Oral Answers to Questions — Official Secrets Act (Top Secret Documents)

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 17th December 1957.

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Photo of Mr Arthur Woodburn Mr Arthur Woodburn , Clackmannan and East Stirlingshire 12:00 am, 17th December 1957

asked the Prime Minister whether he is aware that the issue of Government Top Secret documents to persons outwith Government service imposes no automatic obligations under the Official Secrets Act; and if he will so extend the application of the Act in future.

Photo of Mr R.A. Butler Mr R.A. Butler , Saffron Walden

I have been asked to reply. The right hon. Gentleman is misinformed.

Photo of Mr Arthur Woodburn Mr Arthur Woodburn , Clackmannan and East Stirlingshire

In that case, can the right hon. Gentleman inform me whether the Official Secrets Act applies to those receiving Top Secret documents, whether they are employees of the Government or not? If not, is he prepared to extend the Official Secrets Act to cover all those who receive Top Secret official documents?

Photo of Mr R.A. Butler Mr R.A. Butler , Saffron Walden

I am informed that Section 2 of the Act of 1911 covers any Person.