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Wednesday, 16 June 2010
Page: 5620


Mr McMULLAN (Parliamentary Secretary for International Development Assistance) (10:25 AM) —With regard to the naming of Mr Irvine, as I said earlier, we do not as a matter of course announce when the heads of security agencies are visiting elsewhere. Some are less likely to be named than others. The name of the person who is the head of that agency is not exactly a secret. We live in a democracy and we like to make available as much as possible. I was not aware of any reason that that should not have been available and as far as I know the officer concerned had no concerns about it.

I can only give some of the information in response to the two other questions and if the minister has something further to add I will refer it to him. What the minister said was that the things that took place in 2005 were the responsibility of the previous government and there is only so far he should go in revealing the discussions that they had. He simply alluded to a previous incident and what had taken place. What he was responding to in that statement did not reflect the character of the agreement that came out on that occasion.

I do not think he would wish to, or would wish me to, go beyond that. I do not think it is appropriate for him to start making announcements about decisions of the previous government or discussions and agreements that they entered into. But I will refer the two points raised by the shadow minister to the minister and see if he has got something to add.