Orders of the Day — Northern Ireland Act 1974

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 7:19 pm on 26th June 1985.

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Photo of Mr John Hume Mr John Hume , Foyle 7:19 pm, 26th June 1985

Does the Secretary of State agree that the experience of the Assembly confirms the view of the SDLP—the only party which has had the integrity to take that view publicly—that the Assembly could not provide a framework for agreement? Does the right hon. Gentleman accept that that view is based on hard experience, not only of what has happened in Northern Ireland but of what the political parties have said in statements, that in no circumstances do they wish to share responsibility with SDLP representatives? That experience has been confirmed and reconfirmed by the attitudes that have been adopted in local councils since the elections. There is no way in which the Assembly will provide a framework for agreement. Will the right hon. Gentleman confirm that that is the position?