A major television probe into the Northern Ireland situation -- bringing spokesmen from conflicting factions into a television confrontation -- went ahead tonight despite major government opposition.
GV & SV Participants in television studio, Rev. Paisley gets up, walks to rostrum (2 shots)
SV ZOOM INTO CU Paisley seated and starts speaking
GV Paisley returns to seat
GV ZOOM INTO SV Gerry Fitt on rostrum
GV Participants seated
CU Neil Blaney speaking
TRANSCRIPT: (SEQ. 2): PAISLEY: "Gentlemen, I am an Ulster Protestant and a Democratic Unionist. My province is overrun by the I.R.A. gunmen and is dark-shadowed by bombings, burnings and murders. The vast majority of the people in Northern Ireland are determined to remain part-and-parcel of the United Kingdom. They are resolute and will never surrender to the Irish Republican Army. Nor will they capitulate to any political deal made between Westminster, Stormont and Dublin to destroy their heritage."
(SEQ. 4) FITT: "Gentlemen, as a Socialist, I consider that the Stormont system of government has failed. Furthermore, it is beyond repair. It has been finally and totally rejected by 40 per cent of the population in Northern Ireland, and they will never again have any confidence in the Unionist administration. It has proved a political disaster completely in line with the partition settlement itself. I would suggest that the most positive step we could take immediately would be the transfer of all security measures from Stormont to Westminster -- no Northern Ireland politician should have any say in matters of security in relation to Northern Ireland."
(SEQ. 5) BLANEY: "I say that the only solution now is for Britain to withdraw honourably, and by every means at her disposal to bring about the unity of Ireland by negotiation. I would envisage a reconstitution by agreement being drafted, an entire new constitution being drafted, by the negotiations that would perhaps have within it this council that would be equally representative of the people of the six counties and from the twenty-six; that it would have a chairman with a casting vote, this chairman to alternate year by year so that there wouldn't any time int hose enterim years -- and I only see the council as interim -- of anybody putting their finger in the other fellow's eye."
Initials OS/433 OS/424
THIS FILM IS RESTRICTED TO THREE MINUTES USE IN SCHEDULED NEWS PROGRAMMES ONLY.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: A major television probe into the Northern Ireland situation -- bringing spokesmen from conflicting factions into a television confrontation -- went ahead tonight despite major government opposition. Both the British and Northern Ireland government in Stormont refused to participate in the programme, televised by the British Broadcasting Corporation, and protested against the harm it might do.
Before the marathon "Tribunal on Ulster" programme started, Northern Ireland Prime Minister Brian Faulkner denounced it. So did British Home Secretary Reginald Maudling. And since neither government was represented, there were claims that the final programme was bound to be unbalanced.
In the event, the programme featured eight Irish Political figures, two of them form the Irish Republic, who put their views to a tribunal of three legal experts. Views coverage form the big debate centres on three of the speakers: the Rev. Ian Paisley, the well-known militant and Protestant Unionist MP; Mr. Terry Fitt, a Social Democratic and Labour Party MP for Belfast; and from south of the border Mr. Neil Blaney, former Agriculture Minister in the Republic of Ireland.