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Mr Edward Scott

Volume 14: debated on Thursday 3 December 1981

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asked the Prime Minister what pensions or other emoluments from public funds have been received by Mr. Edward Scott since he admitted to the security service that he had been in communication with Czech intelligence officers.

Mr. Scott was granted a Civil Service pension when he was retired in 1961. He has continued to receive this since his admission in 1970 that he had been in communication with Czech intelligence.Under present legislation that pension could be forfeited only if Mr. Scott was convicted of one or more offences, as specified in rule 8.2 of the principal Civil Service pension scheme. He has received no other emoluments from public funds.

asked the Prime Minister whether, in the light of the public statements made by Mr. Edward Scott on 29 November, relating to communications with Czech officials while serving at the British embassy in Prague, she will make a statement.

Mr. Scott served as head of Chancery in Prague from 1956 to 1958. In 1959 he was reprimanded for his part in getting his housemaid in Prague from Czechoslovakia to Vienna. In 1961 he was retired from the Diplomatic Service on immediate pension on the grounds that he lacked the qualities required for further promotion in the service.It was suspected at that time that his housemaid had had some sort of hold over him and that she had been planted on him by the Czech intelligence service. Nevertheless, information that he had passed material to the Czech intelligence service did not become available until 1969. On being confronted with this information he admitted to having passed a limited amount of information to the Czechs. There was no question of Mr. Scott having been offered any immunity from prosecution or any inducement which might have made his confession inadmissible as evidence. The papers were submitted to the prosecuting authorities, but they decided not to prosecute. In view of that decision the Foreign Secretary of the clay decided that no action should be taken on his pension.There was no connection with other cases and on the evidence available, little damage was likely to have been caused to the national interest.