New clause 1 - Discrimination in appointments

Part of Police (Northern Ireland) Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:45 pm on 11th March 2003.

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Photo of David Wilshire David Wilshire Conservative, Spelthorne 2:45 pm, 11th March 2003

That puts me in my place. I am grateful to the right hon. Gentleman as what he said reinforces my sense of the injustice of the Government's approach. We said that there should be a balance within the Northern Ireland Police Service; there was discrimination against the Catholic community so it was decided that it should have equality with the Protestant tradition.

We then discover that although the Catholic community is to be given half the places, the Protestant community is to be given not the other half but the other half minus whoever else may come along. That makes the discrimination worse. It is not discrimination to be equal, but to force Protestants into an artificial minority within the Province. If that does not store up trouble for the future, I do not know what will. It shows the futility of using an illegal way of solving a problem, which arose in the first place from the same illegality.