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Regina V Blake (Transcript)

Volume 640: debated on Tuesday 16 May 1961

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asked the Prime Minister if he will cause a full transcript of the case of Regina v. Blake to be placed in the Library.

No, Sir. For the reasons which required part of the trial to be held in camera, it would not be right to make a full transcript available in this way.

Would the Prime Minister explain what useful purpose is now served by continuing this secrecy? Is it not perfectly clear that the damage is already known, that such mischief as could be done by the disclosure of the information has already been done in all the quarters where the mischief was most likely, and is it the Prime Minister's sole intention now to prevent the British people, and their representatives in this House, from knowing the facts?

No, Sir. I think that the same reasons for which the court decided to hold part of the trial in camera still apply. The hon. Gentleman has stated too generalised a view.

Can the Prime Minister tell me, in the simplest possible language, why this is such a heinous case of treachery, while for the Prime Minister and his Ministers to give military secrets to the Germans seems perfectly all right? The Germans were our enemy in the last two wars, while the Russians were our ally. Who decides which nation should be set aside as being in receipt of traitorous reports, and which friendly reports?

In the first place, this did not deal with military secrets. In the second place, I understand that Germany has been our ally under the guidance of several Governments since the war.