The Irish Minister for External Affairs, Dr. Patrick Hillery, met the British Foreign Secretary, Sir?
LV & CU Foreign Office
SV PAN Sir Douglas-Home leaves
SCU PAN Dr. Hillery leaves.
GV EXT Irish Embassy
SCU INT Dr. Hillery interviewed
TRANSCRIPT (SEQ 5)
INTERVIEWER: "Dr. Hillery, did Sir Alec mention to you the question of your clandestine visit to Belfast?"
HILLERY: "He was aware of my visit to Belfast and did mention it of course, yes."
INTERVIEWER: "How strongly did he express his disapproval of it?"
HILLERY: "As strongly as the foreign representative of one sovereign state can do to the representative of another foreign state who has friendly relations with the country. I visited various parts of the island before without any objections, and I'm sure you can understand that you can visit various parts of your country without causing too much excitement."
INTERVIEWER: "Did you just take the criticism or did you answer it?"
HILLERY: "I don't think that you should take it that Sir Alec in any way departed from the very high standing he has established in international relations as a foreign secretary. He did not in any way reduce my standing as a representative of another sovereign state."
INTERVIEWER: "Was this then a friendly meeting between the two of you?"
HILLERY: "It was a meeting of two foreign representatives on serious business, very serious business."
INTERVIEWER: "What assurances were you seeking?"
HILLERY: "I was seeking to basically ask the British Government, which I'd asked Sir Alec to do, to handle this problem of the Orange Order in our country. It's an order which up to now has caused considerable trouble, they have taken the law into their own hands and in the last few days have proved that the Prime Minister of Northern Ireland has no control over them and the Foreign Secretary must ask them please not to do thing and they can tell him "We won't do what you ask."
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The Irish Minister for External Affairs, Dr. Patrick Hillery, met the British Foreign Secretary, Sir Alec Douglas-Home in London on Wednesday (July 8).
Later, in the Irish Embassy, Dr. Hillery spoke about the topics he and Sir Alec had discussed during the 35-minutes they spent together.
According to an official statement issued by the Foreign Office, Sir Alec Douglas-Home told Dr. Hillery that the British Government was committed not to change the Irish border unless the majority of people in Ulster wanted it. He also stressed that the Government was firmly committed to the principles of equal citizenship for all inhabitants of Northern Ireland.
Sir Alec affirmed that the appropriate authorities were taking action to control the forthcoming Orange parades, with particular emphasis being stressed on defining routes designed to avoid security problems.
After the meeting, Dr. Hillery spoke to an interviewer about the issue of his unannounced visit to Northern Ireland on Monday: