HC Deb 21 October 1971 vol 823 cc187-8W
Q8. Mr. McNamara

asked the Prime Minister if he will make a statement on his talks on 20th October with the Prime Minister of the Republic of Ireland.

The Prime Minister

My talks with the Prime Minister of the Irish Republic, which had been arranged for 20th and 21st October, were brought forward to 6th and 7th September. I subsequently had discussions with the Prime Minister of the Irish Republic and the Prime Minister of Northern Ireland on 27th and 28th September. I am arranging for a copy of the statement issued after that meeting to be circulated in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Following is the statement:


Chequers, 27th and 28th September, 1971

Agreed Statement

During the last two days we have discussed the situation in Northern Ireland in all its aspects. We have done so fully recognising that each of us remains committed to his publicly stated position on the constitutional status of Northern Ireland; and we have been concerned to see whether, without prejudice to those positions, we can find some agreed means of enabling all the people of Northern Ireland to live in the conditions of peace and stability which any democracy should ensure to its citizens without regard to their religious or political conviction.

We are at one in condemning any form of violence as an instrument of political pressure; and it is our common purpose to seek to bring violence, and internment and all other emergency measures to an end without delay.

We also recognise that to bring violence quickly to an end and to resume economic, social and cultural progress means must be found to establish harmony and co-operation between the two communities in Northern Ireland. Our discussions in the last two days have helped to create an atmosphere of greater understanding between us and it is our hope that the process of political reconciliation may go forward to a successful outcome.

We agree that our meeting has served a significant and useful purpose in present circumstances, and we believe that further such meetings may have a helpful part to play in the future.

Mr. Heath and Mr. Lynch agreed to keep in close communication with each other, personally, through ther ministerial colleagues and at official level, as might be appropriate, on all subjects affecting the future of Anglo-Irish relations. In this respect the meeting between the two Prime Ministers scheduled for the autumn to discuss a range of subjects, including the Anglo-Irish Free Trade Area Agreement and the applications of both countries for membership of the European Communities will be held on dates to be announced later.

10 Downing Street, S.W.1.