HC Deb 01 December 1977 vol 940 cc291-2W
Mr. Arthur Lewis

asked the Attorney-General what were the total costs to public funds of all the legal actions connected with attempts made to prevent the publication of the Crossman diaries; what amounts were paid in fees to counsel concerned; what was the object of these legal actions; and at whose original request the law officers of the Crown were asked to take this action.

The Attorney-General

£43,261. £15,699 or less—since that sum includes £6,240 claimed for counsels' fees as part of the claim by one defendant for just over £15,500 total costs which was settled by agreement in the unapportioned sum of £13,250. In the public interest to seek to restrain the publication of information in breach of confidence and in particular to preserve the principle of collective responsibility within the Cabinet from being prejudiced by the premature unauthorised disclosure of the views of individual Ministers; the actions established that the law will protect those objectives in proceedings brought by the Attorney-General. Nobody's; I acted entirely within my own responsibility.