HC Deb 27 November 1986 vol 106 cc423-4
11. Mr. Campbell-Savours

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether he will list the known sources of funding of the Irish Republican Army as communicated to his office.

Mr. Scott

The main sources of finance for the Provisional IRA are believed to be the profits gained from paramilitary-controlled social clubs and gaming machines, extortion and protection rackets, frauds, armed robberies throughout Ireland, commercial enterprises run for the benefit of paramilitaries, and overseas contributions.

The Government are naturally anxious to cut off all potential sources of financial support for terrorism and have introduced a number of measures to this end in recent years. In addition, the Royal Ulster Constabulary has established a special squad to draw together all police activity against organised crime. This has already met with notable success.

Mr. Campbell-Savours

Why did the Minister not place the proceeds from kidnapping on that list?

Mr. Scott

There is no reason to believe that kidnap payments are a regular or major source of finance for the Provisional IRA.

Viscount Cranborne

Has my hon. Frend had any discussions with the Government of the Republic of Ireland as a result of the Anglo-Irish Agreement to try to control the amount of funds coming to the IRA from south of the border?

Mr. Scott

We are determined to see that, through co-operation with the authorities throughout Ireland, security forces as well as Government Departments, we block off all sources as quickly as possible.

Mr. Mason

Surely the worst culprit in regularly financing the Provisional IRA both with cash and arms is Noraid and its organisations in the United States of America. Will the Minister therefore enlighten the House about the extent to which it is still annually financing the provisional IRA?

Mr. Scott

To far too great an extent. I have to say that we are getting very good co-operation from the American Administration and law enforcement agencies on the other side of the Atlantic, both in controlling Noraid as an organisation, monitoring its accounts, and in ensuring that money is not used to buy arms to murder Irishmen north and south of the border.

Mr. Gow

What evidence does my hon. Friend have to show that the Governments of Syria and Libya are involved in supplying money and arms to the IRA or are conniving to do so?

Mr. Scott

There is clear evidence that over the years Libya has been supplying both money and arms to the IRA. We continue to seek to monitor that and to prevent such arms or such money from reaching the IRA.

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