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Volume 885: debated on Thursday 6 February 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he is satisfied that the existing arrangements for the prevention of espionage in Great Britain are effective.

In a free society the total prevention of espionage is not possible. But I think that our arrangements for prevention are a proper response to the threat.

I am grateful to my right hon. Friend for that response. Will he reassure the House that he will be prepared, for example, to set in train an investigation into the activities of the espionage and subversion organisation operating from the American Embassy in Grosvenor Square?

The report about CIA activities in this country was categorically denied by the American Embassy after it was published just over a year ago. I have no reason to think that that denial was not accurate. Certainly there would be no countenancing of any illegal activities by the agents of any Government in this country.