I am rather disappointed with that answer, because the sooner the police can take back responsibility for law and order in Northern Ireland from the Army the sooner Northern Ireland is likely to return to normality. It follows that the Royal Ulster Constabulary of its present size and type is not capable of performing that task. As the return to police control is a matter of top priority, in the same way as security is a matter of top priority, we cannot sit back and leave this matter without an urgent re-appraisal.
That may be so, but it does not follow that we need an advisory committee on this matter. In my view, we do not. In the last three years events and the lessons learned have proved the need to evaluate the tasks of the RUC. This evaluation is now going on. I believe that there is no need for an advisory committee of the type my hon. Friend suggests. My right hon. Friend is in close touch with the police authority and the chief constable about these matters.
Will my hon. Friend give sympathetic consideration to the position of members of the RUC Reserve and, indeed, of any members of the part-time security forces who have been called up on mobilisation, to ensure that their employment will not be prejudiced whey the period of emergency is over? Will their jobs be kept for them?
Reverting to the answer which the Under-Secretary gave to my hon. Friend the Member for West Bromwich (Mr. Foley), what does the Under-Secretary mean by "normal police services"? This was the start of the trouble in the Bogside in 1968 and 1969. Armed police are back in the Bogside. The auxiliary police are viewed with grave suspicion. What discussions is it intended to have with the leaders of the community in no-go areas about adequate and proper policing and not "normal policing" as it was before they became no-go areas?
It must be recognised that it is too soon to be dogmatic and precise about the final outcome. Discussions are now going on. All reasonable people in the whole community will want to give the discussions a chance so that sensible and practical arrangements can be developed.