asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what reports he has received from the Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary regarding murders of members of the terrorist organisation known as the Irish National Liberation Army, carried out by other members of the same organisation.
I receive regular reports on a wide range of security related matters from the Chief Constable. The contents of those reports are confidential. I know, however, that the RUC is making every effort to bring those responsible for these murders, and every other terrorist crime, to justice.
Are not these deplorable gangland killings more reminiscent of the streets of Palermo or Don Corleone's New York than the United Kingdom? Will my right hon. Friend confirm that it should finally be obvious to even the most muddle-headed romantic American-Irishman that he should not send a nickel to terrorist thugs such as these?
It is certainly true that those incidents and those appalling murders that have been committed have given, in some ways, a clearer insight into the total bankruptcy and viciousness of the terrorists involved in campaigns in Northern Ireland. I very much underline what my hon. Friend said.
As an aside to the internecine struggle in INLA, is there any suggestion that the shootings and killings have gone up this year compared to this time last year?
The figures are not dissimilar from last year. Obviously, we very much regret the level of casualties that there have been, but one must recognise that the level of casualties is much lower than it was some years ago in the middle 1970s.