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Parliamentary Questions

Volume 949: debated on Tuesday 2 May 1978

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asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list those topics on which it is not his practice to answer parliamentary Questions; and if he will list any changes in practice since 1972, indicating in each case the date on which the change was made and the relevant reference in the Official Report.

It is not possible to provide a definitive and exhaustive list of Questions which I might exceptionally decline to answer on grounds other than cost. Where this issue arises, I consider each Question separately and with particular care, but I can instance the following subjects as being among those which would fall into this category:matters within the statutory prescribed or delegated authority of nationalised industries or other public bodies;matters of commercial confidence or national security;personal clinical details of individual patients;

personal or private information in connection with the granting of distinction awards or appointments of individuals to public office;

private information about individuals employed in Departments for which I am responsible.