HC Deb 15 December 1988 vol 143 cc706-7W

32. Mr. Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has received concerning the need for a public interest defence in the Official Secrets Bill.

Mr. Hurd

From the publication of our White Paper on the reform of section 2 of the Official Secrets Act 1911 on 29 June up to 6 December I had received representations from 13 organisations and eight individuals supporting a public interest defence. In addition, right hon. and hon. Members had passed to me representations supporting such a defence which they had received from three organisations and three individuals.