HL Deb 20 July 1981 vol 423 cc1-2
Lord Gainford

My Lords, I beg leave to ask the Question which stands in my name on the Order Paper.

The Question was as follows:

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they are satisfied with the present arrangements which exist between this country and the police forces and Governments of other Western nations, including the United States, to counter terrorism.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Belstead)

My Lords, we co-operate closely with other Western nations on measures to counter terrorism. The effectiveness of these arrangements is kept under review.

Lord Gainford

My Lords, I thank my noble friend for that Answer. Can he please tell me, arising from that reply, how many British police are seconded to Interpol and what influence Interpol has as regards terrorism?

Lord Belstead

My Lords, I am afraid I cannot give my noble friend the number of police who are seconded to Interpol. Within the limits of its constitution, which of course strictly prohibits any activity of a political character being undertaken, Interpol plays a valuable part in the international arrangements to counter criminal offences connected with terrorism, and I should like to make it absolutely clear to my noble friend that Her Majesty's Government strongly support the work of Interpol.

Lord Gainford

My Lords, in thanking my noble friend for that reply, may I ask him whether he has any information about a television programme on 6th July, "World in Action", which seemed to make an outrageous allegation that this country was almost a haven for terrorists?

Lord Belstead

My Lords, I was not aware of that particular television programme, and, if it did take the line that my noble friend says, then I should certainly want to take this opportunity to rebut it.

Lord Elwyn-Jones

My Lords, was there not a report in the press and on the media about alleged gunrunning between British nazis and, in particular, a body calling itself Column 88 and a Leicester-based British Democratic Party, which is alleged to be engaged in weapons trafficking for purposes which do not on the face of it seem to be very lawful?

Lord Belstead

Again, my Lords, I shall certainly look into what the noble and learned Lord has said. I think it is important, though, that we bear in mind that one of the benefits of the European Community is the regular meetings which take place among the European Community Governments so far as terrorist matters are concerned.

The Earl of Kimberley

My Lords, arising from my noble friend's supplementary question, can my noble friend the Minister say whether he has seen the report in the Daily Mail today about certain schools being set up by the Workers' Revolutionary Party to continue promoting terrorism in this country, and are the police keeping a very watchful eye on these schools?

Lord Belstead

Again, my Lords, I have not had the advantage of seeing today's Daily Mail, but I will certainly look carefully at what my noble friend has said and draw the attention of my right honourable friends to it.

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