Standards and Privilege

Part of Assembly Standing Orders – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 8:30 pm on 9th March 1999.

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Photo of Ian Paisley Jnr Ian Paisley Jnr DUP 8:30 pm, 9th March 1999

The Member knows that that is not the tenor of my argument. I am not saying that Members should be restricted in any way over speaking any other language. What we must have is a safeguard to ensure that this Standing Order, as it currently stands drafted, is not able to be turned round and used as an opportunity, quite deliberately, to create a situation in which special privileges and opportunities are afforded and more public money, energy and resources are wasted. That would be quite wrong. That is why the language of the Assembly should be English and our proceedings conducted at all times in English.

One of the most genuine arguments comes from a Member whose mother tongue is a language other than English. She readily conducts her business in the House in English. She clearly finds it appropriate to do so because it is convenient to the vast majority