Oral Answers to Questions — Northern Ireland

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 12th November 1970.

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Photo of Mr Stanley McMaster Mr Stanley McMaster , Belfast East 12:00 am, 12th November 1970

asked the Prime Minister what discussions he has had with the Prime Minister of Northern Ireland during the Recess of the problems affecting that area; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Mr Reginald Maudling Mr Reginald Maudling , Barnet

I have been asked to reply.

My right hon. Friend has had no such discussions, but I recently met the Prime Minister of Northern Ireland for a general exchange of views.

Photo of Mr Stanley McMaster Mr Stanley McMaster , Belfast East

Is the right hon. Gentleman satisfied with the adequacy of the security arrangements and particularly with the state of liaison—that there is rapid and easy liaison—between the Army and the R.U.C. in view of the serious threat that was revealed in the evidence during the recent arms trial in Dublin and the discovery of armed men training both north and south of the Border and several caches of arms and ammunition found in I.R.A. hide-outs?

Photo of Mr Reginald Maudling Mr Reginald Maudling , Barnet

It would be complacent to say that we are satisfied with all the arrangements that have been made, in view of the number of bomb incidents that have occurred and the general troubles in Northern Ireland. However, I am satisfied that liaison between the police and military authorities is being strengthened all the time.

Photo of Mr Paul Rose Mr Paul Rose , Manchester, Blackley

Would the right hon. Gentleman consider increasing employment prospects by aiding lame duck industries in Northern Ireland and by reminding the Northern Ireland Government that no reform will have any effect unless it includes the full representation of all the communities there at both local and national government level? Does he appreciate that this would imply a degree of proportional representation in these specific circumstances?

Photo of Mr Reginald Maudling Mr Reginald Maudling , Barnet

The inducements offered to industry to go to Northern Ireland are very considerable indeed. As for the reform programme, I sometimes think that hon. Members could contribute better to the peace of Northern Ireland if they recognised how big is the effort that has already been put behind the reform programme.

Photo of Mr Stratton Mills Mr Stratton Mills , Belfast North

Has my right hon. Friend seen the statement of Mr. Brian Faulkner, Minister of Development, about the bleak position over attracting new industries because of the disturbances there? Will he do everything he can, in consultation with the Northern Ireland Government, to provide incentives to industry to go there as a valuable contribution to restoring normality in Northern Ireland?

Photo of Mr Reginald Maudling Mr Reginald Maudling , Barnet

Certainly, but incentives are not enough if there is not the prospect of civil peace; and those who create riots are destroying their own livelihood.

Photo of Gerald Kaufman Gerald Kaufman , Manchester Ardwick

Did the right hon. Gentleman in his discussions with the Northern Ireland Government raise the question of abolishing the work permit system, taking into account the great resentment that is felt among British workmen, particularly those in Manchester, at being prevented from working in Northern Ireland when, through their taxes, they are contributing large sums to subsidise Northern Ireland?

Photo of Mr Reginald Maudling Mr Reginald Maudling , Barnet

That did not arise in the course of my discussions.