Longines Chronoscope/22-01-1954

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Narrator
It's time for the Longines Chronoscope, a television journal of the important issues of the hour, brought to you every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, a presentation of the Longines Wittnauer Watch Company, makers of Longines, the world's most honored watch, and Wittnauer, distinguished companion to the world honored Longines.

Frank Knight
Good evening, this is Frank Knight. May I introduce our co-editors for this edition of the Longines Chronoscope: from the CBS television news staff, Larry Lesueur and Walter Cronkite. Our distinguished guest for this evening is Sir Hartley Shawcross, Member of Parliament and former Attorney General of Great Britain.

Larry Lesueur
I understand you're visiting this country, Sir Hartley, in connection with Colombia's bicentennial as theme "Man's right to knowledge and the free use thereof." Now, as a Britisher, Sir Hartley, do you think this ideal is realistic and practical?

Sir Hartley Shawcross
Well, of course it's an ideal for an ideal world and one has to face realities. We're not living in an ideal world. And with the Iron Curtain which the Russians have put up with the deliberate intention of cutting off knowledge from one side of the world getting into the other, it can only be an ideal that we can only achieve later on. But it remains important for all that. Scientists and knowledge don't exist on desert islands.

Lesueur
Now, have you in Britain found it necessary to restrain man's right to knowledge in the face of the communist attack on democracy?

Shawcross
Well, only in this sense, that we have, of course, taken steps, we think quite effective steps, to keep communists or for that matter fascists out of any positions in which they might acquire knowledge of, for instance, atomic weapons or secret matters of policy which would be of utility to an enemy, such as the communist might be.

Cronkite
Do you feel, Sir Hartley, that the search for communists in the United States, whether it is good or bad for the United States, has hurt United States' prestige overseas?

Shawcross
Well, you know, that's a very awkward question for me to answer, because the one thing I'm most anxious about, that no one should think that even by implication I'm criticizing American policy in regard to these matters, but I do feel and, I suppose if you do ask me, I must say so, that there is a great deal of anxiety, possibly due to misunderstanding in Europe, about some of things which have been occurring here. because we're accustomed to look to the United States, and I hope we always shall, as a citadel of freedom.

Lesueur
Mr. Hartley, I'm afraid there's some suspicion that Britain has been or is complacent about communism as a result of the Fuchs atomic secrets case. Now, is this charge true?

Shawcross
I would say not. After all, you've had cases in this country, and I suppose if it was a question of counting of heads, you've had more cases here than we've had in Britain. But what we would say about the Fuchs case, and there was another, the Nunn May case, although he wasn't actually a communist, I think, what we'd say about that is it shows the efficiency of our intelligence service in rooting these people about. And, of course, you are bound to have, I suppose, to generate the risk of spies of that kind in government service, however careful you may be, but we think that we've got them all out. I wouldn't guarantee we have, but we've had the most careful, quiet but most careful, intelligence inquiries about all the people in the sensitive posts.

Cronkite
Your own party, Sir Hartley, has been in the forefront of a group who believe there should be wider trade with the Soviet Union, in Europe particularly. Did you feel that this sort of trade is actually going to help in the general world picture, or can't that sort of trade actually be of aid to Russia in building up against the western world?

Shawcross
We would've thought not, we're very careful of course not to supply Russia with any of the so called strategic goods. We've complied with all the requirements of the United Nations Additional Measures Committee about not supplying strategic goods and, in fact, we've gone a good deal further and we feel that on balance the advantage is greater to us than it is the communist group. Of course we've got to trade, we've got to import, for instance, half our food stuff and in order to buy those we've got to sell our goods to markets which are willing to receive them. The more difficult it is to sell them here, the more inevitable it is that we should try and find markets for non-strategic things elsewhere.

Lesueur
Sir, I'd like to go back to the previous subject, as you probably know, we are in the midst of a controversy here over charges of communism in the government and our Attorney General has been very active in this. Now, what's happening in your own very much respected civil service? Are you conducting any investigations of them?

Shawcross
Yes, but it's done in a quite different way, I suppose, because of our different arrangements and rather different tradition. And we have assumed that there are a certain number of posts, something on the order of fifteen thousand out of a million or over posts in our civil service, which are sensitive and involve security risks, and in regard to them the police and the intelligence service make the most careful inquiries about the people who are occupying them or who are appointed to them. And as a result of those inquiries we thought that suspicion was to be directed against about 148 civil servants. Their cases remain the subject of fuller investigation. They've been suspended in the mean time. At the end of the day we were able to reinstate 28 of them as perfectly loyal and honest people, we transferred about 60 to other posts which involve no security risks at all, and the rest were either dismissed or resigned. All those cases were considered by a committee of very experienced retired civil servants, but of course it was all done privately. Nobody knows except the security services even today who was dealt with under that machinery.

Lesueur
Now do you fire, or should I say sack, civil servants who are suspected of association with known communists

Shawcross
Depends entirely on what his job is. If he's a postman, for instance, or he's a lorry driver, we would say that his communist views are no danger and we shouldn't consider that we were entitled to sack him because of it. If, on the other hand, he's in a high position in which he's accessed secret information at one time or another then we sack him if it's impossible for one reason or another to transfer him to a position in which no security risk is involved. We prefer to transfer them to some other job, but if there isn't a suitable job, well, then, they're sacked.

Lesueur
Mr. Hartley, what do you actually do about communism in countries where you're actively engaged in combat, in, like, Malaya, for instance?

Shawcross
Yes, I think, if I may say so, that's a very useful question because it illustrates that our approach in Britain is entirely empirical, it depends on the circumstances. In Malaya, our measures are totally different. We've made the Communist Party illegal, and anyone who belongs to it commits a criminal offense and can be dealt with as a criminal, and is dealt with, if he is caught and is tried. And there's no doubt that because of these and other very drastic measures that we've taken in Malaya the situation now is very much better, but I'd like to add that in England there is no doubt at all as far as one can judge that communism is on the decline. At the last election, the total votes polled in the whole country for the Communists was about 20,000, well, I got about that figure in my own majority, in my own constituency, and there's 650 constituencies in Britain.

Cronkite
I think it ought to be made clear that the 20,000 majority you got weren't Communist votes, it almost sounded-- (laughter)

Shawcross
No man, that's definitely not Communist votes.

Cronkite
Well, why has there been this decline in England in the Communists' prestige there?

Shawcross
Well, I would say because, in the end, truth usually beats falsehood, and we've fought the whole thing out in the open. We've not proscribed the Labour--Communist Party.

(illegible text)

Shawcross
And this you may think curious: the Labour Party has proscribed a number of organizations which are either communist or associated with communism, and said that anybody who belongs to any of these organizations can't be a member of the Labour Party. But subject to that, we've argued the thing out and we've trusted to the political maturity of our people, and the result is, since the time in 1944 when were fighting with Russia and we were all admiring their efforts at Stalingrad and so on, communism has steadily declined both politically and in the trade unions.

Lesueur
Mr. Hartley, as a Member of Parliament, you obviously know that the other day our Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles, enunciated what seemed to be a new foreign policy, in which he placed more emphasis on instant retaliation rather than on local ground defense. Now, how do you people in the British Isles feel about that?

Shawcross
Well, I'm expressing a personal view on this, you know, but I would feel very worried if that meant there was to be any general withdraw of troops from the areas in which there might be a danger of attack. Not so much because I think the retaliative measures of the kind Foster Dulles contemplated may not be a deterrent against aggression, but because I think the presence of British and American troops in these danger areas of the world has done a tremendous amount to give confidence to the local population, like saying to the citizens here, for instance, we're going to withdraw all your policemen, but if you're murdered we'll take care to see that your murderer is executed. Most citizens would say, well, we'd rather have the policeman to prevent us getting murdered.

Lesueur
Mister Hartley, as a final question, how do you Britishers actually feel about America? Now, there has been some talk about anti-Americanism and fear of depression.

Shawcross
Well, of course, there are misunderstandings and disagreements between us, there always are between friends, and I hope basically we remain friends, and indeed I'm sure we do. I brought with me tonight something that Burke said in 1777, the positions of our countries has been reversed since then, but this is what he did say talking to what were then the American colonies, "As long is it our happiness to be joined with you in the bonds of fraternal charity and freedom, with an open and flowing commerce between us, one principle of amity and friendship prevailing, we are likely to be at least as powerful as any nation or combination of nations which, in the course of human events, may be formed against us." That's as true today as it ever was.

Lesueur
Thank you very much, Sir Hartley, we're glad to have you here tonight, and we hope you enjoyed your visit to this country.

Shawcross
Thank you very much, I certainly did.

Knight
The opinions you've heard our speakers express tonight have been entirely their own. The editorial board for this edition of the Longines Chronoscope was Larry Lesueur and Walter Cronkite. Our distinguished guest was Sir Hartely Shawcross, Member of Parliament and former Attorney General of Great Britain.

Knight
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Knight
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Narrator
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Produced by

ALAN R. CARTOUN

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TED ESTABROOK

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