US House says: Implement Patten in Full
A resolution urging the British government to implement the
Patten report in full, passed in the US House of Representatives
unanimously on 26 September.
The motion read that: `HR 547 calls on the British government to
``fully and faithfully'' implement all of the Patten Commission's
policing reforms'. A similar resolution is awaiting mark-up from
the Senate Committee on International Relations.
Vice President and Presidential hopeful, Al Gore added his voice
to the call for full implementation, saying, ``I want to make
clear my position on the Patten Commission's recommendations for
police reform in Northern Ireland. I urge the British government
to fully and expeditiously implement these recommendations.''
The third highest elected official in the United States, Speaker
of the House, Dennis Hastert, also called on the British
government ``to fully implement (the Patten) reforms.'' The Speaker
added, ``The path of peace in Northern Ireland must travel through
comprehensive policing reforms. Too many citizens in Northern
Ireland simply do not trust the RUC. It must be overhauled in
such a way that builds trust in both communities.''
Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams paid tribute to the US
politicians after the House of Representatives passed a
resolution calling for the implementation of the Patten proposals
in full. And he has praised today's support for the Patten
proposals from the Speaker of the House Denis Hastert.
Mr. Adams said, ``I would like to commend and thank all of those
politicians in the U.S.A. who have supported the demand for a new
policing service. In particular I commend the work of the
Chairman of the International Relations Committee Congressman Ben
Gilman, Chairman of the Sub-Committee on Human Rights,
Congressman Chris Smith, and Congressman Richie Neal the
initiator of this resolution to Congress. I would also like to
thank Congressman Peter King, Congressman Joe Crowley,
Congressman James Walsh, and Congressman Donald Payne, among
others, for their hard work and dedication to this issue.''
The Sinn Féin President gave a warm welcome to the unprecedented
support from the Speaker of the House for the Patten proposals.
Denis Hastert is the highest elected official in the USA, behind
only the President and Vice-President. Mr. Adams said: `` I would
also like to welcome today's statement by the speaker of the
House of Representatives Denis Hastert. He echoes once again the
call for the full implementation of the Patten proposals. His
intervention is of crucial importance.
``There is unanimity across the political divide in the United
States in support of the full implementation of the Patten
recommendations. Political leaders and Irish America understand
the critical importance of policing for the future and its
centrality in terms of the Good Friday Agreement. US politicians
are in no doubt about where the blame for the current crisis lies
- with the British government.''