While Danny Morrison is now claiming that the British had not formulated a position nor proposed a deal at the time of his specially arranged July 5 visit to the hunger strikers and Bik McFarlane, both Martin McGuinness and Gerry Adams, in the Irish News in 2009, wrote of Morrison going into the prison to deliver the British offer to the prisoners.
“This was the prisoners’ mindset on 5 July, 1981, after four of their comrades had already died and when Danny Morrison visited the IRA and INLA Hunger Strikers to tell them that contact had been re-established and that the British were making an offer.” – Gerry Adams
“According to our critics, the hunger strikers, on whose behalf we were acting, should have accepted an ‘offer’ which came to the prisoners and us, via a phone-call from a British official in London, through the intermediary (since identified as Brendan Duddy – an honourable man), to myself, to a phone-call to Gerry Adams, and in a verbal message to Danny Morrison to the prisoners.” – Martin McGuinness
Both men place Danny Morrison in the prison on the 5th of July specifically to deliver the British offer. Obviously, a position had been formulated and a deal proposed. In regards to the document detailing the phone conversations between the Mountain Climber/SOON and the British, the paragraph being referred to, paragraph 22 (page 19), describes McGuinness arriving around 2:30 pm to see Brendan Duddy. He asked what the current British position was. The British explained that it was ‘important before drafting any documents for consideration by Ministers’ that the British should ‘possess the Provisionals view’. Their view, of course, could not be known until after Morrison returned from delivering the offer to the prisoners and was debriefed. McGuinness told Duddy their views would be relayed to the British ‘after discussion in light of Morrison’s visit’.
It wasn’t until 1am on the 6th of July that the Provisionals’ view was relayed. No ‘final position’ could be obtained from the British because the Adams committee had attached the condition that they see the draft proposal before it went public. In the event, Adams was on the phone with the British making changes to the language of the draft when Joe McDonnell died. (see John Blelloch, and Gerry Adams, Before the Dawn, page 299) A final position would never be forthcoming.