Oral Answers to Questions — Republic of Ireland

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 6th November 1975.

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Photo of Alan Beith Alan Beith , Berwick-upon-Tweed 12:00 am, 6th November 1975

asked the Prime Minister, when he next proposes to pay an official visit to Dublin.

Photo of Mr Harold Wilson Mr Harold Wilson , Huyton

I have at present no plans to do so, Sir.

Photo of Alan Beith Alan Beith , Berwick-upon-Tweed

If the Prime Minister has the opportunity to do so, will he make it clear to the Irish Government that, as well as concern for the fate of Dr. Herrema, there is deep respect in this country for the refusal of that Government to be blackmailed, and for their careful handling of this case? If the right hon. Gentleman should have occasion to see Mr. Lynch, will he convey to him that some of his recent statements have suggested to people here more political opportunism than a genuine concern either for the minority or for the majority in the North?

Photo of Mr Harold Wilson Mr Harold Wilson , Huyton

I thank the hon. Gentleman. I made clear last week our admiration of the way in which the Herrema kidnapping was being handled. I repeat it now. I believe that the whole House will wish to see the case satisfactorily resolved and will want to pay tribute to the firm resolve of the Irish Government.

There is no ministerial responsibility here or, indeed, in the Republic, for statements by Mr. Jack Lynch, but my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland has made clear our total disagreement with Mr. Lynch's statement, as it has been so widely interpreted.

Photo of Mr Robert Kilroy-Silk Mr Robert Kilroy-Silk , Ormskirk

With the time my right hon. Friend has saved by not going to Dublin, will he take time to consider the suggestion that before any proposals for the potentially dangerous adventures into devolution are brought before the House he will see that proposals are also advanced for the English regions and that, in any event, no legislation will be brought to the House before there have been referenda in all parts of the United Kingdom?

Photo of Mr Harold Wilson Mr Harold Wilson , Huyton

I have made it clear that it is not appropriate that when I am replying to Questions about where I may go or not go, other questions should be raised. My hon. Friend's supplementary question has nothing whatever to do with a visit to Dublin. The only result of such a supplementary question, important though it is—my hon. Friend should put a Question on the Order Paper about it—is to prevent other hon. Members from putting supplementaries which are related to the Question on the Order Paper.