HC Deb 24 May 1984 vol 60 c1243
18. Dr. Mawhinney

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what studies have been made by his Department of the effect of terrorism on inward investment in Northern Ireland.

Mr. Butler

There is no doubt that the image of Northern Ireland as a place beset by terrorism, however exaggerated or erroneous, is the biggest obstacle to investment from overseas. The most comprehensive and recent study on Northern Ireland's image was conducted for the Industrial Development Board in 1982 by MORI among British, United States and German business men and journalists. It showed that anxiety about political stability, with connotations of terrorism, was a major negative influence among potential investors. The findings from that survey were used in the development of the board's promotional strategy.

Dr. Mawhinney

I thank my hon. Friend for that reply, which I shall read in the Official Report tomorrow. Will he redouble his efforts to impress upon the people of Northern Ireland and the political parties that terrorism kills jobs as surely as it kills people, and that they cannot continue to seek ever-increasing economic support unless they are willing to make a political contribution to the defeat of terrorism, so that inward investment can flourish?

Mr. Butler

I agree with my hon. Friend, and further give my view, which is that the Provisional IRA and other groups who commit acts of terrorism are the enemies of the unemployed.