asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether parliamentary approval has ever been sought for the practice by which confidential information about claimants is given by his Department to the police.
The practice to which the hon. Member refers, which has been in operation for many years, does not require formal parliamentary approval. The policy has, however, been explained in this House on a number of occasions, and I refer the hon. Member to my reply to the hon. Member for Keighley (Mr. Cryer) on 7 November 1979 for a recent statement of the limited circumstances in which information in the Department's records is disclosed to third parties, including the police.—[Vol. 973, c. 224.]