Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Attorney-General – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 11th January 1988.

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Photo of Sir Patrick Mayhew Sir Patrick Mayhew , Tunbridge Wells 12:00 am, 11th January 1988

My answer to the first question is no, because the Government have been concerned to defend the principle that I have already identified this afternoon. It has already become common ground that there is a lifelong duty of confidentiality. What remains at issue is the extent of that duty and the availability of means to enforce it in certain circumstances.

As to publication elsewhere in the world, it is important to uphold the duty of confidentiality by demonstrating by an order of the court that it is not open to a former member of the security services to publish in his own country what purport to be his memoirs and to make a profit thereby.