§ Q20. Mr. Latham
asked the Prime Minister whether she will make a statement on the present situation in Northern Ireland; and whether it is the intention of Her Majesty's Government to strengthen the security forces further following the recent serious increase in murder and violence.
§ The Prime Minister
During the last few weeks there has been continued though intermittent rioting in various parts of Northern Ireland, most of it in Belfast. The media have sometimes created the impression that the situation is out of control. In fact, the security forces are well on top of the situation and I appeal to people to leave the maintenance of law and order in their capable hands. The security forces also remain very much on the alert for further terrorist attacks. They are doing their utmost to thwart such activity and to bring to justice those who have engaged in it.
The Spearhead battalion has recently been sent to the Province and both the GOC and the Chief Constable of the RUC are confident that they have sufficient resources to cope with the situation. There are, consequently, no present plans for further troop reinforcements.