HC Deb 06 March 1996 vol 273 cc223-4W
Mr. Robert McCartney

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make representations to the Home Secretary to include a question about Ulster origin in the pilot census on a question on Irish origin. [18523]

Sir John Wheeler

As part of the Great Britain small-scale census question testing programme, it has been decided to test various changes to the ethnic origin question, including incorporating a separate Irish category. To date, no case has been made by users to classify people from Ulster separately and therefore this is currently not being considered.

Mr. McCartney

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what consideration is being given to(a) including an ethnic origin question and (b) re-wording the religious affiliation question in the Northern Ireland census; and if he will make a statement. [18524]

Sir John Wheeler

It is planned that an ethnic origin questions will be tested in the 1997 census in Northern Ireland. The wording of all census questions, including a religious affiliation question, will be subject to review before final decisions are made. The finalised census question will be laid before Parliament by way of a Northern Ireland Order in Council, before the census.