§ Mr. Oakes
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will conduct experiments on the tape recording of statements to the police similar to those announced by the Secretary of State for the Home Department in his answer to the hon. and learned Member for South Fylde (Mr. Gardner) on 15 November, Official Report, c. 16–17.
§ Mr. John Patten
My right hon. Friend has at present no plans to do so. The report of the committee of inquiry into police interrogation procedure under his honour Judge Bennett concluded that Northern Ireland was not the most suitable place in which to begin a system of tape recording, even on an experimental basis, but recommended that the results of experiments conducted elsewhere should be made available to the authorities in Northern Ireland. My right hon. Friend will be closely watching the progress of the field trials recently announced by my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary.