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Volume 640: debated on Wednesday 17 May 1961

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asked the Secretary of State for Air if he will give an assurance that satisfactory measures have been taken to strengthen security arrangements in the Royal Air Force, having regard to the recent disclosures of pro longed and successful espionage in the Foreign Office and the Royal Navy.

Security arrangements in the Air Ministry and the Royal Air Force are of course, examined regularly, but I have recently ordered a further Departmental review.

While we are obviously glad to hear the Secretary of State's reassurance, in view of the gravity of the situation, may I ask him whether he will assure the House that two elementary precautions have been taken? First, has there been a security check on the past hisory of all personnel who have access to secret information? Secondly, has there been a recent investigation into the adequacy of security measures to prevent unauthorised persons from having access to secret information and secret equipment?

I think that both points will be covered by the further review for which I have asked, but I should not like to give the hon. Gentleman a formal affirmative answer off the cuff. If he wants further information, perhaps he will table another Question.