HC Deb 01 July 1982 vol 26 c365W
Mr. Arthur Lewis

asked the Prime Minister on what basis Her Majesty's Government decline to give information in replying to parliamentary questions on the grounds that this is not available without incurring disproportionate costs, in circumstances where the information is readily available in public records.

The Prime Minister

It is a well-established convention that Ministers may decline to reply to parliamentary questions on grounds of disproportionate costs. Such costs can arise even where the information requested is available in public records; for example, if it is widely dispersed. It is for individual Ministers to decide particular cases.