HC Deb 07 March 1985 vol 74 cc1161-2
14. Mr. Stephen Ross

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether he is satisfied with progress towards improving relations with the Republic of Ireland since the last meeting of the heads of Government.

Mr. Hurd

Yes, Sir.

Mr. Ross

Does the Secretary of State agree that many of the statements coming from the Taoiseach and other senior Ministers in Dublin over the past few weeks have been extremely helpful? Can he confirm that meaningful discussions are continuing, and does he hope that in due course there will be another meeing between the Heads of State which will bring positive results?

Mr. Hurd

Yes, Sir. The dialogue which the two Heads of Government agreed should continue is continuing. It is confidential, and the hon. Gentleman will not expect me to say much about its contents. However, we envisage—as did the Chequers communiqué' —that there will be, at the right time, a further summit meeting.

Mr. John David Taylor

As one of the most important issues in relation to the Republic of Ireland is security co-operation, can the Secretary of State explain why the Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary and the Chief Commissioner of the Garda have not met once in the past two years to discuss border security?

Mr. Hurd

There is reasonably good co-operation across the border between the Garda and the RUC. From time to time there are meetings at various senior levels. However, it is certainly important that the Chief Commissioner of the Garda and the Chief Constable of the RUC should be in close, co-operative touch.