HC Deb 15 July 1971 vol 821 cc698-9
7. Mr. Leslie Huckfield

asked the Minister of State for Defence what computer systems are in use or planned in his Department for pay, personnel, maintenance supplies and general administration ; and whether he will make a statement.

Lord Balniel

I refer the hon. Member to Annex A to the Ministry of Defence Supplementary Memorandum of Evidence to the Select Committee on Science and Technology (sub-Committee A), and the Minutes of Evidence for Wednesday, 31st March, 1971. Current plans provide for the replacement of older computers and the enhancement of their systems where appropriate.

Mr. Huckfield

While I am grateful to the noble Lord for the elucidation of that matter, may I ask whether he has seen a report that the American Department of Defence has been using its computerised systems for the collection and maintenance of personal and political files on large numbers of individuals, and would the Minister give a categorical assurance to the House that nothing of this sort is happening in this country?

Lord Balniel

I take note of the point made by the hon. Member. The rules of confidentiality observed by the Ministry of Defence are designed to ensure that no unauthorised person has access to personal information stored in our computer files.