§ Order for Second Reading read.
§ 3.39 p.m.
§ The Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. James Callaghan)
I beg to move, That the Bill be now read a Second time.
This is a Bill with two purposes. Part 1 provides for the introduction of a system of appeals against decisions taken in the administration of immigration control under the twin Acts—the Commonwealth Immigrants Act and the Aliens Restriction Act, 1914—and Part II amends the law concerning the deportation of Commonwealth citizens. I should like to take those matters in turn.
The right of appeal, which is provided in Part I, meets a view expressed by hon. Members on both sides of the House. Pressure has been brought to bear from time to time upon the Government to introduce a system of this sort. The system that: I propose to put before the House this afternoon is, in substance, that which was recommended by the Committee on Immigration Appeals, under the chairmanship of Sir Roy Wilson, whose Report was published some time ago.
Basically, the system which the Government have adopted is in line with the recommendations which he and his Committee made. We are all greatly indebted to Sir Roy Wilson and his colleagues for their valuable work in laying the foundations of what is an important change in the administration in our immigration control. I believe that it is right to make this change, but it is an important one and I should like to take some time to describe what the difference is, so that the House will be clear about the consequences of what it is being asked to do.
The present position as the law stands is that the Home Secretary has the power to keep any alien out of the country and I also have power to exclude any Commonwealth citizen unless he can show that he has a statutory right of admission. In the exercise of these powers or, indeed, for my failure to exercise these powers in particular cases, I am answerable to 490 the House, and this responsibility is brought home to me at regular intervals, as well as to the junior Ministers in the Department and to the officials, by a continuing stream of correspondence from hon. Members, who, while they may be against immigration in general, nevertheless always find an exceptional case in which I should have allowed someone in whom I have refused and, not infrequently, by Questions and debates. This is part of the responsibility of hon. Members.
Under the proposed system, the final responsibility in the generality of cases will no longer rest with me. If an immigrant wishes to dispute a decision, his proper remedy under the Bill will be to exercise his right of appeal under the system which the Bill lays down. Nor will hon. Members always be able to hold me answerable if they think that a Commonwealth citizen or alien has been wrongly admitted or wrongly refused. The initiative on refusal of entry or deportation will still lie with the Home Office, but if the person concerned chooses to appeal it will be for the appellate authorities and not for myself to say whether that decision will stand.
The Wilson Committee has thought that this new provision would give a new sense of security and protection to the individual. For myself and the junior Ministers, and perhaps for hon. Members, it may mean a lightening of the burden which we carry, but certainly the Bill marks an important extension of the rule of law in this country. It will be of benefit to immigrants and also, in a sense, to the Home Office, because it will require it to make manifest the grounds on which decisions are taken about immigration control.
The Bill may help to remove much of the suspicion and misconception which now exists and which, in view of my personal experience, I am bound to say is usually unfounded. I find that this is so in relation to the manner in which the immigration officials and others deal with their cases, and indeed the Wilson Committee made this clear in its Report. However, the sense of security is as important as security itself, and if it makes for better relations between the Home Office and others, that is something gained.
491 Having mentioned the power which I shall lose under the Bill, I should make clear what powers I shall retain. First, in accordance with the Wilson Committee's recommendations, which I accept, the Home Office will remain responsible for determining the policy to be applied in the administration of immigration control. That policy is expressed in the form of "immigration rules", which will be laid before Parliament and published. As the House knows, the rules governing the admission of Commonwealth citizens have been published in a series of White Papers dating back to 1962. A draft of corresponding rules for aliens has been laid before Parliament along with the Bill.
Under the appeals system, these immigration rules will be binding on the appellate authorities and, within the limits allowed by law, I shall be free to alter them from time to time as, in my view, the public interest may require. I shall of course be answerable to Parliament for so doing or equally answerable for not altering them—
§ Mr. Ronald Bell (Buckinghamshire, South)
Where is the provision to be found in the Bill that the rules which the right hon. Gentleman makes under the 1962 Act will be binding on the appellate authority?
§ Mr. Callaghan
I am not sure at the moment which Clause it is, but I will get the hon. and learned Gentleman an answer to that.
Second, in security cases, I do not think it right to give up responsibility for the final decision in cases where the decision is taken on security grounds. In such cases there is to be a special advisory procedure which is set out in Clause 9. Third, although, in cases where entry is refused otherwise than on security grounds, the Home Secretary of the day will no longer be able to make his decision prevail, the Bill does enable him to secure that his decision cannot be overruled until the case has been heard by the Tribunal if he considers it desirable in the public interest that the higher appellate authority should decide on the matter.
§ Clause 1 establishes the appellate authorities, comprising the Immigration Appeal Tribunal and the adjudicators. Clauses 2 to 5 confer rights of appeal 492 against action taken under the Commonwealth Immigrants Act and Clause 13 enables provision for appeals in connection with the admission and removal of aliens to be made by Order in Council under the Aliens Restriction Acts. I have laid before the House a White Paper containing a draft Order in Council which shows the provision which we intend to make. That is Cmnd. 3833.
§ The reason for dealing with Commonwealth citizens and aliens in these two different ways is no doubt a question which hon. Members will want to ask, since it has been raised before. It is related to the different nature of the existing legislation which applies to each of these categories—statutes in the case of Commonwealth citizens and Orders in Council is the case of aliens.
§ The right hon. and learned Member for St. Marylebone (Mr. Hogg) has raised this question of having a substantive law and combining it all together, consolidating it at some stage. I can only say what I have said previously, that we shall have permanent and comprehensive legislation on the control of Commonwealth citizens and aliens which will also cover rights of appeal, but it was not within the powers of the draftsmen on this occasion, with the volume of legislation which the Home Office has had to carry this year and is carrying now, to make the very detailed and comprehensive provision for which the right hon. and learned Gentleman has asked.
§ We have not lost sight of this, but it simply has not been possible to find room for it on this occasion without overtaxing those concerned. In any case, if I may make a virtue of necessity, we may profit by seeing how the new appeals system works in practice, superimposed as it will be on the present system of control, before the two are embodied in permanent legislation. Meanwhile, there can be no question of aliens being arbitrarily deprived of the rights of appeal which it is intended to confer on them as set out in the draft Aliens (Appeals) Order, because any Order in Council amending that Order will itself be subject to the negative Resolution procedure.
§ The decisions against which Commonwealth citizens have rights of appeal under Clauses 2 to 5 of the Bill are, with one important exception, those against 493 which the Wilson Committee recommended that an appeal should lie. That is, they are appeals against exclusion under Clause 2 from the United Kingdom, appeals against conditions of admission under Clause 3, appeals against deportation orders under Clause 4 and appeals against directions for removal from the United Kingdom under Clause 5.
§ The exception which I am making to the Committee's recommendations is in the case of deportation following conviction for a criminal offence. Hon. Members may recall that my predecessor, announcing the Government's decisions on the Committee's Report, said that he thought it preferable to leave the courts with their present powers to recommend offenders for deportation and to provide for appeals against such recommendations to continue to be heard within the ordinary judicial system. In this way, we ensure that, where a Commonwealth immigrant or an alien offends against the ordinary criminal law, the question of deportation is considered in the first instance by the court which has heard at first hand evidence about the nature and circumstances of the offence and has taken into account whatever may be put forward by way of mitigation.
§ It seems to the Government that the offender against the ordinary criminal law receives full justice under the existing law and does not need any new right of appeal, except the limited right of appeal which is given by Clause 5 (3) on the question to what country he is to be deported.
§ It is my practice always to try to meet the expressed wishes of those who are being deported as to the countries to which they should go. It is not universally possible for this to happen and in future—although I have not had the experience of such a case—if someone wishes to appeal against a decision under Clause 5 (3) he will still have the right to do so. Where a court does recommend deportation I, and I have no doubt future Home Secretaries, will continue to consider most carefully all the relevant circumstances of the case before deciding whether to make a deportation order. That is the practice at present and I shall continue it.494
§ On the question of illegal immigrants, in accordance with the Wilson Committee's recommendation a person who is alleged to have entered illegally is to have a right of appeal, but we have thought it desirable to make it clear that if he has entered, or is seeking to enter, illegally, his appeal must fail once the adjudicator is satisfied of this.
§ It is implicit in the Wilson Committee's Report that an appellant who has reached the United Kingdom and is refused entry on arrival should normally be allowed to remain here to await the determination of his appeal; and provision for that purpose is made in Schedule 2.
§ The Committee proposed, however that an exception should be made in the kind of case dealt with in paragraph 4 of Schedule 2, namely, where an appeal to an adjudicator against refusal of entry is dismissed, and the appellant—not being the holder of an entry certificate—wants to appeal to the Tribunal, but the adjudicator does not feel justified in granting leave to appeal. In those circumstances, the Wilson Committee recommended that the appellant should be liable to be removed from the country forthwith, but without prejudice to his right to make and pursue his application to the Tribunal from overseas.
§ The practical arguments in favour of the Committee's recommendation have prevailed not only with me, but also with the Council on Tribunals, which I have consulted on this and other points arising from the Committee's Report.
§ Mr Sydney Bidwell (Southall)
Where is it proposed to house or otherwise accommodate immigrants or would-be immigrants who are awaiting their appeals, since at present they seem to find their way into Her Majesty's prisons? Is it proposed to alter the present arrangements?
§ Mr. Callaghan
That is an important matter to which I have been giving a lot of attention. My hon. Friend the Under-Secretary will be dealing with this point when he replies to the debate.
§ Mr. Callaghan
We in the Department try to divide up the work that must be done in a workmanlike way. If the hon. 495 Member for Orpington (Mr. Lubbock) wishes to make any complaints during the debate I am sure that he will find that my hon. Friend is able to reply to any points he raises.
On this subject, I would only point out that, without the provision of a great deal of money for expenditure, it is not possible to make satisfactory provision for these people. I suggest that the hon. Gentleman makes any complaints which he wishes to make during his speech.
§ Mr. Lubbock
It is difficult for us to refer to this matter without knowing the Government's plans. Would not the right hon. Gentleman agree that it would be more sensible for him to announce his intentions now, so enabling hon. Members to comment on the subject during the debate?
§ Mr. Callaghan
It might help if I say briefly that it is proposed to look for some properties in the London area and that it is intended to try to make the conditions as easy as possible in this regard because this is an important matter. My hon. Friend the Under-Secretary has been conducting this work himself and I thought that it would be better if he gave an account directly to the House of what he has been able to do.
I do not pretend that everything is satisfactory, in view of the absence of money. There is a limitation on our financial resources in this connection and I shall have to deal with this matter later. What I have said does not mean that what I have been discussing can be made available for everybody who wishes to come to these islands while his case is being considered.
I have also thought it necessary, for practical reasons, to retain some freedom of action in the case of seamen and stowaways. Seamen have always stood in a rather different position from ordinary passengers in relation to immigration control; and it is noteworthy that in the United States—whose system of immigration appeals the Wilson Committee took in many ways as a model—seamen have no right of appeal against refusal of entry. The Committee nevertheless recommended, in paragraph 89 of its Report, that seamen should have such an appeal in this country, and the Bill follows its recommendation.
496 But we have had to take account of what the results might be of giving seamen a right to remain in this country pending the outcome of their appeals. A foreign ship, calling during the course of its voyage at a port in this country, might be held up for days while a member of its crew—particularly if it was a small crew—pursued a groundless claim to admission to the United Kingdom.
It is to avoid problems of this kind, and to avoid unwarranted difficulty for the masters and owners of ships whose crew members may seek to evade their obligations, that the Bill provides for the removal of seamen and stowaways who still have appeals pending. I must emphasise, however, that seamen and stowaways will be allowed to remain here for the hearing of their appeals whenever this is practicable. In particular, I give an assurance that a seaman or stowaway who appears to be making a bona fide claim to political asylum will not be removed until his appeal has been disposed of.
§ On the question of leave to appeal, in accordance with the Wilson Committee's recommendations, and subject to one exception—namely, in Clause 7(2)—I propose to provide in the rules that leave to appeal is normally to be required and that it is to be granted in any case which turns on a point of law or in which the appellant is making a bona fide claim to political asylum.
§ In cases involving national security it is desirable that the Home Secretary of the day should retain his responsibility for the final decision. It is essential that there should be provision in such cases for safeguarding evidence the disclosure of which could be harmful to the national interest. These objects are secured by Clause 9, which provides for such appeals to be heard, in an advisory capacity, by a panel of independent and judicially-minded people in whom the appellant can have confidence and whose advice will carry great weight. In making special provision for security cases we are following the pattern set by various international conventions and by the relevant directive of the European Economic Community.
§ Mr. Ben Whitaker (Hampstead)
On this point of security, would my right hon. Friend tell us whether the decision 497 of this body will be binding on the Home Secretary? Will he give an assurance that this provision will be used only in cases where essential national security is involved, remembering that the phrase "in the national interest" could be used to exclude people of temporary unpopularity or minority views—perhaps scientologists or students—who may fall foul of a future Government?
§ Mr. Callaghan
I do not think that scientologists have been excluded from entering on the basis of national security. Indeed, a lot of them have been admitted. They would not, however, be allowed to enter to study Scientology here. In any event, I do not think that that particular example is relevant.
The answer to my hon. Friend's first point is "No". This committee will not be binding on me. It is a case in which I believe that it is right that the Home Secretary and the Government should reserve the decision to themselves. However, they will have the advice of those who have been charged with this task and will be able to weigh the considerations which have resulted in the advisory committee reaching its conclusion. In other words, I will have a second opinion to help me in this matter.
If, one day, my hon. Friend the Member for Hampstead (Mr. Whitaker) becomes Home Secretary, which is not at all impossible, I am sure that he will find, as I have, that much careful consideration is given to these matters. [Interruption.] Hon. Gentlemen opposite know that what I am saying is true. If they have another point in mind, I suggest that if my hon. Friend were to join them he would never have a chance of becoming Home Secretary. We have at least another 20 years of Labour government before us.
§ Mr. Callaghan
I was saying that if one day my hon. Friend becomes Home Secretary he will find that a great deal of care is taken with all these cases. They weigh very heavily on us when decisions must be taken. One cannot remove executive decisions entirely from the Executive. We are tending to move in that direction in some ways. I am in favour of the; Executive taking executive decisions and not being so cluttered up that they are not able to do more than— 498 I once used this phrase in connection with myself—blow their nose without asking leave of someone. Certainly, in this restrictive field of cases I must keep the responsibility for myself and for my successors.
§ Clause 14 empowers the Home Secretary to make grants towards expenditure incurred by voluntary organisations in providing, for people who have rights of appeal under the Bill, advisory and welfare services of the kind described in Part VIII of the Wilson Committee's Report. The Committee saw the provision of such services as primarily a matter for voluntary action and, in considering the Committee's recommendations on this subject, we have proceeded in close consultation with existing voluntary bodies concerned with the welfare of immigrants.
§ Seven of these bodies joined together to form a working group under the chairmanship of Mr. Raymond Clarke, who was himself a member of the Wilson Committee. I am grateful to him for the work he did. Earlier this year the group produced a set of proposals for the establishment of a single, comprehensive Ports Advisory and Welfare Service controlled by a council representing all seven voluntary bodies but paid for wholly out of public funds. My reaction, based partly on grounds of cost—here I come to the point made by the hon. Member for Orpington earlier. The difficulty one has in these new services of watching expenditure is very marked. That may not always appear in the huge sums with which we are dealing, but I find it very difficult to get such jobs done as the House ideally would like to see them done.
§ I wondered whether it could be done more efficiently and economically by existing voluntary bodies each doing what was best suited to its special skills and interests and I have asked the group to consider this matter. My hon. Friend the Under-Secretary has discussed the whole question at length with the voluntary bodies concerned and they are still in favour of setting up a new organisation especially for the purpose. I am willing to be guided by their views if they raise the question again.
§ Having heard their views and having accepted the proposal made by the Clarke working group that a new organisation 499 should be set up, I accept that the organisation should be recognisably independent of Government control but, at the same time, the voluntary bodies concerned in setting up the new organisation will recognise that, in so far as it is financed from public funds, there must be adequate safeguards to ensure that this public money is spent for the objects that Parliament intended, and for which the Home Secretary will have to account and carry responsibility.
§ We must carry some responsibility in this, although no doubt great charges and cries about interference will be levelled against me, because where large sums of public money are involved it is unreasonable to demand that there should be no accountability at all. I shall shortly be inviting the seven bodies which formed the working group, if they accept the principles I have stated, to set up a joint committee to formulate detailed plans and discuss with the Home Office the scale of the service to be provided and the arrangements to be made for financial assistance from public funds. I have to inform the House that this provision of an advisory service on appeals and all the rest, which we shall have to go through, is an expensive operation.
§ I now come to Part II of the Bill, the deportation of Commonwealth citizens in breach of conditions for admission. The principal provision here is Clause 15, which empowers the Home Secretary to make a deportation order without a court recommendation against a Commonwealth citizen who fails to comply with his conditions of admission. I wish to make clear that this power of deportation applies only to those Commonwealth citizens who have been admitted subject to conditions which are still in force. These will be mainly visitors and students and their dependants. The power under Clause 15 could not be exercised against Commonwealth citizens who, as holders of employment vouchers or as dependants of voucher holders or otherwise, have been admitted unconditionally for settlement. This is so whether the dependants come with the voucher holder or subsequently.
§ This power was first proposed three-and-a-half years ago by the Government, but when the Government decided to set up the Wilson Committee we took the view that it would better to defer legislation 500 on this matter until the appeals procedure was in being and we could be sure that Parliament would regard it as satisfactory. So the power to deport for breach of conditions of admission will not be introduced until the appellate authorities are established and the right of appeal to them is available against a decision to deport. The Under-Secretary will be dealing with the question of how long it will take to set this up, but I can say now that to recruit the staff of additional immigration officers and appeal authorities and to get the accommodation at the ports, which is difficult, will take some months after the Bill becomes law, although we are making preparations.
§ The purpose of Clause 15 is to enable the Home Office to enforce conditions of admission without recourse to criminal proceedings. In the present state of the law, the only sanction we can use against a Commonwealth citizen who fails to observe a time limit attached to his stay or a restriction on his engaging in employment is to prosecute him for an offence under Section 4(1) of the Commonwealth Immigrants Act, 1962. This is a harsh and clumsy procedure for dealing with people, many of whom are not criminals in any accepted sense. What is needed, as we said in 1965, is a "speedy and effective power" to secure their repatriation without our having to invoke the sanctions of the criminal law. This is what the Clause provides.
§ Clauses 16 to 20 contain various supplementary provisions. The only provision to which I need draw attention is, I think, Clause 16(5), which enables a warrant to be issued authorising entry to premises for the purpose of arresting a person who is liable to detention in connection with the making of a deportation order under Clause 15. There is a similar provision in paragraph 9 (2) of Schedule 3 relating to the arrest of appellants who have been released on bail.
§ I think that I have covered the main provisions of the Bill which, I understand from past speeches by the right hon. and learned Member for St. Marylebone and others, is acceptable to both sides of the House—in detail. It may be capable of improvement during its passage, although a great deal of thought has been given to its preparation, and it is based largely—almost 501 wholly—on the recommendations of the Wilson Committee. Much of it will seem dry and technical and no doubt will be a delight to the lawyers. I speak with no disrespect to them. I am sure that the House will not lose sight of its relevance to the hopes and fears of ordinary people who come as immigrants or visitors to seek the hospitality of this country. I think that the Bill will enhance the reputation of the country for justice and fair dealing, and I commend it to the House.
§ Mr. Whitaker
Will my right hon. Friend say why proceedings are not brought within the scope of the Tribunals and Inquiries Act, as the Wilson Committee recommended in paragraph 149?
§ Mr. Callaghan
It is done under regulation. I think that the method which we propose is the best we can follow. I shall be happy to pursue that further in Committee.
§ 4.9 p.m.
§ Mr. Quintin Hogg (St. Marylebone)
I am sure that the House is grateful to the Secretary of State for his lucid explanation of the Bill. As he said towards the beginning of his speech, there cannot be any question of the Opposition's dividing against it. As he said, too, a number of my hon. Friends—and, I think, some of my right hon. Friends—have expressed themselves favourably to its principles. I have expressed myself favourably to its purposes, which is not quite the same thing, because I am much more critical of the Bill than I should like to be. Were it left to myself on a free vote, I should be inclined to vote against its Second Reading in its present form, not because of Part II or Part III, but solely because of my criticisms of Part I.
Although I recognise at once that the Bill fairly respresents and embodies the substantial recommendations of the Wilson Committee, to whose work I, on behalf of the Opposition, join the Secretary of State in paying tribute, I think that there are important objections to the principles of Part I which have not been adequately deployed. Some of them are technical, but I do not think that any of them are legalistic. I want to slate, if only for the record, what I think the principal objections are.
First, I do not share the view which was expressed by the Secretary of State 502 that an appellate procedure can be erected on a substantive law which is itself nonsensical. This is to put the cart before the horse. Even though the argument of pressure of Parliamentary time is always a powerful one, I think that the result is probably greater confusion than it is greater clarification. At a later stage of my remarks I shall seek to amplify this argument.
Secondly, and much more important, I do not like what the Secretary of State described very candidly at the beginning of his speech. I think that these proposals blur the vital distinction between disputed questions of fact and law, which are properly for appeal, either before the courts or before a constituted tribunal, and questions of policy, of which I think Parliament should retain control. As the Secretary of State very properly pointed out, the effect of passing Part I in its present form is not merely to divest the Secretary of State of his individual and somewhat arbitrary powers, which in itself I would not mind so much, as to deprive Parliament of the control of policy. I do not think that a tribunal, appellate or otherwise, is the proper authority to decide questions of policy which are embodied in the rather obscure phrase "discretion" which the tribunal can impose upon the Secretary of State, and therefore upon Parliament, without Parliament retaining control over it.
Thirdly—this is the least important, but still not an unimportant, part of my thinking—I have been, and still am, rather concerned about the proliferation of ad hoc courts and tribunals which modern legislation involves. It may be that our ordinary courts of law are to some extent inadequate. If so, let us reform them. If they are adequate and do not require reform, it is a poor use of manpower and of resources to proliferate ad hoc tribunals all over the legal shop. I would far prefer to see the magistrates courts of the Metropolis, for instance, with a magistrate perhaps sitting with two lay members, decide these questions de die in diem than to have assembled a sort of trencher-fed pack for the purpose and to provide yet another piece of tribunal legislation the manpower for which is not so easily come by as Parliament in its wisdom sometimes seems to think.
503 Moreover, the ordinary courts are subject to the general supervision of the High Court on matters of law and on matters of natural justice. Although I did not agree with the particular form in which the question was put, I sympathised with the idea underlying the question put at the end of the Secretary of State's speech by the hon. Member for Hampstead (Mr. Whitaker). I wonder whether, by creating these separate courts, because that is what they are are, administering a private law of their own, without adequate supervision from above, we are improving the general state of the law under which we live at present.
I return to the three objections which I have stated in summary form. First, I am appalled at the quagmire into which we have allowed our immigration law to fall. At the risk of being a little diffuse, I want to describe the foundation upon which this appellate procedure is being built, because it is a foundation of the most uncertain and unsatisfactory kind.
Until 1905, the legal authorities were in radical dispute with one another as to whether an alien had a right to come to Britain, such legal pundits as Black-stone and Dicey being in irreconcilable conflict. Which was right is now an academic question, because what is certain is that throughout the 19th century, although aliens could be made to register under an Act of William IV, they could not be stopped, or at any rate were not stopped in practice, at the ports. It was not until 1905 that the Russian Imperial pogroms and other events on the Continent of Europe and elsewhere led to a demand for some kind of aliens legislation in Britain of an up-to-date kind.
The Aliens Act, 1905 gave for the first time a statutory but qualified right of immigration to aliens. They could land, but only at a certain number of designated ports. There was set up an appeals procedure from immigration officer to local tribunals not particularly unlike that which is being set up by the Bill.
This all came to an end in 1914, when we took smartly two steps backwards. 504 because as part of the emergency legislation we gave the Government of the day absolute discretion, which they exercised and have exercised ever since until today, by taking away from aliens any right of either landing here or remaining here except by favour of the Secretary of State of the day. In other words, we established one of the least liberal and one of the most arbitrary systems of immigration law in the world—in the civilised world, at any rate.
This may have been all right as part of the legislation passed on the night of 5th August, 1914, but the situation was rendered much more serious by the fact that in 1919 we continued the Act, which was originally limited to the emergency, for periods of one year; and we have been continuing it in the Schedule to the Expiring Laws Continuance Act ever since. This is at the root of the unacceptable situation which we are facing today.
That situation is not basically improved by creating an appeals procedure. What is wanted is the creation of a rational and comprehensive piece of legislation, because if, as two members of the Court of Appeal said in a recent case, an alien has no right whatever in law to be here or to enter here which he can test, there seems to be very little basis upon which the appeals procedure can operate on any judicial or juridical foundation.
Side by side with one of the most illiberal and arbitrary codes in the world dealing with alien immigration we have then proceeded to erect one of the most legalistic and rigid codes in relation to Commonwealth citizens. In 1948, by the British Nationality Act of that year, we created what, to my mind, is the fiction that the citizen of an independent Commonwealth country, once he is here, is a British subject; and in 1962 we restricted his right of entry, which hitherto had been an unqualified right. By the Commonwealth Immigrants Act of that year, we erected a fairly formidable fence over which he must get so as to get here at all; but secured that once he gets here he is virtually free after a short period of almost all restrictions.
The more I reflect upon it, the more convinced I am that part of the difficulty with which the House has been grappling 505 for the best part of 10 years in relation to Commonwealth immigration stems from the fact that a separate and more complicated law applies to them which gives them a qualified right of entry but an unqualified right to remain.
As though that were not enough, we have now created two more anomalies. Among those who are still citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies and who had until 1962 an unqualified right of entry, we have created two separate classes—those whose perfectly British passports are issued by a Colonial Governor and those whose British passports are issued by a High Commissioner, the latter being subject to the Act of 1968 and the former being subject to the Act of 1962.
The situation now is that upon a legislative jungle we are seeking to superimpose a court of appeal without any indication that the court will have any real guide, in spite of the Home Secretary's instructions to immigration officers and his claims to continue to dictate policy by some kind of published ukase of his own, without any real guarantee that the court of appeal will be able to explore its way through the jungle by any system of rational or judicial determination.
That is what I wanted to say about my first objection. Surely, we ought as a matter of priority to establish a rational and comprehensive code repealing the laws which are now in force and codifying them according to a single and intelligible system, instead of superimposing an appellate system on what ultimately can only be described as a legal quagmire.
Secondly, I feel tremendous doubts about the wisdom of blurring the distinction between disputed questions of fact and law and questions of policy. I can understand that an appellate tribunal, be it ad hoc or one of the ordinary courts of the land, can decide disputed questions of fact. For instance, under the Commonwealth Immigrants Act, 1962, a child under a certain age of a Commonwealth Immigrant has a statutory right of entry into this country. If it be a question whether a particular individual is above or below the threshold age, or whether he bears or does not bear a blood relationship to the parent or the putative 506 parent whom he is seeking to join, this is something which can be investigated either by judicial means or by extra judicial means.
Equally, the meaning of the Act can be decided by a judicial or quasi-judicial process. But when in the end the question arises as to whether we shall admit, for instance, a scientologist to study at East Grinstead or a well-known American agitator to study at the London School of Economics, it seems to me that there are no principles upon which a judicial tribunal or quasi-judicial tribunal can come to a rational decision.
Hitherto, the Home Secretary has been responsible. We all love him, but he may make his mistakes and we can get at him here. We can say "This is right" and "This is wrong." But if he now divests himself of his responsibility for questions of policy, whether he divests himself in favour of an appellate tribunal which is wiser than he or less wise than he, we lose any kind of control over the situation at all. We lose control over the situation in a field precisely in which Parliament, at least in my judgment, ought to remain supreme.
I cannot, therefore, for this reason, share the enthusiasm of some of my hon. Friends, and certainly of the Home Secretary, for the Wilson proposals. It seems to me to raise a constitutional issue of considerable importance and a constitutional issue in which, despite the fact that I recognise myself to be in a minority, I cannot in this instance believe that I am mistaken.
Thirdly, I am deeply concerned about the mess that the law is getting into as a result of our method of piecemeal legislation. One of the examples—
§ Mr. Lubbock
Before the right hon. and learned Gentleman leaves his previous point, could he explain, as the Home Secretary did not do so, what will be the position of scientologists after the Bill has become law? Do the regulations made by the Government, binding immigration officials, remain in force, or can scientologists go to the tribunal and ask for a hearing to show reasons why they should be admitted?
§ Mr. Hogg
I must be careful about this because, as the hon. Member probably knows, I was professionally engaged in 507 the courts in a matter affecting it. My reading of the Bill is that they will be subject to the tribunal procedure, but I would rather the Under-Secretary gave the hon. Gentleman a definitive reply.
The point to which I was coming is this. Our piecemeal method of legislation was all right so long as we passed legislation in a relatively restricted form and on a relatively restricted number of occasions. But the law in my lifetime has become inconceivably more difficult to understand, or even to ascertain, than it was when I first became a member of my profession 35 years ago. One part at least which renders it particularly puzzling is that 35 years ago it was generally supposed that the proper use of judicial and legal manpower was to concentrate the administration of justice on a single set of courts, or, at any rate, on a single system of courts applying the general law, and since the war we have more and more been developing individual tribunals applying particular branches of law.
The reasons for this probably lie outside the ambit of the present discussion. But perhaps I might be allowed to say, in passing, that at any rate one reason, in my judgment, has been the abolition of the civil jury. The result has been that the public are vaguely aware that a single lawyer, sitting alone, is not always the ideal tribunal to try questions of fact, and sometimes not the ideal tribunal to administer social questions.
Instead of providing, as continental systems almost invariably do, that in such case he should be assisted by lay members, they have provided that in particularly sensitive subjects, be it immigration, be it rents, or be it a variety of different subjects, the ordinary courts should not try the issue, but a special court, composed more or less on the continental model, should be instituted to administer a separate branch of the law by itself. This is very wasteful of legal manpower because such tribunals normally have to have a legal chairman, and it is also very puzzling to the practitioner who needs to advise upon a coherent and intelligible system of jurisprudence.
Now we have done it again, and I wonder whether we have been wise to do 508 so. When I look at the Bill, I recognise that Parliament will pass it. Many of my hon. Friends have asked for it. Many of my hon. Friends, and, I think, hon. Members below the Gangway opposite, have thought that it represents an advance towards liberalism, or at least towards liberality. The Home Secretary, whose principles in the matter are quite impeccable, has commended it to the House. There can be no question of an official Division, but, finding myself in a minority, and not wishing to detain the House unduly by imposing my opinions on it, I am still entitled, I hope, to express my doubts.
§ 4.32 p.m.
Mr. Gordon Cakes (Bolton, West)
I think that both sides of the House welcome the Bill, but we should have some regard to what has just been said by the right hon. and learned Member for St. Marylebone (Mr. Hogg), particularly towards the end of his speech. His reputation on legal matters and his reputation for a fearless defence of the principles of humanity, particularly with regard to race, have the respect of people inside and outside the House. In the Bill, we are dealing with some of the things he said.
I welcome the Bill—I think more warmly than the right hon. and learned Gentleman does—and congratulate my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary on dealing so comparatively quickly with the Committee's Report. The Committee was set up in February, 1966, and reported at the end of August, 1967, a little too late to get legislation in for the last Session of Parliament. It is important legislation, as the right hon. and learned Gentleman has said, from a constitutional point of view, and I am very glad that he emphasised this.
Hitherto, entry into this country has been regarded purely as a privilege. Today the House has the courage to say that entry for an alien shall be a right, and that since it is a right there shall be appeal against refusal of entry by a civil servant. It is progress that the Home Secretary is to devolve from himself some responsibility for these matters, so I do not go along with the right hon. and learned Gentleman in that regard. I commend my right hon. Friend for what he has done.
509 It is astonishing that for so many years we have had no right of appeal in the matter. There was a system of appeal between 1905 and 1914 when the need for it was small. The number of Empire citizens or aliens coming to our shores, whether as visitors or to settle, was far smaller. But, as a result of a wartime emergency Measure in 1914, the system of appeal disappeared. That emergency legislation has been like a great millstone round our necks for 55 years, until the introduction of the Bill. We should pay more regard to this when we pass emergency temporary Acts to meet a particular situation.
It is very important that we have a system of appeal, and that justice is seen to be done, because of our status as a nation. We hear a great deal today about Britain's prestige in the world, whether it is said to be declining or whatever else may be happening to it, but our prestige as a nation that believes in the rule of law and justice for all its citizens is still unchallenged throughout the world. Yet the very point where a Commonwealth citizen or alien sets foot on our shores has for 55 years been the point where the rules of justice have not applied, where he has had to be subject to an arbitrary decision by a civil servant with no right of appeal. That happens just when he has arrived at the place that he and his countrymen have been taught to regard as the mother of freedom and justice.
We should warmly welcome steps which put that matter right from the point of view of the prestige of justice in this country and to our standing throughout the world as a nation that believes in the rights of citizens against the State and against authority, the right of any citizen or alien—indeed, any person—to appeal to the rules of justice if a decision is made against him.
We should remember, too, that this is a very human problem. Basically, we shall be talking law in our consideration of the Bill, but it deals with a very human matter. Since it has been before the House I have had occasion to wish that its previsions were in force. The day after Boxing Day a boy called Mahmud Tai arrived in this country from India. I think that he was 12 years old. I received a telephone call at my office 510 from an Indian lawyer in London asking me to intervene with the Home Secretary so that the boy was not sent back on the first available plane. He came to this country because his parents were dead and he had no relatives who could look after him in India. He has a sister married to an Indian who lives in my constituency.
I immediately telephoned my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State, and the Home Office acted with characteristic speed and humanity so that the boy could stay until his credentials were checked. They were found to be in order. His parents were dead and he was telling the truth. His documents were correct, and there was no fraud. He was allowed to stay, and this morning I received a letter from his grateful sister and her husband thanking me for the action I had taken.
But suppose that he had not been a child, and that there had been no one to advise him to get in touch with the lawyer in London. Suppose that I had been elsewhere and had been unable to take that telephone call. All those things could have happened, and that boy would have been put on the plane back to India, while the only relatives who can take care of him are in my constituency.
The Bill can prevent that sort of thing happening. It is bad enough that a boy of that age was detained at the airport from 27th December to 16th January, a little boy far from his home waiting to get to his relatives. But at least now there is a system that will enable all Commonwealth citizens and aliens in that predicament to appeal. The right of a person to be bailed while he is waiting for his appeal to be heard is not there at present.
I emphasise this case not just because it is a constituency case, but so that the House can get into perspective what is happening, so that we do not sit here for the whole of the debate today, and the whole of Committee stage, dealing with legal matters. We will be dealing with legal matters undoubtedly. We have to remember, on the other side of the coin, that there are people like this little boy, bewildered people, who have come to this country and who have hitherto had no hope of appeal against an immigration officer's decision.
511 The right hon. and learned Member for St. Marylebone asked whether the system of appeal is right, and whether we should not use the existing courts. I find this an attractive idea, but the Wilson Committee is basically right because this is a peculiar problem which probably the ordinary courts would find difficult to handle. This is first of all because of the urgency. It is not easy to get magistrates together, or to get a stipendiary magistrate, when an aeroplane is coming in and quick decisions have to be taken.
A court may have a long list of criminal matters before it. The ordinary magistrates' courts are already overloaded and they would have to act with very great speed when an immigrant enters the country. Secondly, these matters require a very high degree of expertise. They are problems unto themselves. A lot of internal case matters will come up on them, and the courts concerned with the appeal will have to know this specialised part of the law intimately. I do not think that one could expect ordinary magistrates, or even a stipendiary magistrate, thoroughly to master this.
Despite what I have said about looking at this from the human angle, we must remember that this is a Bill more about the law than about immigrants. It deals with appeals. We should not bury our heads in the sand and forget this. We should look at it from that point of view from now on.
There are two pillars in the system, the tribunals and the adjudicators. I have very few complaints about the tribunal set-up except for the complaint voiced by my hon. Friend the Member for Hampstead (Mr. Whitaker) and echoed by the right hon. and learned Member, about these tribunals coming within the Tribunals and Inquiries Act, 1958. Wilson recommends this in paragraph 149 in no uncertain terms. The Report says:We consider it desirable that the appellate authorites should be brought within the scope of the Tribunals and Inquiries Act, 1958. This can be done by an order under section 10 of the Act adding them to the list of tribunals contained in Schedule 1.It is important that that takes place. We must continuously review the activities of tribunals, otherwise we could 512 have, as the right hon. and learned Gentleman said, a separate system of law accountable to no one; unaccountable to the High Court and unaccountable to the House. I hope that the Under-Secretary will deal with this matter.
When we come to the adjudicators, we have to go more carefully. There will only be 24, as far as I can see. It will be on the quality of the adjudicators that this law will stand or fall. It will be on their ability and quality that it will rest. If we get the right men, the Bill can be a tremendous help and success. If we get the wrong men, we will end up in a muddle which will harm Parliament, the law, the immigrant and our country. These adjudicators are judicial officers, not administrators, not executive officers.
They are dealing with highly technical, legal rules and regulations. They are sitting alone as a court. They have to hear both sides and apply the rules of natural justice. They have to know the law of evidence, they have to try the case between the official of the Home Office and the appellant immigrant. All those are strictly judicial functions. These adjudicators have the right to grant bail. We are very careful when dealing with the liberty of the subject. We have to be very careful to whom we give the power to restrict that liberty. These adjudicators will have that power, which is again a judicial power.
The adjudicators will be in the privileged position, that we normally accord only to very senior judges, of being able to decide whether the appellant has the right to appeal against his decision to the Tribunal. That is a very privileged position for anyone, and it is a purely judicial position. Having regard to all those factors, I ask the Under-Secretary to deal with this question carefully and to think deeply about the type of qualifications he will be requiring for these people.
It is a tremendous responsibility for one man, sitting alone as a court—constituting a court in himself in the vast majority of cases. Because it is a judicial office, the first question I ask is whether it is right that the appointment of the adjudicators should be by the Home sSecretary. I would much prefer that the Lord Chancellor appointed these 24 people.
513 Let us take the analogy, and it is a fair one, of the Metropolitan courts. Stipendiary magistrates are appointed by the Lord Chancellor. It would be very difficult if the Home Secretary were to appoint them, because the Home Secretary is also responsible for the Metropolitan Police. In this country we do not like the system where one body appoints both the judge and the accuser. In the case of immigrants, the Home Office is the accuser; it will be the prosecutor in many cases—or may well be. Therefore, it is far better that the Lord Chancellor should appoint these adjudicators, in the same way as he will be the person responsible for appointing the tribunals.
I want to deal with the rumours we have heard, through correspondence from various bodies, that immigration officers, or ex-immigration officers, will be appointed to these jobs. I do not think that that should be the case. Again, justice must be seen to be done, and this is a very judicial office. I am a practising solicitor, and I do not want to be accused of coming to the House and asking for jobs for the boys, but we should have the boys for the jobs. If one is to give a man such judicial powers, he should be a qualified barrister or solicitor.
The Wilson Report, dealing not with the permanent adjudicators, but part-time adjudicators, suggests that it ought to be solicitors doing this work. It is very fair to make this point, because a qualified lawyer is used to dealing with questions of natural justice, with the rules of evidence, and applying his mind fairly to both sides of the case.
I turn to deal with the legal aspect of representation before these tribunals. Clause 14 deals with grants to organisations or to the body of joint organisations that will be looking after the welfare and advice of immigrants who find themselves in difficulties at the airport. Clause 11(2)(c) deals with the rules… enabling any party to be represented before an appellate authority by any person, whether having professional qualifications or not.I am not sure that this is a wise provision because it means that a rich alien or Commonwealth citizen who comes here gets the advantage of a barrister 514 or solicitor before the Tribunal, whereas the poor alien or Commonwealth citizen may not be able to have that advantage because legal aid is not being extended to cases before either the Tribunal or the adjudicators. It is a pity that legal aid has not been so extended, because it may well be imperative that a professional, legally-qualified person, who has obligations to his client by nature of his profession, should appear on behalf of the applicant in this country before either a tribunal or an adjudicator.
These are some minor criticisms of the Bill, but I echo a little of the concern about a separate body of legal non-law, as it were, being set up by this appeals system. But, basically, I think that we can be proud that, as a nation, we have had the courage, after 55 years, to stop repeating the annual performance we have had in this House of readopting the 1919 Act. We are saying, instead, that aliens and Commonwealth citizens coming here have rights, and that, if an immigration officer—a civil servant—disputes those rights, they appeal to someone. The House, the Government and the nation can be proud of this Bill.
§ 4.52 p.m.
§ Mr. W. F. Deedes (Ashford)
I am sorry that, unlike the hon. Member for Bolton, West (Mr. Oakes), I am unable to welcome the Bill very warmly. I feel much about it as my right hon. Friend the Member for St. Marylebone (Mr. Hogg) feels. I am not clear why we of the Opposition are not voting against it, but I will advance my own reasons for seeing its prospective difficulties.
I understand why the Home Secretary has brought it forward. None the less, I have—and I suspect that he has—many misgivings as to how it will work in practice. The hon. Gentleman has stressed what the Home Secretary stated—that the Bill gives the right impression. It appears to do justice where it was feared that injustice was done before. I only hope that it ends up by giving that impression. I fear that it is more likely that the Bill will tend to create a legal battleground at our principal ports between those who want a more liberal immigration policy and those whose job it is to carry out its instructions. It may not happen, but under the Bill it could.
515 As my right hon. and learned Friend eloquently said, we are plainly trying to put an administrative function by the immigration service, under the Home Office, and—to an even greater extent—political functions by ourselves into a judicial framework. That is bound to lead to difficulties. It is made all the more difficult because the Bill fails to meet one of our most urgent requirements, with which the Wilson Report dealt at some length. This is a more efficient system for determining whether those who seek admission here have a right to it.
The Bill devises fresh ways of dealing with doubtful cases but does nothing to reduce the number of doubtful cases which will arise. As the Report made clear in paragraphs 20 and 63, one cannot hope to achieve this at port of entry. A system which bases immigration control principally on examination at ports of entry is bound to have drawbacks; it is bound to create doubtful cases and—most serious—to leave loopholes.
The Bill does not reduce the drawbacks, but makes their handling more elaborate by imposing a two-tier system—inevitably elaborate and expensive—which may have to handle between 15,000 and 20,000 appeals on all counts on top of the load already at the ports. It certainly provides safeguards against the few mistakes made by immigration control which are adverse to the immigrants. But I must observe that it adds no safeguards, except by giving the Home Secretary the ultimate sanction of deportation, against abuse of regulations by immigrants.
It is true that the Wilson Committee did not recommend the compulsory introduction of the entry certificate. It came out against that, but it stressed the value of the entry certificate as a means of reducing doubt. As figures have shown, it would reduce doubt and also the burden of proof at the ports—and it is from this situation that all our principal difficulties here arise.
The Wilson Committee then recommended that, short of compulsion, we should use every possible step, in consultation with the Commonwealth, to increase the use of entry certificates above a figure which was then given—about one immigrant in five. If that figure has 516 changed, perhaps we can be told. It is fair to ask, because it is central to what we are trying to do, what the Government are doing about this matter. Have we done anything since the Report to shift the burden of proof from ports of entry to administration in the country of origin? If not, why not? The Wilson Committee thought this a very important step.
A word is due about the immense load of responsibility being borne by the immigration service under the present system. Some people have interpreted the Bill as, in a sense, a vote of no confidence in the immigration service. That is erroneous. I was glad that the right hon. Gentleman expressed his confidence in the immigration service when he said that much of the suspicion which had arisen in respect of certain cases was unfounded. I have lately visited, through the courtesy of the Home Office, a number of ports. The Channel ports, which have entry from Europe, have problems different from those which a number of us have seen at airports such as Heathrow.
I am left in no doubt as to the lengths which an appreciable minority will go, backed and increasingly supported by organisations in their own country, to secure entry here illicitly. This is one of our handicaps. Organisations and agencies exist to assist the entry of illicit immigrants and they are working, in a sense, at the point of departure whereas our own organisation starts almost entirely at the point of arrival; and very often at certain times and during certain months when immigrants know very well that there is immense pressure and distraction and that the chances of entry are strongest.
There therefore remain many loopholes which the immigration service has to compete with and must continue to do so notwithstanding the system established by the Bill and against which the Bill is irrelevant. It is important to strike a sense of balance as between the injustice done to very few and the larger injustice done by those who secure illicit entry.
I must, therefore, go on to mention some of the practical difficulties which now arise and which adjudicators and, eventually, the Tribunal, will have to deal with. The most obvious problem 517 the immigration service gets is that of a Commonwealth visitor who comes ostensibly on holiday, with funds and a sponsor and even, perhaps, with a return ticket to somewhere in Europe.
The chances are that on that evidence he must be admitted, and then he may well settle. I do not see how an arbitrator, or even a tribunal, would be able to reach a different conclusion. It is here that conditions imposed which are now, I think mistakenly, to be subject to appeal are important, even though our means of enforcing conditions of them are somewhat tenuous. Where a visitor causes doubt on immigration, the conditions of entry involve landing and embarkation cards.
When the Under-Secretary replies, I wonder whether he could tell us the number, in the last convenient period, of landing and embarkation cards used when conditions were imposed, how many were coupled up, how many were not coupled up and how many in this last category were ever traced. There is a problem here which none of the arrangements in the Bill will do much to resolve.
Again, immigration officers have to deal with the man who comes to this country and declares that he is a returning resident. He may have a forged stamp in his passport, he may have no passport at all, but if he is, and he can prove that he is, already resident here, he must be admitted. What he may have done, however, is to dispose of his passport somewhere in Europe, where it will be remade and later used to bring in an illegal immigrant to this country.
The Wilson Report stated that, in 1956, 150 doctored passports were traced by immigration officers. It would be interesting to know whether the figure is available for 1967 and 1968. How many doctored passports were not traced, we shall never know. In all this I am not seeking to suggest that the immigration officers are not doing their job. That would be quite the reverse of truth. But if we set up this system of appeals, we ought to be aware of the sort of case which will come before the arbitrator. We should then ask ourselves what sort of decision we as arbitrators would reach in cases of that kind.
Again, we have the influx of fiancées, which will be a difficult matter to deal 518 with on appeal. It is something to which I drew attention about a year ago. I do not want to detain the House by going into the figures, but those which I have are suggestive. As I calculate, the number of fiancées entering from India alone during the past 12 months—this is a rough guess—could be about 2,000 or 2,500. There may be an explanation for the figures which I have worked out. The Under-Secretary knows roughly how they are tabulated, and if there is such an explanation perhaps he will give it to us. Otherwise, I find it disturbing to accept that up to 2,500 may have come under this category compared with 3,900 vouchers given in ail to the same country. That requires close scrutiny. We will not solve this problem by setting up an arbitrator or Tribunal for cases of appeal.
I mention all this because I am sure that this point bears pressing. Responsibility for a tough policy at the ports lies not on the Home Office, the Secretary of State, or the immigration service. It lies largely on the minority whose tactics, about which I could say a good deal, compel the immigration officers to be suspicious and strict. I have seen a great deal of the immigration officers. They are not looking under the bed for illegal immigrants. What they are doing is to uncover a very great number from day to day and week to week, in accordance with our instructions.
These realities raise particular difficulties concerning one or two of the proposals in the Bill—for example, those who will appeal and then offer recognizances or are granted bail. Twenty-four hours may elapse between the detention of someone who is alleged to be entering illegally and the hearing of an appeal before an arbitrator. During that period, the immigrants in question must either be incarcerated, in a manner which, I hope, the Under-Secretary will describe, or released on bail. Bail offers considerable difficulty, because the forfeiture of, say, £50 or £100 will be accepted by some as a fair price of entry. It is true that the Home Office will have power to deport those who may jump their bail, but they must first be caught and experience shows that that is not always easy.
I mention one other practical difficulty concerning the appeals. Whether they 519 come before the arbitrator or the Tribunal, hearings will normally be held openly and the immigration service, I understand, will be represented by an appeals officer. Where there has been fraud or forgery, he will have to declare the method of detection; he will have to satisfy the arbitrator about what has happened and how the immigrant was detected.
It is undesirable that certain safeguards which are now being employed in connection with passports and entry certificates should be disclosed in open court. Clause 9 of the Bill should be wide enough to cover cases of that kind. It is most undesirable that we should disclose methods which are used by the Home Office and the immigration service.
Further, we are likely to find that language creates difficulties. It will do so far more for the arbitrators than for the immigration officers, most of whom are skilled in one or more language. Thus, interpreters will be key figures at all the appeals. On how they translate will often depend the impression which the arbitrator gets of the bona fides of an appellant. A great deal may hang on an honest translation. I hope that these interpreters will be very well paid and safeguarded from pressure. That will be very important.
We must recognise, however reluctantly, that the immigration service, on our behalf, is engaged, under instructions for which we are responsible, in a battle of wits. The Bill recognises that injustice is done when admission is unjustly refused, but it is also done when admission is won unlawfully. The Wilson Committee was explicit on this in paragraph 59 of its Report. Ultimately, it leads to the proliferation of controls, from which the prospective immigrant suffers. Therefore, to remedy injustice we must in logic seek to reduce the numbers in both these categories. This the Bill fails to do.
My impression is that the job of the immigration officers gets harder all the time. It is fair to disclose, as the Under-Secretary knows, that in one country, which I will not name, it is now possible to take a course on how to count English money, how to describe an English journey and pass a great many 520 other tests associated with immigration. All this is part of the price of the ticket. The individual is, perhaps, less blameworthy than the agencies which make these arrangements. That is the reality of what the immigration service is confronted with.
All things considered, we are pretty well served by these officers and I regret any step which may be interpreted as devaluing their services. Most of them have had long experience and their decisions are based principally on experience and not on knowledge of the law. I am doubtful whether the appointment of the arbitrators, however good they are, and I understand that they may be paid nearly double what the immigration officers get, initially without experience but with knowledge of the law, will, overall, secure a fairer result for the immigrant or the alien or be a whit less arbitrary.
§ 5.10 p.m.
§ Mr. Sydney Bidwell (Southall)
During my nearly three years of membership of this House I do not think I have ever missed a speech by the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for St. Marylebone (Mr. Hogg) on the question of immigration, race relations and all the attendant difficulties. I have followed with close attention the thread of his argument through those speeches, and I followed him with very close attention today. I was a little surprised, therefore, to find that he is only lukewarm towards the Bill before the House this afternoon. He went so far as to say that, although he could not speak for hon. and right hon. Members behind him, he had an inclination to vote against the Bill because of the disquiet which he felt. He went on to attempt to explain the reasons for that disquiet. I hope that my words are drawn to his attention.
I was tempted to interject when he was speaking, because I thought that some of the vein of his argument tended to suggest we ought to have a discriminatory system at one stage between immigrants and would-be immigrants from the old Commonwealth and immigrants or would-be immigrants from the new Commonwealth. His argument tended to say that we have to bring the whole concept of alien immigration in line with what we may have afoot for Commonwealth immigration. There may be an argument 521 for that, but, although in matters of law I am an amateur compared with him—although not on other matters which we are now considering—I suggest to him that we cannot lift this matter of jurisprudence out of the consideration of historial circumstances and of what went on in London a week ago, namely, the Commonwealth Conference.
This is what we are bequeathed by history, and at this stage of events we inevitably have to approach the matter in the way we are in fact approaching it. We are learning the whole of the time. There is no last word on this. In the Select Committee on Race Relations we are hard at work and taking the matter very seriously, and we are going to visit places to see the practicalities of the matter at first hand. I would suggest to the right hon. and learned Gentleman that he has to consider these broader concepts and aspects of the matter. I may say, too, in deference to him, after listening to his explanations of the necessity of not having ad hoc arrangements all over the place, as he puts it, that I am very much inclined towards his way of thinking, more so than I have been hitherto.
What we are doing today is a very right and proper thing to do. One cannot look at the matter in narrow compartments. We have to set it against the whole national discussion which is going on the whole of the time about immigrants and the attendant problems of race relations in this country. Still thinking, just for the moment, at any rate, of the right hon. and learned Gentleman, I would recall that when we first set out on the consideration of the other measures he wanted to broaden them; he wanted a bill of rights for sex, religion, language. We have argued about it. What kind of morass would we now have if we were getting up appeals machinery on the question of sex discrimination and so on? We would be in very serious difficulties.
Coming back to the Bill, I think we are doing a very wise thing. There are philosophical considerations and there are practical considerations. I have had a continous interest in the matter of immigrants. With the last Act we now have it that a dependant child cannot join a single parent unless he or she is divorced or there is an estrangement. There is that to be proved. We say a dependant relative cannot join his offspring 522 unless he is over 65 or unless she is over 65. That needs to be proved. It is certainly no easy matter to prove when dependant relatives are coming from countries where there is no birth certification.
I would rather echo some of the remarks by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Ashford (Mr. Deedes), that we need to look much more closely at the matter of entry certification and some proof of origin. I have been personally involved in these matters and have been through heartrending experiences—and they are heartrending experiences. It does not matter whether the people are Indians or Pakistanis or West Indians, they all matter to me equally when they are engaged in this kind of battle to achieve family unity in this country. I asked earlier, in an interjection during my right hon. Friend's speech, where it was proposed to put such people while under dispute. No doubt my hon. Friend I he Under-Secretary will elaborate on this a little when he replies to this debate, because some of these people with whose cases I have been involved have landed up in Wormwood Scrubs, and some others in Brixton Prison. From close inquiries I have made I understand that they have been accorded very decent treatment, but any step we make away from considering them solely as criminals is welcome indeed, and I note the remarks in this regard of my right hon. Friend.
I turn again to the desirability of proving birth before leaving country of origin. We have had cases where young people have been sent to hospital to have their bones examined, because it is said by the medical authorities that one can deduce the age of a young person within a reasonable amount of time, but I am told that at the other end of the scale of proving a man's age it is not possible to determine his age exactly within a span of about 10 years. That may be a consolation to some of us who pass ourselves off as younger than we are! But this is a medical fact and it makes things exceedingly difficult.
I was a little disquieted last year at the outburst of a proclamation by a group of immigration officers, but I have regard to the most difficult job they are undertaking, and I want to make it easier—and not only for them but for myself; and not the least part of my 523 welcome for this Bill is my hope that in consequence of it I shall not get so much involved in the individual cases as they arise from time to time, although one concedes that there may be occasions when Members of Parliament, even with the Bill, will be disposed to step in in what they think may be a case of injustice and a case for re-examination, and so on.
I have read criticisms of the Bill, criticisms by such bodies as the National Council for Civil Liberties. I have read some of the criticisms advanced by voluntary bodies concerned with the welfare of immigrants. There is a measure of validity in some of these criticisms, but they are matters best debated in the close confines of the Committee. The Home Secretary has explained that his mind is not shut to the possibility of using people with considerable experience of this kind; it is a matter of arranging the tidiest set-up we can get. The Bill is not a perfect Bill; it will not be a perfect Bill after it has been through Committee; but it is a necessary step forward and, for that reason, I warmly welcome it.
§ 5.20 p.m.
§ Mr. Philip Goodhart (Beckenham)
My right hon. and learned Friend the Member for St. Marylebone (Mr. Hogg) and the hon. Member for Bolton, West (Mr. Oakes) have said that, for the last 55 years, we have, in theory, had one of the most illiberal systems for regulating the entry of aliens and for the control of aliens once they were here of any civilised part of the world. As the son of a man who came here as an alien and who is, indeed, still an alien, I should perhaps say that, in practice, the law has been administered as humanely as in any part of the civilised world, and it is practice that matters as much as theory.
The hon. Member for Southall (Mr. Bidwell), like so many hon. Members, has assumed that the Bill will, in practice, have liberal repercussions but, like so much of the legislation introduced by this Government, I expect that the Bill will have practical results that will take the Government by surprise. When one considers the large number of people involved in Commonwealth entry and the importance of the issues, there has been remarkably little criticism of the immigration officers, remarkably few assertions 524 that they have been too severe in the performance of their duties. We all know that there are in this country and abroad many people and organisations who are anxious to discredit our whole structure of immigration control. It is astonishing how few cases can be brought to light in which people have been wrongly sent back to their place of origin.
At the same time, it is probable that many people get into this country who ought not to be admitted, and that our immigration officers have, in the last few years, almost over-balanced in their efforts to be lenient. Those immigration officials whom I have met are humane as well as efficient men. The fact that there has been, as we all know, a substantial measure of evasion is no criticism of their efficiency as individuals, but it is a criticism of the system that they have to work.
I think that all hon. Members present have been to see the system working at London Airport. When a number of planes arrive at the same time and there are long queues at the immigration desk, quite clearly each individual cannot receive an adequate check of his credentials without bringing the whole system and the whole airport to a grinding halt, and many people in the past who, perhaps, should have received rather closer checking have gone through.
With the introduction of this system of appeal, it may well be that immigration officers will feel that they no longer have to take full responsibility for sending back would-be immigrants and can be more stringent in their interpretation of the law and refer to the adjudicators far more cases than might be expected from the number of people who have been refused permission to land in past years.
If we are ever to have a humane and efficient system of immigration control, the main point of checking credentials must be moved from the point of entry to the point of origin of the immigrant. I am certain that the Wilson Committee were right in saying in paragraph 61 of their Report:As to methods of control, we have been left in no doubt that many people from overseas feel it is an indignity that they are liable to be questioned at length about their intentions or family circumstances on arrival at a British port… Exclusion at this stage, 525 when the person concerned may have invested all his property and savings in hopes (however ill-founded) of entering the United Kingdom, can be a crushing blow and a bitter disappointment.Some months ago I travelled in a plane to this country from Rawalpindi in Pakistan. At the airport was a Sikh family seeing off a member of their family, a boy or rather young man. The family surrounded the boy, the women were in tears and the head of the family walked out to the aircraft and gave the boy a family blessing as he went off. The boy was supposed to be entering the country as a boy under 16 years of age. During the course of the trip, I talked to him and I am reasonably certain that the boy was considerably older than 16. Il could be that, on arrival at London Airport, an X-ray could have been taken of the boys wrists from which it could be deduced that he was 17, 18 or 19, but it would be a tragedy for that boy and for his family if, at that point, a large sum of money having been invested in the air passage and plans having been made for his future, this boy had been returned to Pakistan, as I think legally he probably ought to have been. It so happened that the boy went through Immigration Control without let or hindrance, and he emerged only a few moments after I had seen him queuing up at the barrier. However, the point at which his credentials should have been checked was Rawalpindi and not the desk at London Airport.
I am certain that we shall never get a humane and efficient system of immigration control until we go even further than the Wilson Committee recommended. The point was not in its terms of reference, so it could hardly have made a firm recommendation on it. Arrangements should be made to make the granting of entry certificates for visas mandatory on those countries from which we have an immigration problem.
One aspect of the Bill which I welcomed without too many reservations, until I heard the Home Secretary today, is the granting of bail to those whose credentials are in doubt. I want to see immigration reduced very sharply, but I do not believe that it is right to treat those who want to come to this country 526 as potential criminals. It may be wrong for them to want to come here, but surely it is not a criminal matter that one should wish to enter.
I have had brought to my attention the case of a man who arrived at a British airport claiming to be more than 60 years of age. He could speak no English, and he found himself in Wormwood Scrubs, where he stayed for some weeks while his case was argued out and his credentials checked. I do not know whether he was telling the truth. He may have been over 60. But the fact remains that those who want to come here should not end up in Wormwood Scrubs.
This is not an isolated case. On 7th November, I asked the Home Secretary how many prospective Commonwealth immigrants have been held in prisons, borstals or detention centres during 1967 and the first nine months of 1968 while inquiries have been made about their eligibility. In 1967, the number so detained was 54. In the first nine months of 1968, the figure had leapt up to 106. While I see that it is expensive for adequate arrangements to be made, it is essential that they should be made and that such people should not be detained in prison and treated like common criminals.
I welcome the arrangements which have been made for the granting of bail, although clearly some system of identification or fingerprinting will have to be used to make sure that people do not abuse the system to be introduced and treat it as merely a cheap way of getting into the country. However, so long as we maintain the main system of check at our airports and ports instead of introducing a mandatory entry visa system and checking the credentials in the country of origin, we shall continue to have great difficulty at our ports and airports, regardless of the system of appeal that we introduce.
§ 5.35 p.m.
§ Dame Joan Vickers (Plymouth, Devonport)
I feel a little nervous about intervening in this legal debate, but I want to put a few points to the Under-Secretary of State. Perhaps I might say, too, that from my experiences with au pair girls I have a great admiration for the work of our immigration officers.
527 I want first of all to draw attention to paragraph 66 of the Wilson Committee's Report, which says:… opinion among our witnesses was virtually unanimous in favour of establishing some kind of system of appeals".Having read the Report thoroughly and studied Appendix V, I would have hoped that we might have incorporated more of the Canadian system into ours, particularly with reference to paragraph 14 of that Appendix, because it seems to be a very satisfactory method.
Paragraph 119 of the Report, referring to the suggested scheme of appeals, says:We believe that under this scheme the great majority of appeals against exclusion can be disposed of speedily at the ports. We hope that it will normally be possible for an appellant to be given at least a preliminary hearing by an adjudicator within a few hours..How is that to happen? The Canadians, who have a smaller problem, have over 200 inquiry officers. The adoption of such a scheme here may mean a vast staff if it is to be done at the speed suggested. I would like an indication of the number of staff it is thought will be needed for the purpose.
Earlier in the debate, one hon. Member referred to the conditions in which some of these people are detained, and I want to make a plea for quick action to be taken, especially about the conditions in which young women are kept. The Report says that the present system of immigration control can be "a harassing and frightening experience" to an immigrant who has had a long and exhausting journey and finds himself in a strange environment and perhaps confronted with language difficulties. Girls of 16 years are sent to Holloway and boys are sent to remand homes and borstals, where their first contact with anyone in this country is with criminals. Could not some arrangements be made whereby the Y.W.C.A. catered, at any rate, for the girls? The present system seems to be extremely cruel when one considers the possible language difficulties and the fact that some of them have never before spent a night away from their homes. I have heard of accommodation where people are detained which can accommodate 17 young men or two families. There are no amenities, or even a radio, for them while they are kept waiting, 528 which may be for days. One woman was kept for 18 days without a change of clothes. I hope that all these points will be looked into, and it may be that the R.W.V.S. could be asked to take a hand in seeing that better arrangements are made in future, especially for some of the younger people wanting to come here.
In paragraphs 146 and 147 of the Report, it is suggested that, if anything is not to the satisfaction of the individual concerned, he or she may be able to appeal to the Parliamentary Commissioner or Ombudsman. I hope that that suggestion will not be adopted, as it does not appear to me to be necessary.
If we are to have a Bill, I hope that it will be fair. I would much prefer a system to be established on the Canadian lines—in particular I refer to paragraph 14, page 83.
However, I would draw attention to paragraph 141 of the Report, which says:This addition of a judicial element to the United Kingdom's system of immigration control will be a factor of importance if this country joins the European Economic Community, within which certain people are entitled to freedom of movement. It will also come nearer to realising the ideal of 'due process of law' embodied in certain international conventions.I should like to be sure that the Bill fulfils both these points raised by the Wilson Committee.
§ Clause 11 empowers the Secretary of State to make rules of procedure for appeal proceedings. I should like some knowledge of what these rules of procedure are to be. Have they been drafted? Otherwise, we are agreeing to sections of this Bill rather blindly. I should like to know what has been considered.
§ I should also like to support the opinion expressed by my right hon. Friend the Member for Ashford (Mr. Deedes) concerning paragraph 149. Perhaps this could be dealt with in Committee.
On deportation, paragraph 132, the Wilson Committee notes
… the Government's proposal that the Home Secretary should have power to repatriate on his own initiative a Commonwealth citizen who had obtained entry by misrepresentation …
§ I understand that the Bill empowers the Secretary of State to deport Commonwealth citizens for breach of conditions 529 of admission, but it does not end the powers to recommend deportation. This seems an unfortunate dual system and would be better left to the courts. Perhaps the hon. Gentleman, in reply, would care to comment on that.
The Wilson Committee, in paragraph 153, concerning the appointment of adjudicators, recommends that their appointment should be vested in the Secretary of State. I think that this is a great pity. I believe that they should be entirely separate from the immigration service which is responsible to the Home Secretary. This has been touched upon by my right hon. and learned Friend, the Member for St. Marylebone (Mr. Hogg). I think that adjudicators should be appointed by the Lord Chancellor. The Wilson Committee also recommend:
In order that the adjudicators should be seen to be independent of the Home Office, we tink it advisable that all those appointed on the first establishment of the appeal system should be drawn from outside the public service.
§ I attach great importance to this, as I consider the adjudicators should never be appointed from the immigration service. I hope that this point will be considered, because if Clause 1, which empowers the Secretary of State to make the appointments if this Clause is enacted as it stands, it is essential that the Government are pressed that this should not be taken as it appears to me to read.
Part II of Schedule 1, paragraph 7, suggests the appointment of
barristers, advocates or solicitors, in each case of not less than seven years' standing.
I do not wish to be rude to my barrister friends or legal luminaries in the House, but I think that this is unfortunate. If this is not to be changed, I hope that it may be possible, in view of the language difficulty, to find barristers of this standing in this country who are from overseas countries.
§ Dame Joan Vickers
It would appear that we are to have a tremendous number of these people and I do not think that this is the right approach. I would prefer to have magistrates, who are not mentioned 530 at all. Magistrates could play a very great part.
I should like to know why in Clause 2(1) there is no appeal against refusal of work vouchers by the Department of Employment and Productivity. If we are to have appeals against coming into this country, surely there ought to be provision for appeals against the non-issue of a work voucher from the Department of Employment and Productivity.
Concerning Clause 16, I should like to know why police officers are to be asked to go and investigate people's private houses. Surely our police have enough to do. I think that welfare officers or others to be appointed by the Minister should do the job, not the police. It is not desirable, anyhow, that the police have this added duty of entering houses.
Schedule 2, paragraph 4(1)(b) is unclear about the position of the applicant if the adjudicator refuses leave to appeal and the applicant still wishes to go before the tribunal. Perhaps when the Minister replies he will clarify this point.
Schedule 3 paragraph 2 concerns the power of arrest by the immigration officer of a person released on bail if he has reasonable grounds for believing that that person is likely to break the conditions. I do not see how anyone will have reasonable grounds for believing that a person is likely to slip his bail. Therefore, when the hon. Gentleman replies, perhaps he will answer these various points.
§ 5.45 p.m.
§ Mr. Ronald Bell (Buckinghamshire, South)
I do not always agree with my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for St. Marylebone (Mr. Hogg) on these subjects, but today I find myself in full accord with everything that he has said, both in its general tenor and even in the particularities of his speech. I noticed his observation that if there had been a free vote today he would have voted against the Bill. Since my right hon. Friend the Member for Ash-ford (Mr. Deedes) expresed the same view—and others besides—and my hon. Friend the Member for Beckenham (Mr. Goodhart), if I understood him, spoke broadly to the same effect, and I do not notice in the Chamber any warm champion on this side for the Bill, I am puzzled to know why we are not voting against the Bill. My right hon. and 531 learned Friend said that he was in a minority. But sometimes people thinking that they are in a minority discover, too late perhaps, that their views represent those of a majority of their colleagues. I think that that might be the position today.
The Bill has two sides, as has been observed by a number of hon. Members on both sides. It is a legal Bill and it is about immigration. There is a risk that the fact that it is about immigration may engage some people on one side of the debate upon its merits. I will come to that aspect in a moment. I address myself, first, to what I believe to be the principal considerations today, namely, those set out by my right hon. and learned Friend. I propose to do this much more shortly than I had originally intended, because my right hon. and learned Friend expressed my thoughts almost in the very words I might have chosen.
Broadly speaking, the Bill provides that political discretion shall be replaced by judicial discretion. Clause 8(1)(a)(ii) reads,where the decision of action involved the exercise of a discretion by the Secretary of State or an officer, that the discretion should have been exercised differently…".That is a ground on which the adjudicator or the Tribunal could reverse a decision.
The Home Secretary made no bones about this when he said, quite frankly, that whereas in the past he had been on the receiving end of representations from hon. Members on both sides about this or that case, whether the discretion had been rightly exercised and someone perhaps excluded who should have been let in, or the other way round, in future he would be relieved of this difficult function because the final responsibility would rest with the adjudicator or the tribunal. The Home Office would retain the initiative, that is, the initial decision would be made by the Home Office, but the final decision would be made by a judicial body.
This is about immigration, but does it not raise quite general considerations with which this House ought by now to concern itself? With others, I have watched a growing tendency for the powers of Parliament—the discretion of the Executive, which is much the same 532 thing, since we control the Executive—to be farmed out to bodies which are remote from political control. Where the decision is one of fact, or concerned with the innocence or guilt of a specified offence, it is right that judicial procedures should be used and political pressures minimised, but where the decision is a political one, it is surely very dangerous for this House to see the ultimate power pass away beyond its reach and scope. That is a growing tendency.
The Home Secretary described this as an extension of the rule of law. That is a rather odd use of the phrase. I prefer my own definition—the replacement of a political discretion by a judicial discretion. If there is one thing that courts or judicial tribunals are bad at it is exercising a discretion, because, in the view of lawyers—I am proud to be one, but they have their faults—a discretion is something to be progressively exercised according to rules, and they describe one that is not as an arbitrary discretion.
To exist at all a discretion must be arbitrary. There is no such thing as a discretion which is exercised according to rules. It disappears once there are rules which govern its exercise. This is the process in which we have all, oddly enough, been collaborating together in recent years. We call it the advance of the rule of law but it is really the retreat of Parliamentary and political responsibility.
For that reason I oppose the Bill. I would not need to look for any other reason to oppose it. I would not mind whether it was about immigration or a wholly different subject. It is a step on a bad course upon which we have been set. Being inhibited by less strong bonds of discipline than my right hon. and learned Friends, I am not sure of the course of action to which this view of mine may ultimately lead.
This proposal is made in relation to immigration. Here, too, I find reason for being disturbed. This is a very strange structure to erect upon the quagmire of our existing law. My right hon. and learned Friend set out the history of aliens and Commonwealth legislation. The salient feature that emerges from both is that they are so drawn that all decisions in both fields are discretionary. Any tribunal could decide the question 533 whether a person was a Commonwealth immigrant or whether he was my right hon. and learned Friend returning from a visit to France. That is a question of fact. It might not be one of great difficulty. But have we to set up half a million £s worth of special tribunals to decide such facts? I should have thought that the ordinary courts could settle them. These tribunals will decide whether somebody, in exercise of discretion, should have been let in or kept out, or whether conditions of admission ought to have been imposed, or whether the conditions that were imposed should have been imposed.
What sort of people shall we appoint to these tribunals who have experience or knowledge qualifying to supersede the discretion of the Home Secretary? The hon. Member for Bolton, West (Mr. Oakes) said that we could appoint solicitors. He was kind enough also to suggest barristers. Both are splendid kinds of people, but they are not specifically trained to exercise that kind of discretion, which is a discretion at large, or a political discretion. It can be exercised by persons on behalf of the Home Secretary but ultimately the decision should rest with him.
§ Mr. Oakes
Does not the hon. and learned Member agree that if we have this appeals system it would be far better that the adjudicators should have some legal qualification, rather than that they should be ex-immigration officers or people trying to exercise, for example, the rules of evidence although they themselves are not lawyers and have no experience of exercising such a discretion?
§ Mr. Bell
No. Granted the system, I reach the opposite conclusion. I would rather see ex-immigration officers with experience of handling immigrants than lawyers who have experience of the rules of evidence.
My right hon. Friend the Member for Ashford gave the reasons why. We must bear in mind the kind of operation that is being conducted. My right hon. Friend described it as a battle of wits. It is a battle of wits. The Bill, in this battle of wits between the officers who are doing our job and the organisers of every kind of illegal immigration, is bringing aid and comfort to the wrong side. The 534 lawyers, with their knowledge of evidence and their formalised approach to these things, are unwillingly and perhaps unwittingly going to be fighting for the law evader rather than the law enforcer.
Underlying these proposals is something else which also slightly disturbs me. It underlays part of the Prime Minister's statement on the Commonwealth Prime Minister's Conference yesterday—the concept that the tens of thousands who want to come here have some kind of inherent right to come here, and that in putting up a screen to filter them we are in some way interfering with basic human rights, so that this immense care and particularity and double care and cross-checking is right and proper.
I do not believe that to be so. I regret the phrase "absorptive capacity" in the Prime Minister's statement yesterday, implying that there is a duty on Britain to take as many immigrants as it can manage to absorb, and the mention of quotas, which were referred to as in some way belonging to various nations, and the statement that there would be a cut in this quota or that quota. That is surely a total misconception of our position and of the function of immigration control. We have a right to control the composition of our population. To describe it as our duty to take in as many as our absorptive capacity will admit is absurd, and to speak in terms of other countries having quotas is preposterous.
For all these excellent reasons, I strongly oppose the Bill and can give no undertaking that when the time comes I shall not vote against it.
§ 6.0 p.m.
§ Sir Douglas Glover (Ormskirk)
All the arguments why the Bill should not be accepted have been put forward forcibly. I am surprised that the Opposition are not to vote against it. The fact that one votes against a Bill does not always show anger, but can mean that the Government of the day have not got the thing right. The arguments today overwhelmingly prove this view. We should view with far more alarm than we appear to do when discussing this kind of Bill what my hon. and learned Friend the Member for South Buckinghamshire (Mr. Ronald Bell) said about the reduction in the power of the High Court of Parliament. 535 I agree that that ground alone is sufficient reason for opposing the Bill.
I cannot see the Bill operating successfully even when it is passed. I agree with my right hon. Friend the Member for Ashford (Mr. Deedes) that, in a battle of wits, it is not conceivable that a lot of superannuated lawyers will produce a more satisfactory system than we have at present. At least under the present system immigration officers are specialists, while all the decisions of these so-called courts will be political and not legal. The whole basis of this matter is political, so those in the Home Office would be far more skilled and qualified to act as the "second court of appeal" from the decision of the immigration officers than any other system.
Largely, what the Bill will do is produce a facade to make everyone feel slightly more comfortable in his conscience and that is all. It will bring no more justice to those who feel themselves victimised than they get at present. But there could be another consequence of appointing what I would call a "court of second opinion" to cross-check an immigration officer's decision at Heathrow Airport. If he finds that this court often reverses his opinion, he and his colleagues will let far more people through, because they will say, "What is the use of being careful and checking them?". The people whose credentials are weak or "phoney" will have a pretty good idea before reaching Heathrow that it will now be a case of Russian roulette as to whether an immigration officer stops the particular person whose case is weak or the one right behind him whose case is strong.
It is impossible to vet in detail every person going through an immigration channel. Since there is this lottery element and the immigration officer finds that some of his decisions, which he feels were soundly based, are altered by a less experienced body of people, it will reduce his morale and keenness and may easily reduce the number of people wanting to enlist in the immigration service. The only way in which this system could be controlled is at the point of departure and not the point of entry and I am surprised that we have not taken far stronger measures to get some such system operating in the country of departure. Until we do, we shall not improve the situation; 536 the only reason for the Bill is our knowledge that the system is not satisfactory.
This Bill is not all that important. What is important is that it is another example of reducing the power and influence of Parliament and giving us less control over the Executive. On these grounds alone, we in the Conservative Party should not be lending it our support.
§ 6.4 p.m.
§ Mrs. Renée Short (Wolverhampton, North-East)
The Opposition appear to be in a schizophrenic mood this evening—
§ Mrs. Short
Oh, yes. The last two speakers have said how much they oppose the Bill, but I gather that they will not vote against it. We on this side would not mind if they did: I hope that they are not inhibited on that account.
The Bill is welcome because, if we have immigration regulations, which we must have, then it is essential that they should be enforced and should be seen to be equitably and fairly enforced. We will all agree that there have been many sad cases of people being treated badly. Although most of the immigration officers do their job well, there have been exceptions, and some children have been sent home on, as it turned out, wrong premises. We have seen non-coloured visitors being unfairly treated as well. I remember the Swedish girl who was asked to strip some time ago and a diplomat's wife who was rather badly handled. The fact that we are now framing legislation on the lines proposed by the Wilson Committee shows that we accept that things have not been as they should be and that we want to correct them.
We have now reduced considerably the numbers coming here to work, and this is a great credit to my hon. Friend and to the Secretary of State. The position is quite different now from what it was when the party opposite were in power. In 1963, 30,000 work vouchers were issued and today the figure is just over 4,000, which will obviously affect the number of dependants coming in. But the main problem at present for 537 coloured immigrants is that their dependants have to prove things like their age, which is very difficult and cannot be done without a considerable margin of error, the relationship between themselves and the person whom they are coming to join, and the fact that there is adequate accommodation for them.
The police have been used to investigate these cases, as has been said. I remember a case in Birmingham not very long ago of a family which came down to meet someone at London Airport, having to spend a great deal of money on taxi fares. There was a great deal of delay at the airport and much to-ing and fro-ing between the immigration authorities and the police while the accommodation was investigated. The police investigation was not really satisfactory; they did not even enter the house to see what accommodation there was. The case was only resolved because a member of the Press was able to press the right authorities to see that the investigation was carried out. This sort of case shows that we need this appeals machinery.
Of course it is not only in connection with coloured immigrants that the legislation will have an effect. It will apply also, presumably, to aliens, who are up to all the old tricks as well. We all know of male Italian waiters wanting to come in for "holidays", but who have their waiter's uniform in their luggage. Of course immigration officers must be on the qui vive to ensure that the regulations are not broken.
One or two points cause concern. As I understand it, the Bill will bring us somewhat into line with the procedures now carried out in the United States. They have very strict immigration control but also appeal machinery, and in that case it is automatic appeal.
Are we right to set up this sort of machinery, with all the difficulties that will be involved, when many of those who wish to come here will not be able to speak our language, will not understand how the machinery is used and may not lodge their appeals in time? I am particularly thinking of children who come unaccompanied. Consider the plight of an Indian boy aged 13 or 14 who does not speak English arriving here unaccompanied. Who will see that his appeal is properly lodged?
538 Would it not be better to have an automatic right of appeal so that anyone who is refused admission will have his or her case automatically channelled in the right direction without the immigrant having to rely on distraught and frightened travellers who may have come long distances and who probably will not understand the machinery we are establishing?
§ The question of what is to be done with would-be immigrants while their appeals are pending is a matter of great concern. I appreciate that provisions for bail exist, but those who cannot be released until a decision has been made are in a different position. Are we to continue sending young girls and elderly women to prison? This whole business is distressing and I hope that it will be avoided. I would particularly like to see young people put in the care of a local authority until their appeals have been heard.
§ I agree with the hon. Member for Ormskirk (Sir D. Glover) that a great deal needs to be done in the country of origin. I, too, have pressed for this course to be adopted. We could reduce many of the difficulties which now arise at ports of entry here if certificates of entry were obligatory in countries of origin for all people who wish to come to Britain. More facilities should be established in, for example, India, and I cannot see why we should not set up centres in that country and elsewhere and so overcome many of the problems about which we have been speaking before the immigrants arrive here. We know from the heads of families in this country the areas from which the majority of dependants come. It would not be difficult to select the most suitble areas in the countries of origin in which to set up these facilities.
§ Our representatives in those countries could investigate the family cases—family backgrounds, relationships, ages, and so on—of those who wish to come here to join their fathers, husbands and other relatives. This would reduce to a minimum the number of cases that would be in dispute when immigrants arrive in Britain. I therefore urge the Home Secretary to reconsider this matter. The whole process would be made smoother and the need to accommodate people while their appeals are pending, with all 539 the expenditure and anxiety which must be involved, would no longer be necessary.
§ Further help would arise if we accepted another proposal that I have made. It is that we should phase the entry of dependants to a number each year that we could reasonably, decently and humanely absorb from a housing and educational point of view. If we knew that we would be receiving not 50,000 dependants but, say, 20,000, many of the cases in which disputes arise when immigrants arrive here would be avoided.
§ Apart from the reservations I have mentioned, I find the Bill acceptable and I gladly support it.
§ 6.15 p.m.
§ Sir Gerald Nabarro (Worcestershire, South)
I had no intention of participating in this debate until I heard the speech of my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for St. Marylebone (Mr. Hogg). He convinced me that my worst suspicions about the Bill were correct. First, however, I warmly congratulate him on his historical dissertation concerning the condition of our immigration laws since the earliest times until the passing of the 1962 Act. As always, I learned a great deal from him, in a strictly legal sense.
§ Sir G. Nabarro
Does my right hon. and learned Friend wish to interrupt me at this early stage in my speech? I assure him that I have much to say that is highly provocative.
When my right hon. and learned Friend went on to say that there were serious objections of a constitutional character in this proposed legislation, I sat up and took notice. I regard him as a great constitutionalist and lawyer. I am neither. I follow creatures like my right hon. and learned Friend in these important matters, and when he says that there are serious constitutional objections then I must think again about my forthcoming behaviour in the Lobby tonight.
I am not qualified to talk about the constitutional or legal aspects of the Bill, and I have no intention of doing so. Nevertheless, I have grave practical 540 objections to everything proposed in the Measure. It is always philosophically companionable and placating to the consciences of those of us who consider ourselves to be humane creatures, to say to our constituents and friends, or even to our audiences in, for example, the Oxford Town Hall, so well known to my right hon. and learned Friend and myself, that if there is a harsh and severe Statute we should allow a right of appeal against its provisions.
Do-gooders everywhere—those who favour unlimited immigration into this country—and I am not one of them—have proclaimed in recent years, "If you restrict immigration into Britain, you must have a right of appeal." It all sounds very nice, but it is really grossly impracticable to have a right of appeal.
§ Mrs. Renée Shortindicated dissent.
§ Sir G. Nabarro
I shall be coming to the hon. Lady's comments shortly. I am always delighted to speak following her.
Not only is it grossly impracticable to have a right of appeal with limited immigration into this country, but I believe that it is fundamentally wrong. I will state my position in unmistakable terms, and I am in conflict with my party on this issue. I do not believe in restricted immigration into Britain, I believe in no further coloured immigration into Britain—[Interruption.]—in exactly those terms; and if there is to be no further coloured immigration, then it follows as a corollary that there is no need for an appeal.
§ Sir G. Nabarro
When I say "no further coloured immigration" that includes dependants—and I shall develop this theme—whatever the nature of the marriage. I should not be judged scornfully by my Parliamentary colleagues. On the contrary, I believe that I speak for an overwhelming majority of the population of this country today in the terms of non-immigration in the future.
541 That is my fundamental objection to the Bill, but the practical objection simply follows in more precise terms what was said by the hon. Lady the Member for Wolverhampton, North-East (Mrs. Rene e Short). I do not want consideration given to formalities as to immigration into the United Kingdom at the point of embarkation from a Commonwealth or foreign country, to travel to Britain. I want the matter judged in unmistakable terms, which would be perfectly possible were the administration here completely sound; but it is very unsound, for reasons I shall enunciate.
I would have the appropriate Department of State here print in great detail and in every foreign language of countries from which immigrants are likely to try to come from their lands of origin to Britain the provisions in regard to entry to this country. Then, if a would-be immigrant wished to proceed on a journey to this country and to make application for a work permit he would apply in advance from his point of origin. A Pakistani from Lahore or Karachi would apply at the British consulate in Lahore or Karachi, [interruption.] My right hon. and learned Friend is mumbling. He may not agree with me, but I am at least as good an administrator as he is—not as good a lawyer, but at least as good an administrator.
I know that this kind of thing is utterly possible. It could be done at any British consulate in any British Commonwealth country or foreign country. The application could be completed and then sent here. If the application were granted on the very restricted entry scale, at present allowed, an entry permit would be sent. Then there would be no argument at the point of arrival in this country when the person arrived as to his admittance. If it were refused the person would not travel because no airline would accept a booking from anyone wishing to travel to this country unless he produced a valid permit to enter the United Kingdom.
§ The Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. Merlyn Rees)
I am grateful to the hon. Member for giving way, because I should like to return to this important point. Off the cuff, I believ2 that the number of aliens coming to this country every year is 3 million Is the hon. Member saying that everyone coming to these shores, aliens 542 as well as Commonwealth citizens, should have to have an entry certificate? Does he take the figure of 3 million at the starting point, or does he say only certain people are envisaged?
§ Sir G. Nabarro
Presumably those immigrants wishing to come to this country wish to work. They have to work to live. [An HON. MEMBER: "No".] We know that there are some illicit entrants and tourists, but we are not concerned in the Bill with tourists.
§ Sir G. Nabarro
The hon. Gentleman can answer me when he answers the debate. Every hon. Member who has spoken has made the point that validation of entry to this country should be at the point of departure from the country which the would-be immigrant leaves, not on arrival here.
The second practical objection to the Bill is simply the conditions and what will occur to the would-be immigrants if they are detained at the point of entry awaiting appeal against refusal. How long is that to be—a matter of 24 hours, a week or a month? Now we are embarking on a judicial procedure as to the legal wrangling which will take place about whether a relative of a Pakistani, an Indian, West Indian or Nigerian should be admitted or not with all the complications about children which were alluded to by the hon. Lady.
Surely we are setting up for ourselves a huge store of trouble in looking after these men and women for anything up to two or three months before their cases can be judged. Or is the proposal instant justice?
§ Mr. Merlyn Reesindicated assent.
§ Sir G. Nabarro
The hon. Gentleman nods in assent that there should be instant justice. Does he envisage something like Ellis Island? Is there to be a court of appeal sitting at London Airport, at the Port of Immingham, the Port of Cardiff and the Port of Glasgow—sitting at any place where any ship or any aeroplane may come in? Is there to be a court to deal with immigrants along with all the abracadabra of the law with the adjudicators and barristers in attendance, and their clerks, proliferating courts throughout the United Kingdom to deal 543 with appeals by immigrants with or without their children?
Not only is this a preposterous suggestion, but it is surely an utterly impracticable suggestion. I do not even think that the legal profession, populous as it is—
§ Sir G. Nabarro
My right hon. and learned friend says it is undermanned, but it is undermanned only because of the abstruse character of too numerous Statutes passed in recent years, many of them not only imponderable but utterly incomprehensible and incapable of understanding by lay minds.
We shall have these appeals with all the barristers and the abracadabra of the law at proliferating points of entry throughout the United Kingdom. Is that what is proposed? If there were one central court of appeal for these immigrants I could understand it. If it were just one at London Airport, or in the Port of London, then if someone were refused in Glasgow he would be put on a train and brought with an escort down to that port with barristers opposing and supporting, but it is not that at all. There are to be scores of these ports and the public expense will be immeasurable.
I turn to the final aspect of the impracticalities of this measure. My hon. Friend the Member for Plymouth, Devon-port (Dame Joan Vickers) talked about work vouchers. She said that there ought to be appeals in the matter of work vouchers. This is quite ridiculous. I am glad that the Under-Secretary nods in assent. I do not wish to castigate my hon. Friend because she is an old friend of mine outside this House as well as inside it [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] Oh yes, for many years. These men and women, who want to come to Britain to work and apply for work vouchers, are all over the world. If we refuse permission for them to come to work are we to have appeals in all the embarkation places all round the Commonwealth? Shall we have a court of appeal in Calcutta, another in Hong Kong, another in Lagos, another in Kingston, Jamaica, on the question of work vouchers? This has only to be stated to be seen to be ridiculous.
544 If we allow them to come here to launch their appeal then one has all the harrowing circumstances—I really mean harrowing circumstances—of near deportation to get them back to their point of origin, with the likelihood of mistakes such as were related by the hon. Member for Wolverhampton, North-East. Her speech was much to my liking, save for only one passage. My hon. Friend the Member for Devonport is quite wrong, and the hon. Lady the Member for Wolverhampton, North-East is quite right. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh".] Yes. There is trans-fertilisation of female Members.
The hon. Member for Wolverhampton, North-East is now a symbol in the Labour Party for stringent restriction of immigration. She is doing what her party refused to do in 1962. So vigorous was the opposition of the Labour Party to the mild form of restrictionism brought in by the Conservative Government that we had to resort to a guillotine to get the Commonwealth Immigrants Bill on the Statute Book. That shows what political humbug there is in the Labour Party.
On both fundamental and practical grounds I am very much opposed to the Bill. I hate being out of step with my right hon. and learned Friend. He is a splendid lawyer and constitutionalist but, like so many legal types, he is very impractical. I voted against the Third Reading of the Race Relations Act because it was impractical. I had no other reason. I recognise no difference on account of the colour of men's skins—none at all. All God's creatures are equal in my eyes. But I saw the most grave impracticalities in that Act and I see similar grave impracticalities in the Bill.
If my hon. Friends will come with me, I will do what my right hon. and learned Friend is too timid to do. Were he not in the Shadow Cabinet, he would be voting against the Bill, as I am. He knows that he would. But I do not want to tempt him to rebel. He does not like the Bill. But I am allowed to vote against the Bill. I do not sit in the Shadow Cabinet—no such privileged position for me. I follow my mentor in this matter—my right hon. Friend the Member for Ashford (Mr. Deedes), who was 545 exactly right in his objections to the Bill.
I invite my hon. Friends to follow my right hon. Friend the Member for Ashford, my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Buckinghamshire, South (Mr. Ronald Bell), my hon. Friend the Member for St. Albans (Mr. Goodhew), my hon. Friend the Member for Ormskirk (Sir D. Glover) and others in opposition to the Bill. I hope that my hon. Friends the Members for Chigwell (Mr. Biggs-Davison) and Wembley, North (Sir E. Bullus) will come into the Lobby with us this evening, thereby denoting that we regard this Measure as grossly impractical. We do not wish to see the splendid leadership of my right hon. Friend the Member for Bexley (Mr. Heath) impugned in future controversies on account of the hard core in his party—my hon. Friends and myself—nursing such grave objections to this Bill.
§ 6.34 p.m.
§ Sir Eric Errington (Aldershot)
I am very concerned about what I consider to be an unnecessarily cumbersome method of dealing with this situation. A year or sc ago, while on the Estimates Committee, I had the opportunity of examining the Home Office and, in particular, immigration methods of keeping "tabs" on those coming into the country. I looked at the microfilms, of which there are many hundreds of thousands. I realised what a difficult situation it was for any Government Department accurately to keep the position of the various entrants. I fear that this problem has not been fully realised by the Government, however. They do not appear to appreciate the great difficulties in keeping, in such a way, the statistics—the microfilms and what have you—to deal with the problems. Insufficient consideration has been given to several aspects.
The first of these has been raised by several hon. Members, including my hon. Friend the Member for Worcestershire, South (Sir G. Nabarro) and the hon. Lady the Member for Wolverhampton, North-East (Mrs. Renée Short). Why should these matters not be dealt with in the first instance in the country of origin? There does not seem to be an argument against that. According to the Wilson Report, two members of the Committee went to Pakistan and India and two 546 went to Canada. That is not the way one would have thought the situation should have been dealt with. There should have been diplomatic discussions, which could, surely, have taken place on the basis of a working arrangement and whereby our diplomatic staffs in various parts of the world could have been required to go into these matters and make recommendations in consultation with the representatives of the country concerned. It would not have been adding too much to their duties.
Recommendations in themselves may not be the final answer, but what strikes me as most peculiar, admitting that there should be a court of appeal, is the statement in paragraph 105 of the Wilson Report:There are demonstrably special reasons which make a tribunal more appropriate, namely, the need for cheapness, accessibility, freedom from technicality, expedition and expert knowledge of a particular subject.I would have expected the Committee to deal with this course in its recommendations. But even if the Committee did not do so, the Government should have considered it as a way of ensuring a clear opportunity for anyone who thought he had been unfairly excluded to have an appeal to get his case reconsidered.
Instead of this, however, we have—I do not know that there is a word for it; I was going to say "mausoleum"—this immense effort. The financial effects will total £500,000. In addition, the exercise of this power may result in some increase in the number of Commonwealth citizens who are deported. It may reach an additional 10,000 a year.
I hoped that the Government were doing their best to reduce not only expenditure but also public service manpower, but now there are to be 24 full-time adjudicators. Incidentally, who thought of the word "adjudicators"? Surely we have enough judicial people without giving more a special name. There are also to be 40 supporting staff. In addition, we are to have an increase of 70 in the non-industrial staff of the Home Office. The Secretary of State said that the scheme would be a little expensive. It will be very considerably expensive as well as unnecessary. There is also to be an increase of 50 in the Diplomatic Service, which adds to the expense.
547 Let me tell the Secretary of State that if I could have those bodies and that money I could make a very much better, more realistic and sensible job of this than is being done in the Bill. I shall vote against it.
§ 6.41 p.m.
§ Mr. Antony Buck (Colchester)
This Bill is in bad need of a champion. I cannot myself adopt that rôle. We shall have to wait for the Under-Secretary to do that. We now return to lawyers' abracadabra and get away from the difficult things which have been discussed by my hon. Friend the Member for Worcestershire, South (Sir G. Nabarro).
There are two points which disturb me most about the administration of our immigration affairs at the moment. The first concerns their efficiency and the second concerns their humanity. I will deal, first, with their efficiency. Many of us on this side of the House and, I imagine, on the benches opposite have done a lot of work in visiting ports and airports trying to ascertain how efficiently our immigration control is working. The conclusion which many of us have reached is that it is not working efficiently, not through any fault of the immigration officers but because of the system."
Last year, as the House knows, about 49,000 dependants came to this country. I have heard it said that no fewer than 60 per cent. of those alleged dependants should not have been admitted. I have heard other figures of an even more dramatic character. If that be correct this is an appalling situation. If, of the 49,000 who came here, 60 per cent. were not entitled to do so either because they were outside the age group, or they were not within the proper degree of dependency, that is an appalling situation.
I hear that there has been a follow-up survey of those coming here as dependants and that that survey shows that the figure of illicit entry is very high indeed and is of the order of what I have just stated, or even higher. This gravely concerns me and, indeed, the immigration officers themselves. This is the first major thing which worries me about the implementation of our immigration policy.
§ Mr. Callaghan
Is the hon. Gentleman saying that 60 per cent. of the 49,000 people who have come here have done so illegally?
§ Mr. John Mendelson (Penistone)
Will the hon. Member give the House the source of those figures? He has merely said that he had heard it. From whom has he heard it—the man in the public house, or has he some other source?
§ Mr. Mendelson
I am not asking about the hon. Gentleman's first statement. I am asking about his other statement, in which he gave the figures.
§ Mr. Buck
I have heard it said by what I regard as fairly reliable sources who are concerned with this work. I have heard that other hon. Members have received similar and even more dramatic figures.[HON. MEMBERS: "Oh".] If this is not true, I hope that it will be contradicted. I am not prepared to reveal where this information came from—[Interruption.]
§ Mr. Buck
This cross-fertilisation seems to be going around.
There is deep concern, as I am sure the Home Secretary and the Under-Secretary will confirm, among immigration officers at the degree of evasion which may be going on. I hope that this will be dealt with by the Under-Secretary when he winds up the debate.
I am concerned also about the humanity of the system. Last year, 2,571 immigrants who came to this country were returned. That is the official figure and it is a very large number indeed. That official figure I got from the Library of the House.
§ Mr. Callaghan
I am trying to follow the hon. Gentleman's argument. First of all, he gave a figure which I have never heard before and which I think is totally untrue, that 60 per cent. of people coming here would not be here if the truth about them were known. He then said that it is inhumane to send back 2,571 people whom the immigration officers said are not qualified to be here. 549 On the basis of this kind of logic we would, I suppose, be trebly inhumane.
§ Mr. Buck
I am obliged to the right hon. Gentleman. He has proved the point that we have got to have a system whereby these matters are determined at the place of embarkation in the country of origin. It would be possible to make proper checks in the country of origin to ensure that people who are not entitled to come here are not issued with entry certificates. That would preclude the necessity for a Bill such as this and would obviate the tremendous inhumanity involved in sending back over 2,500 people from this country.
In the Wilson Report this harassing and frightening experience was fully described in paragraph 61. We should adopt a certificate of entry system, which I was glad to hear being advocated by the hon. Lady the Member for Wolverhampton, North-East (Mrs. Renée Short). It is a bitter disappointment to us on this side of the House that the Government have not adopted such a system.
The Wilson Report makes this point in paragraph 70:As the great majority of aliens who come to the United Kingdom are free from the visa requirement, we consider that it would be out of the question to impose on Commonwealth citizens the same requirement under another name.That point would be met if our system were adopted and there were an assimilation of the system involving aliens and Commonwealth citizens. That is the only argument in the Report against the adoption overall of the certificate of entry system.
If our solution to the problem were implemented, there would be no need for an elaborate appeal system such as is proposed in the Bill. The effect would not be considerable on the numbers being returned—on the 2,000-plus figure which I have already quoted—because, as is known by the House and as was acknowledged by the Home Secretary, the immigration officers are doing an extremely good job. There are not many wrong decisions. Such was the conclusion of the Wilson Report, which said that the great majority of arrivals at ports are fairly and properly dealt with. Therefore, 550 the system will go on, with 2,700 being sent back.
§ Mr. Callaghan
My hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State is to reply, but I have been reflecting on what the hon. Gentleman said about the 60 per cent. and I should say something about it. He is now saying that the immigration officers deal fairly with the people who come in, yet he says that they make mistakes with 60 per cent of the people who come in—that they are not entitled to be here.
I know of no authority for this figure, and I do not know what the hon. Gentleman's authority is. He is a responsible spokesman, but he should produce some evidence for this. If there is anything calculated to raise prejudice it would be the thought, if true, that 60 per cent. of people getting into these islands should not be here. I say to the hon. Gentleman quite categorically that no figure of this sort has ever been presented to me by my officials or anybody who knows. Their view is that with the tightening up in the procedure there are not many now who get through the net. As the hon. Gentleman says, the immigration officers are doing their work efficiently.
The hon. Gentleman may say that he cannot give his source, but he owes it to us to say why he has not hitherto conveyed this figure to me and told me what these alarming proportions are—on his figures they amount to tens of thousands of people—and given me the opportunity to see where this wildly exaggerated statement comes from and whether there is any truth in it, and to find out what the truth is.
I am ready to do so, but it is not good enough for the hon. Gentleman to fling the figure across the Floor of the House, for what reason, I do not know. It is the sort of thing that is bound to get a headline and create the most tremendous prejudice. Unless the hon. Gentleman has made the most detailed investigations, it is not good enough for him to say, "I have heard it said that …" and then create a scare of this sort.
§ Mr. Callaghan
It will be a pleasure. There has been no survey of that sort. The only survey made was that which I have already reported to the House, to find out how long after the voucher holder arrives his dependants follow. I have already given the House some information about that. It is an entirely different matter, quite unrelated to this. If the hon. Gentleman has no more information and can put it no stronger than, "I have heard it said …", and if he wishes us to regard him as responsible, he ought to withdraw it.
§ Mr. Callaghan
Would the hon. Gentleman do me one further service and follow up his source, or sources, find out what information they have about this, and assess how reliable it is? He can keep the names away from me if he wants. Then will he let me know the source of it? But I am willing to say now that I do not believe a word of it.
§ Mr. Buck
I am very reassured by what the Home Secretary has just said. In view of what he says, I shall, of course, investigate this further and inform him. I shall withdraw if I find that there is, as he suggests, absolutely nothing in the figure or any other figures which have been mentioned. I shall gladly do that.
Our policy would be to adopt the system of certificates of entry. We think that that is the way to deal with the situation efficiently, and it would preclude the necessity for an appeal system as provided for in the Bill.
I now turn to some specific questions which I hope the Under-Secretary will answer. Will he say how much the adjudicators are to be paid? How much will the chief adjudicator receive? Where is their headquarters to be? Are they to operate in every port, and are they to be available at all the principal ports? What is to be their scheme of operation? What plans are there for building accommodation for them, if it is not already available?
I should also like answers to similar questions about the Tribunal. How much 552 are its members to be paid? How much will the President receive? Where will the members sit? Will they operate centrally? Is it expected that members of the Tribunal will be on circuit, as it were? How will that operate? Is the accommodation available? If not, what plans are there for building it?
There will obviously be some delays in granting bail to people. What is the position about their accommodation until they receive bail? It is estimated in the Financial and Explanatory Memorandum that the cost of the Bill will be about £500,000 a year. Is the hon. Gentleman satisfied that this is the appropriate figure? If so, can he give us a further breakdown of it? Can he say what is the capital expenditure likely to result from the Bill by way of the new buildings, courts, and so on, which may be required?
While the present system lasts, and we do not have a system of entry certificates, some sort of appeal system is right, but I should have preferred it to be confined to matters of fact and law, which are appropriate issues for a tribunal or court to determine. I am very doubtful about the discretionary matters being brought before a tribunal. I should have preferred this to be confined to the courts. The appropriate court might have been the county court, which has not been mentioned. I doubt whether the whole of this rather cumbersome procedure is necessary. Like my hon. Friends, I feel rather lukewarm about the whole matter.
§ 6.58 p.m.
§ The Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. Merlyn Rees)
My hon. Friend the Member for Bolton, West (Mr. Oakes) touched the note that I would have thought should strike us all when dealing with this matter, when he said that it is not so much a question of law and statistics. What I have learnt of this subject during the past three months, with telephone calls in the middle of the night and a dedicated staff dealing with it in the Home Office—though this is not always generally appreciated—is that it is a question of humanity.
This is what lay behind the Wilson Report, and here I pay tribute to the Report and Sir Roy Wilson. The Report well repays reading; if it were read carefully it would stop many of the allegations and a complete misunderstanding of 553 the purpose of the Bill. The Report gave a valuable history of immigration control, which the right hon. and learned Member for St. Marylebone (Mr. Hogg) paraphrased. In debates in the House on increased immigration about 50 years ago, the reports of which also well repay reading, there were similar allegations, accompanied by "phoney" figures.
It seems that history repeats itself. I find figures being bandied about which have no relation to fact, and I regret the figures mentioned by the hon. Member for Colchester (Mr. Buck). His figure of 60 per cent. of 50,000 will be one that we shall hear time and time again, even when the matter is fully withdrawn. This sort of thing bedevils much of the discussion of the question of immigration.
My right hon. Friend hopes that the Select Committee, in publishing a great deal of information, as well as looking at various aspects of immigration, particularly the question of entry certificates, will play some part in dealing with this problem. In general, our debate today has not been couched in the same language as have discussions outside. I want to deal with many of the explanatory points raised and, if I cannot deal with all the questions, I will write to those hon. Members who raised them.
One point raised on many occasions dealt with putting into permanent legislative form the Acts and Orders which have to be dealt with every year under the Expiring Laws Continuance Bill. My right hon. Friend takes the points of the right hon. and learned Member for St. Marylebone, but I am convinced of one other point—that we shall have to see how the Bill works out in terms of numbers, and from that we will learn a great deal. There is much to be gained from leaving the position as it is for a year or two before putting into permanent form the legislation mentioned by the right hon. and learned Gentleman. It is a question of balance, but any Bill that is introduced, however small it might be, will not go through this House very quickly. It will raise so many issues that a great deal of Parliamentary time and careful drafting will be required.
The hon. and learned Member for Buckinghamshire, South (Mr. Ronald Bell) asked where it is stated that immigration rules are binding over appelate 554 authorities. It will be a Committee point, no doubt, but it is in Clause 8(1)((a)(i). It is an essential point because it is the follow-up of the Bill. My hon. Friend the Member for Wolverhampton, North-East (Mrs. Renée Short) asked whether there should be an automatic right of appeal. She will find that in paragraph 112 of the Wilson Report this was most carefully considered, but that there was a strong recommendation against it.
There is no analogy with the United States system. Their visas are compulsory, and it is only the few visa holders who are refused admission who have the right of appeal. To make appeals automatic here would reduce the immigration officers to cyphers, and might mean that the appellate authorities would be overwhelmed by cases. It is likely that, when we look at the number of cases heard, it will be seen that, in the early days, there will be a higher proportion of appeals going through the system than there will be later.
The hon. Lady the Member for Plymouth, Devonport (Dame Joan Vickers) asked whether the Bill complied with E.E.C. regulations and conventions. The answer is "Yes". The relevant E.E.C. and international documents are in Appendix 6 of the Report of the Wilson Committee, which took the E.E.C. situation into account in framing its recommendations.
I want to refer to one point germane to the whole basis of the Bill, although the hon. Member for Orpington (Mr. Lubbock), who asked it, is not here at present. He raised the important question of Scientology. Scientology apart, there are other similar situations which might arise. He asked whether a person coming into this country to study Scientology had a right of appeal under the appeals system. The appellate authorities will not be able to decide policy. If the Government wish to exclude people coming in to study Scientology, or anything else, then they can issue a published instruction to immigration officers saying that such people are not to be admitted.
I will not develop the point in so far as it relates to Scientology, but the appeals system is not handing over Government policy on immigration to legal or quasi-legal bodies. The policy of the 555 Government of the day will be made by the Government of the day.
§ Sir E. Errington
How does the hon. Gentleman relate this to Clause 9, which says that the Tribunal ought to retain the right to deal with security?
§ Mr. Rees
My right hon. Friend explained that—he said that the Government will retain the right to deal with security. The point was raised that the national interest was rather broad—where does one draw the line?
A number of hon. Gentlemen have raised questions about the Tribunals and Inquiries Act, 1958. Section 4(1) of that Act gives the Council power to make to… the appropriate Minister general recommendations as to the making of appointments to membership of any such tribunals as are specified in the First Schedule to this Act. …In accordance with the recommendation in paragraph 149 of the Wilson Report, it is proposed, when the Bill has become law, to make an Order under section 10 of the Tribunals and Inquiries Act, 1958.
The hon. Lady the Member for Devonport raised, among other questions, that of Clause 11 and rules of procedure. She raised many other questions, but I have time to deal here only with those which are of general interest. Clause 11 will empower the Secretary of State to make rules of procedure for appeals proceedings. The answer to her question is that the rules will be subject to the negative Resolution procedure of this House.
There has been much discussion about adjudicators. The real point here is that there seemed to be some dubiety on the part of some right hon. and hon. Gentlemen about lawyers. As a non-lawyer, I take a very subjective view of this. It is not for me to enter into the argument, except to say that from my investigations at the ports—and I have not been doing this job for any length of time, but through picking the brains of those who have—I do not think that it would be right for the adjudicators to be lawyers. This is not the intention, and this is why I said that a study of the Wilson Report was essential when dealing with the Bill.
§ Sir G. Nabarro
I confess that I have no knowledge of the law, but I am curious to know how, if the adjudicator 556 is not to be a lawyer and if the would-be immigrant is represented by a lawyer—he certainly ought to be, in view of the abstruse character of the law—an adjudicator will deal with lawyers pleading or opposing the case of a would-be immigrant.
§ Mr. Rees
The whole purpose behind the Wilson Report, and the intention of the Bill, in a large respect is to carry out the recommendations of the Report, was that this sort of occasion should not be a legal one. My right hon. Friend and I, on his behalf, on a number of occasions at this moment, in a sense act as adjudicators. Members of Parliament and others bring these cases to our attention—quite properly—at all hours of the day and night. At the moment, it is the politician who happens to be at the Home Office who is doing a job that in future will be done by the adjudicators and the Tribunal. I certainly have not felt in carrying out this task that, because I do not have legal training, I have been unable to do the job.
§ Mr. John Biggs-Davison (Chigwell)
It might be much better and less impracticable if the Home Office continued to carry out this duty.
§ Mr. Rees
I would be the last to say that lawyers should be debarred, but this is not a highly legal matter. I have been trying to think how this could be done.
I have here a letter written to my hon. Friend the Member for Barons Court (Mr. Richard). It is about four pages long and was sent to him in relation to a case of his. I discussed the matter with my hon. Friend earlier today. He said, "Would that that letter could be published, because it typifies the sort of work that immigration officers do at ports and that Home Office officials do, and also illustrates what the adjudicators will be considering". They are not fine 557 points of law. They are points of fact about passports, whether a passport is forged, whether, under the rules and regulations, under the Commonwealth Immigrants Acts, or under the Aliens Orders, people should be admitted.
My right hon. Friend has decided, with the Lord Chancellor's full agreement, to adhere to the Wilson Committee's recommendation that the appointment of adjudicators should be made by the Secretary of State. There will be about 20 serving full-time and about 30 part-time. It was considered that questions of adjudicators were not ones for the Lord Chancellor. It is the Lord Chancellor's own view, as it was that of the Wilson Committee, that his intervention in the establishment of the appeals system will be more effective if it is limited to the appointment of the Tribunal.
When speaking about the arrangements for bringing appeals before adjudicators within a few hours, the hon. Lady the Member for Devonport referred to the Canadian system. The figure of 200 special inquiry officers in Canada, referred to in paragraph 7 of Appendix V to the Report, includes officers in charge at small ports and is not comparable with our 20 full-time adjudicators. In Britain, 14 out of 15 immigrants arrive at the seven ports where full-time adjudicators will be stationed, which also answers the point raised by the hon. Member for Worcestershire, South (Sir G. Nabarro).
The right hon. Member for Ashford (Mr. Deedes) raised a number of questions. Some of them can be more appropriately dealt with by my writing to him. I know that he has taken a great interest in this matter and has visited ports and talked to people there. He pointed out that the Wilson Report says that 150 fabricated or altered passports were detected during 1966. He asked whether there were more recent figures. During the 12 months ended 30th September, 1968, 176 Commonwealth citizens were found to be travelling on falsified documents. That is a slight increase, but it is only a very small proportion of the total of those who enter.
Granted that we should concentrate on evasions, but to the extent that we do so and forget the facts relating to 558 the large number of those who enter perfectly honourably, the whole question of race relations is coloured, because we find ourselves looking at Commonwealth citizens and wondering whether they came in illegally. I know that the number who enter illegally is relatively small. However, this does not mean that we should not attend to this matter.
The right hon. Gentleman also raised the question whether Commonwealth visitors should register with the police. My right hon. Friend and I have considered this carefully. The advice we have received from the police is that, even if such a system were acceptable on other grounds, it would not in practice make much contribution to enforcement of control. This is rather different from aliens, who tend not to live in groups or communities. It would be difficult to enforce such a control.
§ Mr. Deedes
That was not the question I asked. I asked: as this involves embarkation and landing cards, has any check been made on what the pairing up of these cards results in?
§ Mr. Rees
I will let the right hon. Gentleman have in writing the answer to that point and also the figures for breach of conditions. I do know, however, that the number of Commonwealth citizens who breach their conditions is very small.
Then there was the question of disclosing and information about methods of detecting evasion. Given the Bill as it stands, I think that information would have to be given. We shall have to consider this matter very carefully. I am grateful to the right hon. Gentleman for raising the point, but there are now refined ways of detecting forgeries and it would be foolish of me to publicise information on this.
We have not quite completed our study of fiancées. The question, which is not as simple as it seems, is being considered.
A number of right hon. and hon. Gentlemen raised the question of accommodation at the ports. It will be important to get this right, because already it has been indicated to me that there is talk about houses being made available for immigrants. Therefore, as my right hon. Friend said, it will be advisable for me to develop this at a little more length than he had time to do.
559 The preparations which have to be made for the introduction of the appeals system include not only the appointment of staff, as is detailed in the Explanatory and Financial Memorandum, but also the provision of premises for the hearing of appeals and the detention of appellants who are not released on bail. At the majority of ports it will be a matter only of hiring premises for hearings when necessary, and the existing facilities for detention should be sufficient. At a few places, principally London Airport, something more will be required. It will be necessary to have secure accommodation in or near London Airport for 40 to 50 passengers at a time, more than double the present number.
Our plan is to provide the additional accommodation on the periphery of the airport in close proximity to the building where the appeals will be heard. There are Government buildings on the former Road Research Laboratory site at Harmondsworth which might be suitable for at least temporary use for this purpose; but the process of conversion and adaptation is bound to take some time. Eventually, it is hoped that purpose-built premises can be provided.
The House may wonder why it is necessary to make provision for the detention of people in custody, since the Bill makes provision for the grant of bail. Whether or not bail is granted in a particular case will be a matter for the adjudicator's discretion. It remains to be seen how that discretion will be exercised. It may well be, however, that where a passenger has to wait only a day or two the adjudicator will think it better that he should remain in custody rather than be set at liberty at a port far from the home of his relatives or friends.
At any rate, whatever proportion of people are released on bail, proper provision for the accommodation of appellants who for one reason or another cannot be released must be made. Under the present law we must make provision at London Airport, and my right hon. Friend would state straightaway that it is not satisfactory even under the present system. We are trying to improve that as well.
§ Mrs. Renée Short
Does this mean that women will not be sent to Holloway? 560 How does my hon. Friend intend to treat children who come unaccompanied but who may also to have to lodge appeals?
§ Mr. Rees
I will state what the position is now, because that is what exercises my hon. Friend's mind.
Under the Commonwealth Immigrants Act, 1962 the Home Secretary's directions limit the period which a passenger may spend in detention quarters at any time to five days. Then he must be transferred to prison custody. As my hon. Friend mentioned last year in the debate on the Expiring Laws Continuance Bill, and before the introduction of this Bill, we have plans for securing the provision of a hostel near London Airport for dealing with the existing situation. But at the moment such institutions as remand homes are used.
It must be made clear that the present situation is not satisfactory. There is no doubt about that. At the airport the officials are trying to do the best they can, but it is because of the unsatisfactory circumstances there that, under the Bill, we intend to provide larger accommodation for dealing with those who experience difficulty on arrival at the ports.
§ The question of bail will be within the discretion of the adjudicators. It is not for me to comment further on this except to say that I know of the problem for immigration officers or the Ministers when it is said that a person should be allowed to come into the country rather than stay in unsatisfactory quarters. The fact that some people abscond makes it extremely difficult to deal with the genuine cases. I know that in time this sort of question will have to be taken into account under the new system.
§ The number of cases in which blatant misrepresentations are made to immigration officers to secure an immigrant's admission, although small in relation to the number of genuinely qualified immigrants who seek entry at the ports, is nevertheless disturbing. I stress again, however, that our information at the Home Office is that the number is very small.
§ We have recently introduced at London Airport arrangements for bringing cases of apparent misrepresentation more quickly to the notice of the police 561 with a view to proceedings being taken against the people concerned. There are a dozen or so cases in which proceedings are being considered and, obviously, I cannot say what their outcome will be. In a recent case, however, a man and his wife, who were residents of this country, were convicted of misrepresentation and fines of £25 and £10 were imposed. In most cases, it is for the police to decide whether there is sufficient evidence to institute proceedings and for the courts to decide whether the charge is proved and, if so, what penalty is appropriate.
§ The maximum penalties—and I hope that publicity will be given to this—are a fine of £100 and six months' imprisonment. If the offender is liable to deportation, this also may be recommended. I say that because, again in my brief experience, it is grossly unfair that the fact that £ very small proportion of people offend against the legislation often colours the treatment which is given to genuine people. The fact that the number of prosecutions has increased in recent months will, I hope, serve as a deterrent.
§ My right hon. Friend, in his opening speech, dealt with the question of the advisory organisation which the Wilson Committee recommended. He has decided that it shall be the composite organisation. I hope that discussions will shortly lake place, because the new organisation will not only deal with welfare, but will give advice—which need not be given by lawyers. There is no need for legal advice in this connection. I can speak from practical experience, because so much of the work that I do is the sort that this appellate organisation will be dealing with.
§ Dame Joan Vickers
I would like to express my thanks, on behalf of the various organisations, for that decision. It is very helpful.
§ Mr. Rees
I thank the hon. Lady. I had an interesting meeting last week with the organisations concerned. A large number of voluntary organisations wish to play their part in this necessary work. The hon. Lady has provoked me to saying one thing more. Independence there must be, but accountability must be maintained in respect of money that is spent as a result of being voted by this House.
562 I now come to the question of entry certificates. The Wilson Committee was well aware of the problems which arise when the eligibility of an immigrant for admission has to be determined for the first time at the port of entry—for example, problems of time, accommodation, strain on immigrants and the burden of work falling on the immigration service. The introduction of an appeals system will not in itself solve these problems. My right hon. Friend and I have been looking closely at entry certificates. Important as they are, they must not be thought to be the answer to all the problems that arise.
The Wilson Committee, nevertheless, saw the only remedy as being the wider use by immigrants of the entry certificate procedure. I understand that the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants will use publicity and advice in the country of origin to get intending immigrants to know the full facts of the situation. The House may be interested to know that my predecessor in this office, my hon. Friend the hon. Member for Dover (Mr. Ennals), wrote to the editors of all papers which circulate in immigrant communities asking them to publicise information about entry certificates.
There is an immigration leaflet for intending immigrants which is mentioned in paragraph 179 of the Wilson Report. It encourages them to apply for entry certificates. These are distributed through passport issuing offices and airline offices and are available from British posts abroad. Some posts also produce their own material in the local language and the Indian Government encloses in newly-issued passports a slip advising immigrants to the United Kingdom to obtain entry certificates. Pakistan International Airlines issues similar advice to its intending passengers.
§ Sir G. Nabarro
Will the hon. Gentleman reply to my specific question? There are very large numbers of Pakistanis who seek to come into this country. Very large numbers are carried by Pakistani Airlines. Why is it not possible to arrange with Pakistani Airlines that no ticket will ever be sold to this country unless the would-be immigrant produces proof at the point of embarkation that leave has been given to enter the United Kingdom?
§ Mr. Rees
To take the precise point of Pakistanis Airlines, they are very good and helpful in this respect. I am answering the question of publicity in the countries concerned. My right hon. Friend cannot, however, tell independent Governments what to do. When people go to our posts abroad and discuss entry to this country, they are informed about the benefits of an entry certificate. [Interruption.] I am not dealing with the point of making them compulsory. We do what we can.
I fully agree with all that has been said. The entry certificate system would ease the problem because the difficulties would be, not at the port of entry, but abroad. There is no disagreement here. The Government's mind about this is still open; the Select Committee is looking at it, but there are difficulties. At least, there is the practical point that there would still be evasion. Even when entry certificates were obtained, there would still be forgeries. The hon. Member for Worcestershire, South shakes his head. He may be an innocent in this respect—
§ Sir G. Nabarro
The hon. Gentleman must not put a gloss on my words. I am not shaking my head about the matter of prospective or possible forgery. I am saying that when a would-be immigrant comes here, is refused admission and is returned to his point of origin, somebody has to pay the air fare back. The Minister says that it would be Pakistani Airlines. Would it not be better, however, for the Government to arrange with the airline in the first place that no booking to this country would be accepted unless a certificate of entry had been granted? That would solve the whole problem.
§ Mr. Rees
It is not possible to tell people in other countries what to do. They are independent. At present they suffer, because if they bring in somebody who is turned back, they have to carry him back. There are difficulties in doing this.
The most important point that I would bring to the hon. Member's notice is that if we were to make entry certificates compulsory an amendment would be necessary to the 1962 Act. The hon. Gentleman is saying that there should be entry certificates for Commonwealth 564 immigrants, but is he saying that we should then treat all people who come in equally? One of his hon. Friends has said that aliens and Commonwealth immigrants should be treated alike. In these circumstances, there would have to be visas for aliens. Visas were done away with at least 25 years ago, but would have to be reintroduced if we were to make the requirements the same for both Commonwealth citizens and aliens. It is not an easy matter. The Government accept, however, that the more that people have entry certificates, the easier it would be. There is no doubt about that. The argument is about the means of arranging it. I must, however, make the corollary that it would not mean that there would be no cases of forgery at London Airport or anywhere else; neither would it mean fewer people coming in.
§ Mr. Deedes
Is not the point at issue raised by my hon. Friend the Member for Worcestershire, South (Sir G. Nabarro), and described in paragraph 40 of the Wilson Report, that some carrier companies have agreed to insist on entry certificates, but others, in other parts of the Commonwealth, have refused because of competition? Is the position any different now, and, if so, can we improve it? That is the point.
§ Mr. Rees
The right hon. Gentleman puts the situation as it is now. One of the problems is that when an airline cooperates with us and says, "We will only carry people having entry certificates" passengers then go to somebody else; there is competition. The right hon. Gentleman is absolutely right. The day of the British Raj and the Empire are over. We are not in a position to tell people what to do.
We are fully aware of the value of entry certificates for settlement. I asked the hon. Gentleman a question, because I think that it would be foolish to have entry certificates or visas in general for the 3 million visitors who come in. The hon. Gentleman says "No"? He should, then, be more explicit in what he is saying.
§ Sir G. Nabarro
It is a matter of administration, and of what we ask any entrant into the United Kingdom to do, and that is, to produce one of two things, either a return ticket to his point of 565 origin, in which case he is a visitor or tourist—aid he has got to go back if he is a visitor. [Laughter.] It is no good hon. Gentlemen opposite laughing at me. He has got to go back if he is a visitor. Or a work voucher to come in. One or the other. That is quite explicit. I will argue it in depth in Committee.
§ Mr. Rees
I look forward to that. I also look forward to seeing the Report of the Select Committee. The hon. Gentleman prides himself on his administrative as opposed to his legal ability. All I would say to the hon. Gentleman is that we have advice given to us by people who have considered this matter in detail.
One last word on the question of immigration officers. Praise has been given to them. The number of difficult cases which arise, at London Airport in particular, imposes a heavy burden on the immigration service, so I regret it when attacks are made on them in the newspapers. I will paraphrase my view by saying that if there is a disagreement with policy, then it is the politicians who are the ones to attack—that, in a sense, is what we are paid for—not the people carrying out the job at the ports. I have been there, and they do an extremely?
§ difficult job, and they do it well, and the Wilson Committee praises them for that. It would be very interesting if one could publish—it is not possible—'the very difficult cases which have to be dealt with.
§ The Bill, when it becomes an Act, will give a new sense of security and protection at the ports. It will lighten the Ministers' burden—because they, are, in effect, the adjudicators at the moment. I am not sure whether those who, over the years, have been very much in support of such a Bill, and who believe that the decisions will be more liberal, are right. In my brief experience I believe that it is the politicians—of all parties—who tend to be, perhaps, more liberal, maybe because they have the right to raise cases in the House as people dealing with the questions at the ports do not. Perhaps it is unfashionable to praise politicians, particularly among politicians, but that is the thought I have.
§ I commend the Bill to the House.
§ Question put, That the Bill be now read a Second time:—
§ The House divided: Ayes 170, Noes 24.567
|Division No. 48.]||AYES||7.35 p.m.|
|Abse, Leo||Davies, S. O. (Merthyr)||Haseldine, Norman|
|Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)||Delargy, Hugh||Heffer, Eric S.|
|Aldritt, Walter||Dempsey, James||Henig, Stanley|
|Ashton, Joe (Bassetlaw)||Dewar, Donald||Horner, John|
|Atkins, Ronald (Preston, N.)||Dickens, James||Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas|
|Atkinson, Norman (Tottenham)||Dobson, Ray||Howarth, Harry (Wellingborough)|
|Bagier, Gordon A. T.||Doig, Peter||Howarth, Robert (Bolton, E.)|
|Baxter, William||Driberg, Tom||Howell, Denis (Small Heath)|
|Beaney, Alan||Dunn, James A.||Hughes, Emrys (Ayrshire, S.)|
|Bessell, Peter||Dunnett, Jack||Hunter, Adam|
|Bidwell, Sydney||Dunwoody, Mrs. Gwyneth (Exeter)||Hynd, John|
|Bishop, E. S.||Eadie, Alex||Irvine, Sir Arthur (Edge Hill)|
|Blackburn, F.||Edelman, Maurice||Johnston, Russell (Inverness)|
|Booth, Albert||Jones, Rt. Hn. Sir Elwyn (W. Ham, S.)|
|Boyden James||Edwards, Robert (Bilston)||Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham)|
|Braddock, Mrs. E. M.||Edwards, William (Merioneth)||Jones, T. Alec (Rhondda, West)|
|Bradley Tom||Ellis, John||Judd, Frank|
|Bradley, Tom||Evans, Fred (Caerphilly)|
|Brown, Hugh D (G'gow, Provan)||Evans, loan L. (Birm'h'm, Yardley)||Kelley, Richard Kenyon, Clifford|
|Brown, Bob)(N 's' tle-upon-Tyne, W.)||Fernyhough, E.||Lawson, George|
|Buchan, Norman||Finch, Harold||Lee, Rt. Hn. Frederick (Newton)|
|Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp'burn)||Fitch, Alan (Wigan)||Loughlin, Charles|
|Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.)||Fitt, Gerard (Belfast, W.)||Lubbock, Eric|
|Callaghan, Rt. Un. James||Foot, Michael (Ebbw Vale)||McBride, Nell|
|Carter-Jones, Lewis||Fowler, Gerry||McCann, John|
|Chapman, Donald||Galpern, Sir Myer||MacColi, James|
|Coe, Denis||Ginsburg, David||McGuire, Michael|
|Coleman, Donald||Gray, Dr. Hugh (Yarmouth)||Mackenzie, A lasdair (Ross&Crom'ty)|
|Crawshaw, 'Richard||Gregory, Arnold||Mackintosh, John P.|
|Cullen, Mrs. Alice||Griffiths, David (Rother Valley)||Maclennan, Robert|
|Dalyell, Tam||Griffiths, Eddie (Brightside)||MacMillan, Malcolm (Western Isles)|
|Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.)||Griffiths, Will (Exchange)||McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.)|
|Davies, Dr. Ernest (Stretford)||Hannan, William||McNamara, J. Kevin|
|Davies, Harold (Leek)||Harper, Joseph||MacPherson, Malcolm|
|Davies, Ifor (Gower)||Harrison, Walter (Wakefield)||Mahon. Peter (Preston, S.)|
|Mallalieu, J. P. W.(Huddersfield, E.)||Pearson, Arthur (Pontypridd)||Swain, Thomas|
|Manuel, Archie||Peart, Rt. Hn. Fred||Taverne, Dick|
|Mapp, Charles||Perry, George H. (Nottingham, S.)||Thomas, Rt. Hn. George|
|Marks, Kenneth||Price, Thomas (Westhoughton)||Tinn, James|
|Mason, Rt. Hn. Roy||Probert, Arthur||Urwin, T. W.|
|Mendelson, John||Rankin, John||Varley, Eric G.|
|Millan, Bruce||Rees, Merlyn||Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne Valley)|
|Miller, Dr. M. S.||Roberts, Albert (Normanton)||Wallace, George|
|Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire)||Rodgers, William (Stockton)||Watkins, Tudor (Brecon & Radnor)|
|Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)||Rose, Paul||Wellbeloved, James|
|Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)||Rowlands, E.||White, Mrs. Eirene|
|Morris, John (Aberavon)||Ryan, John||Whitlock, William|
|Moyle, Roland||Shaw, Arnold (Ilford, S.)||Wilkins, W. A.|
|Newens, Stan||Shore, Rt. Hn. Peter (Stepney)||Willey, Rt. Hn. Frederick|
|Oakes, Gordon||Short, Rt. Hn. Edward (N'c'tle-u-Tyne)||Williams, Alan Lee (Hornchurch)|
|Ogden, Eric||Short, Mrs. Renée (W'hampton, N. E.)||Williams, Clifford (Abertillery)|
|O'Malley, Brian||Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)||Wilson, William (Coventry, S.)|
|Oram, Albert E.||Silkin, Hn. S. C. (Dulwich)||Winstanley, Dr. M. P.|
|Orme, Stanley||Silverman, Julius||Woof, Robert|
|Owen, Will (Morpeth)||Slater, Joseph|
|Page, Derek (King's Lynn)||Snow, Julian||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Pannen, Rt. Hn. Charles||Spriggs, Leslie||Mr. J. D. Concannon and|
|Park, Trevor||Steel, David (Roxburgh)||Mr. Charles Grey.|
|Parker, John (Dagenham)||Steele, Thomas (Dunbartonshire, W.)|
|Alison, Michael (Barkston, Ash)||Gurden, Harold||Taylor. Edward M.(G'gow, Cathcart)|
|Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead)||Hiley, Joseph||Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)|
|Baker, W. H. K. (Banff)||Jennings, J. C. (Burton)||Teeling, Sir William|
|Biggs-Davison, John||King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.)||Waddington, David|
|Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S. W.)||McMaster, Stanley||Williams, Donald (Dudley)|
|Bullus, Sir Eric||McNair-Wilson. Patrick|
|Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F. (Ashford)||Maude, Angus||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton)||Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J.||Mr. Ronald Bell and|
|Errington, Sir Eric||Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch||Sir Gerald Nabarro.|
|Glover, Sir Douglas|
§ Bill accordingly read a Second time.
§ Bill committed to a Standing Committee pursuant to Standing Order No. 40 (Committal of Bills).