§ Mr. Robert McCartney
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland in what respects her Department applied different procedures in respect of(a) the leak of the Drumcree memorandum differently, (b) the leak of personnel files from the Department of Agriculture Private Office; what factors underlay differences in procedure; and if she will make a statement. 
§ Marjorie Mowlam
The letter I sent to the hon. and learned Member on 14 August 1997 explained the background to these cases. When it became clear that the investigation into the leak of personnel files from the Department of Agriculture involved only members of the Northern Ireland Civil Service, each individual was informed of their right of silence under paragraph 1081 of the NICS Pay and Conditions of Service Code. Given the particular seriousness of the leak of the Drumcree memorandum which might have put at risk the lives of a number of civil servants, as well as threatening to undermine the Government's handling of the marching issue, all individuals questioned were informed of their right of silence but no undertaking about not drawing adverse inferences was given. In the event of the Drumcree inquiry no member of staff who was questioned chose to exercise their right of silence.