Intelligence Services

Oral Answers to Questions — Northern Ireland – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 14th December 1972.

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Photo of Mr Stanley McMaster Mr Stanley McMaster , Belfast East 12:00 am, 14th December 1972

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, in view of the use by the Irish Republican Army of Warsaw Pact type rocket launchers or other weapons of similar origin, what further steps he is proposing to take to improve police and other local intelligence services.

Photo of Mr John Biggs-Davison Mr John Biggs-Davison , Chigwell

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what steps have been taken, in view of the increased use of rocket launchers by the Irish Republican Army, to strengthen border security and to improve police intelligence.

Photo of Mr David Howell Mr David Howell , Guildford

It would not be in the public interest to disclose how intelligence about rocket launchers or other weapons is gained, or what counter measures are being taken.

Photo of Mr Stanley McMaster Mr Stanley McMaster , Belfast East

Will my hon. Friend assure the House that there will be no lack of Government funds to improve our intelligence services?

Photo of Mr David Howell Mr David Howell , Guildford

I can certainly give that assurance. Both funds and every energy will be used in providing the necessary intelligence services and other factors.

Photo of Mr John Biggs-Davison Mr John Biggs-Davison , Chigwell

Speaking as one who has voluntarily provided himself with an identity card, will the Government reconsider whether it is not necessary, in the difficult times in which we live, for all citizens of the United Kingdom to have identity cards?

Photo of Mr David Howell Mr David Howell , Guildford

That is a major issue, which would involve my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary. I ask my hon. Friend to consider the problems of making such a measure effective in Northern Ireland at this time.

Photo of Mr Philip Goodhart Mr Philip Goodhart , Beckenham

Have we had any reply, helpful or otherwise, to the inquiries that we have made of the Soviet Embassy?

Photo of Mr David Howell Mr David Howell , Guildford

That is a matter for my right hon. Friend the Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary.