Criminal Law (Jurisdiction) Bill, 1975 [Seanad]: Second Stage (Resumed).

Question again proposed: "That the Bill be now read a Second Time."

On the last occasion I said that our position in relation to this legislation was that we were asking the House to compare the alternative we proposed with the proposal of the Minister. I should now outline in broad detail at least, some of the advantages of this alternative over the proposals introduced by the Minister in this legislation. Taking the broad principle of what is hoped to be achieved here I should reiterate what the Leader of the Opposition has said so clearly: that we are in agreement on the purpose and intention, indeed the hopes behind this legislation, that the Government, not only in effecting that could expect our full support, but indeed our encouragement in pursuing proposals in that area very vigorously and constantly.

In the first instance we must look at what will be the consequences of this proposal. The function of any court, the function of the police in relation to the punishment of offenders, can never be seen in isolation from that court's function to uphold fundamental human rights. If one looks at the normal position of an offender who is charged with a criminal offence before the court, if he is to see that court, or the courts of our land, as being only instruments and agents of punishment against him without having the consequent guarantee from that court that they will be equally zealous and determined in upholding fundamental human rights—which are the only guarantee of acceptance by the community of the institutions of the State —then it can be clearly seen that a court which does not have those dual functions cannot enjoy dual respect.

All of us deplore and abhor the terrible things that have happened and been perpetrated, more particularly those that have been perpetrated in the name of Irish patriotism or republicanism. Here I do not think one can make a distinction between murder and assassination from whatever source it comes. It is not sufficient for us in this House to consider setting up provisions—and I shall point out as I go along how inadequate these will be—to deal with those who will be charged with these terrible offences without looking much further and into the background of these terrible problems; trying to arouse, if such is possible — I believe in all of these things one must be always an optimist; one must always strive to be—an awareness within those who, unfortunately and constantly, engage in this pell-mell campaign of bitterness and, one might say, madness. Sometime, somehow, this will all stop. Our hope is that by the time it does not too many more lives will have been lost, not too much more destruction will have been caused and, above all, not too much more bitterness will have been aroused.

In the meantime we must examine this legislation and ascertain exactly what effect it will have not merely on those who will be charged but on those who may have a certain attitude to the institutions of the State, North or South; whether or not, apart from guaranteeing punishment against them —and, of course, that is perfectly proper and must be done—there is some way in which, however hopefully one expresses this sentiment, they can be brought around to seeing that these courts will guarantee, in so far as they can, justice and fair play in the proper administration of the law; some way in which those who are being charged will be able to feel at least that the court is not there merely to punish them but exists also to ensure that those who bring them before the courts will be properly directed, controlled and limited in their actions as will be found in the exercise of any proper judicial function in any country. Our ordinary criminal courts here are effective only because the citizen knows that they are his guarantee against, may I say, even the institutions of the State. They have been used as such on many occasions.

Are the courts not institutions of the State?

I made some reference to the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs on the last occasion. I do not want to be diverted from what I am saying now by making any further references.

Equally the civil courts are part of the overall court function. The police are there to ensure not merely that offenders will be punished but, as can be seen from the respect they enjoy in this part of Ireland, also that the rights of citizens will be protected. Surely this is the idea one must get across in suggesting legislation of this nature.

This Bill has no function, makes no attempt, no pretence whatsoever to imply that the jurisdiction which is being imposed on the courts, North and South, by way of this reciprocal arrangement will guarantee also that the citizen who will claim that his rights have been offended or breached —as he can do now in the south—can go through this type of procedure to make complaints here of, possibly infringement of his rights in the North or, equally, to make complaints in the North about infringement of his normal rights in the South. If one proposes on the one hand that people can be tried here for offences committed there and vice versa, then one must, in the whole nature of what the judicial and legal function means, equally guarantee that those rights will be seen to be implemented North and South in the same way as the offence is punished North and South.

The alternative is that this is a Bill only to punish. There are many occasions in the experience of man when punishment is necessary. Equally there are many occasions, and criminal lawyers particularly will recognise this, when it is even more important —this was demonstrated even within our own jurisdiction and administration recently—that all concerned groups in society, young people, all of them, look more at the causes of criminality rather than at the punishment of the delinquent. The whole cry within our society at present is to eradicate the causes. Where, if anywhere, in this legislation is there any attempt to eradicate the causes? I know we are told that by presenting this Bill we will win some support, some tolerance and some understanding from those who might not understand us as well as they should. That may be, but it does not get at the fact that the very people at whom this Bill is being directed certainly will be, unless human experience changes radically, if anything more determined as a result of this legislation.

They will not see it in any agency to ensure that their rights are not infringed. Their rights can be infringed on occasion. The rights of convicted criminals can be infringed and the rights of people charged with criminal offences before the court pending trial can and have been infringed. Before passing this legislation, we have an obligation to ensure that those who will be charged and those who will be convicted under legislation of this nature will have the same guarantee as they have under any other legislation. That is totally lacking in this Bill.

The Minister for Posts and Telegraphs may reject this but that is his personal opinion. While we share a common aim, I regret to say that this Bill will not succeed in doing what all of us on each side of the House want to see achieved, the apprehension of those engaged in crimes of violence and, more important, the creation of conditions in which those people will see the folly and the utter madness of what they are now engaged in.

We are a signatory to the European Convention on Human Rights. We are not a signatory just for idle reasons and for window dressing. We have proved this on more than one occasion. When the occasion arose for this State to be tested as to its right under the Offences Against the State legislation, we were one of the very first to come before the court on Human Rights to be tested on the famous Lawless affair, to be tested and to be vindicated. At no stage during the course of that famous affair did we suggest they had no right of jurisdiction over us. Far from it. We relied on the fact that the legislation under which we operated was in accordance with the terms of the convention which we recognised to be binding. The outcome was that it was so held. This was our attitude then as it must be now.

Is the United Kingdom bound by the Convention on Human Rights, and, if not, why not? Is not the United Kingdom a signatory to that convention? At the moment we have a complaint against Britain arising from internment, detention and treatment. What guarantee is there under this legislation that such will not continue? What guarantee is there that this legislation will be subject to the conditions of that convention? Have we accepted that this legislation will incorporate the rights of the individual citizen under the Convention on Human Rights? If not why not? Is there any guarantee for the individual citizen that this legislation will not infringe those rights North or South? If there is no such guarantee, why is there not?

It is rather anomalous that, while we still have a complaint pending at Strasbourg before the Court of Human Rights based on brutality, torture and inhuman treatment of prisoners—it is still there and has not yet been resolved—the Government have asked this Parliament to implement procedures under which we will co-operate fully with the very structures against which we are complaining, without any guarantee under this convention, or any commitment, that these complaints will not arise again. None of us can wash our hands and say how pure we are as against any other Administration. The important point is that this guarantee must be there.

I would go so far as to say that if we at this end were to incorporate the Convention on Human Rights into our law and have it binding on us internally and equally at the other end they were bound and involved in the same way, perhaps we could begin to make some progress. That is why I see our party's proposal as being very much more effective, more desirable and, in the final analysis, much more likely to bring about what all of us want to see, the termination of this terrible and continuing violence, and an awareness and a development of understanding among those who are engaged in it that their deeds are bringing nothing but death and destruction and shame on all and guaranteeing that they will continue indefinitely.

Our court proposal, in comparison with the Government's proposal, would envisage two things for the all-Ireland court. It would incorporate a guarantee of the rights of individual citizens under the Convention on Human Rights. It would be a new court and, as our own courts now are, it would be amenable to the Court of Human Rights at Strasbourg and, instead of just confining itself to the punishment of offences, it would also guarantee that the rights of individual citizens would be protected.

Let me say in passing in this connection that as late as last week I represented an individual who complained that he had been falsely imprisoned by the Garda. Because of the respect in which the Garda are held, the complaint assumed a more important dimension than it normally would. In fact, that individual was vindicated in his complaint. If that can happen as late as last week in our society, where we have such respect for the Garda, where we recognise what they have achieved for us, surely we must at least acknowledge that it can happen in a society where, to say the least of it, the police force are not as acceptable or as widely respected as they are here. Surely that is a very important consideration in legislation of this sort.

We are not just concerned with giving impressions of our willingness or conveying a notion of our concern. We must go beyond impressions and notions and ensure by our actions that they will be effective and consistent with our hopes. This Bill, in so far as it does not guarantee that, is a pale shadow of what otherwise could be achieved. It has been said that the all-Ireland court procedure is probably the more acceptable and better procedure but what is the point, in fact, because it is not on, to use the Minister's own expression. I should like to know from the Minister to what extent it is not on, and who precisely has indicated to the Minister that it is not on.

We go back to Sunningdale. Much has passed since Sunningdale. How much persuasion and negotiation have our Government engaged in with those who say it is not on? Have they tried to get through to them that together we can achieve this peace and harmony which is meant to be the ultimate intention behind this Bill, and the eradication of violence, only through the all Ireland court procedure? What response have they got, if they ever said that, from those who apparently acknowledge that this is what they wish to do. Have they said: "Oh, yes. We know it is the best way but we just will not have it because we do not wish to co-operate with you?" Have we evidence of that? Have we evidence that they said: "This is the best way but we will not have any structure which involves all Ireland co-operation." I doubt very much that they said it in that form. Have they said it?

We are not now talking in terms of a united Ireland or bringing pressure to bear on any section of the community. We are talking about the termination of this terrible chain of violence, particularly in the North, but also in the South as we witnessed vividly recently. If we are involved together in the causes and in the destruction, surely we cannot settle for less than the ideal because a section of the community say it is not on. It has not been on, apparently, for the past two years. There is no point in relying on the commission. The commission said quite clearly that they found this proposal very attractive. Equally, they said quite clearly that the only reason they were not proposing it was the delay involved and the delay would involve a referendum. We on both sides of the House could guarantee that the outcome of that referendum would be absolutely and positively so.

Let us look at the reality. Are we to allow ourselves to be the hostages of a group, whatever that group may be and whoever represent them, who say,"Right. That may be the ideal, what you are proposing"—and the Minister seems to accept it in his speech—"but even if it is the ideal to achieve even the short-term of apprehending and punishing offenders we will not have it because we do not like to have any formal and unified association with you"? If that is the case it is certainly not something we can accept and it is not something that we should not make our views known on. I do not believe in imposing views on others. We can all try to vindicate ourselves at the expense of others. But, if the view is that what we propose and what the Government apparently believe is the better proposal then surely we have an obligation to persuade that limited number of those concerned that this is the way to do it?

How do you do that?

Obviously the Minister has not tried. That is what I say. I have no evidence. I would like any Minister to tell us before the debate concludes to what extent they have tried, whom they have asked, with whom they have consulted and what the responses have been. Or, have they just rather worked on the airy fairy understanding that they will not have it and it is not on? It is a sad day that we work on assumptions that we know will operate to our total and almost constant disadvantage North and South.

Even the practical aspects of this are important. I come back again to the attitude of the person in court. Surely, we must try to get at him now. We have not succeeded over the last four or five years. I do not mean get at him for the sake of punishing him. That has to be done. We must try to ensure that we will develop in him an awareness he has not had up to the moment that the law and the instruments of the law are there for his protection as much as for his punishment.

In this connection we come immediately to the police. The police do not operate in isolation. They cannot operate in isolation. They are there to guarantee the peace. They are in the real sense the Garda Síochána. They are there to do this and they do it effectively in this end of the country. Far be it from me to imply that there are not within the Royal Ulster Constabulary people who have the very same view. I have noted with interest and encouragement the views expressed by Basil Stanny, Chairman of the Federation of the RUC, that he wants to see his force being transformed into a civilian police force. The beginnings of hope are there because, in fact, ours is a civilian police force and surely before we can have any association through legislation of this sort we must at least guarantee that similar procedures, similar disciplines and similar attitudes apply to our police force as apply in the RUC. At the moment— I am not making any big issue of this —we have no such guarantee if for no other reason than that we have seen, for instance, the very searching debate that the SDLP have had on this very issue over the weekend. I do not think anyone can accuse the SDLP of not being concerned to bring about peace and as much as possible to gain the acceptance in the community of what the police are doing. They cannot give their full support to the RUC, for reasons best known to them, whether or not because of the present activities of the RUC or the traditional attitude of the minority towards the RUC.

We are being asked in this legislation not only to associate with them but to accept the procedures they apply and even those of the British Army, without having any control whatsoever over these procedures and, indeed, in the knowledge of the attitude which so many of the population there have to these organs as at present constituted. I do not think we would introduce that kind of legislation in this House for this limited jurisdiction alone if we felt at this moment, at the time of introducing such legislation, there was not a properly constituted police force here operating under proper judicial supervision. We would not even do it here and we are being asked to do it in this Bill. For what purpose?—to apprehend and punish terrorists in the full knowledge that, in fact, the probable ultimate outcome would be worse than the first.

I hope I am not going to be accused of suggesting or encouraging that that would be the case. Far from it. I hope that if and when this Bill goes through the House, if it is to be effective, it will be at least in a limited way more effective than the present position. I do not believe it will be.

I mentioned on the last occasion that when the Offences Against the Person 1861 Order was introduced here almost two years ago we were told that it was a matter of great urgency, a matter of great need and that it was important for a number of reasons. In fact, since that time not one single person has been charged under that order. Was that window-dressing then? Did we believe it then? Is this window-dressing now? Do we believe it now? Window-dressing is not enough, particularly if those who look in the window do not like what they see there. You do not just make it a little more attractive for them. You may have to reconstruct the entire shop premises and ask them to take a different view of the whole business.

Some practical aspects: surely if our police and our courts are to be asked to accept evidence by police over which we have no control—the corollory applies in the North in relation to our police—there is an immediate gap there. What guarantee have we of the procedures under which that evidence or the statements have been taken? Our courts will be asked to hear these charges here relating to offences committed above. What guarantee have we that proper police procedures that we are so jealous of have been followed? Is there any guarantee to ensure that that would be so? There is not. In the meantime we continue on with just a hope and a prayer. It may be a fine gesture to show that we trust everyone so much that we are prepared to do all this. This is not a time for just fine gestures, particularly when individual rights are so fundamentally involved in this.

I come to some practical aspects. These are only some illustrations of what may arise and could arise on many occasions. I presume that the fact that a person is being charged here for an offence committed in the North will mean almost ipso facto that he has escaped from the North to the South. If he has been witnessed in one form or another in the commission of setting explosives here or doing something else there for which he has been charged and has not been apprehended, as can happen, and has escaped to the South then I would take it as a matter of immediate consequence that the opportunity of identifying that particular person would, to say the least of it, have been limited. He will have been seen running away from the scene of some explosion or something of that sort. I cannot imagine what other opportunity there would have been in some cases. I know you also have provision for a person being tried who has escaped from custody. But take the case of a person who is charged on the basis “We saw him on that occasion there and he seems to have got away”. He does not choose to put himself back in police custody in the North so that he can watch the evidence being given against him. That is his right. He may have reason and good reason for not wishing to do so.

Apparently the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs agrees with me on this. I am glad there is some consensus emerging between us. If he does not do so, the person who is giving evidence against him will give evidence of identification of a person that he saw running away from the scene of some explosion, or whatever else it may be, without that person being in court. It is a fundamental principle of identification in any court. The questioning would be like this: You saw AB on such an occasion doing such a thing? —That is right. Do you know AB?—I do. Do you see him here in court today?—I do. Would you point him out? The witness points to AB. Counsel says: "Is that the man you saw on that occasion?" And the answer is, "Yes it is", and he identifies the person being charged before the court as the person that he saw.

How can this witness in the North who will not come to the South to give evidence say, "There is AB whom I saw running away" when AB will not be there? What kind of evidence is that? Our judges will be sitting up there as observers and will not be allowed to question them. They will not be able to see the demeanour of the accused person when the crucial question comes; neither will they be able to observe the confidence of the witness in relation to his evidence in the presence of that accused person, all of which is very important. That is one practical example where in relation to an offence of this nature the whole basis of the criminal law of identification falls apart completely. What guarantee have we in this legislation that those procedures will be properly implemented and that these fundamental rights will be protected? What procedure is there to guarantee that witnesses for the defence will travel South or North, as the case might be, with due immunity? I presume that the witnesses for the defence in each case will be normally resident in the other jurisdiction. If they are to be witnesses to an offence which has been committed elsewhere, they will probably be from the North if they are being charged here, and from the South if they are charged above. What guarantee is there that these witnesses, who may be so necessary to ensure a proper defence for the accused person, will travel to give evidence for the defence? Will their evidence be taken on deposition or on commission? I am not aware of any provision in this legislation to guarantee that.

I am going to the root of this legislation. I want to point out one fundamental thing that has been over-looked: the proposals relating to witnesses and the taking of evidence generally. What is the position in relation to a witness for the defence who may not want to travel North to give evidence of where so and so was on such a date and whether or not he was at the place at the date he was said to be? Are we to apply the principle of universal criminality by association, so that if an individual person who has a certain "republican" background is going to be a witness for the defence, his evidence should not be accepted ipso facto? I do not believe we will ever see our criminal law get to that point. I certainly hope not.

There is an objection to witnesses coming South. There may be objections on the part of the RUC or British Army coming South, as there may be on the part of witnesses here going North, but while they may be entitled to their views, this apparently does not apply to the judges of our courts who will be asked to travel North. How often? If this Bill is to be successful, as the Government suggest it will be, it could be every second day that Special Criminal Court judges would be travelling to Belfast or wherever.

What do we think of our Judiciary being asked to travel to sit just as observers, a function they have never had in our system, hearing a witness giving evidence and only being able to pass notes to the presiding judge in the North? We have respect for our courts and for the men who at the moment have that responsibility, but I do not think that will be increased by seeing judges of our High Court, the Circuit Court and the Special Criminal Court to-ing and fro-ing to observe people giving evidence and having their hands tied behind their backs in relation to questioning them.

I should like to ask if the judges of the Special Criminal Court, the High Court or the Central Criminal Court have been asked if they have any objection to this proposal before the legislation is passed. I have no reason for asking this question beyond my concern that it should be asked. I do not know what their views would be, but if the views of the British Army and others are to be taken into account in regard to their reluctance to come South, we should at least have some respect for our judges and their attitude and some regard for their safety. If not, then this is really turning the law on its head. The law has been called an ass, but this is putting the cart before the ass.

In regard to the overall position, I would like to see our Government reach out to the people who want peace and the apprehension of terrorists and who want to see peace even more than the Government do, because they suffer more from terrorism. As regards the all-Ireland court, the Minister had suggested it might suffer from the same problem in regard to the attendance of witnesses as the proposals here. That is not so. One of the obvious practical advantages of the all-Ireland court procedure is that the all-Ireland court can sit anywhere in the whole of Ireland. In other words, it can go to where the offence has been committed, if necessary, rather than have to sit in Dublin or Belfast and transfer witnesses to and fro as under the present proposals. The all-Ireland court proposal would, as distinct from what is being proposed in this Bill, guarantee that the witnesses would be there to give their evidence before the court under all the normal procedures that most of us know and respect so much.

I would have thought this proposal would have commended itself to those who want to see the elimination of violence and the frustration of the activities of those engaged in violent deeds. I would ask the Government again to consider seriously the practical advantage of the proposal. We should be able to persuade those who suffer from violence at the moment that it is in their interest as well as ours to accept this system and that it is not a system by which they would be forced into a united Ireland or any other kind of federal united Ireland but rather an agency by which we can work together to achieve our common goal of peace. It does not seem to me to be an insidious suggestion or one that any group in any community could conscientiously object to.

I should like to refer now to some remarks made by the Minister—it is not because the Minister has just left that I am doing this—in relation to the need to reassure the Unionists in their fears, attitudes and suspicions towards us and the charge the Minister made in relation to the Fianna Fáil document on Northern Ireland. The Minister cast us into the same net as the Provisional IRA for whom I have nothing but rejection and a certain degree of sadness. My sadness arises when I think that people can bring themselves to such a base level of humanity. I know that somewhere there must be some goodness which can respond as well as the wickedness.

I am not just concerned to eradicate violence by high sounding law and order principles; I want to get at the causes. That is what our policy document was intended to do. I should like to give an outline of how we hope to do this. Those who have been misled North or South, will see that far from being an instrument of support for any violent group the document is the opposite; it is an instrument of confidence that asks for co-operation in the knowledge of what the realities are. In the first paragraph of that document we state that the central aim of our policy is to secure by peaceful means—that means what it says—the unity and independence of Ireland as a democratic republic.

When the Front Bench of our Parliamentary Party were framing this document we wondered if it was necessary to make that statement because we thought it would have been taken as read. In the document we state that we totally reject the use of force as a means of achieving this aim. We thought our position on this would be taken as read but that statement should be seen as it is, a rejection of the use of violence, as a means towards that end. We totally reject violence. What more could any party say? We have been consistent in our rejection of violence in the legislation we brought before the House when in Government. It is not my intention to go back over that and imply that we were the law and order people when the parties now in Government were not but the reality is that that was the position they took at that time when everything from the Forcible Entry measure to the Offences Against the State (Amendment) Bill were before this House.

They said they would repeal it, would oppose it and that it was inconsistent. Who is being inconsistent? They are operating it now. We introduced it in spite of the opposition in this House and we will introduce similar measures, if necessary. It should be remembered that a Labour Deputy said that 80 per cent of the people support the Provisional IRA but does that entitle me to accuse the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs, the Leader of the Labour Party, or anybody else of consorting with the Provisionals? Does a casual word expressed in the Upper House not measuring up to that entitle the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs to suggest that this party which has a consistent record in relation to the protection of the individual's rights against any unlawful organisation now or in the future could not be relied upon to face such circumstances? We can and those who suggest we cannot are ignoring the history of our party; are ignoring the present determination of the party and our future determination.

The preparation of this document was part of the policy updating undertaken by the Fianna Fáil Front Bench at the request, some nine to 12 months previously, of the Leader of our party. Consultations were held with the Leader of our party and let nobody suggest, newspaper commentators or others, otherwise. I am not saying the suggestions were made for insidious reasons but the Leader of our party has expressed his philosophy during his term as Taoiseach and he has reiterated it in Opposition. It is a philosophy we do not so clearly understand from the Taoiseach. We know his attitude to law and order but we do not know his concept of Irishness; we do not know whether he is concerned to eradicate; we do not see his tolerance or his human concern. I say that in the sense that it has always been a characteristic of the Leader of the Opposition.

Deputy O'Kennedy would not surely accuse that of a Cosgrave?

I respect the integrity of the Taoiseach 100 per cent but can the Minister for Education, who probably respects the Taoiseach's integrity more, tell me if he has seen the same painstaking concern in the Taoiseach, the same constant commitment to the Northern problem—not just law and order but the human spread of the problem—that we witnessed in our Leader when in Government and in Opposition? That is central to this. If it was there, we would not have had the silence we have had for so long and the isolation expressed by the Minister for Defence that we want to ensure that we stay comfortable here come hell or high water in the North of Ireland.

What right have we to isolate ourselves from their suffering? What right have we to say that we want to sleep peacefully in our beds in the South no matter what happens in the North? It is because we believe that we do not have that right that Fianna Fáil have presented this document. We have taken the response and in our determination and confidence we will get over that response. We called on the British Government because they have a responsibility like us and our northern fellow Irishmen. Our first interest is in them because this is the first step to the encouraging of the unity of Ireland by agreement. That was stated by our Leader in his speech at the Garden of Remembrance.

We have been accused of Britknocking, so to speak, but where responsibilities arise we will, as we did in Strasbourg, face our responsibilities. I wonder if this Government had been in office when the complaints were made in Strasbourg, would they have done what Fianna Fáil did or would they have been so concerned not to exacerbate relations with the British Government which has been their own commitment? They would not have done that.

Deputy Richie Ryan was the first to show his concern in that regard as the Deputy will appreciate.

I am talking about lodging the complaint. I was at the committee of Ministers meeting of the Council of Europe when the complaint was lodged. I know the reaction to that by the British representative but we were not concerned to cause him embarrassment or show bitterness. Had we consulted with him or considered their feelings only, it would never have been lodged. Deputy Richie Ryan was in no way concerned about lodging that complaint and the Minister for Education should not try to gild the lily to that extent.

I am merely stating that he was the first to call for it.

He was the first to call for it but there were many different views expressed by the Opposition at that time. Apart from who might have called for it it was this party who lodged the complaint. We want a harmonious relationship but not at the price of compromising our own obligations as this Bill may do. We may be compromising our obligations to our citizens, our police force and our courts and to the northern minority. We will do everything possible to achieve harmonious relations between ourselves and Britain but not at the risk of compromise. Our document states that to this end Britain should declare her commitment to implement an ordered withdrawal from her involvement in the Six Counties of Northern Ireland.

Apparently they took that one line in isolation. We said we wanted the unity of Ireland and encouraged an agreement between us, the British Government and the representatives of the North and, to this end, we wanted Britain to declare her commitment to implement an ordered withdrawal from her involvement in the Six Counties of Northern Ireland. If one is to be done by agreement, and the other is simply an agency of that agreement, that must also be done by agreement. We never suggested that the British Government should unilaterally withdraw without consultation with our Government and the Northern representatives. Far from it, we wanted this done after consultation and agreement and then, with the full agreement and commitment of all concerned, they should make their statement of commitment to an ordered withdrawal. We went on to say that we wanted to ensure that there could not be a precipitate withdrawal, which is a real fear in some people's minds. This may not happen this year or next, but it could happen in, say, five years if this mountain of violence continues to grow.

When presenting proposals we have to look to the future. We wanted to guarantee that far from there being a precipitate withdrawal, which some people are accusing us of doing, there would be an agreement which would guarantee that such a thing would never happen. We wanted to ensure that Britain could enter into an agreement guaranteeing appropriate financial support for specified periods to enable the transition to take place smoothly in stable and economic conditions, and recognising their obligations.

I do not want to go into detail on the whole range of the Northern Ireland problem but one could fairly state that if the large amounts of money which have been wastefully spent by Britain had been spent on economic and social justice, they would probably have eradicated, long before 1968 or 1969, much of the causes of the terrible violence we have witnessed since then. We wanted to see both Governments fulfilling their obligations to this economic commitment. For that reason we are dissatisfied with the outcome of the recent cross-Border projects.

I asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs on a number of occasions to do something about this as a matter of urgency, to let us be seen to be concerned. What did we get? We got a delay of two years, and at the end, we got what we could have got exactly two years ago. Both Governments must show concern and urgency and that is what we want.

Our off-shore resources are more significent than those in the North. We must be consistent and say that these resources do not belong only to the South, they belong to the people of this island, wherever they live. This is the type of thing we should be saying to a people who are economically under seige. We should reassure them that the 4,500,000 people living in the South are willing to enter into an agreement with them for use of our resources. Where is our confidence in ourselves? Where is the challenge? This document represents confidence, hope and challenge. It was sad for us to see it being misrepresented. We want to see these obligations being entered into. We want to ensure that we do not just get at the symptoms, as this Bill proposes. We believe that the causes must be tackled first.

When the Government decided that Verolme Dockyard was not good enough and gave their order to Japan, did they consider the major shipyard in Belfast which is experiencing very real difficulties? Did they make any inquiries from that shipyard to see if they could discharge that obligation? I gather that they would welcome any such opportunity at the moment.

In paragraph (c) we asked the British Government to promote in the interim the development of political institutions which would ensure civil rights and equality for all the people. This has been the constant platform of the SDLP whose difficulties we recognise. Perhaps they misunderstood this document, if they did not have an opportunity of studying it. We can resolve those differences knowing that they are in a very real sense the guarantors of civil rights and justice. I believe these differences are less than the differences which exist between them and some people who sit on the Government benches who do not appear to have shown concern. I have no doubt that when the SDLP have fully studied this document they will realise that it represents the views they hold.

This document is not concerned with only one section of the Northern community. It ensures that security in the area operates impartially through acceptable structures. Everyone wants to see that but this Bill is doing nothing to ensure that security will operate through acceptable structures. We have no control over the structures in the North with which we are being asked to co-operate. This is a crucial area in relation to any security problem and security co-operation between North and South, and in the North itself. People must have respect for these structures. There is no indication of what steps, if any, the Government have taken to support the stand taken by the SDLP with regard to the development of these acceptable structures.

Later in the document we asked them to support the development of social, cultural and economic links between North and South through appropriate structures and institutions. We say: "the development of social cultural and economic links". We do not say, as some would imply: "the imposition of social, cultural and economic links". If there has been an encouraging characteristic in Irish society during the past five years, it has been the development of community organisations. What has been done to channel the goodwill and common cause of those community organisations North and South? It is not enough to talk in terms of law and order: surely we must look to the good as well as the evil and promote the good to guarantee the eradication of the evil? Our young people, the youth organisations, have been shown a strange attitude by the Government.

The Chair would like the Deputy to keep his remarks relevant to the Bill and the amendment.

I am making it quite clear that this Bill cannot achieve what it wants to achieve without considering these matters. I should like to refer to the contribution made by the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs, now that he is here. If the Minister were entitled to make the allegations he made, it is only right that we should be entitled to reply, if not in terms of direct rejection, at least to explain that——

The Chair has allowed the Deputy to do that, but the Chair would prefer if he did not proceed further along these lines.

Before I leave this matter, I should like to stress that community organisations and the channelling of community efforts are things that remain to be done, but this is a matter I can develop on some other occasion. If we are concerned to eradicate violence we might look at the areas from whence violence emerges, whether it comes from the Bogside, Creggan, Sandy Row or Falls Road— to look at the causes and to see how we can through proper community structures relate ourselves to these causes. In the presence of the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs I want to say that if this Bill is to achieve a common cause we must have awareness of the fact that it is our diversity that can be our great strength. Anybody who suggests that we should impose our culture would be flying in the face of what we here want——

Deputy Tunney said a 32-county Gaelic State.

I am loathe to accept the Minister's summary as being an accurate summary.

It is on the record.

The Minister takes one line out of the whole speech. I read the Minister's speech and it made me sad that a man who preaches reconciliation as being the whole basis of his political belief can motivate himself so determinedly towards creating bitterness in the South.

I refuse to accept as accurate the Minister's summary of Deputy Tunney's speech. Deputy Tunney is a man of fierce integrity and I do not accept the Minister's——

Would the Deputy come to the Bill and the amendment?

We know that this court cannot operate in isolation. Neither could an all-Ireland court. There must be social, cultural and economic structures, and political as well, of one form or another, which will ensure that this jurisdiction can be properly supervised. To the extent that there are no such public structures— and I say this in relation to Sunningdale as well—I cannot see how this Bill could be effective. Equally, our courts here could not operate without this Legislature. Who would frame the laws under which the courts would operate if this Government and this Legislature were not here? Therefore, to talk in terms of doing this in isolation is a contradiction in terms because you must have a total structure apart from the judicial and police structures. You must have a level of political organisation which will support what the courts are doing. The courts do not exist in isolation and this jurisdiction and an all-Ireland court could not exist——

It could not exist at all.

In that connection, we talk about the development of social, cultural and economic links between the North and South because we believe all of these must be a total package. In our document, in paragraph 3, we went on to say that we recognise that in so far as it is suggested this Bill is necessary we must get away from the suspicions that exist, lessen some of the tensions. We recognise that if Britain were to state her position in the agreement we have asked for, then our constitutional position, which is vastly misunderstood, would then be seen in a different light. We have always stated that Articles 2 and 3 represented a claim by the South on the North. We have no right to that. We reject that Britain has a right to legislate for any part of this island and if Britain repudiates that right, then we can talk with our fellow Irishmen and say: "Now Britain has rejected this, let us look at our constitutional and legal structures in a new light". That has not been done. If such a decision had been declared, we could have reached out in a way not open to us now to those who regard our constitutional position as being an irritant. Legal, social and economic questions could be resolved.

These sentiments were put in advisedly. To come back to goodwill and understanding, if we do not have goodwill towards each other this legislation will be totally hopeless and ineffective. If any legislation is even to begin to be effective there must be goodwill and understanding between the communities in each part of the island and between the communities North and South. We are prepared to recognise the roots of the suspicions that are there. One would imagine, listening to the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs, that we never rejected violence in this document of ours but that we were motivated——

The Deputy is very defensive.

The day I become defensive is the day I will reconsider my position in politics.

That might be a good idea.

I feel that the need to be tolerant and confident is greater than ever in our recent history and that is why I find myself sad at the reactionary attitude being expressed generally by the Government and the criticisms they make of anyone who makes positive proposals.

We say in paragraph 3 (d) that in agreement between the Irish Government and the elected representatives of the North—note the "agreement" again; I do not know how often it comes into this document—the establishment of an all-Ireland court, which we are now discussing, with appropriate machinery to uphold the fundamental rights of all the people— this was written in advance of this Bill coming to this House—and to ensure the maintenance of peace and security.

For many people that may mean the same as law and order but the manner in which the term "law and order" has been paraded recently seems to mean, to a certain extent, only the vindication of the Government who seem to regard it as being a special virtue in them to do what every Government must do. A Government that is not in the business of law and order—if you wish to call it so—is not in the business at all and to parade their determination on law and order as a special virtue is, in my view, to indicate a total lack of appreciation of what their function is. I hope that a Fianna Fáil Government will never boast about its commitment to law and order but will quietly ensure in the future as in the past——

——as in the Offences Against the State legislation when your socialist conscience would not allow you to support it. I do not know how that socialist conscience has twisted and turned in the meantime to allow you to implement it. Why are you now implementing the very legislation that you rejected then?

I do not think the Chair will allow me to explain——

I am sure the nation would love to hear this from this Minister. Would the Chair please allow this Minister——

Deputy O'Kennedy on this Bill.

I should love to hear it from him.

Get on with your nonsense.

The Minister does not want to say it because apparently his socialist conscience has been well and truly trampled on and he has now turned to law and order.

Deputy O'Kennedy on the Bill.

I shall stay on the Bill but would the Chair for his information, if not edification, please read the contribution made by the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs in this debate? I think he will recognise that in everything I have said and done I remained much more relevant on this legislation than the Minister did but I accept the Chair's ruling.

So, our court, we recognise must have appropriate machinery to guarantee its effectiveness. We say that in our document. That machinery if it would apply in the case of our court must equally apply in the case of this legislation. It is not in this legislation; there is no sign of it; police supervision, police structures, acceptable structures and also above all else the machinery of the proper and recognised principles and procedures of criminal law. How can they ask us at this stage two years afterwards to support this legislation?

I know that everything we say can be presented in a certain light and can be misinterpreted. We serve common cause with all, of whatever background in this country, who feel that violence should be eradicated. When we see some hopeful signs we should welcome them. Yesterday the fact that an avowed member of the UDA, Glen Barr, could say what he said is, perhaps, a hopeful sign that he rejected what had been done here in Dublin in the name of the UDA. We should recognise it as a hopeful sign. I do not want to read any more into it. If on the "Republican" side we got someone equally courageous and concerned to say something similar we might have another hopeful sign. We think these signs are what we should encourage. Above all, we think that in any approach to legislation on this matter we should consider the consequences of what we are doing. We are not just opposing this Bill; we are proposing, as I have outlined and as our Leader has explained in greater detail, an alternative which we believe will achieve what we all want to achieve. Let nobody henceforth, more particularly the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs, ever suggest to any of us in this party—and I mean this—that we have common cause with violent men. Let him not shame his own name by making such a slanderous allegation.

What about Deputy Haughey?

I did not name the Deputy from your party because I do not think I should name him.

Deputy O'Kennedy without interruption.

We are as determined as ever—in my view that represents more determination than this Government may have—to work not just to put down violence but to ensure that the causes of it will be eradicated. I am convinced that our proposal represents the only way in which that can be done. I believe the proposal we are asked to pass here is almost a guarantee that it will not be done. I happened to hear the closing lines of the contribution of the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs on television and I hope I do not misquote him because I was so shocked but I understood him to say that those who say that this Bill is unworkable—his parting shot—do not want to see it work against those for whom it is intended.

That is right. I repeat that here.

I want to repudiate and reject that totally and to say it is shameful for a Minister of this Government to make any such implication. If he is referring to us on this side of the House, he is so wrong that it is sad——


I am saying it is not workable. Is this Minister accusing me of saying that I do not want to see it being operated against those for whom it is intended?

I am not speaking of the Deputy personally.

Or any of a number of us here.

I mean some of the rest, especially Deputy Haughey.

Deputy O'Kennedy without interruption.

I hope that when the real issues are considered in detail as obviously has not been done, we will get from the Government a recognition that their proposal is a bad second best and that now the obligation falls on them to promote the best which they recognise themselves and let us all do so, so that we can achieve what we want to do in this legislation.

I have examined the Bill very carefully and in detail and I am convinced that the right thing for the Dáil to do is to oppose it completely in the national interest. At the same time I support the objectives the Government have in mind in introducing the Bill. It is designed to punish crimes of violence and ensure that men who commit these crimes, whether in Northern Ireland, England or the Republic should have no refuge anywhere in Ireland. I totally support these objectives but I believe this is the wrong way to go about achieving them.

Every person in the country has a common interest in seeing that the bombers, gunmen and assassins who have killed and maimed people in England and in Northern Ireland and in this city, and who are trying to push the country towards civil war, are caught and punished. I believe the Bill is the wrong way to tackle this problem.

There are quite a number of failures in this Bill and, in my opinion, quite a number of its provisions are inoperable. The public will be led to believe that, if passed, it will prove to be some sort of cure for all the ills prevailing in the country, that it will be a cure for violence, both North and South and will put an end, once and for all, to the men of violence. Nothing could be further from the truth. I believe the Bill will certainly not have that effect. There are suggestions that those people who honestly criticise the Bill will be represented as giving comfort to men of violence. I disagree with that suggestion also. It is in the national interest that those of us who are critical of the Bill should come out openly and give our reasons. It is most unfair of people to say that we support people of violence by being critical of this Bill. That is not correct.

I oppose the Bill on numerous grounds. I believe that, if enacted, it would be politically disastrous, in the sense that it would not help in bringing about peace to Northern Ireland, in promoting reconciliation between the communities in Northern Ireland, or between the communities in the North and South.

I believe also that if enacted the Bill would violate the Constitution of the Republic. I have discussed this matter with numerous lawyers, the vast majority of whom are so convinced.

I am convinced also that the legislation would not be practicable in its operation. Even if it were, it would bring the criminal law of this State into contempt. I shall speak later about that. I shall illustrate ways and means by which the Bill if enacted would bring our criminal law into contempt. This legislation would compromise our judicial system and, of necessity, would play into the hands of the men of violence who wish to disrupt all institutions of Government in Ireland, North and South. I believe firmly there is no surer or quicker way of getting into a civil war situation in this part of the country than by the implementation of this Bill.

Of course, it is evident that violence, North and South, is part of the price we have to pay for the Partition of Ireland. In my opinion the only long-term solution to the problem, North and South, is to unite all our people, Catholic, Protestant and Dissenter, in mutual trust and understanding. That, I am firmly convinced, is the only solution to this grave national problem. If I thought this Bill would help to reconcile the communities in Northern Ireland, or to promote goodwill and understanding between the people of Ireland, North and South, I would support it. I think it will have the reverse effect; that, by reason of its wording, of its impact, of the impact it will have on the minds of people in this country it will certainly spark off a civil war situation in the South.

This legislation will not promote peace and understanding in Northern Ireland. It will be divisive in the worst possible sense. It will divide North from South; divide the minority in Northern Ireland from the people of the Republic and will divide the people of the Republic. This Bill is a bad one and untimely. I cannot see the necessity for it. I cannot see it doing any good whatsoever in so far as people, North and South, Catholic, Protestant and Dissenter, are concerned. If enacted, it will be disastrous for this State, particularly if it is carried out to the letter.

We must remember that this Bill is part of the Sunningdale package negotiated in 1973. At that time we, in Fianna Fáil, gave our support in principle to the broad outlines of the Sunningdale Agreement with some obvious reservations relating, in particular, to the constitutionality of paragraph 5 of the same agreement. But, in so far as the Sunningdale Agreement established a power-sharing Executive and envisaged a Council of Ireland, it represented a link with existing Fianna Fáil policy. That is why at the time we in Fianna Fáil saw it as offering a real chance of improving the situation. The whole agreement was characterised by its understanding of the importance of the Irish dimension and of the aspiration for Irish unity. If this legislation is enacted I believe it will be the only surviving remnant of Sunningdale, that it will do everything but impress on the world at large the importance of the Irish dimension and of the aspiration for Irish unity.

We should now face the facts and realise that the Sunningdale Agreement has failed, that the power-sharing Executive has gone, that it was blackmailed by the workers' strike. I ask the Government to state: where was the Taoiseach and what was he doing, what was the Minister for Justice doing, indeed what was the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs doing at the time the power-sharing Executive in the North was wrecked and blackmailed by that strike? We did not hear one word from the Government at that time. I believe the Government should have expressed, through the Taoiseach, the Minister for Justice or through the great liberal, the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs, the disgust of the Irish nation that that strike in the North was able to bring down on their knees the power-sharing Executive there at that time. It was a disgrace and an insult to Irish people that the Government of the day, and the Taoiseach of the day, did not stand up and speak out for all people, North and South, at that time, saying how disgusted we were at the fact that the British Government allowed a strike in the North to wreck a power-sharing Executive there. It was a disgraceful situation that no one spoke out at that time on behalf of the Government. Fianna Fáil were the only party to show any interest in what was happening in the North at that time.

Standing idly by. Is that what the previous Taoiseach said?

What did the Taoiseach do or say when the power-sharing Executive in the North were blackmailed and brought down by a strike? There was not one murmur or one whisper from the Government. Since then we have seen a gradual restoration of the hardline Unionist stance which brought down the Executive and led to the total abandonment of power sharing. Sunningdale offered partnership between the communities of Northern Ireland and partnership between North and South, and guaranteed civil rights to every man and woman living on this island irrespective of political or religious convictions.

Had these principles been realised in effective political institutions, I believe they would have laid the foundation for peace and prosperity of a kind which the people living in this island have not known in their tragic history. I also believe the Sunningdale communique hoped to realise these principles by a power-sharing Executive in the North, by the establishment of a council of Ireland and by the creation of common law reform area.

The Deputy will have to keep to this Bill and the amendment.

I am coming to the law enforcement area which is very important to this Bill. The power-sharing Executive in Northern Ireland has been destroyed. The council of Ireland has not been established. Internment remains. None of the reforms promised at Sunningdale has been carried through. The only surviving remnant of Sunningdale, so far as I can see, is this Bill.

Following the fall of the Executive, we had a continuing period of direct rule from Westminster. In the meantime the Convention was elected to consider and recommend to Westminster what form of Government would be appropriate to Northern Ireland. The Unionists who formed the majority of the members of the Convention have again rejected power sharing. They demand a return to the old style Stormont system in which one party rules dominant for over 50 years.

The Deputy must keep to the Bill and to the amendment.

Their purpose was to discriminate against the minority. This gave rise to all the violence in the North. This Bill will not prevent that. It will do no more than assist in perpetuating all that happened during the past 50 sad years.

It is generally accepted, even by the Unionists, that the British have no desire for a continuing involvement in Irish affairs, but they find themselves trapped by the negative guarantees contained in British legislation that there will be no change in the Northern Ireland situation unless and until the majority wish for a change.

We cannot have a discussion on Northern Ireland. The Deputy must deal with the Bill and the amendment.

This Bill will comfort and assist the British. At the moment they appear to have no intention of declaring their interest in Irish unity.

I have examined this Bill very carefully. We should ask ourselves what are the reasons why this Bill was introduced. When I use the word "reasons" I mean the true and real reasons and not the glib and rather peculiar reasons trotted out by the Minister and other Government spokesmen. Not only should we examine and inquire into the reasons behind its introduction, but we should also probe and test the logic behind them.

The matter cannot be allowed to rest there. We should also consider very carefully the constitutionality of this proposed legislation. I wish to make it clear that, when I use the word "constitutionality", I am not referring to the possibility that certain sections may be held by the Supreme Court to be unconstitutional, although that is extremely likely. I am advocating the view that the entire Bill is contrary to and at variance with the concept and tradition of legal justice in this country and in practically every other democratic state in the world.

To enlarge on that latter point, I should like to remind the Government, lest they may have forgotten it, that the Republic of Ireland is a sovereign independent State. This Assembly is the legislative body for that State. It is the duty of this House to promote laws for the welfare and protection of the inhabitants of this State within these boundaries. It is the duty of this House to ensure that those laws are obeyed by those within these boundaries. Every other Government in every other democratic State, as far as I am aware, legislate on exactly the same principles. Every other such Government confine, and are bound to confine, the application of their laws to within the boundaries of their own territories.

The reasoning behind this is obvious. An act which might very well have serious consequences in one State might pass unnoticed in another. At the risk of being accused of being facetious, let us take the example of an unclothed young lady on O'Connell Bridge. She would probably cause traffic chaos within minutes and she would find herself on trial in the District Court on half a dozen different charges.

The Deputy is speaking about Kerry.

On the banks of the Amazon, or in some other such area, her behaviour would be considered perfectly law abiding. Far from being facetious that little example shows very simply, but very clearly to my mind, why each state must, of necessity, confine the effects of their legislation to within their own boundaries. No one, not even the Minister for Justice, would suggest that an Irish girl who acted like that on the banks of the Amazon should be charged with an offence under Irish law on her return to this country.

Indeed, the explanatory memorandum acknowledges this. Section 2 quotes the general rule by which, with very few exceptions, things done outside the State which would be criminal within the State are not only outside the jurisdiction of its courts but are not offences against its laws. This rule of law is well known to lawyers throughout the world.

Like many other basic freedoms which we enjoy, the ordinary man in the street never thinks about it and does not realise how important it is until he is deprived of it. Therefore, it is important that the ordinary man in the street and, for that matter, the ordinary man in the Government benches, should remember how this almost universal concept of law has protected the citizens of the State in the past.

The most recent example which springs to mind is Biafra. Not so long ago, many Irish citizens engaged in activities there, for the highest and most honourable motives, which not only were against the law in that country but would also have been illegal here, yet I am sure that the Minister for Justice would admit that any attempt by an Irish Government to prosecute and charge these people on their return to this country would not have been tolerated for one moment by the Irish people. This proposed law, the Criminal Jurisdiction Bill, could be put side by side with the examples I have quoted. This is what this Bill is about. It proposes to extend the criminal law of the State to acts committed outside the State. It is singularly selective in its extension. It will apply to offences committed in Northern Ireland only.

If the Government proposed to extend our criminal law to acts committed in all other countries I would still oppose the change, but I could at least see the logic of it. Why Northern Ireland only? Why not include in this Bill offences committed in England? The Minister will probably say that I am being naive in not realising that the greater violence is occurring in Northern Ireland. Of course I realise this. I shall deal with this point in detail later. There has been violence in England, and it is strange that if the persons responsible seek refuge in this State they may not be charged in this State under the provisions of this Bill. I would ask the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs, who is here now, to correct me if I am wrong in this assumption.

If this Bill is passed, therefore, we shall have the ridiculous situation that if a person kills a British soldier in Northern Ireland he is guilty of an offence in the Republic, but if he kills a British soldier in England he is not guilty of any offence in this State. Lest someone should accuse me of advocating that this Bill should include crimes committed in England, I wish to make it clear that I am opposing this Bill in toto but I am highlighting the position that will arise regarding crimes committed in England in order to show the complete lack of logic in the Bill. This absence of logic may be the straw which shows the way the wind is blowing and which will give us the real reason why this Bill has been introduced. I am putting it very plainly and bluntly to the Government that they have introduced the Bill simply because they have been directed to do so by the British Government——

That is not true.

That is how it appears to me and not alone have they been directed to introduce the Bill but they have also been directed to confine its operations to crimes committed in Northern Ireland only and not to extend its operation to crimes committed in England.

Not true either.

Is it a fact that this Bill does not apply to crimes committed in England?

It may be asked why the British Government should wish to confine the scope of the Bill to Northern Ireland. After all, it could be argued that extending the scope of the Bill to offences in England could only be of benefit to that country. The reason, I submit, is very simple. If the scope of the Bill were extended to cover crimes committed in England, the British Government should pass a similar Act making any crimes committed in the Republic of Ireland an offence in England. This is something the British Government would not do. There would be commotion in the British House of Commons if such a Bill were introduced, because it would be contrary to the concept of legal justice in England where, from time immemorial, the Commons have passed laws which apply to citizens within its own territory but never attempted, with a few well known exceptions which are not relevant to this debate, to make crimes committed outside its territory offences against the law of England.

I would suggest the reasoning behind this tradition is that it would be unfair and unjust to try a man under English law for an alleged offence committed in a foreign country where conditions might very well be entirely different, with perhaps a corrupt and dictatorial regime, where the accused was a member of a minority discriminated against because of his religious or political views, where the police force had been proved to be a sectarian force which had used inhuman methods of torture to obtain information and confessions, where internment without trial was carried out on a religious basis, or where the majority were allowed to organise themselves and assassinate members of the minority.

To the British the existence of such a State is mere supposition, but to us it is a reality and comprises the Six Counties under British rule. The Government of this country have on numerous occasions pointed out to the world the way in which the legal system there discriminates against the minority. The Government have gone further and brought a case into the Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg alleging the use of torture and inhuman treatment by the authorities in Northern Ireland. There is no doubt about these allegations being proved, and yet if this Bill becomes law it can only work if our courts accept evidence obtained by members of the RUC and the British Army operating the same techniques which we are condemning in Strasbourg and in the Court of Human Rights.

The Bill was drafted on the mis-taken premise that all the violence was caused by the minority in the North.

Debate adjourned.