§ Mr. Graham
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (I) how much it cost to send MOD police to investigate the alleged leak of documents supplied to the Select Committee on Defence in 1989; and if he will break this figure down into(a) overnight accommodation, (b) wages or salaries and (c) travel costs;
(2) whether he authorised two police inspectors to travel to London to investigate a report in the Greenock Telegraph about a report by the MOD Police Federation submitted to a House of Commons Select Committee.333W
§ Mr. Neubert
The responsibility for initiating police investigations is a constabulary matter, and not one in which Ministers have any role. In this instance, investigations were begun on the authority of a senior Ministry of Defence police officer, who, in good faith, believing that material contained in a press article could only have originated from a breach of security, sent two CID officers to London to make inquiries. Further checks, however, confirmed that no breach of security had been committed. The investigation was therefore immediately cancelled. The extra costs involved were confined to fares and normal allowances.