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Official Secrets Act

Volume 975: debated on Wednesday 5 December 1979

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asked the Lord Privy Seal how many civil servants in his Department have been charged with offences under the Official Secrets Act; how many have been dismissed but not charged for offences dealing with classified material; and how many have been removed from positions dealing with classified material but are still allowed to work on unclassified material since 1945.

Since 1945 two civil servants in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office or its precursor departments have been charged with offences under the Official Secrets Act. Both were convicted. The appointments of two others were terminated but they were not charged for offences dealing with classified material. There are no records readily available, without incurring excessive expenditure, to indicate the number of officials who may have been removed from positions dealing with classified material, since 1945.