HC Deb 11 December 1972 vol 848 cc8-10
7. Mr. Fowler

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he will open talks with other European Governments to discuss new ways of combating and preventing international terrorism.

Mr. Amery

Since my right hon. Friend's talks in Rome early in September with the European Ministers, we have been in consultation at both ministerial and expert level with our partners in the European Community on how we can best co-operate in this matter. My hon. Friend will not expect me to give details of these consultations.

Mr. Fowler

I thank my right hon. Friend for that reply. Does he agree that the kind of terrorists who struck in Munich could easily have struck in London, Paris or Amsterdam? Therefore, is there not a common European interest in combating terrorism of this kind? Will my right hon. Friend consider having discussions on the formation of some kind of European police squad to combat terrorism?

Mr. Amery

I think my hon. Friend is absolutely right. He will appreciate, of course, that it would not help the cause if we were to disclose details of these matters.

Mr. Kaufman

Has the right hon Gentleman seen the circumstantial report in today's Financial Times that the Provisional IRA has been supplied with a consignment of arms by Arab terrorists financed by the Libyan Government? Will he investigate the report and, if it is proved accurate, make representations to the Libyan Government and cut off arms supplies from that Government?

Mr. Amery

We have as yet no clear evidence of how these weapons reached the IRA. We have asked the Soviet Government whether they will help by giving us information about how weapons apparently of Soviet origin managed to reach Ireland.

Mr. Stokes

Has my right hon. Friend any information on how Russian-made rockets have recently been delivered to Northern Ireland? Can this supply be stopped, and is there any truth in the suggestion that these rockets may have come from Cyprus?

Mr. Amery

As I have said, we have no detailed evidence, or any evidence at all, about how they got there. They appear to be of Russian origin and we have asked the Soviet Government to co-operate with us in tracing how they arrived at their destination.

Rev. Ian Paisley

Has the Foreign Secretary any evidence that a Russian submarine has been active off the North Antrim coast and that there has been direct trading between the IRA and the Soviet Government?

Mr. Amery

I have read the report in the newspapers but I have no other evidence.

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