Following the publication of the paper for discussion, I have been having further talks with representatives of political parties in Northern Ireland, of the churches, and of both sides of industry. These talks have been valuable and have enabled me to discuss the considered reactions of various sections of opinion in Northern Ireland to the points made in the paper for discussion.
No, I did not indicate that to the political parties—for the very good reason that I shall be answering Questions on this subject at the conclusion of Question Time. I am sure that the hon. Gentleman will agree that the right place to give answers is in the House. As for the White Paper, I have made no commitment and will not do so.
Is the Secretary of State aware that we are very pleased that discussions have begun with the SDLP? We understand that the right hon. Gentleman had a meeting with that party. Has he anything to say about those discussions, and will they continue with the SDLP, the NILP, the Unionist Party, and so on?
I made it clear that I would not say anything about the discussions. I was interested to hear their views. They are entitled to express to the Press, as they have done, what they said to me. I have kept my side of the discussions confidential, as is right and proper, before I report to my colleagues.