§ Mr. James Kilfedder (Down, North)
I beg to ask leave to move the Adjournment of the House, under Standing Order No. 9, for the purpose of discussing a specific and important matter that should have urgent consideration, namely,the threat to the present constitutional position of Northern Ireland posed by the current talks of the Anglo-Eire study group and in particular the revelation in the Irish Press at the weekend that the study group is considering the option of a federal Ireland.This matter is urgent and also important. My application today follows a number of pleas, all unsuccessful, to the Government to reveal the substance of the talks between the Prime Minister and Mr. Haughey. Those talks were followed by a communique which was so vague as to allow Ministers of the Eire Government to claim that the Republic had achieved a significant breakthrough over the constitutional position of Northern Ireland. That claim was denied by the Prime Minister on her recent visit to Northern Ireland and every reasonable person in the Province is anxious to believe her in this matter.
However, the Irish Press at the weekend dramatically rebutted the Prime Minister. It must be remembered that the Irish Press is the official organ and mouthpiece of the Fianna Fail party, which is the governing party in Eire. That newspaper often has access to Government information which is not available to other newspapers.
Finally, this matter is of the utmost urgency. Great disquiet is felt by many reasonable and responsible people in the Province who are not guilty of hysteria in any way. There is therefore a need to debate the matter urgently so that the Government can reveal what has been discussed in the Anglo-Eire study group and can be pressed to give agreed guidelines within which the study group is operating—and so that the House can decide whether the parameters are so wide that a federal Ireland is or can be discussed by the study group.
§ Mr. Speaker
The hon. Member for Down, North (Mr. Kilfedder) also gave me notice before 12 o'clock midday that he would seek leave to move the Adjournment of the House to discuss a specific and important matter that should have urgent consideration, namely,the threat of the present constitutional position of Northern Ireland posed by the current talks of the Anglo-Eire study group and in particular the revelation in the Irish Press at the weekend that the study group is considering the option of a federal Ireland.I listened carefully to the hon. Gentleman, especially his references to recent speeches that have been made. The House knows that I am instructed to give no reasons for my decision. I must rule that the hon. Gentleman's application does not fall within the provisions of the Standing Order and that therefore I cannot submit his application to the House.