HC Deb 09 March 1989 vol 148 c608W
Dr. Thomas

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if it will be an offence under the Official Secrets Bill as currently drafted for an organisation to act as United Kingdom publisher of a copy of an international publication compiled outside the United Kingdom and including information based on official confidential United Kingdom communications to the European Commission.

Mr. Hurd

Any such disclosure could be an offence only if, among other elements of the offence, the prosecution could prove beyond reasonable doubt that the information related to security or intelligence, defence or international relations, as defined in the Bill; that it had previously been published without the authority of the international organisation to which it had been given; that, despite its previous publication, its further disclosure met the relevant test of harm set out in the Bill; and that the discloser had reasonable cause to believe that it would. It is difficult to imagine that a disclosure in the circumstances described could meet these tests.