Mr. F. GRAY
asked the Home Secretary the reasons which necessitate the maintenance of an armed special police force in Northern Ireland at an expense this year of 1,500,000 to the English taxpayer; and whether it is anticipated that this will be an annual charge, and, if not. the reasons which led the Government to offer this sum this year, which, it is anticipated, will not prevail next year?
§ Mr. BRIDGEMAN
The maintenance of a special police force in Northern Ireland is necessitated by the possibility still existing of a recurrence of the serious disorders which until recently prevailed in that area, a possibility which, in the absence of such a force, would necessitate a large increase in the number of troops stationed in the area. I trust that these conditions will have materially changed before next year.