§ (1) Any person aggrieved by the refusal of the immigration officer to grant him admission to the United Kingdom or the conditions imposed on such admission may appeal to the magistrates' court having jurisdiction for the area in which the said person entered the United Kingdom.
§ (2) On consideration of the said appeal the court may—
- (a) dismiss the appeal; or
- (b) allow the appeal on any conditions which the immigration officer was empowered to make under his statutory powers.
§ (3) No appeal shall lie from a decision of the magistrates' court save on a point of law by way of case stated to the Divisional Court of the Queen's Bench Division of the High Court.
§ (4) Pending the hearing of an appeal to the magistrates' court the person aggrieved may be allowed to enter the United Kingdom upon such conditions as the immigration officer thinks fit.—[Mr. Whitaker.]
§ Brought up, and read the First time.1672
§ Mr. Ogden
On a number of occasions during yesterday's and today's debate we heard how compassionate and generous our right hon. and hon. Friends on the Front Bench are, and how carefully they will treat the powers given them. Yet at this stage the Bill looks remarkably like the one which was presented to us.
I ask my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State to think again of the assurances given yesterday about appeals machinery in Kenya and about questions put to him in the latter part of that debate about the establishment of an almost similar system for appeals in this country. New Clauses 4 and 5, roughly worded as they are, are simply a peg on which can be hung the demand for an appeals machinery against decisions of United Kingdom immigration officers acting in this country, similar in one form or another to the appeals machinery established in Kenya.
We have to have a system that we can operate speedily because we want the appeals machinery to come into force at the same time as the Act. There would be some provision for a more thought-out and permanent system to be introduced later. Some of my hon. Friends have thought of using the magistrates' courts. This would be as acceptable to me as my own suggestion. In this series of Amendments we are arguing for some appeals machinery to be established in the United Kingdom to consider appeals against decisions made in the United Kingdom by United Kingdom officers. This is not to cast any doubts upon the fairness of the decisions of these officers who are trying to do their duty, but if it is right to establish an appeals machinery in one part of the world, it is right to establish it here. We will argue strongly for assurances on this and ask for some system of appeals machinery to be established here.
§ Mr. Hogg
As the Committee will see, we too have a new Clause dealing with this subject of appeals, which I hope the 1673 Committee will take into consideration when it comes to a conclusion on this matter. In the time available we did not have the opportunity either of hearing the Secretary of State's undertaking with regard to his lawyers in Nairobi or elsewhere when we put this new Clause down, nor did we have an opportunity of considering at any length the various alternatives which lie before us.
The way in which we framed this appeal is designed to give a workable approach to the matter. As I said on Second Reading, I have never been enamoured of any legal machinery which takes away from the Secretary of State, and therefore Parliament, the ultimate decision as to whether it is right or wrong to admit someone. To do so is to substitute legalism for compassion and discretion. I am sure that compassion and discretion, especially in the limited numbers of immigrants immediately affected by the Bill, is the order of the day and that Parliament would wish to retain control.
Quite apart from compassion and discretion there are issues which are truly justiciable, and I see no reason why such issues should not be subject to an appeal to some form of legal machinery. Those issues come under two headings. The first is disputed issues of fact. These can be determined in the courts in the same way that they determine any other question of fact. For instance, if an immigrant claims to have had a grandfather living in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, he would be free from the controls in the first Clause of the Bill and he would be entitled within a reasonable time, and the decision being given adversely to him, to accumulate evidence and present it to a court to show that the immigration officer, who must inevitably make a spot decision, may have been mistaken.
The second type of justiciable issue is questions of law. I do not mean simply the interpretation of instructions to the immigration officer. Clearly, up to a point the Home Secretary would not wish the written instructions to an officer to be the subject of comment or decision in the courts. As part of his own discretion he can alter them within limits according to whatever requirements he makes for himself. But the interpretation of a Statute is part of the ordinary 1674 work of the courts, and that can be easily made the subject of a judicial decision. Anybody who has lived through these two days of discussion will know that there is an infinitely large number of legal questions connected with the interpretation of this Bill or the principal Act which can arise for determination. There is no reason why the courts should not decide them.
It seems a little slapdash, but we were working against time. I proposed that there should be the opportunity of appeal to the High Court because it is a tribunal which I much respect, despite attempts to indicate the contrary by one of our former Members and because very difficult questions could give rise to further appeals to higher courts. I could have proposed the magistrates' court, which is a much cheaper proceeding. If the Home Secretary would indicate that that was his preference, I would not wish at this hour to stand upon a technicality of this kind.
We on this side would like to see an appeals system of some kind, and, while I respect what the Home Secretary has done on his initiative and do not wish to criticise it in any way, we should like this matter to be considered carefully by the Government as the suggestion is put forward in good faith and, although done in haste, is the result of a good deal of discussion and consultation.
§ Mr. Frank Judd (Portsmouth, West)
A good deal has been said about the Government's commitment to work for racial harmony in our community. This is an objective of the Government which we all respect. But what will affect the work for racial harmony is what happens, and what is seen to happen, at the port of entry to Britain. It is very important that justice should not only be done but should manifestly be seen to be done. For this reason, I support all those who have argued that we should have a Clause on the lines suggested.
The advantage of new Clause 3 is that, when the Home Secretary says that there is a shortage of financial resources with which to tackle this problem, it suggests a method by which it can be tackled through existing channels at the minimum expense.
§ Mr. Hooson
We are in the Bill departing a great deal from the standards of justice and fair play which we were led 1675 to believe would apply to our relationship with anybody who held a British passport, but do not let us depart so far from our normal principles that we do not provide for an appeal procedure.
I should have thought that the least that the Government could do to adjust the situation in this pretty appalling Bill was to ensure that there was a proper appeals machinery. It is obvious that a great deal of power will be in the hands of immigration officers. No doubt the immigration service performs its duty in a very fine way, but there should always be the right of appeal on a matter so important to the individual as the restriction of a right of entry even though he holds a passport. I should have thought that the obvious solution was to allow a right of appeal to the magistrates' court. I would prefer that right to the one outlined by the right hon. and learned Member for St. Marylebone (Mr. Hogg), because it is cheaper and quicker. New Clause No. 3 provides for the right of appeal on a point of law by way of case stated to the Divisional Court. It is essential that there should be a simple, swift appeal procedure built into the Bill. I hope that the Minister will accept one or other of the new Clauses.
§ Sir G. Sinclair
I support the proposal of my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for St. Marylebone (Mr. Hogg). For a long time it has been thought that there is a need for an appeals procedure against the decisions of hard-pressed immigration officers, especially on matters of fact. My right hon. and learned Friend was indifferent whether the procedure involved the High Court or the magistrates' court, but it would give added confidence in the fair treatment by this country to immigrants at their most sensitive time, which is the time of entry, when their entry is being questioned. If they feel that they have this ultimate right, I do not expect that they will seek to exercise their right of appeal very often on these matters because, in many cases, the appeal will be dealt with administratively by the Home Secretary, as it has been in the past, but on matters of fact there should be this additional safeguard. It would be a real contribution to a restoration of confidence in fair treatment. I recommend this to the Committee.
§ Mr. Mendelson
In discussing this important aspect of the legislation, I rise to ask my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary to take the Committee a little more into the Government's confidence about their plans. We have established that the immediate appeals machinery will be located in Kenya and not in the United Kingdom. We have an assurance from my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary that he is moving towards the implementation of the Wilson Committee's recommendations, but we have not yet heard from the Government whether they have made up their mind, at least tentatively, how they wish to implement the Wilson Committee's recommendations.
If the Committee is to make up its mind on the various proposals which are before us, a great deal will depend on what the Government have to say to us on this matter. This is the occasion, before we decide on either of the new Clauses or to support what the Government might want the Committee to do, when we should be taken a step further and told in some detail what, in addition to the immediate appeals machinery which my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary is setting up, the Government intend to do.
§ Mr. Hooley
It is, I understand, part of the Government's case for this legislation that in a great number of parts of the world there exist many thousands of people who will be in the same juridical situation as the people in Kenya with whom we are immediately concerned. Therefore, I should have thought that an appeals procedure designed solely for Kenya and located solely there could not be adequate to deal with the cases which might arise—although they might be few in the immediate future, they can arise—in Uganda, Tanganyika, Malawi, Malaysia, Singapore and, possibly, in very small number, in other territories scattered about the globe.
I am not clear how the Government hope to satisfy the position by sending two lawyers to Nairobi and hoping that they will settle the appeals problem for the immediate future.
§ Mr. Ennals
I welcome the fact that from all sides of the Committee, representatives of all three parties have reiterated the desire to see a proper appeals machinery established.
§ Mr. Ennals
The hon. Gentleman might want it to go beyond this country, and I will explain why.
It is important that there should be some form of appeals against decisions which are taken. As my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary said, this does not imply, any more than Sir Roy Wilson in his Report implied, that one assumes that there is a lack of judgment, fairness or compassion on the part of immigration officers or that a great power is held over the future of human beings.
It was for that reason that the right of appeal seems to me to be quite proper. It was because this was of concern that Sir Roy Wilson was appointed Chairman of a Committee, which did a thorough job, spent two years on the task, travelled many parts of the world, saw entry certificate forms, studied the situation at the ports and took evidence from a large number of organisations. The Committee produced a substantial Report which was in the hands of the Government at the end of last summer and the predecessor of my right hon. Friend made his announcement in November that it was the Government's intention to legislate, and my right hon. Friend, in the statement he made yesterday, reiterated that it is the intention of the Government to bring in legislation as soon as it is possible.
I must say to the Committee that this will be complicated legislation. One cannot set up an effective system of appeals quickly. The right hon. and learned Gentleman said, quite honestly, and one sympathises with him, that he had to bring forward a scheme quickly because he wanted to put down an Amendment, because he felt it was necessary, but he did not have long to do so, and perhaps the proposals which are made are not the best ones. It is not just a matter of appeals at the ports. There is also the question of appeal against refusal of an entry certificate in the country of departure. One hopes that increasingly the point of decision will be not at the port but at the place of embarkation. But those are only two of the situations. There is the third situation, of a person who arrives in this country, it may be on a time limit of 1678 six months, who wants to stay but is told, "You cannot stay". The Wilson Committee said that that situation should be open to appeal, too.
So this does require a very effective and substantial machinery. I am not saying or committing my right hon. Friend to what should be the nature of the machinery. This is something which is now being looked at by my right hon. Friend, and he will come forward with legislation at the right time. The reason why my right hon. Friend established very rapidly appeal machinery to deal with the particular situation in East Africa is that it is a particular situation and a situation dealing with particular people, namely. citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies with a right to come to this country till this Bill becomes law. Therefore, this is a special situation, and I think the Committee should feel very grateful to Sir Derek Hilton and Mr. Trevor Reeve, Q.C., and that men of such distinction should have agreed at very short notice to take on this responsibility. This is an ad hoc system. They can advise my right hon. Friend, and he has said he will take their advice, but this would not be a satisfactory system in perpetuity, which is why it will be necessary to establish an effective system for those coming under the control of the Commonwealth Immigrants Act.
I should like to have a look at some of the proposals which have been put forward by hon. Gentlemen in Amendment No. 34 and new Clauses 3 and 4 which contemplate appeals, and new Clauses 4 and 5 make other proposals which I will look at in a moment. The Wilson Committee considered whether appeals against immigration officers' decisions should lie to magistrates' courts and recommended strongly against this. I would advise the right hon. and learned Gentleman to look at paragraph 105 of the Committee's Report, in which the Committee reached a number of conclusions which I will only very briefly summarise.
The reasons why the Committee felt that the magistrates' court was inappropriate were firstly, that the court's establishment consisted of part-time, unpaid justices of the peace who could not be expected to hold special sittings whenever 1679 appeals were to be heard; secondly, the number of appeals would mean an intolerable burden upon local courts; thirdly, the procedure and rules of evidence would be inappropriate to the situation, which hon. Members will recognise, and which can be expected because of the nature of some of the persons who may be open to refusal at the port. The Committee thought that those procedures would be ineffectual to achieve the purpose. Fourthly, it said that the ordinary courts would find it difficult to apply the special and highly technical code of rules governing immigration control.
Further, it would be hardly consistent with the Government's commitment to introduce a system of immigration appeals on the general lines recommended by the Wilson Committee to apply, even as an interim measure, a system which that Committee expressly rejected.
Turning for a moment to new Clause No. 6, it is relevant that the Wilson Committee did not think it right to limit appeals to questions of fact and law and, except in political cases, to exclude all questions of discretion. Discretion is often the major part of the issue on which an appeal may be made, and the matter is discussed in paragraphs 140 and 141 of the Wilson Committee's Report.
There are other proposals that do not deal with the establishment of legal machinery. New Clauses No. 4 and No. 5 make provision for appeals to the Secretary of State during the period of 90 days following the passage of the Act, in order to leave time for the setting up of a permanent immigrants' appeal tribunal. However, 90 days would not be long enough to bring into force the machinery proposed by the Wilson Committee. But I would say that there is no need to make statutory provision for a right of appeal to a Minister against immigration officers' decisions since, if the making of representations to a Minister can be called an appeal at all, appeals of this kind are being made with great frequency. Through hon. Members and other channels, Home Office Ministers receive cases at the rate of about 2,000 a year. Those cases have to be dealt with the same sense of judgment, though without the skill and experience, that an appeal tribunal would give. I can assure 1680 hon. Members that these cases are scrutinised with the greatest care, and the decisions reached by officials are often reversed in the light of new facts and circumstances brought forward.
Bearing in mind that the Committee wants to see an appeal system established, bearing in mind that my right hon. Friend has committed the Government to the setting up of an effective system, and bearing in mind that it will be based in substance on the re-commendation of Sir Roy Wilson and his expert Committee, I think that hon. Members would agree that it would not be suitable to establish anything less than a genuinely effective machine.
With those assurances on behalf of my right hon. Friend, I hope that hon. Gentlemen will feel it unnecessary to press their Amendment.
§ Mr. Whitaker
Before my hon. Friend sits down, can lie tell us when the Wilson Committee's proposals will be implemented in the way that the Government expect?
§ Mr. Ennals
All that I can say is that it will be as soon as possible. I have no doubt that those who form the timetable of the House will read the reports of the debates and will be aware of the anxiety. Beyond that, I cannot speak on behalf of the Government.
§ Mr. David Steel
I do not think that we can accept the reply of the Under-Secretary of State as wholly satisfactory. We all recognise that we cannot bring into effect the recommendations of the Wilson Committee overnight, but we attach such importance to the right of appeal in this country against decisions taken administratively, whether by immigration officers on the spot or by high authority in the Home Office, that there is a widespread feeling that there ought to be a right of appeal to some court.
I can confirm the hon. Gentleman's observation about the 2,000-odd cases a year that are reviewed at the request of Members of Parliament and outside organisations. I would go further and say that in the cases which I have called to the attention of the Home Office probably the majority have been successful. What worries me is that whether or not there is an appeal to 1681 the Minister depends on whether the immigrant who is refused entry has the knowledge or the contacts necessary to get in touch with a Member of Parliament Of some organisation. If he does not it is just too bad. He does not really have a right of appeal.
I pay tribute to the Under-Secretary, who has administered this very well himself in the cases brought to his attention, but for every one brought to his attention there must be many not so brought. There is no real appeal. In this Bill we are extending the range of arbitrary decisions we demand of immigration officers. I am sure they take these decisions fairly, and the whole Committee has paid tribute to them. But we are imposing an extra burden on them under this legislation; therefore, the circumstances in which the Wilson Committee recommended there should be some form of appeal have been further strengthened. If there was a need before this legislation, the need will be still greater after we pass it. It is not enough that we should wait for some indefinite time for the setting up of a proper appeals procedure.
None of the new Clauses is entirely satisfactory to the Government. However, we on these benches at least will demand a Division to register our determination that as a temporary measure there must be some form of appeal to some form of body set up, right away, to safeguard the interests of the people for whom we are legislating.
§ Mr. Ian Mikardo (Poplar)
The speech of the Under-Secretary was weighty and convincing, and in many respects highly satisfactory, but I hope he will not mind my saying that I did not find it gave any real reason why one of these Amendments should not be accepted. He said that none of the proposals for appeals machinery was terribly good, a fact which those who made them are at once ready to concede. He adduced his evidence; they are out of line with the Wilson Committee recommendations. That is very good evidence. But when my hon. Friend got to the point of saying that it would be inappropriate, even as an interim measure, to have one of these proposals he made a flat assertion, without adducing any evidence for it or argument in support of it.
1682 What is the argument for saying that half a loaf is not as good as no bread?—which is what he was saying. Every member of this Committee will concede that it will be much better than anything here proposed when his new Bill does come along, based on the Wilson Committee's recommendations—
§ Mr. Ennals
My hon. Friend will recall that there were certain proposals which would not require amendment, because they were already being carried out. I was not rejecting all the proposals; I was just saying that it was not necessary to amend this legislation to do so.
§ Mr. Mikardo
I am grateful to my hon. Friend. On this point I have exactly the same opinion as that of the hon. Gentleman who spoke from the Liberal benches. I, too, have had experience of the way in which this machinery of appeal of reference to the Minister, has worked, and I share the experience of the hon. Gentleman and others that, where that machinery has been invoked, it has been used by Ministers with the utmost care and sympathy, and often with the best of results. But, as the hon. Gentleman said, the appeals which reach my hon. Friend in that way are not necessarily the appeals of the most deserving. They are the appeals of the most knowledgeable, and the most articulate, and these are not always, and not necessarily, the most deserving. This is why I think that in the interim, until the much better arrangement comes along, we ought to have some arrangement which ensures that anybody may appeal, and anybody's right to appeal is automatic, without his knowing all about the mechanics through which he can get access indirectly to one of Her Majesty's Ministers.
It is quite common for an Act of Parliament to provide for the annulment of certain other statutory provisions. Very often it replaces a less satisfactory interim measure with a better measure. If the Government were to accept any of the proposals for an appeals tribunal, they could do so without departing for one moment from their belief, which we all share, that it will be much better when we have the legislation with the Wilson recommendations in it. They can say 1683 that they will accept this for now, but that this part of the Bill will be annulled when they bring in their new legislation.
My hon. Friend gave no reason why that should not be done, why there should not be an interim measure of this sort. If, in reply to the last intervention by my hon. Friend and Member for Hampstead (Mr. Whitaker), the Under-Secretary had been able to say that we can expect this new Act in March, or even in April, the Committee might take the view that it is not worth the difficulty of setting up any interim arrangement for a matter of a few weeks. But not only was my hon. Friend not able to suggest an early date; he was not able to suggest a date at all. As we know, "as early as possible" is as long as a piece of string.
Sometimes some remarkable things are possible. We are here at 5.45 in the morning because it was found possible to gee through a major piece of legislation, involving some fundamental changes in our constitutional principles. in 48 hours. We therefore know that when the Government want them. miracles are possible. Can my hon. Friend say whether the same degree of urgency and priority is being given in his Department to the legislation on setting up machinery of the kind that we are considering? And if not, why not?
§ Mr. Ennals
I think my hon. Friend knows that we are committed to bringing forward very shortly a Race Relations Bill, on which a great deal of work is being done, and which, equally, will be a substantial and fundamental Measure to bring before the House. He can hardly expect, within the course of a month, to have two such major Measures, apart from this Bill.
§ Mr. Mikardo
That reinforces my argument, because, with his characteristic frankness and honesty, my hon. Friend has said that in this case "as soon as possible" is not going to be soon, because another weighty and important factor makes it impossible for as soon as possible to be soon. We therefore know that the Wilson legislation, if I might call it that in shorthand, will be delayed by the preparation of the race relations Bill. It will be delayed by something of which we approve, but, nevertheless, it will be seriously delayed. In that 1684 case, it is asking too much to ask the Committee to say that an interim measure, admittedly not ideal, is worse than no measure at all in the meanwhile.
I do not see why the Government are digging in about this. No great harm can come from any of the proposals, and some good may come from them. They can be annulled when the further legislation comes along. I beg my hon. Friend to think again about this.
§ Mr. Thorpe
I desire to make only two short points, arising out of the speech of the hon. Member for Poplar (Mr. Mikardo) and the Minister's intervention. We now know that there will, in the unspecified future, be some form of independent appeal tribunal. We accept that. What is therefore very serious, on the reverse side of the coin, is the fact that there will, for some period, be an interregnum, during which time there will be no form of appeal and no reference to an independent tribunal. During that interregnum there will be no form of appeal such as the Wilson Committee suggested.
We shall merely fall back on submissions made to the Home Office by individual Members of Parliament, in those cases where individual Members are contacted.
§ Mr. Ennals
An interregnum is a period between something and something else. There never has been an appeal system, throughout our history. The Government will introduce an appeal system. Therefore, to say that there will be an interregnum is to say that there will be a continuation of the present situation.
§ Mr. Thorpe
I am sorry; perhaps I did not make myself clear. There will be an interregnum during which an individual citizen with a United Kingdom passport—not a passport issued by a Colonial Government but a passport issued on behalf of this country and this Government by a High Commissioner in Nairobi—will face rejection when he comes into this country. A new situation will be created if the Bill goes through. For the first time such a person may be refused entry if he is not within the 1,500 quota.
The Minister has said, "We will set up as soon as we can an independent, 1685 impartial form of appeal." I accept that. But until that comes in there will be a period in which there will be no impartial appeal tribunal. I say that if we are going to deprive them in that way there must be some form of impartial appeal. The Home Secretary has come a very long way since the time I questioned him, arising out of my hon. Friend's question, when he made his main statement. He said that it would cost £500,000, and that that was too expensive, and the Treasury would not let him do it, and that anyway he was short of civil servants. He has moved a long way, and that is a good thing—although it might have helped if he had moved initially.
We cannot have a system whereby citizens of this country are excluded from coming into this country when they have no independent right of appeal until the Government are moved to introduce certain tribunals.
§ Mr. Ennals
The right hon. Gentleman must have heard the statements made by my right hon. Friend and myself, that the Government will bring under control United Kingdom citizens not previously under control, holding United Kingdom passports. At the moment that situation applies only in a certain area of the world, and we are establishing, within a matter of days—during the interregnum that the right hon. Gentleman has referred to—an appeals system, on the advice of two very learned lawyers. That will fill the interregnum, until we are able to set up an appeal system of tribunals roughly on the lines proposed by the Wilson Committee.
§ Mr. Thorpe
I take the Under-Secretary's point. Certainly two lawyers are going to Nairobi, but is that to be the end of the matter? Is there not to be any recourse in this country? What we are trying to establish is that when a United Kingdom citizen comes to the country with a passport entitling him to come in, if he can be turned away, it does not matter if there are 500 lawyers in Nairobi—there should still be an impartial right of appeal here.
The Under-Secretary has said that there is to be, and all we are asking is that until there is, we should have a temporary system so that we do not turn away our own citizens without an impartial right of appeal. If there is to be 1686 such a system, the logic is to have the temporary safeguard. If, for the first time, we are to deny people the full benefits of citizenship, at least they should have recourse to the courts.
§ Mr. Bidwell
I add my support to what has been said about the urgent need for an appeal system. Such a machinery was necessary before the Bill appeared and it will be doubly necessary once the Bill is passed, for the Bill will add enormously to the complexities of life for immigration officers.
My hon. Friend the Under-Secretary has said that as things stand the Clause would throw an undue burden on magistrates' courts, especially in localities near the ports, and any kind of appeal machinery must be established near the ports as a matter of practicality. But a whole range of difficulties will arise in the implementation of the Bill, involving, for instance, the child joining one parent and the establishment of the necessary proofs in such cases. But anyone contravening the present legislation can be sentenced by a magistrates' court to six months' imprisonment. There is already public disquiet about the urgency attached to the Bill.
§ Mr. Scott
A number of complications could arise from what one might call the appeal rules. While we welcome the sending of the two lawyers to Kenya, an interim arrangement is needed. I appreciate what has been said about setting up new and possibly cumbersome machinery and the view that even magistrates' courts might not do within a few months. However, will the Under-Secretary be rather more specific instead of referring to months or weeks? At least he did not say, "Weeks rather than months", for we all know how long that is. Could he be more specific and say that it will be before the Summer Recess, for example, with which I would be content? If he sticks to "as soon as possible", we should divide the Committee.
§ 6.0 a.m.
§ Mr. Mendelson
I support the point of the hon. Member for Paddington, South (Mr. Scott). I can see why the Government, having set up the immediate machinery, might be reluctant to accept these proposals, or even to promise interim machinery for the interregnum. I 1687 would therefore press the alternative. The Under-Secretary said that other members of the Cabinet must also decide about legislation, but my right hon. Friend is a senior member of the Cabinet and is introducing a very difficult Measure. He should promise to press for the speedy introduction of the main machinery following the Wilson Committee's recommendations and mention some period—either the Summer Recess or before—in this connection. This is the alternative which I would support.
§ Mr. Callaghan
I respond to that invitation but with some trepidation because I am not responsible for the Parliamentary timetable, which is extremely crowded between now and the Summer Recess. The Government's legislative programme is laid out well in advance. We are approaching the Budget and then comes the Finance Bill. It is late in the year now to start legislation. These are the practical difficulties, in view of which my hon. Friend could give no assurance about legislation this Session. But a request has been made in the Committee and I will discuss the matter with my colleagues and stand by their decision and take responsibility for it, although I would not want the Committee to decide on this under any misapprehension that I am promising legislation. I accept that I am now a grey beard and I will pass on the strength of the views expressed.
I would not want a Division on this, because my hon. Friend has given full assurances. The legislation is not yet drafted. The draftsmen have been heavily engaged on technical and complicated legislation on the Race Relations Bill, which hon. Members will recognise as containing many technical difficulties. This work is done by only a handful of people. I am limited by the number of civil servants and immigration officers. I am requested to do all this and find difficulty in getting legislation drafted or the numbers of people I should like for the purpose.
|Division No. 77.]||AYES||[6.6 a.m.|
|Beamish, Col. Sir Tufton||Hughes, Emrys (Ayrshire, S.)||Macteod, Rt. Hn. lain|
|Bessell, Peter||Hunt, John||Maddan, Martin|
|Body, Richard||Jeger, George (Goole)||Mahon, Peter (Preston, S.)|
|Davidson,James(Aberdeenshire,W.)||Johnston, Russell (Inverness)||Pardoe, John|
|Fletcher, Raymond (Iikeston)||Kerr, Mrs. Anne (R'ter & Chatham)||Scott, Nicholas|
|Gray, Dr. Hugh (Yarmouth)||Lubbock, Eric||Sinclair, Sir George|
|Higgins, Terence L.||Macdonald, A. H.||Thorpe, Rt. Hn. Jeremy|
§ I have been open with the Committee and I hope that hon. Members will accept my hon. Friend's assurance. I will represent strongly the views expressed and I hope that the Committee will, therefore, feel that what has been said about appeals machinery and the temporary system which has been established will, for the time being, meet the situation.
§ Mr. Ogden
With respect to my right hon. Friend's welcome asurances, some people will be coming here via France, Ireland and other countries, which poses an urgent problem. He said that there were 2,000 appeals a year on all sorts of matters, but they are courtesy appeals and there is nothing in the Bill which requires the Minister to consider them. I have always believed that, in contact with lawyers, one should never ask for justice but always insist on one's rights.
If my right hon. Friend is saying that it is possible for the Minister, by courtesy, to consider appeals made through hon. Members and organisations about the decisions of immigration officers, what is to prevent him from accepting the new Clause, even with slight amendment in another place, since it says:Citizens of the United Kingdom and colonies holding United Kingdom passports shall, for a period of ninety days after the passing of this Act, have the right to appeal to the Secretary of State for the Home Department against the refusal of admission by an immigration officer, or the conditions of admission imposed by an immigration officer.That should be written into the Bill, so that all concerned may know their rights. They should know exactly where they stand and not have to wonder to what they might or might not be entitled through the whim of an hon. Member taking up their case or by any other means.
§ Question put. That the Clause be read a Second time:—
§ The Committee divided: Ayes 26, Noes 127.
|Tilney, John||Whitaker, Ben|
|Vickers, Dame Joan||Winnick, David||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Wainwright, Richard (Colne Valley)||Winstanley, Dr. M. P.||Mr. David Steel and|
|Wells, John (Maidstone)||Mr. Emlyn Hooson.|
|Allen, Scholefield||Fernyhough, E.||Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)|
|Archer, Peter||Forrester, John||Morris, John (Aberavon)|
|Atkins, Ronald (Preston, N.)||Ginsburg, David||Moyle, Roland|
|Bacon, Rt. Hn. Alice||Goodhart, Philip||Murray, Albert|
|Bagier, Gordon A. T.||Gordon Walker, Rt. Hn. P. C.||Oakes, Gordon|
|Baxter, William||Gourlay, Harry||Ogden, Eric|
|Bell, Ronald||Grant-Ferris, R.||O'Malley, Brian|
|Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood||Grey, Charles (Durham)||Oswald, Thomas|
|Bennett, James (G'gow, Bridgeton)||Gurden, Harold||Page, Derek (King's Lynn)|
|Birch, Rt. Hn. Nigel||Harper, Joseph||Palmer, Arthur|
|Bishop, E. S.||Haseldine, Norman||Pentland, Norman|
|Blackburn, F.||Hazell, Bert||Perry, Ernest G. (Battersea, S.)|
|Booth, Albert||Herbison, Rt. Hn. Margaret||Probert, Arthur|
|Bottomley, Rt. Hn. Arthur||Howarth, Harry (Wellingborough)||Rees, Merlyn|
|Bradley, Tom||Howarth, Robert (Bolton, E.)||Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon)|
|Bray, Dr. Jeremy||Hoy, James||Robinson,Rt.Hn.Kenneth(St.P'c'as)|
|Brooks, Edwin||Huckfield, Leslie||Rodgers, William (Stockton)|
|Brown, Sir Edward (Bath)||Hughes, Rt. Hn. Cledwyn (Anglesey)||Ross, Rt. Hn. William|
|Brown, Rt. Hn. George (Belper)||Hunter, Adam||Russell, Sir Ronald|
|Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan)||Irvine, Sir Arthur||Short, Mrs. Renée(W'hampton,N.E.)|
|Brown,Bob(N'c'tle-upon-Tyne,W.)||Jackson, Colin (B'h'se & Spenb'gh)||Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)|
|Buchan, Norman||Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.)||Silkin, Hn. S. C. (Dulwich)|
|Callaghan, lit. Hn. James||Jones,Rt.Hn.Sir Elwyn(W.Ham,S.)||Small, William|
|Cant, R. B.||Jones, T. Alec (Rhondda, West)||Snow, Julian|
|Carmichael, Neil||Leadbitter, Ted||Stainton, Keith|
|Castle, Rt. Hn. Barbara||Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)||Stewart, Rt. Hn. Michael|
|Chapman, Donald||Loughlin, Charles||Swingler, Stephen|
|Coe, Denis||Lyons, Edward (Bradford, E.)||Taverne, Dick|
|Coleman, Donald||Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson||Taylor, Edward M.(G'gow, Cathcart)|
|Concannon, J. D.||McBride, Neil||Thornton, Ernest|
|Dalyell, Tam||McCann, John||Tinn, James|
|Davidson, Arthur (Accrington)||MacColl, James||Urwin, T. W.|
|Davies, Dr. Ernest (Stretford)||McGuire, Michael||Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne Valley)|
|Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.)||Mackenzie, Gregor (Rutherglen)||Walker, Harold (Doncaster)|
|Davies, Harold (Leek)||Mackie, John||Wallace, George|
|Dobson, Ray||Maclennan, Robert||Wells, William (Walsall, N.)|
|Doig, Peter||McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C)||Whitlock, William|
|Dunnett, Jack||McNamara, J. Kevin||Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)|
|Dunwoody, Mrs. Gwyneth (Exeter)||MacPherson, Malcolm||Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)|
|Eadie, Alex||Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)||Wood, Rt. Hn. Richard|
|Edwards, William (Merioneth)||Manuel, Archie||Woodburn, Rt. Hn. A.|
|Ellis, John||Mapp, Charles||Yates, Vhstor|
|English, Michael||Marks, Kenneth|
|Ennals, David||Mitchell, R. C. (8'th'pton, Test)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Evans, loan L. (Birm'h'm, Yardley)||Montgomery, Fergus||Mr. Ernest Armstrong and|
|Farr, John||Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire)||Mr. Eric G. Varley.|