HC Deb 29 January 1987 vol 109 cc481-2
Q1. Mr. Dalyell

asked the Prime Minister, pursuant to her answer of 12 January, Official Report, column 3, what assumptions, as opposed to evidence, have been conveyed to Her Majesty's Government by the other Governments consulted regarding possible Syrian involvement in the La Belle discotheque nightclub terrorist bombing in Berlin; and if she will make a statement.

The Prime Minister (Mrs. Margaret Thatcher)

None, Sir.

Mr. Dalyell

With regard to what happened in Berlin, why does the Prime Minister suppose that her sources for certainty are better than those of the West German Department of Justice, the West Berlin police and Der Spiegel?

The Prime Minister

As we understand it, the position has not changed since I replied to a question last January, and the hon. Gentleman knows what that is. We have evidence of Libyan involvement in the bombing of La Belle discotheque in Berlin on 5 April, but the Germans have evidence of Syrian involvement in relation to the German-Arab Friendship Society. The position has not changed since I answered a question many months ago.

Mr. Latham

Will my right hon. Friend confirm that there is at least one correct assumption behind the hon. Gentleman's question—that when it comes to violent terrorism Libya and Syria are as bad as each other?

The Prime Minister

As my hon. Friend is aware, we have taken strong action against both.

Mr. Tom Clarke

Does the Prime Minister consider that the information from the German police sent to my hon. Friend the Member for Linlithgow (Mr. Dalyell) was right or wrong?

The Prime Minister

I am answering about what I understand to be the Government's position—

Mr. Tony Banks

Do they not tell the right hon. Lady?

The Prime Minister

I have given the answer many, many times. We have evidence of Libyan involvement in La Belle discotheque. The Germans have evidence of Syrian involvement in the matter of the German-Arab Friendship Society. That is the position.

Mr. Hickmet

My right hon. Friend will be aware of the damage done to national security by the contacts between the Leader of the Opposition and members of his party in the Peter Wright case and—

Mr. Speaker

Order. Does this relate to the specific question?

Mr. Bell

As the West German Government evidence is clearly of Syrian involvement, was it not a tragic mistake by the Government to allow American fighters to attack Libya from this country on the basis of faulty information and evidence—a tragic mistake as a result of which innocent people lost their lives?

The Prime Minister

I have given the answer with regard to our evidence about Libyan involvement and about our understanding of German knowledge of evidence of Syrian involvement which came out in the trial. I have answered debates about the raid on Libya for which facilities were given from this country. I believe that to have been the right action against terrorism.

Mr. Dalyell

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. In view of the unsatisfactory nature of the Prime Minister's reply and her economality with the truth, I give notice that I shall seek to raise the matter on the djournment.

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