§ Mr. Sims
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether there has been any change in the Government's policy towards the interception of the communications of Members of Parliament.
§ Mr. Brittan
No. As my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister reaffirmed in a written answer on 6 February 1980 at column244 the policy remains as stated in 1966 406W by the then Prime Minister, the Lord Wilson of Rievaulx at column 634–41, and as applied by successive Governments since then. In answers to Questions on 17 November 1966, Lord Wilson said that he had given instructions that there was to be no tapping of the telephones of Members of Parliament; that remained the policy of the Government, and that, if there was a development which required a change in the general policy, he would, at such moment as seemed compatible with the security of the country, on his own initiative make a statement in the House about it. The Government regard this undertaking as applying to both postal and telephone interception.