My Lords, it has long been the practice not to disclose the actual costs of protecting a particular individual. If those costs were revealed, it would be possible to estimate the scale of protection. That would prejudice the security of the individual concerned.
My Lords, I thank my noble friend the Minister for his reply. Now that Mr Rushdie is living in Manhattan, how long will we continue to provide his personal protection in New York? Is the Minister aware that Mr Rushdie charges 1 million dollars in advance for his publications, and that he has recently signed a contract with Random House for five books? Will he be paying tax to the British Government or the American Government?
My Lords, it would be invidious for any Minister to discuss the tax affairs of any UK national. The level of protection which will be provided to Mr Rushdie during his time in America is entirely a matter for the American authorities. Perhaps I should add that there is a close working liaison and relationship between the United Kingdom and United States on law enforcement. However, Mr Rushdie's treatment and level of protection in America are a matter for the American authorities.
My Lords, can the Minister confirm that a bounty of 2.4 million dollars on the head of Mr Rushdie by the Iranian 15 Khordad Foundation exists and has not been withdrawn as a result of the conversations between Mr Cook and the Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Kharrazi? Can the Minister tell the House whether his right honourable friend Mr Cook has any plans to raise that matter with the Iranian authorities when he visits Tehran?
My Lords, is the Minister aware that Mr Salman Rushdie is domiciled in London? He is a British subject and the British Government pay nothing towards his protection in New York. Is he further aware that many people in Britain are proud of the effective protection given to Salman Rushdie, as they would be of similar protection given to any British subject?
My Lords, that is an operational matter which has to be left in the knowledge and safe hands of the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police.