England in the early 1950s was consumed by several spy scandals, where the USSR recruited left-leaning bright young men from Cambridge and Oxford during the 1930s to be Soviet agents. Burgess, Maclean, and Philby were three of those who rose in the ranks of MI6 and defected before they were caught, and it caused a huge uproar and demands for better security.
The reaction was kind of similar to what happened post 9/11 in the US — or should I say “overreaction”. The outrage and fear generated by a bad event allowed all kinds of governmental actions to be done in the name of security. Here after 9/11 it was aimed at anyone wearing a turban; in England in the 50s it was homosexuals.