HC Deb 11 January 1988 vol 125 c7
28. Mr. Allen

To ask the Attorney-General how many memoranda (a) the Law Officers and (b) the Lord Chancellor have submitted to the departmental Select Committees since 1979.

The Attorney-General

No central record is maintained in either Department of evidence submitted to departmental Select Committees. There is no record of a Law Officer having submitted such a memorandum, but on one occasion written questions which had been addressed to a Law Officer were answered by letter. Inquiries indicate that since 1979 four memoranda have been submitted by the Lord Chancellor's Department.

Mr. Allen

Why is there not a Select Committee covering the work of the Attorney-General's Department?

The Attorney-General

Because the House of Commons so decided in 1979.

Mr. Mates

Has not the action in pursuing the "Spycatcher" saga been entirely justified by the subsequent—

Mr. Speaker

Order. That relates to the previous question. We are now on question 28.

Mr. Campbell-Savours

Has the Attorney-General's Department never submitted a memorandum on the operation of the Official Secrets Act? Does it intend in the near future to submit a memorandum on the operation of that Act? Prior to the debate on Friday, can we expect a statement on the Government's proposals for reform of that legislation?

The Attorney-General

The answer to the first two questions is no. The answer to the third question is that that is a matter for the Home Secretary.

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