§ Mr. McCusker
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will outline the procedure for the acquisition and 375W supervision of transport and use of commercial explosives in mining and quarrying operations in Northern Ireland.
§ Mr. Merlyn Rees
The transport and use of explosives in Northern Ireland is strictly controlled by the police. Application for consent to purchase explosives must be made to the RUC giving details of the proposed use and amount of explosives required. Consent is only granted if the police are satisfied that the application is legitimate and that they can make adequate security arrangements to supervise the transport and use of the explosives. Once purchased, explosives are transported to the place of use under police escort and are maintained under guard until the blasting operation is complete. Any explosive remaining after the blasting operation is destroyed.