HC Deb 15 November 1977 vol 939 cc140-1W
Mr. Carter-Jones

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what restrictions are imposed upon the National Development Team for the Mentally Handicapped; if its members are subject to the Official Secrets Acts; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Ennals

The Development Team for the Mentally Handicapped is available on request to advise health and local authorities in England about their services for the mentally handicapped. Its reports, and any action consequent on them, are for the authorities which seek the team's help, though the team keeps my Department informed of significant matters which arise. Within this frame of reference the team operates independently of, though assisted by, my Department, and I do not impose any restrictions on it. All members of the team, including those recruited for specific tasks, are reminded that they are subject to the Official Secrets Acts.