The Stormont Papers
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Volume 33 (1949, 50) / Pages 1958 - 1959
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Volume 33 / Page 1958

Ulster Special Constabulary.

Mr. McATEER asked the Minister of Home Affairs whether men resident in the Republic of Ireland are permitted to join the Ulster Special Constabulary.

Mr. MAGINESS: The conditions of service of the Ulster Special Constabulary do not contain any residence qualifications, and any person who is prepared to take the oath and to comply with the terms of service is eligible for consideration.

Mr. McATEER asked the Minister of Home Affairs whether he will state the number of Republic of Ireland residents who have served in the Special Constabulary in Derry city or in the Liberties of Derry city within the past twelve months and the number at present serving.

Mr. MAGINESS: I am of opinion that it would not be in the public interest to supply information of this character, and I am not, therefore, prepared to furnish it.

Mr. McATEER: Good.

Mr. MAY: Would the Minister make it clear that his answer to the last question refers to the Republic of Eire and not to this description "Republic of Ireland."

Mr. CONNELLAN: There is no distinction.

Mr. DIAMOND: Is the Minister aware that he was not at liberty to take the decision he did in this matter? Since we in this Chamber vote the Estimates for this force that is concerned, it is a matter of duty on the Minister's part to supply full and factual information on request by any Member of this House. I should like a ruling by you, Mr. Speaker, on that point.

Mr. McATEER: Will the right hon. Gentleman tell me whether he will have a reciprocal arrangement whereby people from the Six Counties can go down and join the armed forces of the Twenty-Six Counties?

Mr. MAGINESS: That would not be a matter for me.

Mr. SPEAKER: With reference to the question that the hon. Member for Falls (Mr. Diamond) asked, the Minister is within his power in refusing to make a statement on a matter if he considers his refusal to be in the national interest.

Mr. DIAMOND: Secret society. Labour and National Insurance.


Mr. DIAMOND asked the Minister of Labour and National Insurance whether he is aware that Great Britain has been admitted to the International Labour Organisation, having accepted the Charter of the I.L.O.; whether Northern Ireland has been excluded for failing to qualify under Article 87 of the Charter known as "The Freedom of Association" Clause; and whether his Ministry intend to take steps to remove Northern Ireland's present disqualification by accepting International Labour standards.

The MINISTER OF LABOUR AND NATIONAL I N S U R A N CE (Mr. Midgley): In reply to the Member, I may say that the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is a member of the International Labour Organisation, and there is, therefore, no question of Northern Ireland having been excluded from membership.

Where the hon. Member speaks of Article 87 of the Charter, I assume that he has in mind.Convention No. 87 adopted by the International Labour Organisation with respect to freedom of association and protection of the right to organise. This Convention was ratified this year by the United Kingdom Government in respect of Great Britain only. The ratification could not include Northern Ireland, because under the Trades Disputes and Trade Unions Act (Northern Ireland), 1927, established civil servants have not complete freedom of association. Civil servants are free to combine together as Crown servants, but must not be connected with or affiliated to any outside organisation, trade union, or political party.

The principles of the Convention are acceptable to the Government of Northern Ireland in every other respect.

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