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Constitutional Conference (Parallel Talks)

Volume 984: debated on Tuesday 6 May 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, pursuant to the written answer of 22 April to the hon. Member for Armagh, on how many days during the existence of the Stormont conference and up until 20 April he met for parallel talks (a) the SDLP and Alliance Party together and (b) the SDLP alone; whether the same facilities and expenses were allowed for the participants to these talks; and to what they amounted.

During the period 7 January to 20 April 1980 I held separate parallel talks with the SDLP on five occasions, and with the Alliance Party on two occasions. No joint parallel talks were held. Participants at these talks were entitled to claim expenses on the same basis as delegates to the political conference and a total of £807 has been paid in respect of such claims.