Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:07 pm on 10th June 2013.

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Photo of Jack Straw Jack Straw Labour, Blackburn 4:07 pm, 10th June 2013

Does the Secretary of State accept that many of our allies, leaving aside the United States, are astonished by the degree of control and supervision of our system of ministerial oversight, oversight by judicially qualified commissioners and oversight by the ISC, which surpasses that of most other western democracies?

Does Secretary of State also accept that those in the agencies face an impossible dilemma? When things are relatively calm, suspicions, fantasies and sometimes paranoia can take off about the so-called secret state, but the moment there is a serious threat or actual terrorist outrage, often the very same people and newspapers turn on a sixpence and demand to know not whether the safeguards were operated but why there has been a failure by the agencies to track, through intelligence of all kinds, the miscreants involved.