Security

Oral Answers to Questions — Northern Ireland – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 28th January 1988.

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Photo of Mr William Ross Mr William Ross , East Londonderry 12:00 am, 28th January 1988

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he is now satisfied with progress in the fight against terrorism.

Photo of Mr Nicholas Bennett Mr Nicholas Bennett , Pembroke

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on the security situation in 1987.

Photo of Mr Tom King Mr Tom King The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland

Since I last answered questions in the House on 10 December, five civilians, two members of the UDR and one RUC officer have died as a result of the security situation in the Province. The period has been marked by much effective work by the security forces, but the threat remains high. On 21 January I announced new arrangements for the deployment of security forces in border areas.

I shall circulate the record for 1987 in terms of the number of people charged with terrorist offences and the amount of weapons and ammunition recovered, both by the RUC and the Garda, in the Official Report.

Photo of Mr William Ross Mr William Ross , East Londonderry

As the IRA has now been proven, as a result of the find in County Donegal today, to have been running in weapons by the shipload, and since there is evidence in Northern Ireland that Protestant paramilitaries are moving weapons by the carload, is it not pathetic for the Minister to come to the House and read off such a litany? When will he be satisfied with progress and when will he eliminate terrorism? Those are the questions that we want answered.

Photo of Mr Tom King Mr Tom King The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland

I find that a disappointing supplementary question, especially from the hon. Member for Londonderry, East (Mr. Ross) who, above all, should welcome the fact that such a substantial quantity of arms has been found in Donegal and the fact that those arms will now not be used, possibly against his constituents. The fact that the hon. Gentleman knows about the shipments for the Loyalists is precisely because the RUC achieved the recapture of those weapons.

Photo of Mr Nicholas Bennett Mr Nicholas Bennett , Pembroke

Does my right hon. Friend agree that security affects both sides of the border? What cooperation has he had on security matters as a result of discussions with the Government of the Irish Republic lately?

Photo of Mr Tom King Mr Tom King The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland

Such co-operation is ongoing and extremely close. The evidence of today is further proof of its benefit.