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Ireland (Tripartite Conference)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 10th December 1973.

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Photo of Mr Edward Heath Mr Edward Heath , Bexley 12:00 am, 10th December 1973

I thank the hon. and learned Gentleman for his words of welcome for the agreement. It has been agreed that the Council should have executive powers. It will act on the unanimity rule. That was agreed on the basis of common accord between all those who took part in the discussions. We have listed the elements which we conclude should now be considered either for executive function or for harmonisation. Those elements will now be ex- amined in detail and, as I said, recommendations will be made to the formal conference which is to be held early in the New Year. Each item will be considered on its merits.

We came to the conclusion, after considerable discussion, that it was not possible at the conference for those round the table to decide, for example, whether in the electricity industry North and South the Council should have executive functions and precisely what those functions should be. We thought it essential that there should be detailed examination of each item before reaching a conclusion.