I am withholding the documents in question since releasing the papers would prejudice the effective formulation of government policy, on the basis that it would discourage the consideration of the full range of options thereby interfering with the effective conduct of business.
In arriving at this judgment, I have weighed carefully the public interest in disclosure against the harm that Iassess would result from doing so. I have also taken into account the full description of the Government's decisions which have already been provided to Parliament.
However, I am making an exception with the statistical information about manning levels which informed ECAB's consideration of how the reduction by four battalions should be effected. Copies of this will be placed in the Library of the House.