Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Northern Ireland – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 12th January 1989.

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Photo of Mr Tom King Mr Tom King The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland 12:00 am, 12th January 1989

On the first point, I cannot add much to what I said to the hon. Member for Fermanagh and South Tyrone (Mr. Maginnis). I take seriously the RUC's concerns in any such matters. At the same time I know that how best to use available resources is a matter of real concern to those involved in security so as to create maximum uncertainty for terrorists, which in turn creates maximum security for the people whom the security forces are seeking to protect. Having said that. however, I take the hon. Gentleman's point seriously.

I also take seriously the hon. Gentleman's point about part-time police stations. None of the issues is easy. It is a matter of deciding on the best use of manpower, which stations it is most sensible to man on a full-time basis and where stations are needed. We are looking at that matter carefully.

I see no prospect of changing the dates of the elections to make them coincide, but I understand the hon. Gentleman's point about the additional burden placed on the security forces.