HC Deb 29 July 1965 vol 717 cc680-1
Q2. Viscount Lambton

asked the Prime Minister what plans Her Majesty's Government have for the reclassification of secret Government papers.

The Prime Minister

Review of the classification of Government papers is a continuing process.

Viscount Lambton

While I thank my right hon. Friend for that reply—[Interruption.]—the right hon. Member, I should say—may I ask him to bring the fact that there has not been a reclassification of papers to the notice of the Minister of Housing and Local Government, who seems to act as if there has been one?

The Prime Minister

I would ask the hon. Member not to blame me; I voted "Powell". As to the second part of the supplementary question, the hon. Member will remember that we have had a very full exchange across the Floor of the House on the very question which I think he has in mind. It does not raise the question of the classification of documents, which is, in fact, going on all the time.

Mr. Thorpe

Does the reclassification mean that it might be possible for the right hon. Member for Easington (Mr. Shinwell), who expressed great interest last week in the paper which my right hon. Friend the Member for Orkney and Shetland (Mr. Grimond) had received on the breeding habits of lobsters, to receive it having regard to the fact that the right hon. Gentleman, as Chairman of the Parliamentary Labour Party, seems to share with lobsters one particular characteristic—namely, going in perpetual fear of being boiled alive?

The Prime Minister

I am not sure what that has to do with breeding habits. But when I have had time to study this important State paper I will consider whether it might not be made available more widely to hon. Members.

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