HC Deb 21 July 1967 vol 750 cc2672-3

Lords Amendment No. 2: in page 14, line 12, at end insert: " ' race ' includes tribe "

Mr. Taverne

I beg to move, That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment.

This Amendment increases the protection given by paragraphs (b) and (c) of Clause 4(1). The provisions, which relate to matters of race, are extended to include tribal matters. These provisions were modelled on Article 3 of the European Convention on Extradition, but in the inter-European context tribal considerations do not play a very great part. The object of this provision is clearly to protect minorities who might be prejudiced because of their ethnic back-ground.

It must be accepted that if a man were conclusively to satisfy the courts that as a member of a particular tribe he might face certain prejudice and not receive a fair trial, it would be embarrassing if the courts had to reject any such argument which had merit on the ground that the case was not covered by the reference to race, religion, nationality, or political opinions. It is possible on an ordinary commonsense view that tribes in certain parts of the world could not be regarded as races, and it has, therefore, been thought prudent to amend the Bill to put it beyond doubt that race includes tribe, and that is what the Amendment does.

Mr. Buck

This is a very small Amendment, but it slightly helps in clarification. However, it is interesting to note that not only does the Large Oxford Dictionary, in its definition of "race", include a reference to "tribe", but so does the Shorter Oxford Dictionary, and in those circumstances the matter would appear to be covered by the Bill as drafted. However, to make it even more clear it may be helpful to have a reference to "tribe", because in certain Commonwealth countries tribal considerations may be more appropriate than those which we normally think of as racial considerations.

This, therefore, seems to us to be a small, but helpful Amendment.

Question put and agreed to.