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Public Security

Volume 974: debated on Wednesday 21 November 1979

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asked the Prime Minister how many persons were questioned as a result of suspicions aroused in the light of the Burgess-Maclean affair; how many of these worked in the Civil Service; what action was taken as a result of these questionings; and how many persons were asked to leave the Civil Service.

Thorough investigations were undertaken following the defection of Burgess and Maclean and many interviews of public servants and members of the public took place. Not all those questioned were themselves under suspicion and it would not be in the public interest to give numbers. A number of people left the public service, or were transferred to work which did not involve access to classified information. I am satisfied that all appropriate steps were taken to safeguard national security.

asked the Prime Minister if she will publish the guidelines currently operated by the security services in respect of their relations with ministers.

Relations between the security service and the Prime Minister and Home Secretary are as set out in paragraphs 238 to 241 of Lord Denning's report—Cmnd. 2152—of September 1963.