HC Deb 27 March 1996 vol 274 cc636-7W
Mrs. Clwyd

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to paragraphs D1.27 and D.1.28 of the Scott report, if he will list those matters relating to the work of his Department since 1979 classified as matters about which successive Administrations have refused to answer. [174191

Mr. Arbuthnot

[holding answer 26 February 1996]: Matters about which successive administrations had refused to answer questions was last set out in a memorandum by the Principal Clerk to the Table Office in 1972—appendix 9 to the report of the Select Committee on Parliamentary Questions, July 1972 HC 393. As far as I am aware, there has been no such classification since 1979.

The present Government's policy is to be as open as possible with Parliament, withholding information only when disclosure would not be in the public interest, which is decided in accordance with parliamentary convention, the law and any relevant Government code of practice.