HL Deb 25 March 1987 vol 486 cc175-6

3.4 p.m.

Lord Molloy

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

The Question was as follows:

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they are taking any action to discover the whereabouts of Mr. Terry Waite.

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Young)

My Lords, we are doing all we can to try to discover the whereabouts of both Mr. Waite and other Britiish citizens held in Lebanon. So far, no hard information has emerged. We will continue to press all those who may be in a position to help.

Lord Molloy

I thank the noble Baroness for that Answer. It would appear that the people holding Mr. Terry Waite captive and Tehran radio are circulating stories to the effect that he is a spy. Will the noble Baroness take the opportunity to confirm that Mr. Terry Waite is solely the envoy of the most reverend Primate, and is no one's spy?

Baroness Young

My Lords, I am glad to confirm that Mr. Terry Waite was indeed the envoy of the most reverend Primate the Archbishop of Canterbury, and that there is no truth in the allegations that have been made.

The Lord Bishop of Manchester

My Lords, does the noble Baroness agree that while sharing the deep concern felt by the noble Lord, Lord Molloy, over Mr. Terry Waite—concern which I am sure is felt by everyone in this House—it would not be helpful at this stage to go further into this matter because things may well be going on behind the scenes of which we have little knowledge? The situation is delicate, and the Government should not be pressed further upon this matter.

Baroness Young

My Lords, I am most grateful to the right reverend Prelate for his question. I entirely agree with what he has said, and I think that view will be shared by all of your Lordships.