosecution against someone who just stands and takes photographs.