HC Deb 30 March 2004 vol 419 cc1319-20W
Mr. Beggs

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence where the search records of the(a) 7 City of Belfast battalion of the Ulster Defence Regiment, (b) 10 City of Belfast battalion of the Ulster Defence Regiment, (c) 3 County Down battalion of the Ulster Defence Regiment and (d) regular military units operating in their tactical area of responsibility for the night of 17 February 1978 are held; by what method they are stored; and whether they are a matter of public record. [164431]

Mr. Ingram

The search records of all military units in Northern Ireland are held manually in paper format in the Northern Ireland Search Report Archive at 25 Engineer Regiment, Antrim. Reports of any searches, which did not produce a find, are routinely destroyed after six years when the statute of limitation for claims runs out. Records of productive searches may be held indefinitely in the archives and are subsequently reviewed in accordance with the terms of the Public Records Act, 1958 and 1967. However, I can confirm that there are no search records held prior to 1990.