HC Deb 26 November 1970 vol 807 cc597-8
22. Mr. Kilfedder

asked the Minister of State for Defence whether full particulars of deserters from the Army, with home addresses in Eire, including photographs, have been passed to the Special Branch of the Royal Ulster Constabulary.

Mr. Ian Gilmore

No, Sir; but certain particulars of all Army deserters are published in the Police Gazette.

Mr. Kilfedder

Is my hon. Friend aware of the grave concern felt in Northern Ireland about the number of desertions by recruits from the Republic of Eire after the completion of their training? Can my hon. Friend say whether there is any evidence that these men join clandestine groups or illegal organisations in the Republic? Is my hon. Friend satisfied—[HON. MEMBERS: "Reading."]—that the pre-recruitment screening process is sufficiently stringent, and would he not agree that the number of deserters seems to suggest that it is not?

Mr. Gilmour

I am not sure that all that arises from the original Question. We have no information to suggest that people desert and go to clandestine organisations in Northern Ireland. We are looking at our measures so that the Ulster Constabulary can be notified more easily.