Diplock Courts

Oral Answers to Questions — Attorney-General – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 2nd February 1987.

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Photo of Mr John Biggs-Davison Mr John Biggs-Davison , Epping Forest 12:00 am, 2nd February 1987

s asked the Attorney- General what views he has exchanged with the Attorney- General of the Republic of Ireland, within the framework of the Anglo-Irish Intergovernmental Conference, and also elsewhere, on the constitution and working of the Diplock courts.

Photo of Mr Michael Havers Mr Michael Havers , Wimbledon

I am not prepared to disclose the details of matters that I have discussed in confidence with the Attorney-General for the Republic of Ireland.

Photo of Mr John Biggs-Davison Mr John Biggs-Davison , Epping Forest

In the interests of Anglo-Irish relations, can my right hon. and learned Friend deny that Irish politicians, whom I should not name because of the general election in the Republic, wanted to make the ratification and implementation of the European convention on the suppression of terrorism conditional upon changes in the Diplock courts, which is a matter only for the United Kingdom?

Photo of Mr Michael Havers Mr Michael Havers , Wimbledon

I am sorry to have to say to my hon. Friend that it is not a matter for me. I remind him that, in the Second Reading debate, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland said: After the most careful consideration, the Government are not presently persuaded that this— that is, the three-judge court— would be an appropriate change".—[Official Report, 16 December 1986; Vol. 107, c. 1081.]

Photo of Mr Eric Heffer Mr Eric Heffer , Liverpool, Walton

Has the right hon. and learned Gentleman had any discussions with his counterpart in the Republic of Ireland about the book which was published there and which is not allowed to come to this country, entitled "One Girl's War"? Has he seen a copy of the book and read it? It is absolutely ludicrous. Is the right hon. and learned Gentleman aware that, at one stage, they actually entered Mr. Palme-Dutt's house, looked into the great secret under his bed and discovered that it was his marriage lines?

Photo of Mr Michael Havers Mr Michael Havers , Wimbledon

I have had no discussion about the book with my opposite number in the Republic. The other matters to which the hon. Gentleman referred are news to me.