§ Mr. Michael Latham
asked the Prime Minister (1) whether, pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for Melton on 30th November, he is now in a position to decide on the question of publication of the official history of intelligence in World War II, and the related question of the publication of intelligence material not released under the 30-year rule, and whether he will make a statement;
(2) whether, pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for Melton on 30th November, and to the publication of books such as "Bodyguard of Lies", by Mr. Anthony Cave Brown, which purport to give details of hitherto confidential material of World War II regarding "Ultra", the Venlo incident, the work and identity of the London Controlling 137W Section and the security services, any new instructions have been given to the "Weeding Committee" about files not yet released under the 30-year rule, or about the responsibility of those involved to maintain secrecy about those incidents to this day;
(3) whether, pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for Melton on 30th November, any changes have been made in the rules regarding the "weeding" of sensitive files on World War II intelligence matters not previously released under the 30-year rule; and what arrangements have been made with the United States of America regarding files on joint allied operations, in the light of the new American Freedom of Information Act.
§ The Prime Minister
On the questions of publication of the official history of intelligence in World War II and the rules governing the release of intelligence-related records after 30 years, at this stage I have nothing to add to the reply which I gave to the hon. Member on 30th November.
The principles governing the extent of permitted disclosure by those who gave undertakings of reticence in regard to their wartime activities were fully set out by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs in reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Barking (Miss Richardson) on 12th January 1978. There are standing arrangements for consultations between the United States and United Kingdom Governments on the release of records on joint wartime operations and these arrangements are not affected by the United States Freedom of Information Act.