My right hon. and learned Friend raised the question of the Kuwait airlines hijack and its aftermath with his European Community colleagues in Luxembourg on 25 April. We shall also be discussing this in the Summit Seven machinery. The British delegation to the International Civil Aviation Organisation raised the issue there on 26 April.
I thank my hon. and learned Friend for that reply. Does he agree that one of the problems facing the international community is the lack of an international force such as our own SAS, the GSG9 or Delta Force, that could tackle piracies when they occur? It is vital that either such a force is set up under the control of the United Nations or that such a force could be called upon by the UN to deal with piracies.
I understand why my hon. Friend suggests that, but our view is that such a force would not be a practical proposition. My right hon. and learned Friend put forward a number of ideas in the five-point plan and one development that we are working towards is the establishment of a group of experts who would be able to advise a Government who find themselves in a situation such as that which confronted the Government of Cyprus on the best practice to handle a hijacking. We do not believe that the international force that my hon. Friend advocates is a practical proposition at this time.
Given that the talks are likely to consider other aspects of terrorism, will the Minister explain to his colleagues why his right hon. and learned Friend is today trying to lean on the chairman of the BBC to try to stop BBC Ulster Television showing a programme about events in Gibraltar which involved Irish terrorists, which follows the heavy-handed—
Will my hon. and learned Friend give serious consideration to making available to the public the recordings that the British authorities presumably took in Cyprus of conversations between the air pirates and the authorities in Iran?
We welcome the initiative that has been taken, especially on the possibility of a specialised negotiating force. When the Minister has the opportunity to discuss air piracy and terrorism with his colleagues, will he also ponder the effect on controlling terrorism in Europe of any wholesale abolition of frontier controls in the 1992 package? Should we not re-examine any such impossibilist idea? Why on earth should we seek to make it easier for terrorists to float around from country to country and escape any form of justice?
I agree with the hon. Gentleman. Indeed, I recall being extremely troubled about the similar issue of the flow of drugs through the European Community, given that, unfortunately, one or two of our neighbouring states have not had the same success in controlling the warehousing of drugs in their countries as we have had. I am glad to say that we retain complete power to intervene at our frontiers, and after 1992 we will continue to have the power to check for imports of drugs or terrorism or for anything that is a criminal offence in this country.