HC Deb 25 April 1972 vol 835 cc1272-3
Q7. Mr. Biggs-Davison

asked the Prime Minister what official talks he has had with the Prime Minister of the Irish Republic since the suspension of Stormont.

The Prime Minister

None, Sir: but Her Majesty's Government remain in close touch with the Government of the Irish Republic.

Mr. Biggs-Davison

In view of outrages such as the murder of Corporal Elliott, has the political initiative evoked any determination in Dublin to deal effectively with the IRA which is illegal in the Republic, and will my right hon. Friend discuss with the Taoiseach the possibility of joint policing of the Border?

The Prime Minister

The question of the IRA in the Republic of Ireland is obviously a matter for the Government of Ireland. I share my hon. Friend's horror not only of the particular incident to which he calls attention but of many others which have happened on the Border. We have on many occasions drawn the attention of the Government in Dublin to these incidents. The Prime Minister of the Republic also knows well that we should welcome a closer co-ordination between the forces responsible for maintaining law and order on both sides of the Border, and I hope that it will be possible gradually to develop that.

Mr. Molloy

Is the Prime Minister prepared to consider with his right hon. Friend the establishment of a peace council, in view of the changed circumstances, and will he invite Cardinal Conway and other eminent people north and south of the Border to be members of that peace council, to give both Protestants and Catholics a new loyalty and an impetus to establish sanity and peace in the area?

The Prime Minister

My right hon. Friend is in close contact with representatives of a wide span of opinion in Northern Ireland about how to improve relations between the communities. I cannot commit myself to the proposal which the hon. Gentleman has put forward, but it is well recognised, both north and south of the Border, that the improvement of relations between the communities is the purpose of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

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