HC Deb 16 January 1975 vol 884 cc656-7
4. Mr. Gow

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what proposals he has relating to the level of border security at the frontier between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

The Under-Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (Mr. J. D. Concannon)

Great importance is attached to the improvement of security along the border, and my right hon. Friend discussed the matter most recently with the Minister for Foreign Affiairs of the Irish Republic on 19th December. On instructions from the two Governments, officials are urgently considering various aspects of the problem.

Mr. Gow

The Opposition recognise the great difficulties about enforcing security at the frontier between the Republic and Ulster, but does the Minister not agree that a very great deal of the arms and munitions which are at present used to destroy life and property in Ulster come from the Republic? Will he undertake to give very urgent consideration to strengthing security at the border?

Mr. Concannon

The Governments of the United Kingdom and the Irish Republic share a common aim of eradicating terrorism. There is valuable co-operation between the Royal Ulster Constabulary and the Garda.

Mr. Mather

What progress has been made in closing secondary roads in the border area, and how effective is this proving to be?

Mr. Concannon

About one quarter of the unapproved crossings have now been blocked, but I think that the hon. Gentleman knows that there are considerable difficulties—topographical, economic, and so on—about closing some of the others.

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