Orders of the Day — Northern Ireland Act 1974

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 9:47 pm on 26th June 1985.

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Photo of John Taylor John Taylor , Strangford 9:47 pm, 26th June 1985

I certainly agree with the comparison that the hon. Member draws. It is especially relevant to the opening speech by the Secretary of State, when he emphasised that a terrorist bomb in a village in Northern Ireland is as important as a bomb in the Rubens hotel in London or a hotel in Brighton or elsewhere.

Of course, that is not so, as is emphasised by the point being brought out by the hon. Member for Londonderry, East, (Mr. Ross), because the minute we have a bomb, defused as it was, in the Rubens hotel in London the Secretary of State brings in hon. Members for consultations. That has never happened with regard to Northern Ireland after 15 years of bombing. That shows that there is a difference of approach by the Government to terrorist bombs in Northern Ireland compared with their approach to bombs here in Great Britain. None the less, one can understand that, perhaps, the principle that has applied in Northern Ireland would be the better one to apply here in Great Britain because, after all, there are hon. Members, including Front Bench Opposition Members, who enter into private discussions with the political representatives of the terrorists.