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Research Staff (Aliens)

Volume 480: debated on Monday 6 November 1950

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3.

asked the Minister of Supply how many of the staff at Harwell are naturalised citizens of alien birth.

7.

asked the Minister of Supply how many naturalised British subjects are now employed at Harwell on atomic research; and what was their former nationality.

Thirteen naturalised British subjects are employed at Harwell. Six were formerly German, three Austrian, one Swiss, one Polish, one French and one American.

Is the Minister satisfied that such of these gentlemen as may have obtained employment in wartime as refugees from Nazi oppression have been re-screened in the light of their possible affiliation with Communism?

Does the Minister agree that the majority of these people who have acquired British nationality, are loyal to the Crown, and that it is only the odd one who lets the country down?

Yes, Sir. I think it would be very regrettable if, because of recent incidents, any slur were to be cast on the excellent work and admirable character of those who are continuing their work at Harwell?

As an appeasement to the superstitious, will the Minister make the number 12 or 14 at the earliest possible opportunity?

Will the Minister, through his information officers, make known the enormous contribution made by these ex-foreign scientists?

Is the Minister aware that on security grounds we permit only British-born subjects to hold commissions in the Armed Forces? Surely it is much more important that these highly secret posts should be filled by British-born subjects.

The general rule is that only British-born subjects are employed in work of this sort. Any exception has to be referred to me, and I have to give my special consideration to it.

In view of the large sums spent by both sides on these so-called security operations and secret service, will the Minister consider whether it would not be cheaper to exchange information between countries?