HC Deb 02 July 1987 vol 118 c161W
Rev. Martin Smyth

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what has been the cost so far to public funds of the secretariat of the Anglo-Irish Intergovernmental Conference; how many civil servants are employed there; what functions they perform; and on which Vote this expenditure falls.

Mr. Torn King

[pursuant to the reply, 29 June 1987, c. 281]: The cost to United Kingdom public funds of the salaries and running expenses of the secretariat up to 31 May 1987 has been approximately £313,000. This expenditure falls to the Law, Order, Protective and Miscellaneous Services, Northern Ireland Vote. The function of the secretariat is to act as a channel of communication between the United Kingdom and Irish Governments, and to service the Intergovernmental Conference. This work is undertaken on the United Kingdom side by three officials, along with support staff.

Rev. Martin Smyth

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland in what ways the Anglo-Irish Agreement has contributed to peace, stability and reconciliation in Northern Ireland since 15 November 1985.

Mr. Tom King

[pursuant to the reply, 29 June 1987, c. 28]: We believe that the agreement respects the proper interests of all sections of the community in Northern Ireland and does not diminish the rights of any; it, for example, offers a further reassurance on the rights of the majority in Northern Ireland, it has contributed to the bringing forward of measures to recognise the rights and identities of both traditions, and it has opened the way to intensified cross-border co-operation. In doing so, it has pointed the way towards peace, stability and reconciliation; further progress can be made which will, in part depend on the willingness of constitutional politicians to engage, irrespective of their attitudes to the agreement, in renewed dialogue.

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