HC Deb 20 April 1972 vol 835 cc133-4W
Mr. Arthur Lewis

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) whether he will arrange to make a radio and television broadcast to explain the Government's policy on plebiscites in matters connected with Northern Ireland and to do this before taking any irrevocable action in connection with the initiation of these plebiscites;

(2) whether the regular plebiscites he is to hold on matters regarding Northern Ireland will be similar to that which the Government held on Gibraltar and Spain;

(3) when he proposes to introduce the first plebiscite in Northern Ireland: and what its terms will be.

Mr. David Howell

As was made clear in the statement by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on 24th March, we propose that the people of Northern Ireland should have the opportunity of making clear their wishes in the continuation of Northern Ireland's constitutional status as part of the United Kingdom by means of a series of periodic plebiscites. The form which such plebiscites will take has yet to be decided but when we are in a position to announce our proposals, we shall consider the most effective way of giving publicity to them.