HC Deb 23 November 1987 vol 123 cc26-7W
Rev. Martin Smyth

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what programme of special measures in the policing field were identified as mentioned in paragraph 3.2 of the joint statement of the Anglo-Irish Conference of 11 March 1986; and if he will list for each subject contained in the list of cross-border social and economic co-operation appended to the joint statement of 11 March 1986 the meetings which have taken place and the agencies and numbers of officials involved.

Mr. Tom King

[holding answer 13 November 1987]: As I said in reply to a question from the hon. Gentleman on 29 June, it has not been our practice to make public details of discussions in the conference, beyond what appears in the joint statements issued after conference meetings which I have placed in the Library. However, as statements covering a number of meetings held after 11 March 1986 record, the two sides have continued to work together on a programme of special measures to improve relations between the security forces and the community.

The information the hon. Gentleman seeks about meetings on cross-border social and economic cooperation is not kept centrally and could be assembled only at disproportionate cost. Meetings have been held in some of these fields over many years.

I and my colleagues remain ready to discuss with the hon. Gentleman, and other elected representatives of constitutional parties, Government policy on these and other matters.

Rev. Martin Smyth

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on the programme of work which has been established to consider the machinery for the further discussion of legal matters, including the administration of justice, which is mentioned in the joint statement issued following the first meeting of the Anglo-Irish Intergovernmental Conference on 11 December 1985.

Mr. Stanley

[holding answer 13 November 1987]: As joint statements issued after later meetings of the conference make clear, groups of officials were set up to discuss extradition, the possible harmonisation of areas of the criminal law and the search for measures to enhance public confidence in the administration of justice. They have reported to the conference from time to time.