Terrorism

Oral Answers to Questions — Civil Service – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 28th January 1991.

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Photo of Mr Tam Dalyell Mr Tam Dalyell , Linlithgow 12:00 am, 28th January 1991

To ask the Minister for the Civil Service what representations he has had from the civil service trade unions about the problems posed by potential terrorism originating in the middle east for civil service installations in Britain.

Photo of Mr Tam Dalyell Mr Tam Dalyell , Linlithgow

What extra money has been allocated for the defence of such installations? What help will be given to airlines? Some are reeling from the change in the number of passengers they carry, to the extent that they have had to cut back on the orange juice and second cups of tea and coffee that they give passengers for breakfast. That is the position of the airlines and it has been graphically illustrated.

Photo of Mr Timothy Renton Mr Timothy Renton , Mid Sussex

I do not think that questions about the number of orange juices or cups of coffee comes under the province of my Department in any sense. Mine is a strange Department—a duet between the civil service and the arts —but it is not as strange as that. If the hon. Gentleman wishes to ask about the costs of the installations, he must refer such questions to either my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence or my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment, who will make a statement in a few minutes.

Photo of Peter Bottomley Peter Bottomley , Eltham

Does my right hon. Friend agree that it would be more convenient for the civil service, unions and Ministers if people did not drop chemicals on the Kurds, did not go to war with Iran, at a cost of 1 million Muslim lives, and did not start taking over other independent states such as Kuwait?

Photo of Mr Timothy Renton Mr Timothy Renton , Mid Sussex

Although that is not within the province of my Department, I can without hesitation say yes to all my hon. Friend's propositions.

Photo of Dr Norman Godman Dr Norman Godman , Greenock and Port Glasgow

Installations in Scotland require the same protection as that given in England and Wales. I do not make this point out of parochialism. I remind the right hon. Gentleman that the appallingly dreadful terrorist organisation, the Irish Republican Army, does not carry out terrorist activities in Scotland; hence some installations there may be regarded as soft targets.

Photo of Mr Timothy Renton Mr Timothy Renton , Mid Sussex

I listen with great care to the hon. Gentleman. Precautions are in place to protect civil servants, no matter where they are based in the United Kingdom, against the current threat of terrorist attack. That applies whether they are in Scotland or in England or whether the terrorist attacks are by the IRA or by other organisations.