Civil Servants and Government Scientists (Security)

Oral Answers to Questions — Ministry of Power – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 1st December 1964.

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Photo of Mr Richard Glyn Mr Richard Glyn , North Dorset 12:00 am, 1st December 1964

asked the Prime Minister how many civil servants and Government-employed atomic scientists have been moved from their posts in the last 14 years in the interests of national security because they were foreign-born, or because they had relatives living behind the Iron Curtain or because of a combination of both these circumstances.

Photo of Mr Richard Glyn Mr Richard Glyn , North Dorset

Would the Prime Minister agree that some of these persons have suffered considerable hardship through being removed from their posts under this security rule? Would he further agree that the security rule has now been abandoned by the present Government, and in those circumstances will he. as an act of simple justice, consider how many of these unfortunate people may be restored to their positions in the present circumstances?

Photo of Mr Harold Wilson Mr Harold Wilson , Huyton

The hon. Gentleman is quite wrong. There has been no change whatsoever either in the rule or in the application of the rule. Every case is followed on its merits by the responsible authorities, and anyone who, for any reason—even reasons he cannot himself help—cannot be trusted, is not given access to any form of classified information. I am sure that if the hon. Gentleman will study the record over the past years he will find that in recent times some extremely distinguished civil servants of very high rank of foreign birth gave remarkably good service to the previous Government.