HC Deb 12 December 1985 vol 88 cc1056-7
8. Mr. Alton

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when the Chief Constable of the Garda and the Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary last met; and what further plans they have to meet.

Mr. Scott

The Chief Constable of the Royal Usher Constabulary and the Commissioner of the Garda Siochana met on 2 December and both attended the first meeting of the Intergovernmental Conference held yesterday. Plans for further meetings are a matter for those concerned.

Mr. Alton

Is the Minister aware that we welcome the new relationship between the Garda and the RUC, and believe that it will enable long-term security to improve in Northern Ireland? Does he agree that the scenes yesterday in Northern Ireland, with the hon. Member for Antrim, North (Rev. Ian Paisley) featuring in news reports last night, can do nothing to improve security in Northern Ireland? Will the Minister say what will be done to improve longer-term co-operation in Northern Ireland, including the establishment of the Anglo-Irish parliamentary tier?

Mr. Scott

The Anglo-Irish interparliamentary tier is a matter for the House. There is a motion on the Order Paper, and that is the concern of my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House. If the House responds, I am sure that the Government will feel able to respond to that. I agree that in the co-operation between the two police forces we are looking, not for overnight improvements or solutions, but for a long-term pattern of co-operation. That, primarily, must rest with the heads of the two police forces.