Oral Answers to Questions — Northern Ireland – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 13th December 1973.
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether he will make a statement on the working of the new constitution.
The legislation before this House today will, if approved, devolve powers on a Northern Ireland executive with effect from 1st January 1974.
I congratulate my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland on his appointment. Does he agree that he who strives to disrupt a constitutionally-elected legislative assembly discredits his cause and forfeits the sympathy of loyal subjects throughout the Kingdom?
Is the Secretary of State aware that the Registrar-General reports that in my constituency there are more people from Northern Ireland than in any other constituency in Great Britain? Is he also aware that they overwhelmingly support the new constitution?
I was not aware of that demographic fact, but I note what the right hon. Gentleman says.
Since when the original elections took place to the Northern Ireland Assembly, it was neither clear what powers it had nor whether an Executive would be formed or a Council of Ireland would emerge, will the right hon. Gentleman, having completed his package, and the parties to it being unanimously in agreement, be prepared to put the new coalition to a General Election in Northern Ireland?
The position is that the constitution of Northern Ireland remains in the form passed by this House. We shall be adverting to these matters later this afternoon.