§ Mr. James Davidson
asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether all classified letters and documents now in the hands of Defence authorities or officers, either in Defence establishments or in British diplomatic missions abroad, are copy numbered; and what steps he has taken to ensure that each copy is written off after destruction by pulping or by combustion.
§ Mr. Healey
Ministry of Defence and Service Security Regulations provide that all Top Secret documents (including letters) and, under certain circumstances, Secret documents are copy numbered. The Regulations also require a record to be kept of all documents classified Confidential and above and their destruction to be recorded in a document register. In addition, a destruction certificate is prepared and retained when Top Secret and Secret documents are destroyed.
A classified document is deemed to have been destroyed either after it has been burnt or shredded on site or torn up and put in a sealed bag preparatory to destruction under secure conditions elsewhere.