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Kissinger lobbyist link

Declassified: The 1987 files

By Staff Reporter

Published 21/08/2015

American diplomat and politician Henry Kissinger was earmarked as a candidate to lobby for Northern Ireland in the United States.

The idea of appointing a lobbyist was floated in the mid-1980s. Pressure intensified after the introduction of the MacBride Principles - a code of conduct for US companies doing business here.

A memo from a meeting between Secretary of State Tom King and the Canadian, Australian and New Zealand High Commissioners records concerns about Northern Ireland's image abroad.

"They all, without exception, reported that NI was perceived as a place with insoluble political problems and continuous violence," it states.

Separately, Sam Bartlett, the US Consul-General in Belfast, told Mr King it would not be difficult to present the region in a positive light.

He suggested a high-profile individual to lobby on Northern Ireland issues.

NIO official Ken Bloomfield wrote to John McAllister, the chief executive of the Industrial Development Board, in August 1986 about appointing a lobbyist. He noted that Mr Bartlett suggested three names: Robert Gray Associates; Patton, Boggs & Blow; and Henry Kissinger.

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