§ Mr. George Cunningham
asked the Minister of State for Defence what is the rank and title of the Army's most senior medical officer in Northern Ireland.
§ Lord Balniel
Colonel. Assistant Director of Medical Services, Northern Ireland.
§ Mr. McNamara
asked the Minister of State for Defence how many young persons below 15 years of age have been arrested in Northern Ireland by the Army; what were their ages; on what grounds they were arrested; and for how long they were detained.
§ Mr. G. Johnson Smith
Twenty-nine since 1st August, 1971, of whom 18 were aged 14, six aged 13, two aged 12, two 331W aged 11 and one aged 10. They were suspected of offences relating to riotous behaviour, disorderly behaviour, breach of the peace or malicious damage. They were transferred as quickly as possible to the Royal Ulster Constabulary. Their subsequent detention and the preferring of charges were matters for the civil authorities although I understand that every effort is made to ensure that young persons are not held at police stations for any longer than is necessary.