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Departmental Information

Volume 955: debated on Thursday 3 August 1978

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services on how many occasions since 1st January 1977 information has been prepared by his Department, at public expense, along the lines of the answer from the Chancellor of the Exchequer (Official Report, 14th July 1978, column 802); what has been the total cost to public funds; and if he will make this publicly financed information available to any hon. Members wishing to receive it, provided that they arrange to collect it.

I and my hon. and right hon. Friends have provided about 15 factual background briefs to Labour Members of Parliament since 1st January 1977. The total costs to public funds of providing these briefs would have been small, but I am unable to give a precise estimate. I have always been happy to consider requests by hon. Members and the Official Opposition for factual background information.