§ Mr. Wilshire
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many of the representatives of Sinn Fein who are currently engaged in talks with Her Majesty's Government are currently in receipt of state financial benefits. 
§ Mr. Moss
Responsibility for the subject in question has been delegated to the Social Security Agency under its chief executive, Mr. Alec Wylie. I have asked him to arrange for a reply to be given.
Letter from Alec Wylie to Mr. David Wilshire, dated 24 May 1995:I have been asked to reply to your recent question about members of Sinn Fein.I should first explain that information on a person's entitlement to social security benefits, including whether or not they are claiming or getting benefit, is confidential. I am therefore unable to comment on individual cases. However, I can assure you that all claims to benefit are assessed and regularly reviewed by independent adjudication officers, strictly in accordance with social security law and payment is made only where there is valid entitlement.I hope this letter sets out the position for you.