LETTER: Defence threat

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From Ms Gill Samuel

Sir: The letter from John Alderson (20 November) misrepresents the speech made last week by the Defence Secretary to a tri-Service conference. He made no mention whatsoever of armed forces tackling "inner-city crime". Mr Portillo's speech was on the theme of how the world may change in future and the threats that might arise to our national security. One such threat, he said, might come from drug trafficking or international organised crime.

The armed forces already assist the customs authorities in intercepting drug traffickers. His point was simply that use of defence resources in that way might become more necessary in future to combat these international threats to national security.

Yours faithfully,

Gill Samuel

Press Secretary

Ministry of Defence

London, SW1

20 November