HC Deb 03 July 2002 vol 388 c393W
Norman Baker

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs at what level, and under what circumstances, it can be decided within MI6 that information held may not be seen by Ministers. [65153]

Mr. Straw

[holdinganswer 2 July. 2002]The Secret Intelligence Service carries out its functions under the Intelligence Services Act 1994 under my authority. The Act provides for the Chief of SIS to be appointed by the Secretary of State and imposes a duty on the Chief to ensure that there are arrangements, which I approve, for securing that no information is obtained by SIS except so far as is necessary for the proper discharge of its functions. I can foresee no circumstances in which information could be withheld from Ministers given these statutory responsibilities.