Extracts of a Speech by Ian Paisley to DUP Annual Conference, 1996
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Text of extracts of a speech by Ian Paisley, then Leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), to the DUP's Annual Conference, in 1996.
"The Prime Minister has spoken but his method of speaking is strange in both manner and message.
In reply to a planted question by Mr Andrew Hunter MP in the House of Commons on Thursday last, Mr Major referred to the IRA/Sinn Fein/Adams SDLP/Hume proposals and informed the House that a paper had been made available in the Library.
This was a ploy to stifle debate on the subject and to keep Northern Ireland MPs from probing into the matter.
My two Parliamentary colleagues and myself met the Prime Minister afterwards and were able to question him most effectively about the matter.
The facts are startling and most solemn and serious. They point to more and more surrenders and concessions to the IRA and the terrorists.
It was announced in the Republican and Nationalist press that IRA/Sinn Fein, in agreement with John Hume, were requesting certain conditions.
The Secretary of State had already been playing footsie with IRA/Sinn Fein man McGuinness in a political puppet show, supposedly clarifying the Government's position, after it had been announced that the IRA could not use the word "permanent" to define any ceasefire, because that would breach the constitution of the Provisional IRA. Sir Patrick Mayhew made it clear that the Government was prepared to find a way so that the IRA would not have to breach its constitution but would be able, nevertheless, to enter the Talks. He talked about more ways than one of skinning the cat. I told him that the Government had no intention of killing the cat but rather were in the business of fattening and keeping the cat.
What were the IRA requesting, according to the Republican press?
Mr Major has gone back on his undertakings over and over again. His word is not his determined bond, it is rather his disposable baggage. The Daily Telegraph of 29th November, a day after his statement was issued in the Library of the House of Commons, editorialised thus:
Mr Major is in the surrendering business to the IRA and its bedfellows John Hume, Dublin and the White House. Mr Major is in the capitulating business to the IRA. Mr Major is in the concession business to the IRA. Mr Major is in the deceiving business with the IRA. Mr Major is in the sell-out business to the IRA.
On behalf of the Unionist people I must tell him loudly and clearly that Ulster is not surrendering to the IRA or any of its allies. Ulster is not capitulating to the IRA. Ulster is not conceding to the IRA. Ulster is not selling out to the IRA. Ulster is not going down the Dublin road, not an inch.
We are determined to have no truck with the IRA whatsoever or with any other murdering gunmen.
Ulster deserves our prayers.
Its people deserve our endeavours. Its children deserve our sacrifice.
Its past deserves our gratitude.
Its present deserves our determination.
Its future deserves our dedication.
Its enemies deserve our resistance.
Its slanders deserve our condemnation.
Its would-be destroyers deserve our undying opposition."
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