§ Mr. Peter Robinson
asked the Secretary of State for Defence what is the present troop level in Northern Ireland; what it was at the corresponding period for each of the past six years; and what plans he has to increase or decrease the number over the next 12 months.
§ Mr. Hayhoe
There are at present 12 major units of the combat arms in Northern Ireland. The following table shows the force level for each of the previous six years:
at 1 March 1974 18 1975 15 1976 16 1977 14 1978 13 1979 13
As regards future plans I refer the hon. Member to the reply which I gave to the hon. Member for Liverpool, Scotland Exchange (Mr. Parry) on 26 March [Vol. 980, c. 593].