HC Deb 05 July 1979 vol 969 cc1531-2
2. Mr. Molyneaux

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what study he has made of the fresh evidence of international complicity in the Irish Republican Army terrorist conspiracy.

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (Mr. Humphrey Atkins)

I am studying the available evidence very carefully and I can assure the House that we are ready with our partners abroad to take appropriate action against any such international terrorist links.

Mr. Molyneaux

Will the Secretary of State assure us that he will not discount the assertions made by the various terrorist gangs? Will he ensure that Her Majesty's ambassadors in the countries concerned are fully briefed so that they are in a position to offer accurate advice to the Governments of those countries? Perhaps he will enlist the aid of his right hon. Friend the Prime Minister to persuade those Governments to assist in stamping out terrorism in all its forms.

Mr. Atkins

The best answer that I can give is "Yes, Sir"

Rev. Ian Paisley

Will the Secretary of State inform the House whether he has any evidence that the Provisional IRA had a recent conference with the Basque terrorists in Spain?

Mr. Atkins

No, Sir. I cannot tell the House that we have any direct evidence of that. However, there is considerable co-operation between the Governments of the countries affected. All evidence is carefully studied and acted upon where possible.

Mr. Wilkinson

In view of my right hon. Friend's decision on Monday to proscribe the Irish National Liberation Army, may I ask whether there was any evidence of international collusion or contacts with that body? Did those contacts in any way influence his decision?

Mr. Atkins

Yes, Sir. There are indications that the Irish National Liberation Army is acting in concert with other terrorist groups throughout the world. That influenced what we decided to do on Monday.

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