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|Popping into your mind|
A "memory lapse" is a
convenient unfortunate inability to recall specific events when asked about them by a Senate (US) or Parliamentary (UK) body. These events often concidentally occur in case where the "forgotten" information wold be detrimental to the interogatee or her/his organisation.
Alternative explanations for inability to answer valid questions include: the unexpectedness of the topic; the protection of other's rights; commmercial sensitivity of the information and "security".
Similar events occur in less formal circumstances, as when being quizzed by television or newspaper reporters, in such cases it is often easier to divert the query or to give deceitful answers.