asked the Prime Minister whether she will make a statement on the security implications raised by the case of Regina v Ritchie.
Miss Rhona Ritchie, a Second Secretary in the British Embassy in Tel Aviv, was tried at the Central Criminal Court yesterday on charges under section 2 of the Official Secrets Act 1911. She pleaded guilty, and was given a suspended sentence of nine months' imprisonment.The facts of the case were fully set out in yesterday's proceedings, and I need not recapitulate them here. Miss Ritchie's activities were prejudicial to the conduct of international relations, in a sensitive area of those relations, but the content of what she admits to having transmitted cannot be described as damaging to national security.In accordance with the procedure described to the House by my predecessor on 25 March 1969, the Chairman of the Security Commission has been asked to say whether in his opinion an investigation by the Commission would be likely to serve a useful purpose, and in the light of his advice I shall consult the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition before deciding whether or not to refer the case to the Commission. I shall keep the House informed of further developments.