HC Deb 12 June 1997 vol 295 c530W
Mr. Ashton

To ask the Prime Minister when the Annual report of the Commissioner appointed under section 8(1) of the Interception of Communications Act 1985 will be laid before the House; and if he will make a statement. [3812]

The Prime Minister

A copy of Lord Nolan's annual report for 1996 has been laid before the House today in accordance with section 8(7) of the Interception of Communications Act 1985. The confidential annex to the report has been excluded from that copy in accordance with section 8(8) of the 1995 Act. I am grateful to the Commissioner for his work in reviewing the issue of warrants and in providing assistance to the Tribunal as provided for in the Act. I note in particular the Commissioner's view that interception of both postal and telecommunications remains both an effective and an essential operation in the interests of national security and the economic well-being of the United Kingdom, and the prevention and detection of serious crime.