asked Her Majesty's Government:
By what statutory authority Government departments are entitled to obtain documents from the Public Record Office and what rules govern the length of time they may be kept.
§ The Lord Chancellor (Lord Hailsham of Saint Marylebone)
Section 4(6) of the Public Records Act 1958 permits the temporary return of public records in the Public Record Office to the department or office from which they were transferred. No rules govern the length of time they may be kept, but the Public Record Office operates a procedure, which has recently been 1367WA improved, for reminding departments to return records immediately they have finished with them.