Bomb Incidents

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 18th January 1979.

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Photo of Mr Merlyn Rees Mr Merlyn Rees , Leeds South 12:00 am, 18th January 1979

I am grateful for what the hon. and learned Gentleman said about the police. There is a danger in his suggestion that goes back to what was said by the right hon. Member for Down, South (Mr. Powell). My experience—I am sure that it has been shared by the right hon. Member for Penrith and The Border and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland—is that when I used to return from Northern Ireland I was amazed by the laxity of security in this country. People in Northern Ireland are used to tight security. What matters is vigilance by people for anything the slightest bit unusual, rather than a detailed knowledge of what they should be looking for. I know from reading police reports that they knit together bits of information that seem almost useless when they are first received. When taken with other information, they add up to the final story. That is what good policing is all about. The police want information, and I am sure that people will be telephoning and contacting their local police station, and that in that way the police will find the people responsibly for planting the bombs.