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United States Bases (Civilian Employees)

Volume 527: debated on Wednesday 19 May 1954

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asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air how many British subjects offered civilian employment at United States bases in the United Kingdom have been interviewed by officials of his Department; and how many have been certified as unsuitable on security grounds.

Is it not rather curious that hundreds of British subjects should be subjected to this examination by the hon. Gentleman's Department at the request of the American authorities? Will the hon. Gentleman say whether these applicants for employment are told at the Ministry of Labour exchange, or wherever they put in their applications, that they are going to be subjected to this examination before they are taken on?

About 4,700 civilians employed by the Air Ministry are working at United States Air Force bases in this country, and nearly all of them are engaged locally. There is no central record to show how many applicants for these jobs have been interviewed since the United States Air Force bases were opened in 1948. On the specific point of whether they are told, I am afraid that I shall have to check up, but I have no doubt that they are.

As the situation is unsatisfactory and uncertain, will the hon. Gentleman take steps to see that the applicants are told?