HC Deb 15 January 1976 vol 903 c575
22. Mr. Gow

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will make a ministerial broadcast about the need for public vigilance in support of police efforts to apprehend terrorists.

Mr. Roy Jenkins

I have no immediate plans to do so, Sir, though I recognise that a ministerial broadcast could be of value if delivered at the right time. I have made clear in this House and elsewhere on a number of occasions that I consider the vigilance of the public to be of the highest importance in the fight against terrorism.

Mr. Gow

Is the right hon. Gentleman satisfied that the public is sufficiently aware of the vigilance to which he has referred? Does he not think that it would assist in achieving that degree of vigilance if he, who is still a respected member of the Government, were to make that broadcast?

Mr. Jenkins

I am grateful to the hon. Member for such an unusual and uncalled for tribute. I have told him in correspondence that I take his suggestion—not his premise—seriously. There might well be a moment—such a moment might have been in December—when a broadcast could be of importance. I am never complacent about the degree of vigilance needed or any other aspect of this matter. I will certainly continue to keep the hon. Gentleman's helpful suggestion in mind with a view to deciding whether there might be an appropriate moment at which to stress this subject in a new way to the public.