HC Deb 19 July 1973 vol 860 cc699-700
14. Mr. Warren

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will give the total number of civilian and military casualties in Northern Ireland in the last three years.

Mr. van Straubenzee

During the three-year period ending 30th June 1973, 816 people died in Northern Ireland as a result of civil disturbances. It is not possible to give an accurate figure for the number of people injured during this period.

Mr. Warren

With these tragic figures before us, does not my hon. Friend find a most welcome voice in that of President Erskine Childers who, on television in America last week, said that Irish Americans should stop sending money to Ireland for the purchase of arms and that the continued presence of British troops in Northern Ireland was absolutely necessary?

Mr. van Straubenzee

Yes, Sir, I noted those statesmanlike remarks and I am sure that they were of great assistance. I am sure my hon. Friend will know that among the figures which I gave him about one-quarter were members of the IRA.

Mr. Grylls

Is compensation being paid to the families of those who have been casualties of these events?

Mr. van Straubenzee

There is another Question almost immediately on this matter, and I will answer that point when we reach it.

Mr. Wilkinson

May I ask my hon. Friend to neglect no opportunity of informing the country that those who gave their lives and sustained injury in the security forces did not do so in vain but did so reasonably, in support of the British way of life, and that their sacrifice will be recognised as having been worthwhile by Her Majesty's Government and by the country as a whole?

Mr. van Straubenzee

I am sure that the House applauds all those who seek to maintain law and order in part of the United Kingdom.