Northern Ireland Convention

Scope and Content

Comprising correspondence with William Craig about Bernard Crick’s advice to the committee proposals including draft memorandums and papers, 1975 (2); Clifford Smyth, 1975 (2); Paddy Devlin, 1975 (2); and a letter from David Trimble requesting Bernard Cricks assistance, 1975. Also including letters to the press in relation to the memorandum and convention; a draft annotated statement of principles from the UUUC, September 1975; SDLP proposals for the convention, September 1975; notes on a possible departmental/functional committee structure, September 1975; a checklist of points for discussion; a final report of the UUUC sub-committee on minority participation, 1975; comments of the SDLP on the UUUC policy document, August 1975; and details of a private seminar at the Hansard Society outlining the constitutional implications and alternatives arising from the work and report of the Northern Ireland convention, including a list of those invited, 1975.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Northern Ireland Constitutional Convention (NICC) was an elected body set up in 1975 by the UK Labour government of Harold Wilson as an attempt to deal with constitutional issues surrounding the status of Northern Ireland. The idea for an NICC was first mooted by the Northern Ireland Office when it produced a white paper entitled The Northern Ireland Constitution on the 4th July 1974. The document laid out plans to hold elections to a body which would seek to agree a political settlement for Northern Ireland. The proposals became law with the enacted of the Northern Ireland Act 1974 later that month. With Lord Chief Justice Robert Lowry appointed to chair the new body, elections were announced for the 1st May 1975. Bernard Crick was asked by William Craig (leader Vanguard Unionist party, United Ulster Unionist Coalition UUUC) and David Trimble to give advice on the committee proposals, and to comment on the feasibility of and suggest improvements to the document called “Final report” of the UUUC sub-committee on minority participation.

Corporate Names