§ Mr. Bell
Now that the new Government are in place in the Republic can we see to it that an early meeting of the Intergovernmental Conference is convened? Can we also see more economic progress and more economic items on the agenda so that the people of Northern Ireland and the people in the island of Ireland as a whole can see some benefit from the economy improving as a result of the Anglo-Irish Agreement?
§ Mr. Scott
The hon. Gentleman knows that we never announce the dates of meetings of the Intergovernmental Conference in advance. It is too early to say when one might be likely to take place. We want the work of the conference to be sustained. We have had some discussions on economic matters already, and I am sure that we shalll continue to do so.
§ Mr. Wilkinson
In any talks that the Government may have with the new Government of the Republic, will Ministers make it clear that the co-operation of the Republic will be judged by the amount of assistance that is given directly to security forces of Her Majesty's Government in pursuing terrorists, and that we would expect the south to desist from arresting British soldiers who inadvertently stray over the border in the course of their dangerous duties?
§ Mr. Scott
I am sure that we shall look forward to cross-border co-operation with the new Administration in Dublin. Any Irish Government must understand that the activities of terrorist organisations in Northern Ireland present a threat to democracy throughout the island of Ireland, and they will be as concerned as we are to further develop cross-border co-operation.