§ Mr. Winnick
asked the Prime Minister what is the general policy of Her Majesty's Government concerning the appearance before the Home Affairs Committee of the Director General of MI5; and if she will make a statement.
§ The Prime Minister
As my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House stated in his letter of 27 April 1983 to my right hon. Friend the Member for Taunton (Mr. du Cann), at columns 444–48, there is a long-standing convention under which the Government do not provide information or answer questions in Parliament on matters of security or intelligence, and the Government would regard themselves as bound by that convention in relation to departmental Select Committees, no less than in relation to Parliament itself. In the light of that policy the Government would not consider it appropriate for the Director General or other members of the Security Service to appear before a Select Committee.