Is my hon. Friend aware that many people in Northern Ireland are grateful to the Northern Ireland Office for cutting through the red tape and ensuring that women may join the reserve? Is my hon. Friend satisfied that the criteria for entry are realistic rather than ideal?
The hon. Gentleman will be aware that the commanding officer of the UDR has had a general order posted saying that no member of the UDR should take part in activities which would conflict with his membership of the UDR—to wit, being a member of the UDA. Is the hon. Gentleman prepared to say that membership of the Ulster Defence Association is completely incompatible with membership of the Ulster Defence Regiment?
It has been made clear by my right hon. Friend and by my right hon. and noble Friend the Secretary of State for Defence that it is quite unacceptable that there should be an overlap of loyalties. If anyone should be found putting other loyalties in front of his loyalties to the UDR, which is intended to be and is an entirely nonsectarian force, that man would be discharged.
Does my hon. Friend consider that there is any future in a home guard or local volunteer force for the border areas to increase security and to bring local people into their own defence?
With the B Specials in mind, might not the subject very properly raised by the hon. Member for Chig-well (Mr. Biggs-Davison) take us on to dangerous ground? Nevertheless, might not a community-type police force in the end be necessary in certain areas, especially in Belfast?
These considerations lie in the future. For the time being the main aim is to strengthen, on a nonsectarian basis, the existing forces set up to preserve and maintain law and order. This must be the way forward for the time being.