HC Deb 15 December 1977 vol 941 cc347-8W
42. Mr. Hugh Jenkins

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, further to the reply to the hon. Member for Putney, Official Report, 23rd November, column 745, what criteria he adopts in deciding that an answer to a parliamentary Question would involve disproportionate effort.

Mr. Merlyn Rees

I always try to give hon. Members the information for which they ask; but where the cost or effort involved in providing the information is substantial, I must also take this aspect into account.

To calculate the costs of police attendance at the Grunwick factory since the dispute started some 16 months ago, the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis tells me that it would be necessary, for each day on which ordinary divisional police cover needed to be supplemented, to obtain information on those officers who had to forgo leave, return early to duty or had their tour of duty changed or extended, details of overtime payments, and the cost of transport and catering arrangements. This could not be obtained without very considerable effort, and diversion of officers from other duties.