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Soviet Embassy Attachés (Espionage)

Volume 527: debated on Monday 17 May 1954

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will make a statement concerning the decision to expel two Soviet Embassy personnel from this country.

I informed the Soviet Ambassador on 7th May that two Assistant Military Air Attach├ęs at the Soviet Embassy, Major Pupyshev and Major Gudkov, had abused their diplomatic status in the United Kingdom by attempting to engage in espionage and that Major Pupyshev had been delected in a blatant attempt to suborn a serving officer of Her Majesty's Forces. I am glad to add that Major Pupyshev's attempt was unsuccessful and that the British officer whom he tried to suborn behaved in an exemplary manner. Major Gudkov made at least three attempts to recruit agents.

While complimenting my right hon. and learned Friend on the promptness and the expedition with which this problem was handled by the Foreign Office, may I ask whether he is aware that a powerful fifth column exists in the shop stewards movement of this country? Is my right hon. and learned Friend satisfied that our security measures are such that Communist shop stewards in this country have not access to secret processes or information which would be of value to the Soviet Union?

I think that the question of what Communists in this country have or have not access to is not a matter for the Foreign Office. As to the category of persons referred to in the Question and answer, I think that the security services did a very good job of work.

Has the right hon. and learned Gentleman any evidence that shop stewards are predominantly Communists?