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Mr. William Ross (East Londonderry): Does the hon. Gentleman not yet understand that there is in Northern Ireland an organisation called the IRA and its fellow travellers, who are determined that there will not be

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understanding and are totally committed to seeing that there is mayhem, violence and confrontation in the streets? So long as they are there, those events will occur.

Mr. Worthington: I understand that. We need to appreciate that many people told North that, to cope with that problem, there needed to be a better statutory framework than exists at present. That will not solve the problem of organisations dedicated to causing mayhem, but we can improve the legislative framework within which we are operating.

Rev. Ian Paisley (North Antrim): Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the head of the IRA-Sinn Fein has said that those events came about as a result of careful and deliberate planning for three years? If I stood up in Northern Ireland and said that I had planned events for three years, my feet would not hit the ground--I would be in Castlereagh. The head of the IRA-Sinn Fein was never even questioned by the police. Now, we are hearing that there will be trouble in other places where there has never been any trouble. This is an IRA-concocted way to have trouble throughout the Province.

Mr. Worthington: I respect what the hon. Gentleman is saying. I am aware--I could not see it myself because I was here--of the programme that demonstrated that there had been planning and that Mr. Adams said that that had occurred. One also has to recognise, however, that people on the other side of the divide are convinced that similar planning will cause confrontation in the opposite direction.

The North report was instituted with our full support to try to improve the framework within which judgments about marches were made. We believe that the Government could have done more and that any incoming Government will be left in a much weaker position than they should have been because of the lack of action on the report.

12.54 am

Rev. William McCrea (Mid-Ulster): I have listened carefully to the speeches in this important debate. It is important, because I believe that we are witnessing an attack on one group of people in Northern Ireland, within the United Kingdom.

Before developing my theme, I want to join my hon. Friend the Member for North Antrim (Rev. Ian Paisley) in wishing the Minister a happy retirement. I trust that, as he has found fulfilment in serving the people of the United Kingdom, and the people of Northern Ireland in particular, he will also find it in whatever occupation he turns his hand to. The people of Northern Ireland deeply appreciate the service that he gave, and Members of Parliament have at all times found him courteous and concerned for their safety in the face of IRA terrorism. He has always shown personal concern for individual Members and their constituents.

I express my appreciation on behalf of my constituents in Mid-Ulster, because the Minister played an important role and gave support to the Royal Ulster Constabulary and members of the security forces protecting the citizens

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of the United Kingdom, and Northern Ireland in particular. I trust that he accepts the appreciation of the people of Ulster.

I am extremely concerned about the order, which is reactionary: as we have come to expect, after some agitation from republicans and others, and interference from outside Governments--from the United States of America or the Irish Republic--there has been a reaction from Government. Unfortunately, the reaction is comparable with that in the legislation on dogs, which was bad law. The order is not in the interests of the Northern Ireland community, and it will be regretted.

Once again, we are creating a nightmare. The situation that has developed is causing great concern in the community. Marches and parades have been part of the culture of the Unionist community over the years. I was raised in Arboe, where Unionists were the minority, and we had excellent relationships with the nationalists. Problems are being created that simply did not occur before. Neighbour is being turned against neighbour, and that has not simply happened: it has been carefully devised over several years.

We are approaching the marching season, and many people are talking about another Garvaghy road. Let me remind the House once again that the Orange parade that walked to the church there two years ago did so in a legitimate and lawful parade. The parade was given the authority to do that and to leave the church and go back down the Garvaghy road to the Orange hall in Portadown. They were not acting outside the law. They had legal authority to go to and from church. The route was laid out, notice was properly given and permission granted. Why are we talking about the situation? How did the order come about? Let us remember the facts.

The IRA went into the Garvaghy estate, took over some of the homes--as mentioned by the hon. Member for East Londonderry (Mr. Ross) in a previous debate--and threatened the community. Many Roman Catholics were told to get out on to the streets and object to the parade. They were intimidated out, but that does not seem to matter; it was the Orangemen who were at fault. They were just coming to and from church in a proper, legal procession in an honourable and decent fashion, as they had for many years.

Mr. Roy Beggs (East Antrim): And none of them had had a sip of alcohol.

Rev. William McCrea: No alcohol was consumed. People were acting legally, but terrorists got involved. Their voice seems to mean more, because behind it is not just the ordinary marching of feet but the thud of a bomb or the power of a gun. That registers more. Sad to say, over the years it has registered with more authority with Governments, with those who are supposed to be protecting the community in a democracy. It seems that terrorists must be listened to, because their threat is not that of a debate in the House.

As hon. Members know, over the years, the voice of those who have exercised their democratic right of debating in the House has been little heard, and it has meant very little. We had the Anglo-Irish Agreement and the framework document. Was that the will of the people or of their elected representatives who speak on the people's behalf, and who have gone to the people to

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renew their mandates? I was one of those who, after the Anglo-Irish Agreement, resigned my seat, even though Mid-Ulster has a republican majority. I was willing to resign my seat and put myself before the electorate again to ensure that the Government knew that I was speaking with the authority of the people who sent me to the House.

The people spoke; the voice of the ballot box spoke again, but the reaction was that one Minister said that it does not matter how people vote, because the Government would have it their way anyhow. So much for democracy; but terrorist gunmen can say that Orangemen, even in lawful procession, cannot go down a road because they will shoot them. Sad to say, there was a reaction to the threat of the gun. They did not have to shoot, only threaten. The community is being held to ransom.

My family knows exactly what the power of the gun of an IRA terrorist thug means. The blood of my loved ones ran in the streets and homes of the Northern Ireland, and but for the mercy of God, as the Minister knows, every one of them would have been lying dead--no thanks to the terrorists. They threaten the community.

That was what happened on the Garvaghy road. It had nothing to do with Drumcree parish church, but everything to do with murdering thugs who seem to think that they have the right to threaten the community and hold it to ransom. Why do they think that? It is because they have done it for the past 30 years and got away with it.

Mr. Beggs: Does the hon. Gentleman agree that it is because of the abject failure of successive Governments for 30 years that the outgoing Government and whichever party is the incoming Government had better recognise that the demonstration of solidarity across Northern Ireland, arising from the despicable ban on the lawful parades, is symbolic of a new atmosphere in Northern Ireland? The majority community will not tolerate interference from Dublin or America, or failure on the part of the Government properly to act.

Rev. William McCrea: I thank the hon. Gentleman for making his views heard. They are my views, too. The reality is that there is a different spirit. There is talk of the spirit of Drumcree. Yes, there is the spirit of Drumcree. There is a spirit within Northern Ireland. We are sick of concession after concession. All that the terrorists have to do is hold their guns up in the air and threaten to shoot the people of Northern Ireland. Not only are we threatened with being shot, but our rights, our liberties and our freedoms are being taken away.

I am sickened as a Member of Parliament who has come to the House for the past 14 years to be told by those leading for Her Majesty's Opposition that they will race on. They will not hold back. Once they get in, they are going to race on. It does not seem to me that we have any rights at all, or that we will be listened to at all.

I have a message for the hon. Member for Clydebank and Milngavie (Mr. Worthington). He is not coming to Northern Ireland to dictate. We are sick of dictation. There will be a bit of democracy, and in a democracy, the people have some say. They have a right to be listened to. Their elected representatives have a right not to be shot at or silenced, and a right to be heard, and by the grace of God we will be heard because we are going along the road of democracy.

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Every concession--Garvaghy road, for example--has been looked upon as weakness. Every concession has been looked upon by Republicans as a stepping stone to more concessions. They hold out the begging bowl. Of course, with every concession they obtain, they can remind us, "Sure, all we had to do in the past was threaten or shoot, and look what we have got for it." I ask the House to think carefully.

What have my people who have been democrats and peaceful, law-abiding citizens got? What has been the end result after we have gone down the road to democracy, and the ballot box has been supreme? The bullet has been cast aside. We do not want it. I will tell the House what we have got. We have got coffin after coffin, grave after grave. Some might not want to listen, but that is the sad reality.

It does not seem that many want to listen to the Ulster Unionists, but my, it seems important to listen to the republican, because he might have an ear in the White House. There might be a hand outstretched in the White House that will take Adams's hand and hold it tight. He might have a southern Government down in Dublin who are happy to play footsie with him, but we are talking about something which affects our rights, our freedoms and our liberties.

What happened at Garvaghy road? Did it happen by chance? Let me quote what Adams said. I will quote it word for word because it is important:

That is what the order tells us tonight--that we are reacting to three years of planning by terrorists.

Did the parades start three years ago? No, they did not. I am 48 years old, and there were parades from the day I was born and for years and years before. We lived side by side with our Roman Catholic neighbours, and we insulted nobody. We lived as good neighbours--we worked together, we sweated together, and, when anything happened to our loved ones, we wept together. It is sad that, today, neighbour is turning against neighbour because of a few thugs who created a situation, planned it, schemed it and now tell us that they are going to focus on it, develop it and exploit it.

What have we heard from the Dispatch Box tonight? That those thugs are going to be aided and abetted and assisted. I hope that, when they leave this House at the end of this Parliament, go back to their constituencies and put their head on their pillow at night, hon. Members have a clean conscience. But I tell them this: anybody who knows that the IRA has planned, focused, developed and exploited the situation in Northern Ireland and who aids and abets them through legislation is guilty.

What are we told? Twenty-one days. What for? Not 21 days for people to talk together, but 21 days to allow republicans to build up a case against us. That is what the 21 days are for: 21 days for them to invent or create scenes and to manipulate situations; 21 days to conspire against lawful, legal, law-abiding people; 21 days for thugs who have never given anything to the community and who have no intention of ever giving anything to the

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community. All they have done is draw out the blood of the community and leave it on the street and laugh when the poor corpses go by. That is the reality--21 days.

There is no doubt that the order will pass, that it will get through tonight, but will it solve the situation? No, it will not. It is another piece of appeasement.

I have this to say on the subject of alcohol. Anyone who knows me knows that I oppose alcohol. I am a teetotaller--I hate the stuff, because I saw enough of it when I was a boy. Is there not rank hypocrisy here? A few months ago, legislation was raced through this House. What for? To extend drinking in Northern Ireland. We were told, "You have not got enough of it, you have not got long enough to do it, you need more time to do it. Not only that, but you have not enough outlets--you'd better get it into every corner shop." It is sickening hypocrisy.

This order might be only a couple of pages long, but it means a lot. It only takes a line on a page to remove a person's liberty altogether, and that is the road this House seems to be taking. God forbid. I did not want to be brought up in China. I was born in the United Kingdom.

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