Mr. Hew Smith
To ask the Prime Minister what assessment Her Majesty's Government have made of the treaty on European Union in regard to its proposals to increase provisions for prohibition on the disclosure of information from the institutions of the European Community.
§ Mr. Newton
I have been asked to reply. The Maastricht treaty says nothing on the question of disclosure of information. A declaration adopted at Maastricht calls on the Commission to report to the Council of Ministers on measures designed to improve public access to information held by Community institutions.
In February 1992 the Commission proposed a Council regulation on the security of classified information. As my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster told the hon. Member on 7 July, the Government consider the draft regulation in its present form to be unworkable.