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Id cards rejected.

Harold Wilson's Labour Government rejected the introduction of identity cards, dismissing them as "extremely expensive and largely ineffective" in combating IRA terrorism.

In November 1974, Wilson was under pressure to act after the Birmingham pub bombings ( one of the worst atrocities of the Troubles with 21 people killed and more than 160 injured( at the end of another year of appalling terrorist violence.

Home Secretary Roy Jenkins was given the task of drawing up the emergency Prevention of Terrorism Bill to be rushed through Parliament.

But in a frank memorandum to Cabinet colleagues, Mr Jenkins admitted that there was a limit to what such measures could achieve.

And he issued a sharp warning against responding to the attacks by adopting ever more draconian legislation.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jan 1, 2005
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