HC Deb 20 March 1958 vol 584 cc1430-1
54. Mr. Hector Hughes

asked the Prime Minister if he will make a comprehensive statement on his conversations this month with the Prime Minister of the Republic of Ireland and on the results achieved.

The Prime Minister

Mr. de Valera is on a private visit to this country. He paid me a courtesy visit. There have, however, been no consultations such as would call for a comprehensive statement such as the hon. and learned Gentleman suggests.

Mr. Hughes

Were not the conversations directed towards holding a three-party conference with a view to resolving some of the differences between Northern and Southern Ireland; and, if not, would not that have been a useful and fruitful subject to discuss? Why did not the Prime Minister initiate such a conference?

The Prime Minister

The Prime Minister of Republic of Ireland was on a private visit to this country, and he asked —and I was very glad that he did so—whether he could make a courtesy call on me. We had a short conversation; but, if it were that these matters were to be raised, I must make it perfectly clear that this Government, at any rate, stand in the same position as my predecessor announced when he said: In the Ireland Act, 1949, the Parliament at Westminster declared Northern Ireland to be an integral part of the United Kingdom. This is a declaration which all parties in this House are pledged to support."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 19th December, 1956; Vol. 562, c 1266.]