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Parliamentary Questions

Volume 949: debated on Tuesday 2 May 1978

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asked the Secretary of State for Wales 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.

No such list is maintained in my Department. Each case is considered individually. The main criterion which I apply, except where considerations of normal confidentiality are relevant, is whether a matter does in fact lie within my direct field of responsibility. I would, for example, not be prepared to give commercial information which had been provided to my Department on the understanding that it would be treated as confidential; nor would I be prepared to give a substantive answer to a Question about the activities of a local authority on a matter wholly within its discretion.