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Volume 301: debated on Wednesday 26 November 1997

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To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what action she has taken to prevent premature disclosure of security information relating to parades. [16246]

On 8 July this year Sir John Chilcot, permanent under secretary of state at the Northern Ireland Office instigated an inquiry to investigate the leaking to the media of a confidential Northern Ireland Office document concerning the Government's position on the Drumcree parade. That inquiry has now been completed. The report made a number of recommendations that are intended to prevent the re-occurrence of such a leak. Each recommendation has been examined and most have already been implemented. However, it would not be appropriate to comment on such internal security matters in any detail.


To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what plans she has for legislation to encourage local agreements on parades in Northern Ireland. [16249]

As my hon. Friend will know, the Public Processions etc. (Northern Ireland) Bill has completed its passage through Committee in another place on 13 November. Report Stage will take place on 1 December. The Bill is designed to tackle the difficulties that have surrounded the parades issue in recent years by encouraging local agreement, and by giving the Parades Commission the power to make determinations where appropriate.