§ 21. Mr. Atkinson
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he has any plans for legislation to introduce a national identity card.
§ Mr. John Patten
No. When the introduction of a compulsory system of identity cards was proposed last year by my hon. Friend the Member for Norfolk, North (Mr. Howell), the Government's response was that the advantages of such a system would be insufficient to justify the costs, both financially and in terms of the possible adverse effect on relations between the police and the public. We remain unpersuaded that a compulsory system of identity cards should be introduced. The arguments relating to a voluntary system are somewhat different. The possibility of the Government introducing a voluntary card is kept under review.