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Mr Colin Wallace

Volume 172: debated on Thursday 17 May 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what are the positions or posts of the senior officials referred to in paragraph 19(a) of his document, "Conclusions and Recommendations of the Enquiry into the Papers relating to Colin Wallace"; whether any of them are still in Government service; and whether any of them have been questioned;(2) what was the rank of the official referred to in paragraph 13 of the report on the handling of papers relating to Mr. Colin Wallace.

I have nothing to add to the information contained in the conclusions and recommendations of the report into how papers were overlooked in recent years in the case of Mr. Colin Wallace.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what considerations of public policy informed his decision to give the answer to the intervention of the hon. Member for Linlithgow on 18 October 1989, Official Report, column 156.

None. At the time of the intervention by the hon. Member, the special reexamination of departmental records was still at an early stage.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what search of the archives was carried out before briefing the Prime Minister to answer questions from the hon. Members for Linlithgow and for Brent, East (Mr. Livingstone) in the case of Mr. Colin Wallace between 1981 and 1989, in the light of the report on the mishandling of relevant documents.

During the period to which the hon. Member refers, some papers were recalled from archives in dealing with inquiries about the case of Mr. Colin Wallace, but as the conclusions of the report into how papers were overlooked makes clear, the main papers concerning Mr. Wallace's disciplinary case remained in archives from 1985 until August 1989.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what stage developments relating to the scrutiny in progress within his Department of files relating to Mr. Colin Wallace had reached on 18 October 1989.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what were the reasons for the delay between 4 September 1989 and 30 January 1990 in bringing to the attention of the House past inaccuracies in statements relating to Mr. Colin Wallace.

The period to which the hon. Member refers was taken up by a special re-examination of departmental records relating to the case of Mr. Colin Wallace, and the preparation of the reply which I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Arundel (Mr. Marshall) on 30 January 1990 at column 110.