HC Deb 20 March 1986 vol 94 c398
3. Sir John Biggs-Davison

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if, having regard to his co-operation with other Governments in countering terrorism, he will give further consideration to the introduction of identity cards in the United Kingdom.

The Minister of State, Home Office (Mr. Giles Shaw)

The Government have no proposals to introduce identity cards in the United Kingdom.

Sir John Biggs-Davison

Would the suggestion not be helpful against terrorists and immigration and social security cheats? Has not the House of Commons set a good example by issuing identity cards to hon. Members, and should we not follow the example of our European partners and of our Commonwealth partner, Australia, which recently introduced identity cards, with very little dissent in that freedom-loving country?

Mr. Shaw

I fully respect my hon. Friend's observations. He is well known for his interest in this issue. He will recall that the possibility of introducing identity cars to help in the fight against crime of all kinds, including terrorism, has been considered on a number of occasions and successive Governments have felt that such documents would not be of sufficient value to overcome the genuine antipathy that exists towards them in this country. As for our European partners, my hon. Friend will know that some countries, such as Ireland and Holland, do not have identity cards.

Mr. Campbell-Savours

In co-operating with other Governments in combating terrorism, as it says in the question, does the Minister intend to take any action under section 10 of the Prevention of Terrorism Act 1974, against those companies in the City of London which sell kidnap insurance policies and are financing the IRA—

Mr. Speaker

Order. The hon. Gentleman's supplementary question must be linked with identity cards.

Mr. Campbell-Savours

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. My question was in order—

Mr. Speaker

No, I will not take points of order. The hon. Gentleman must get his question in order. Mr. Heathcoat-Amory to put the next question.

Mr. Campbell-Savours

Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker—

Mr. Speaker

Order. I gave the hon. Gentleman a good steer. The question concerns the introduction of identity cards in the United Kingdom in connection with terrorism. It has nothing to do with the City of London.