HC Deb 09 May 1972 vol 836 cc1126-8
Q5. Mr. Stratton Mills

asked the Prime Minister if he will now seek an official meeting with Mr. Lynch to discuss border security.

The Prime Minister

I have no plans for a meeting with Mr. Lynch, but we remain in close touch through diplomatic channels about matters of mutual interest, including border security.

Mr. Stratton Mills

Is my right hon. Friend aware that there is considerable disappointment that since the initiative, while Mr. Lynch is prepared to engage in fancy words, he does not follow them up with action in dealing with IRA activity in Southern Ireland? Is my right hon. Friend satisfied that the Government are doing everything they can to tabulate and follow up each incident and trail, and constantly to remind Mr. Lynch of his responsibilities?

The Prime Minister

I can assure my hon. Friend that information on every incident on the border of which we have details is passed to the Government in Dublin. They know full well our views, and we look to them for co-operation in dealing with cross-border incidents.

Mr. Biggs-Davison

While I fully appreciate Mr. Lynch's problems, might I ask my right hon. Friend whether it is not the case that the economy, the well-being and the reputation of the Irish Republic are suffering from the IRA? Is it not in the common interest of the United Kingdom and the Irish Republic to tackle this problem together? Cannot something be done to get nearer to a joint control of the Irish border?

The Prime Minister

Of course it is in the common interest of both countries that we should deal with violence. I made this plain to Mr. Lynch at the meetings we had, the first at Chequers last September and the second with the Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, when the three Prime Ministers met for the first time in 50 years. We have taken every step possible to deal with this question and to emphasise that it is a common interest.

Mr. Tapsell

Have the Government of the Republic been made aware of the strength of public feeling in the United Kingdom that, while we are doing everything in our power to create a just and peaceful society in Northern Ireland, we are entitled to expect greater co-operation from the Government in Dublin, particularly in the control of gunmen across the border?

The Prime Minister

Yes, Sir. The Republican Government now have their ambassador back in London and we have our ambassador in Dublin. I am certain that the Government of the Republic are well informed about the state of British public opinion.

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