Monday 12 March 1979
"... Now the oil companies tell us they want the Government to use the Criminal Records Office and Special Branch - with its link with Northern Ireland - to check people employed on oil rigs. The companies would give us the names, and we would be expected to check them out and blacklist them if necessary for previous convictions or political reasons.
It would mean moving towards a police state as a by-product of having oil. I put this bluntly to Jasper Cross [civil servant], who said that, if we refused to help out, the Government would get the blame if anything went wrong."
Tony Benn, Conflicts of Interest: Diaries 1977-1980