Written Answers. - Meeting with Mr. Prior.

183.

asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if he intends to make a statement on his recent meeting with the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Mr. Prior.

I had a meeting on 1 February last with the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Mr. James Prior, M.P. in London. The Secretary of State was accompanied for part of the meeting by Lord Gowrie, Minister for State at the Northern Ireland Office. We were also joined for lunch by Lord Belstead, Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. This was the first occasion on which I have met Mr. Prior and we had a lengthy exchange of views over a wide range of issues. We agreed on the desirability of close co-operation between the two Governments in matters of common concern in the political, economic and society fields. It is not the practice to reveal the contents of confidential discussions of this nature.