HC Deb 21 July 1969 vol 787 cc1208-9
8. Mr. Sheldon

asked the Minister for the Civil Service what further steps he proposes to take to end unnecessary secrecy.

Mrs. Hart

I would refer my hon. Friend to the White Paper on Information and the Public Interest.

Mr. Sheldon

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the publication of the White Paper caused some disappointment in that it did not go as far as the Fulton Committee hoped that it would? Is she aware further that the Fulton Committee, in saying that there was too much secrecy, had in mind the presence of Green Papers and the like and that what was really needed was a further step forward which unfortunately up to now has not been forthcoming?

Mrs. Hart

I know my hon. Friend's keen interest in this matter. As the White Paper says, the Government do not intend to rest content at this point. We intend to carry development further along the lines suggested in the White Paper.

Sir A. V. Harvey

To put this matter into perspective, would it not be better if the Government had a little more secrecy regarding their own policy statements and made them in the House before giving them to newspapers?

Mrs. Hart

What we are discussing on this Question is quite different. We are discussing how far the public can legitimately be involved in the implementation of Government decisions.