Lookout Posts (Newry and Armagh)

Part of Ways and Means – in the House of Commons at 10:16 pm on 15th March 1988.

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Photo of Dr Brian Mawhinney Dr Brian Mawhinney Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Northern Ireland Office) 10:16 pm, 15th March 1988

The hon. Member for Newry and Armagh (Mr. Mallon) does the House a service in raising a very important issue. If he spoke in strong language, I defend him, at least part of the way, against those hon. Members who do not represent areas which have suffered as his constituency has suffered in recent years.

Having said that, he will forgive me if I say that, even allowing for that, his language was a little extravagant. On reflection, perhaps he would want to modify some of the terminology that he used. He suggested that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State and his colleagues in the Northern Ireland Office are malign and interested only in a military solution, and that they are brutalised and without care, concern or consideration for people who have to suffer at the hands of terrorists, week in and week out. That was an unfortunate way to make his point, and I make it clear at the outset that those charges are quite unfounded.