INTELLIGENCE SERVICES – SUBVERSION – 21 October 1999

Dr Julian Lewis: Is there not a slight contradiction in the Home Secretary paying tribute to the courage and tenacity of Mr. Mitrokhin in one breath and his hon. Friend the Member for Ilford, South (Mr Gapes) then saying that Mr Mitrokhin's mere handwritten notes of what he saw in the files are not to be believed? Will the Home Secretary join me in acknowledging not only the bravery of Mr Mitrokhin, but the resourcefulness of the Secret Intelligence Service in having recognised the value of what he was offering and having safely removed it and him from the Soviet Union?

Does the Home Secretary accept that handwritten notes are not the only factor in deciding whether the lady spy should be prosecuted, because she was mentioned in the Venona intercepts in telegram 1413 from Moscow to London on 16 September 1945? Will he answer the point put to him by my right hon. Friend the shadow Home Secretary: it is clear that at least one senior elected member of the national council of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, Professor Vic Allen, was a Stasi agent? His name has been widely published and he has not resorted to the libel action that he would have undertaken were he innocent.

Is there not a danger that the Government will seem to have a special interest in covering up issues of subversion in CND, given that 133 Labour Members of Parliament were members of Parliamentary Labour CND at its height, including the Prime Minister, the Foreign Secretary and the Home Secretary?

Finally, does the Home Secretary now acknowledge that MI5 was right to keep an eye on CND in the 1980s, because at least one Stasi spy was operating within it? Was not the only failure of MI5 that it did not spot him when everybody knew that Vic Allen was a Stalinist?