§ Mr. Prior
Where there is sufficient evidence to justify extradition proceedings against any individual found to have fled to the United States, the Government have instituted such proceedings. We have received every assistance from the United States authorities in doing so. In the past 10 years, one application has been made in respect of a person wanted for criminal offences of a terrorist nature committed in Northern Ireland.
§ Mr. Adley
Is my right hon. Friend aware that a constituent of mine has been extradicted to the United States for a motoring office, but there appears to be ample evidence that, in spite of the assistance of the United States authorities, the United States courts are interpreting the extradition treaty in a very partial manner and in a way that does not comply with the European convention on the suppression of terrorism? Is my right hon. Friend doing anything to secure an equal and even-handed appliction of the extradition treaty by courts on both sides of the Atlantic?
§ Mr. Prior
I know that a constituent of my hon. Friend has been treated in the way described. We have no evidence that the United States Administration do not wish to co-operate fully in extradition proceedings. Two draft Bills on extradition are currently under consideration in the United States. Neither would remove the consideration of political offence claims from the courts, but each would define what does not constitute a political offence. I believe that that would be an improvement on the present situation.
§ Rev. Ian Paisley
Does the right hon. Gentleman agree that extradition cannot be a one-way street? When a terrorist wanted for crimes in Israel can be extradited immediately, why cannot the same be done for terrorists wanted for crimes in the United Kingdom?
§ Mr. Campbell-Savours
Would not extradition and our case against the IRA be considerably helped were the Government to take prime time on American television in certain states to put our case on Irish affairs?
§ Mr. Prior
I am not certain whether prime time in television commercials would help, but a great deal more 1055 can be done, needs to be done and, I hope, is now being done, to make certain that we put forward our case in the United States. The people who could do that best are the people of Ulster themselves, particularly the Churches, politicians and business men. I hope that in the new year we can make another concerted effort to put Ulster's case across.