HC Deb 30 January 1974 vol 868 c417
3. Mr. Winterton

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make representations to the Government of Libya with a view to the cessation of that country's aid to the IRA.

Lord Balniel

We have made strong protests to the Libyan Government on a number of occasions about Colonel Qadhafi's support for the IRA. We have made it clear that Her Majesty's Government regard this as a blatant interference in the internal affairs of the United Kingdom.

Mr. Winterton

I thank my noble Friend for that useful reply, which shows that there are still some teeth in the British lion. Is there any truth in the Press reports that the IRA has received something like £1 million in aid and training from the Libyan Government?

Lord Balniel

There are indications that the IRA may have received military aid and training from Libya, but we have no evidence that the aid is on the scale referred to by my hon. Friend.

Mr. McMaster

Is my right hon. Friend aware that there are now daily assassinations of soldiers, police and members of the reserve police, often married men with children, by people using modern Russian weapons supplied through Libya? What replies has he had to the representations which he has made to the Libyan Government?

Lord Balniel

A close and constant watch is being kept on the supplies which are made available to the IRA. Her Majesty's Ambassador in Tripoli sought clarification from the Libyan authorities on Press reports about Libyan involvement, but we did not receive a reply.