§ Again considered in Committee.
§ Question again proposed, That the Amendment be made.
§ Mr. Stratton Mills
What would be the position if a ban similar to that imposed on the Springboks match under the Special Powers Act was imposed? Would it be possible for British police officers to be drafted in to maintain that ban?
As I understand, there is a Public Order Act on the Statute Book in Northern Ireland, and if the match was banned under that Act the police in Britain would be free, under the mutual aid agreement, to take part in it. As things stand, and as the legislation has not been passed, the Northern Ireland Government would act under the Special Powers Act, and, therefore, on the assurance given by my right hon. Friend, the mutual aid arrangement would not operate.
§ Miss Devlin
I appreciate that one cannot leave a vacuum in legislation, particularly in a situation like that in Northern Ireland, but it is surely the responsibility of this House to exercise its authority under Section 75 of the Government of Ireland Act and make the law of this country immediately applicable in Northern Ireland without having to put the Northern Ireland Government in the position of having to find Parliamentary time to put this legislation on their books? There could be an immediate transfer of legislation within a week. This House could do it next week, or even tonight, if it wanted to. The same Section of that Act applies with regard to the British Army. Neither of those two facts justifies the retention of the Special Powers Act, and I am, therefore, still unsatisfied with its continued existence.
My hon. Friend is right constitutionally. The House could do that in respect of Northern Ireland, but I hope that my hon. Friend will appreciate that my right hon. Friend's view is that as far as possible we want to try to carry all sections of opinion in Northern Ireland with us.
339 We have no doubt—and, for that matter, nor does the Northern Ireland Government—that part of the return to normalcy in Northern Ireland must be the replacement of the Special Powers Act by other kinds of legislation. In fairness to the Northern Ireland Government, I must tell the Committee that they themselves have said that on more than one occasion, and I am inclined to take them at their word.
I understand that the Northern Ireland Government are at the present time considering replacing the Special Powers Act. I want to tell the Committee what that implies. It implies that there are some elements in the Special Powers Act which will need to be embodied in permanent legislation of a kind that is familiar to this House. I refer to such legislation as that which deals with the possession of offensive weapons. Second, there are some elements in the Special Powers Act which might be embodied in regulations such as those which refer to the storage of explosives. The House has decided that this matter must be controlled by regulations made under powers given to Ministers, and I do not think that anyone would regard that as unreasonable.
Thirdly, there are certain powers under the Special Powers Act which are similar to those under our Defence of the Realm Act which can be brought in in a state of emergency, which has been so agreed by Parliament, or where there is a situation of extreme national emergency. This is the type of successor legislation which it is my understanding that the Northern Ireland Government would like to see and which we would certainly like to see, given the opportunity to introduce it. We understand that this is now being considered. I give the Committee the assurance that my right hon. Friend will be discussing this whole matter with the Northern Ireland Minister of Home Affairs, and that we will then, of course, be considering rapidly how any future advance can be made—
My hon. Friends may not ask me anything, because I am determined to finish this sentence.
340 I must make it crystal clear that, in the present situation—although what the hon. Member for Mid-Ulster says is perfectly correct in constitutional terms, it is not all that realistic in direct terms of the present emergency—the control over extremists on both sides by the British Army is largely operating at present under these Acts. Therefore, they must be replaced. I must make that absolutely clear: they cannot simply be swept away and not replaced at all.
§ Mr. Orme
Can my hon. Friend answer two questions, then? First, will any British police be sent there while these Acts are still on the Statute Book? That is the crucial question. My hon. Friend has admitted that circumstances could arise in which they could be put in a very difficult situation. Second, if the Special Powers Act had not been in operation when the British Army went in, does my hon. Friend really mean that this Parliament could not have given the Army powers to carry out the duties which it is now carrying out?
On the first part of the question, the answer is, as I have said when restating what my right hon. Friend said, that I cannot give my hon. Friend the assurance that no British police will be sent while the Act is in operation. I can give him the assurance that they will not be sent in situations in which they will have to use the Special Powers Acts or exercise them in any way.
On the second part of the question, I must repeat what I said. Yes, the Army is operating under the Special Powers Act. This is what it is using, for example, to investigate trucks, and so on. Although it might have been open to this House to do so, it would have been a slow and long-drawn-out business because there is no legislation, apart from the emergency legislation which covers the whole United Kingdom, which has not been brought into force, which covers the situation in Northern Ireland. Of course, I do not differ from my hon. Friends in believing that it would be better if there were such legislation; I am only pointing out to them the fact that there was not. I am making no value judgment of any kind.
341 So I must ask the Committee to agree, on the grounds which I have put forward, and not on the grounds that we believe that the Government want to go to the limit and to agree that the special powers legislation should remain forever on the Statute Book of Northern Ireland—it should not, and its disappearance has a lot to do with the recovery of a normal civilian situation in Northern Ireland—but on the grounds which I have tried to explain, that, as it stands, the Amendment cannot be accepted, although I have a good deal of sympathy with the movement and the attitude behind it.
§ Mr. Eldon Griffiths
I intervene very briefly to comment on the Minister's points. She has gone a very long way, and against a very difficult background she has acquitted herself manfully—if that is the word I want. She has given again a number of assurances, but throughout today I have been struck by the fact that the House of Commons is virtually being asked to give powers on the basis of a whole series of assurances which are no doubt sincerely meant, but which nowhere appear in this legislation which will bind successor Governments.
We are passing a Bill which will not be implemented by the hon. Lady. It may be implemented by a whole series of future Home Secretaries and no man can say what the future will bring.
All of us hope that there will not be a violent future in Ulster. Which of us dares to say that he is confident that that will not be the case? Therefore, in the end the people of this country, the police service and this Committee has to be concerned not solely with the assurances, well meant as they were. We have to be concerned with the language of the Bill. With the greatest respect, the language of the Bill is not satisfactory. The language of the hon. Lady's assurances goes a good deal of the way, but not far enough. I want to put three points to her. She has quoted the Home Secretary as saying on Second Reading that any British policemen who went to Ireland for a short term of mutual aid would not normally be expected to apply the Special Powers Act.
I understand why this is probably as far as he feels able to go, but there are several caveats. First, the hon. Lady, says that he says on a short term—and 342 throughout we have been asked to accept that they will only be sent on a short term, weekend football matches and demonstrations. I do not think that any of us can say with certainty that the commitment of British police to Ulster would always be on a weekend or short-term basis. I fear, although I hope differently, that there will be circumstances in which British policemen will find themselves in Ulster for a very much longer period of time than a weekend.
When those policemen are placed in the circumstances of Ulster there will inevitably be cases, emergency cases, when a policeman has to make up his own mind rapidly in a difficult situation, and where he will not know, unless better assurances are given than at the moment, whether he is implementing the Special Powers Act or whether he is simply implementing the ordinary powers that he understands from his training in this country.
I assure the hon. Lady with complete sincerity that I realise she has sought to be helpful, but I do not think that it is sufficient for her simply to rely on the Home Secretary's statement on Second Reading. It does not go far enough.
My second point has to do with possibly the most important assurance that the hon. Lady has been able to give. She said that the Northern Ireland Government will not expect British policemen to implement all those powers. That is a very important assurance. Hon. Gentlemen opposite may not have the same regard as I do for the Northern Ireland Government, but the fact that this assurance has been given is an important step forward which the Committee should recognise.
For my third point I quote again the hon. Lady's phrase. I can assure her that she will hear all her phrases from time to time in the weeks and months ahead. She said the police would not be sent into circumstances where the Special Powers Act would apply—not normally. I understand what she means and I am sure this is the intention of the Home Secretary. It would certainly be the wish of the Committee. If the circumstances are such that the Special Powers Act would have no relevance, one may ask what would be the necessity for sending police there at all? I realise that this is possibly pushing it to its 343 extreme, but it is not enough simply to give that sort of assurance. We should have taken just a few more days and had a Committee stage upstairs, which I would have greatly preferred. Then the hon. Lady, who is most reasonable in these things, would have seen that it would have been wise to place on the Statute Book one or two of the assurances she has given.
It is not always impossible to put into a Bill the intentions of the Government. I will not press this to a Division, but the police who have to implement the law as it stands, and not as Ministers have stated in the House of Commons, would have been helped if some of the important assurances that have been given could have been placed on the Statute Book and not simply left for the Committee to argue about late at night.
§ 10.15 p.m.
§ Mr. Fitt
Many of my hon. Friends and I were extremely concerned about the reply given by the Minister of State. We have been told that British police may not normally be used to implement the Special Powers Act and that that is not the intention of the Government, but we have not been given any guarantee as to the final repeal of that Act. In view of the unsatisfactory reply given by my hon. Friend—for which I do not blame her personally, but it was a result of the package deal between the two Governments—I must ask my hon. Friends to vote for this Amendment.
§ Mr. Carlisle
I did not intend to intervene until I heard the last few words spoken by the hon. Member for Belfast, West (Mr. Fitt). I hope that if the hon. Member does force the Amendment to a Division hon. Members will not support him in the Division Lobby. I thought the speech of the Minister of State one of reasonableness and moderation, and one which should have been accepted by this Committee.
It is impossible to write into the Bill the words suggested in the Amendment. I do not see that it is ever possible to put into the Bill the fact that police who go on a mutual exercise shall not carry out in all respects the law which applies in that country at that time. That is basic to the working of this Bill. There- 344 fore, the Amendment is unworkable and should be rejected.
I was grateful, as I am sure everyone in this Committee was, for the hon. Lady's comments about the Special Powers Act. It must be the wish of all on both sides of the Committee to see the removal from the Statute Book of that Act at the earliest possible moment. One wishes to see the Act replaced, as she said, by alternative permanent legislation where that is necessary.
I welcome, as the hon. Lady welcomed, the fact that the Northern Ireland Government, under Major Chichester-Clark in November last year, and the Minister of Home Affairs in Northern Ireland in October this year indicated the intention of the Northern Ireland Government to do away with the Special Powers Act. We should give that Government the opportunity to carry out that undertaking. Before they can do so a period of law and order, of peace and calm and of quiet—words used by the Home Secretary in a debate in this House referring to the time when the Special Powers Act should be abolished—is needed.
§ Mr. Molloy
You will probably rule me out of order, Mr. Irving, when I start my speech by saying that the real essence of what we are talking about is that there is a minority of British citizens who have suffered in a dastardly manner in part of the United Kingdom and it would be wrong of any hon. Member debating this Amendment not to have that in mind. It would be quite impossible if we are to introduce a Measure of this sort not to have constantly in our minds why we are introducing it. The Explanatory and Financial Memorandum to the Bill says—
§ The Chairman (Mr. Sydney Irving)
Order. I am afraid the hon. Member is entering on to a Second Reading speech, and he cannot do that on this Amendment.
§ Mr. Molloy
Do you tell me, Mr. Irving, that I cannot refer to the Bill that has been printed at any stage when we are discussing the Bill? It says:The Bill makes provision whereunder police forces in Great Britain may be more closely associated with the Royal Ulster Constabulary,If I had been drafting the Bill, I should have put it the other way round, so that 345 the Royal Ulster Constabulary could be more closely associated with the police forces in Great Britain. If we had it that way round we might not have bean in this dilemma.
Some Unionist Members opposite have had to dig very deep to justify the retention of the Special Powers Act and to explain how difficult it might be for British policemen operating in Northern Ireland to acquaint themselves with some of the laws there. The hon. and gallant Member for Down, South (Captain Orr) referred to breathalysers and drunken drivers. The hon. Member for Londonderry (Mr. Chichester-Clark) referred to the situation apropos the Springbok matches. What in essence those hon. Members are calling in aid is a couple of drunken drivers and racialists. What is happening with regard to the Springbok matches is to the disgust of Britain, and I hope that hon. Members opposite feel the same as me about apartheid. So that is a "bum" argument.
The fact of the matter is that there are two crucial issues here. If legislation which is designed to make a contribution to easing and ultimately ending the scandalous state of affairs in Northern Ireland is not to be properly constructed, it would be better that we left it alone. If British policemen and their officers are sent to Northern Ireland and they then become involved under a strange Act and operate in a manner foreign to that in which they would operate in England, Wales or Scotland, there will be a spreading of that which is abhorrent and vulgar in Northern Ireland.
I believe that my hon. Friend the Minister of State's heart is with us, but her argument seems to suggest that she was being cribbed and cabined by constitutional issues and previous legislation. I believe that we must overcome this. If we are to succeed in restoring decency in Northern Ireland, before we proceed with this Measure the existing repugnant Special Powers Act should be swept away and something like we have suggested from these benches put in its place.
§ Mr. Roebuck
I was very disappointed with the contribution of the hon. Member for Runcorn (Mr. Carlisle). I expected a much wiser contribution from him. As he concluded his collection of clichés I waited to hear from him the words, 346 "I now declare this bazaar well and truly open". His contribution was irrelevant. The only real contribution to the debate has come from this side.
My hon. Friend the Minister of State is a most enchanting parliamentary performer. She has clearly kissed the Blarney Stone. It is very difficult to resist some of the things she says because she can make the foulest arguments smell like Chanel No. 5, if only for a short time. Fortunately, I have had some time to reflect upon what she said. I want to ask her one or two legal questions which will help to determine this issue.
Under the Special Powers Act, does the power of arrest belong to the constable alone, or does it reside also with the citizen? My hon. Friend will appreciate the importance of this question. If everybody has this power, how can anybody say to a policeman, "You shall not exercise the power of arrest", because they are then suggesting to someone that he should not fulfil his legal obligations as a citizen? If my hon. Friend will elucidate this point for us we can discover how worth while is the assurance from the Northern Ireland Government.
Can any superior officer direct a constable to effect an arrest, or is that a matter on which the constable must come to his own determination? Is it possible for Sergeant X to say to Constable Y, "You must arrest that man"? Perhaps my hon. Friend will answer that. Will the officers sent to Northern Ireland be subject to the complaints procedure to which they are subject when performing their work in Great Britain?
I come now to the argument which my hon. Friend advanced in regard to the wording of the Amendment and the reference to offences. She took up a point here from a most dubious source, if I may say so; namely, the hon. and gallant Member for Down, South (Captain Orr). I ask my hon. Friend to exercise a little common sense. [Interruption.] The hon. and gallant Gentleman has been at the Guinness again. I put to my hon. Friend a point with regard to our licensing laws, which—very appropriately, if I may say so—was raised by the hon. and gallant Gentleman The licensing laws differ in various parts of the country, but, so far as I know, this does not mean that constables have different powers or 347 that one would wish them to exercise different powers. Perhaps my hon. Friend will deal with that anomaly in the business before the Committee.
The most substantial point against my hon. Friend is that which relates to the Special Powers Act. She and the Government are asking those of us who represent English, Scottish and Welsh constituencies to say to the decent English "Bobby", who is paid out of the rates as well as out of taxes, "We want to whip you off somewhere else. When you became a constable, you went to the magistrates' court and you swore an oath to preserve the Queen's Peace in a certain way. We now say that you must go across the water and operate an entirely different set of laws—not just a question of whether the licensing laws say that public houses must close at 9 or half—past 9 but a totally different system."
I ask my hon. Friend to ponder that further. What am I to say to the London "Bobby" in my constituency who does his useful work patrolling in a Panda car and who knows that if he steps out of line with our ordinary rule of law in Great Britain there may well be a complaint under, I think, Section 64 or Questions in the House and that sort of thing? 348 Are we to say to him, "Just go across the water to another part of the United Kingdom, and you can forget all that stuff; it is all junk"? Does not my hon. Friend think that that would be an extremely dangerous thing to do, to begin with? I see that she agrees, and I am delighted. If my hon. Friend is with me on that, I shall leave the point.
My hon. Friend has told us that certain processes have been gone through; she has not defined them, but something is in the air. There has been talk over the Guinness in some smoke-filled back room, apparently, about some alteration in the Special Powers Act. May we know a little more about that? Has my hon. Friend done a deal with the authorities in Northern Ireland about it? Has she a distinct and definite promise that, if the Bill goes on the Statute Book, there will by a certain date be repeal of the Special Powers Act?
I tell my hon. Friend frankly that in the light of the argument which she has so far advanced, unless I receive a much more comprehensive and satisfactory reply I shall be very tempted to join my hon. Friend the Member for Belfast, West (Mr. Fitt) in the Lobby and vote for the Amendment.
§ [Mr. E. L. MALLALIEU in the Chair]
§ 10.30 p.m.
§ Mr. McNamara
It is important that my hon. Friend the Minister of State should spell out in more detail than she has done so far exactly what she intends us to understand from the statement which she made. I think that we could, perhaps, go some way with her to accept the need for the Special Powers Act at present. Let us assume that premise of her argument for the moment. If so, and we have the undertaking that there will be negotiations with Mr. Porter, that is a valuable undertaking and a step forward.
But what if Mr. Porter loses the luggage? What if he does not tell us what we want? Are we to have a programme of reforms spelt out for us in a way that we can accept? Are we to have an undertaking from my hon. Friend that we can expect, as a result of future talks with Mr. Porter, an undertaking that within a reasonable time, perhaps a few years, there will be legislation here or at Stormont which will deal effectively with those parts of the Special Powers Acts which it might be necessary to retain by regulations under the Explosives Acts, provisions of the offensive weapons legislation and other regulations and Acts which would meet our main objections? This is important, and I think that what we hear from my hon. Friend will determine the actions of many hon. Members.
I think that it is Section 1(4) of the Special Powers Act which is a blanket provision that any act or omission may be deemed an offence under the Act. On top of that there is the provision that the burden of proof is on the accused to show that he is not guilty, and not on the prosecutor to prove his case. Those provisions go contrary to the whole history and writ of the common law. It would be something if we could have an undertaking that people will not have action taken against them under those provisions.
All that my hon. Friend said in her speech referred specifically to the Special Powers Act, but the Flags and Emblems Act is also legislation that we find nauseating. When my right hon. Friend 350 the Home Secretary recently made a reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Mid-Ulster (Miss Devlin) on the position with regard to the Special Powers Act and the Flags and Emblems Act, he carefully drew a distinction between the Special Powers Act, which was repugnant to the European Convention on Human Rights, and the Flags and Emblems Act, which is not, but which is repugnant to us—and to many people in Northern Ireland. Both on Second Reading and now my hon. Friend has studiously avoided replying to this point, and it is something we would like to know about.
In addition, we have the question raised by my hon. Friend the Member for Salford, West (Mr. Orme) about two men, Frank Cord and Maladry McGurran, alleged to be imprisoned under the Special Powers Act. Are they or are they not, and if not, what are they gaoled under? Let us know. We are not trying to make an issue out of it. We want information, and maybe from the information we can make an issue. Let us at least know the facts.
Republican clubs are still banned in Northern Ireland under the actions of the then Minister of Home Affairs, Mr. Craig. The way in which he dealt with that matter was a tremendous fiasco. We want a healthy society. A considerable number of the constituents of my hon. Friend the Member for Mid-Ulster and, indeed, all the hon. Members for Northern Ireland seats, still attend republican conventions to choose candidates, in one case resulting fortunately or unfortunately—whichever way one looks at it—in the election of my hon. Friend. Those were illegal organisations, and that alone is a farce. If there is law, it should be enforced; if the law is not to be enforced, it should not be on the Statute Book.
We want an undertaking from my hon. Friend. If she can give it, perhaps we can withdraw our Amendment and not divide the Committee. We want an undertaking about the timetable and the progress we may expect from the conversations with Mr. Porter. What is the position under the Flags and Emblems Act? Also, will she explain the foolish position with republican clubs and the position of the two unfortunate individuals who are in gaol?
§ Mr. McMaster
Having listened to this carefully reasoned debate, I should like to ask the hon. Lady one or two questions, because I, too, am in some doubt about her earlier statements.
It is clear that if the Minister of Home Affairs in Northern Ireland calls for the assistance of the British police, there must be an emergency, which is more than just a football match, which is worrying him. If the British police are called to assist the Northern Ireland police in a situation such as those which have arisen in the past few months, they will clearly have to employ legislation as it stands. I think that I speak on behalf of all my hon. Friends from Northern Ireland when I say that I deplore the Special Powers Act. We feel that the powers are badly drafted and that the hon. Lady's suggestion that they should be replaced by other legislation should be put into effect as quickly as possible.
We also look forward to the time when people, particularly extremists, will behave in a much more reasonable fashion in Northern Ireland. If there is to be protest, such protest should be conducted in a democratic fashion and not consist of attacks on the authorities, whether the Army or police, whether the Northern Ireland police, or the British police assisting the Northern Ireland police.
To be realistic for a moment, we have seen violence in Northern Ireland over a long period; we have seen subversion and attacks, particularly on the police, which were totally unprovoked. Therefore, whether the Special Powers Act or other legislation applies, if the British police are needed to assist the police in Northern Ireland, special provisions will be needed to meet the emergency.
The hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull, North (Mr. McNamara) mentioned the Flags and Emblems Act. I think that most hon. Members are aware of the trouble in this connection. It is a trouble which could easily exist in Great Britain. In some parts of Great Britain, the display of a flag representing Black Power could easily lead to a breach of the peace. Therefore, the problem before a policeman, whether a Northern Ireland policeman or a policeman from Great Britain, is simply to prevent something which could easily provoke a breach of 352 the peace. The main duty of the police is to prevent a breach of the peace.
§ Miss Devlin
My hon. Friend—[HON. MEMBERS:"He is 'The hon. Member'."] I should like to call him my hon. Friend; he makes the third of those who have been converted to opposition to the Special Powers Act.
The hon. Member has instanced Black Power flags being flown in England. He is well aware of the Public Order Act, 1936, which deals with that situation in this country. Under it, provocation has to be proved in court. If provocation is proved, action may be taken; if it is not proved, action is not taken. The case is fought in a democratic court. On numerous occasions flags of every country and every race may be seen from Trafalgar Square to Hyde Park Corner and nobody objects, because this is a democratic country to that extent.
Therefore, if what the hon. Member is complaining about is that he may be provoked by the sight of a green, white and gold flag, or a blue flag with five white stars, he may take us to court and we may there argue it out. But let us do it that way, as equals before a just law.
§ Mr. McMaster
The answer to the hon. Lady is surely that under the 1936 Act action can be taken in the courts in advance, when there is a fear of a breach of the peace. Exactly the same situation applies in Northern Ireland, whether it is a Union Jack, or an Eire tricolour, or the swastika. There are various parts of Northern Ireland, as there are of Great Britain, where the flying of such emblems, or the parading of them, would provoke the majority living in that area, or it might reasonably be apprehended that it would provoke them.
§ Miss Devlin
Is the hon. Gentleman trying to tell me that at any time in Northern Ireland anyone has ever, under the Flags and Emblems Act, been convicted for flying the Union Jack? Is he trying to tell us that the system of law is so meticulous that the national flag of the country becomes illegal under the Act we are trying to get rid of? If so, he has produced a better argument than we have for getting rid of it.
§ Mr. McMaster
I do not want to detain the Committee for long on this 353 point. I have already made it clear that the primary duties of the police, whether R.U.C. or English, will be to prevent action likely to provoke a breach of the peace. The purpose of this Amendment has been missed by the Committee, and I believe that it is unnecessary. The main purpose of the police, whether applying the emergency regulations, which we do not like, or other laws with a similar import, will be to prevent riots.
I would simply ask the Minister what is the Government's intention in this respect? Does she agree that if the police in Great Britain are called to Northern Ireland it will be under an emergency, such as we have had, and therefore to keep the peace, stop looting and violence, which may make it necessary to use some special powers?
§ Mr. Niall MacDermot (Derby, North)
I want to appeal to my hon. Friends to reconsider their decision to divide on this Amendment and to question whether it would be wise for them to do so. I speak as one who detests the Special Powers Act as much as they do and who considers that it would be quite wrong for a member of a British police force going to Northern Ireland under the provisions of this Bill to be called on to exercise powers under the Special Powers Act.
The question is how can we achieve that? My hon. Friend the Member for Belfast, West (Mr. Fitt)—and I am sorry that he is not in the Chamber—was a little ungenerous in his comments on my right hon. Friend's speech. I do not think that he appreciated quite how far she had gone in her assurances. I equally want to appeal to my right hon. Friend to go just a little further to help allay anxieties which exist on this side of the Committee. First, as to what has been said. There was anxiety in many parts of the Committee when she used a phrase with the word "normally" in it. I think she has been misquoted, but I have not got her exact words. My recollection was that what she said was that a constable from this country would not normally be sent to Northern Ireland in a situation which required to be dealt with under the Special Powers Act.
My hon. Friend left it vague whether in such a situation a British constable would 354 be called upon to exercise any powers under that Act. Indeed, she went on immediately afterwards to recognise, very frankly, the immense dilemma in which a British constable could be if he were alongside a member of the Royal Ulster Constabulary who was empowered to and was exercising powers under that Act, as to whether or not he should do so.
This comes to the crux of the matter. I was greatly assured when my hon. Friend the Minister of State said in answer to an intervention by one of my hon. Friends that, while she could not give an assurance that no British officer would be sent to Northern Ireland while the Special Powers Act is still in force, none would be sent to Northern Ireland to exercise the powers under the Special Powers Act. I am not here quoting her exact words.
But we are still left with the unanswered question: what is to be the position of a constable in the dilemma which she recognised until such time as the Special Powers Act is replaced by other legislation? My hon. Friend the Member for Harrow, East (Mr. Roebuck) put his finger on the crux of the matter when he asked: what is the position of the constable? Can he be ordered by a superior officer of the Ulster Constabulary to exercise powers under this Act, or is it to be left to his decision and his own discretion?
The distinction is crucial. If it is the latter, surely, in the light of the assurances which we have been given tonight, it can be made clear that a British officer would not be expected to exercise any particular powers of arrest in any circumstances where he would not arrest a person in this country, and that, although he might have the power to do so, he would not do so. If he could be ordered to exercise powers of arrest which would be repugnant to everything that he had been taught and brought up to believe to be the correct exercise of a constable's powers in this country, he would be put in an impossible dilemma.
The assurance for which I ask my hon. Friend is that, if she is able to do so, she should answer this question tonight. If she is not able to do so and feels she needs to take further advice from the Law Officers, she should tell us that she will do so and we could then return to this matter on Report. In the light of the 355 firm assurances that she has given as to the intention of this Government and of the Northern Ireland Government as to the way in which British officers would not be expected to go to Northern Ireland to enforce the Special Powers Act, if she can spell out more specifically the precise position of the individual constable I would feel fully satisfied with the assurances that she has given.
The distinction is important, because it could affect the whole future of an officer who had refused to exercise these powers, as to whether he had acted properly or been guilty of a serious indiscipline. I hope that the hon. Lady will address the Committee again.
§ Mr. Simon Mahon
I am concerned that I might have to vote against the Government unless the assurances which were so eloquently asked for by my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Derby, North (Mr. MacDermot) are given. Most of us hope that there will be an immediate change in Northern Ireland, but it is hard to get unanimity on any facet of the trouble there.
Here we have, rather belatedly in some respects, an admission from everyone that the Special Powers Act must go, and go as soon as possible. People I know in Northern Ireland who are anxious to cooperate in most of the things they are doing there and who admire the Home Secretary for the almost impossible task he has achieved, would welcome it, if it could be said tonight that a real attempt was to be made to rid the country of this obscenity in law. That is what they want to know and if this can be said to my hon. Friend, who is a reasonable man dealing with a very unreasonable set of circumstances in his native country, he would withdraw because he does not wish to vote against that Front Bench any more than I do. I hope the hon. Lady will reassure him.
§ Mr. Chichester-Clark
Will the hon. Member accept from me—and it is on record—that this is not the first time that a desire to end the Special Powers Act as soon as possible has been expressed from this side. The evidence is in HANSARD.
§ Mr. Mahon
Of course I accept that. We could all exacerbate a difficult situation in that country. I am trying to em- 356 phasise that we have an element of unanimity which I have not seen in a very long experience in this House and which I would regard as almost miraculous. Can we not latch on to this unanimity and express loudly and forcibly that this will happen, and fairly soon?
§ Mr. Fitt rose—
§ Mr. Fitt
Assurances by Unionist hon. Members on the other side are of absolutely no value because they have no say in the ranks of the Northern Ireland Unionist Party as to whether the Northern Ireland Government will abolish the Special Powers Act. Any decision, on whether such steps should be taken or not, is taken by a lot of backwoodsmen Ulster Unionist M.P.s. there who would not listen to hon. Members on the other side.
§ Mr. Mahon
It has gone on for 50 years, as I know. My knowledge of Northern Ireland is as extensive as most people's and I have lived in an atmosphere in Liverpool where all sorts of people worked together only because they learnt that it was impossible to try to live on any other basis. We joined all shades of political opinion, we joined trade unions and co-operated with one another. I do not care what happened in Northern Ireland in the past. The border will disappear like snow in a night, and this has to be achieved in tranquility if it can be. There has been too much bloodshed.
357 I cannot see any reason why deeply Christian people cannot live together. The people there are deeply spiritual. Somewhere we have to find a catalyst in Northern Ireland to bring this about, because the situation there must not be allowed to go on one day longer.
I have a deep affection for the country I was born in. I have also a very deep affection for the country from which my forebears sprang, and no doubt it will be said that I am trying too hard to get across the barriers between the decent people of Northern Ireland.
Here, we have a chance. I am convinced that if this Committee said in a forceful way, stressing it with every fibre that we can command, that we are agreed that this excrescence of a law, the Special Powers Act, must go, we should be told that it is to go quite soon.
§ Mrs. Shirley Williams
I want to try to clear up one or two points which have been raised.
I must be completely honest and begin by saying that, if what some of my hon. Friends want is an assurance that Her Majesty's Government will take over the full legislative power of the Stormont Government, I cannot give it. Since I cannot, they will understand that I cannot be precise about the timing under which the Special Powers Act will disappear. It is not in the control of my right hon. Friend or me to dictate that timing.
I have already gone as far as I can by saying that I am inclined, as is my right hon. Friend, to take the Stormont Government at their word when they say that they wish to get rid of the Special Powers Act. They stated that in November, 1967, and again in October, 1968. We believe that they mean it and, in consequence, that they will enter into discussions about how rapidly it can be done.
I am sure that my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Derby, North (Mr. MacDermot), if not all my hon. Friends, appreciates that that is to go further than anyone yet has done from this Dispatch Box, and that it has considerable significance.
In answer to the point made about the Flags and Emblems Act, rather like the Special Powers Act, the sweeping away 358 of it depends on the creation of a situation in which it can be swept away. Some of my hon. Friends felt strongly about the Rhodesian flag going up in Westminster not far from this House when Rhodesia declared what, in effect, was her unilateral revolt. It was a view with which I had considerable sympathy. They felt that the flag should not be allowed to fly. In the event, it was permitted to stay, although various people made attempts to get it down. This is only an illustration of the extent to which, in certain circumstances, tokens can create great feeling.
I believe that such an Act in Britain would be seen to be very odd, not to say nonsensical. I hope that the same attitude will commend itself to the Stormont Government, but I can only reiterate that we have to create the situations in which these Acts begin to melt away.
I turn now to what my hon. and learned Friend for Derby, North raised, and I will answer him as clearly as I can. No requirement can be placed upon a constable to operate the Special Powers Act or make an arrest at any time. Furthermore, my use of the word "normally" had no implications. If I may rephrase it, it is not the intention of my right hon. Friend nor, we understand, of the Stormont Government to place any British constable in a situation in which he will use the Special Powers Act. The only reason I used the word "normally" was to be wholly honest with the Committee and indicate that there might be situations into which British constables were sent where an Ulster constable might occasionally use the Special Powers Act. I cannot take the guarantee to cover the Ulster constable because of that important responsibility. It has no other implications.
Of great importance with regard to the Special Powers Act is the fact that no British constable provided under mutual aid could conceivably be disciplined for a refusal to use any provision of the Special Powers Act. If by a strange anomaly the intentions of both sides were broken through in such a way that he was ordered by a senior officer to do so, he could not be disciplined for refusing. He could not be disciplined for the simple reason that the discipline that applies to him is the discipline solely of 359 his home police force and not of the R.U.C. Therefore, this would not be seen as an offence in terms of his own police force.
If my hon. Friends were to believe—and it would be an extreme belief—that a British chief constable could be found with, as it were, a lingering sympathy for the Special Powers Act and was prepared to take disciplinary steps against such a constable because he had refused an order made under the Act, there is the final safeguard of appeal to the Home Secretary. There can thus be no possible loophole. I hope that my hon. Friends will feel that this goes some way to meeting their wishes.
On my hon. Friend's final worry about the Special Powers Act, I repeat that we believe that we must act with and through Stormont and that we believe that the Northern Ireland Government's intentions are to move ahead. I am sure that my hon. Friend the Member for Kingston upon Hull, North (Mr. McNamara), who made a sensible point about this recognises that, whether we like it or not, at the moment British forces are protecting Catholics against Protestant extremists and Protestants against I.R.A. operations. We dislike the Act as much as my hon. Friends do and we accept the word of the Northern Ireland Government that they do, too, and that they will terminate it as quickly as possible. Beyond that, I cannot be expected to go now.
§ Mr. Eldon Griffiths
Let us take the case of a British policeman in Ulster given an instruction by his superior officer of the R.U.C. When that British policeman judges that the instruction arises under the Special Powers Act and is beyond what would be his normal instructions in this country, would the hon. Lady advise him to refuse to obey that order? Secondly, supposing that there are two constables together, one of the R.U.C. and the other from a British force. The R.U.C. constable, in pursuit of his lawful duty under the Special Powers Act, gets into difficulties. Is it any duty of his British colleague to go to his aid? I ask these questions to illustrate the sort of practical difficulty in which our policemen may be placed.
§ Mrs. Williams
The hon. Gentleman has raised questions of considerable detail and it is difficult for me to answer them in such detail. But I repeat that the whole situation will be discussed in detail between the chief constables and the Home Office, so the first situation he postulates should not arise in any event. I cannot say that it could not conceivably arise, but it certainly should not. If it were to arise, the British police officer would not be expected to carry out the order, for the reasons set out by my right hon. Friend and me today.
In the second case raised by the hon. Gentleman, we would not expect a situation to arise in which a R.U.C. constable called upon his fellow constable from Britain to aid him in ways which might only be covered by the Special Powers Act because, as we keep reiterating, it is not our intention to use this Bill in a situation in which the Special Powers Act could be used.
§ Mr. Roebuck
Will my hon. Friend deal with the question I put about the powers of a constable? She has said, gratifyingly, that no senior officer of police is in a position to order a junior rank to make an arrest. Is there not, however, a liability on a constable to act, if the Special Powers Act is there, and to use that Act? Would he not be in breach of his duty if he so neglected to make an arrest along these lines?
Can my hon. Friend clear up the point I asked in specific terms? This is the Committee stage and we are entitled to expect straight answers to straight questions. What about the question of power to arrest? Does this reside solely in R.U.C. constables in regard to this Act, or does it lie in every citizen?
§ Mrs. Williams
I have already replied to the first part of my hon. Friend's question. In the latter case, power to arrest can reside in every citizen, whether he resides in Northern Ireland or Great Britain.
§ Miss Devlin
I am not sure at the moment which of us is confused about what my hon. Friend is saying. My hon. Friend is saying either that she does not accept the Amendment, or she is assuring us that she does accept it.
361 I should like to remind the Committee that the terms of the Amendment are, in Clause 1, page 2, line 16, at end insert:Provided that no constable shall be required to arrest any person for an offence, or prevent the commission of any offence which would not be an offence in Great Britain.My hon. Friend keeps giving us assurances that it will not happen. With respect to my hon. Friend, to the Labour Party and to the Government of this country, whereas I should much prefer to see my right hon. and hon. Friends sitting there after the next election, there is no guarantee about that. If right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite are sitting on the Government benches, what will their action be? They are not bound to give any assurances or guarantees.
It appears to me that my hon. Friend is giving us an assurance of acceptance of the Amendment. I may be ignorant of Government pride, but if my hon. Friend is accepting the Amendment I cannot see why she will not accept it. If she is not accepting it she should say that she is not accepting it. But she cannot say that she is not accepting the Amendment and then continue to ask us to accept her assurances. Either she accepts the Amendment, as her assurances imply that she does, or she does not and we proceed to a Division.
§ Mr. Fitt
I support what has been said by my hon. Friend the Member for Mid-Ulster (Miss Devlin). The terms of the Amendment have been made clear to the Committee, although the hon. and gallant Member for Down, South (Captain Orr) tried to complicate the issue by bringing in all the differences in law in Northern Ireland and in this country. However, what generated the Amendment was the fear that British policemen would be called upon to operate the Special Powers Act and the Flags and Emblems Act.
The Minister of State has repeatedly said that she cannot envisage circumstances in which a British police officer would be called upon to implement the provisions of either Act. Is that right? Is that an undertaking which we can accept? We know that when the Bill becomes an Act of Parliament the jurists and the judiciary will interpret the law as it then is. They will not be reading speeches made on Second Reading or in Committee.
362 The fear expressed by my hon. Friend is at the back of everything that we have said today. There may be a change of Government. In Northern Ireland there could be a Paisley Government. There could be a Powell Government here after the next election. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] The whole political atmosphere could be revolving on a Paisley-Powell axis. That is why we are so afraid and suspicious. I hope that this does not happen.
I have supported this Government from the day that I came into the House of Commons. It would be with the utmost reluctance that I would find myself in the Lobby against them this evening. But if words in the English language mean anything, my hon. Friend's words must mean that police officers from England will not be used to implement the provisions of the Special Powers Act or the Flags and Emblems Act. If that is the Government's contention now, they should put down an Amendment to the Bill on Report and we would know.
I ask my hon. Friend to repeat, once again, that no British police officer, under any circumstances, will be asked to implement the provisions of the Special Powers Act as it is in operation in Northern Ireland today. If my hon. Friend will give me that assurance, if she will say that the Government will write this into the Bill, I will not push the Amendment to a Division.
§ Mr. Rose
It would be a pity if the Committee were to divide on a matter of such significance after my hon. Friend has given as much of an assurance as she can in her position. Nevertheless, I am in a difficult position, in that I fully support the Amendment and I do not want to be pushed into the Opposition Lobby unnecessarily.
I think that my hon. Friend can help us out of this dilemma by telling the Committee that she will reconsider this, bearing in mind what has been said, and bearing in mind that there is not a reference to the Special Powers Act as such in the Amendment, and that perhaps on Report she will bring in a proposal that is acceptable to hon. Members on this side of the Committtee who have no confidence in any assurance from the Stormont Government. If my hon. Friend is not able to do that on Report, it will be open to my hon. Friends and 363 myself to table an Amendment on which it might be necessary to divide the House.
It would be a pity to divide the Committee tonight, after the Government have gone a long way towards meeting the views of my hon. Friends and myself, but
§ if it comes to a Division I shall have to go into the Division Lobby on the Opposition side.
§ Question put, That the Amendment be made:—
§ The Committee divided: Ayes 26, Noes 170.363
|Division No.11.]||AYES||[11.13 p.m.|
|Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)||Kerr, Mrs. Anne (R'ter & Chatham)||Rose, Paul|
|Atkinson, Norman (Tottenham)||Kerr, Russell (Feltham)||Ryan, John|
|Barnes, Michael||McGuire, Michael||Steel, David (Roxburgh)|
|Beaney, Alan||Miller, Dr. M. S.||Thorps, Rt. Hn. Jeremy|
|Bidwell, Sydney||Molloy, William||Winstanley, Dr. M. P.|
|Booth, Albert||Newens, Stan||Woof, Robert|
|Carter-Jones, Lewis||O'Halloran, Michael|
|Dickens, James||Orme, Stanley||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Foot, Michael (Ebbw Vale)||Perry, George H. (Nottingham, S.)||Mr. Gerard Fitt and|
|Jackson, Peter M. (High Peak)||Roebuck, Roy||Miss Bernadette Devlin.|
|Alldritt, Walter||Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds)||Murray, Albert|
|Anderson, Donald||Hamling, William||Neal, Harold|
|Bagier, Gordon A. T.||Hannan, William||Oakes, Gordon|
|Bence, Cyril||Harper, Joseph||Ogden, Eric|
|Bennett, James (G'gow, Bridgeton)||Harrison, Walter (Wakefield)||Oram, Albert E.|
|Biffen, John||Haseldine, Norman||Orr, Capt. L. P. S.|
|Binns, John||Hazell, Bert||Oswald, Thomas|
|Bishop, E. S.||Herbison, Rt. Hn. Margaret||Owen, Dr. David (Plymouth, S'tn)|
|Blackburn, F.||Hooley, Frank||Palmer, Arthur|
|Blenkinsop, Arthur||Horner, John||Park, Trevor|
|Boardman, H. (Leigh)||Howarth, Robert (Bolton, E.)||Parker, John (Dagenham)|
|Boston, Terence||Hoy, Rt. Hn. James||Parkyn, Brian (Bedford)|
|Brewis, John||Huckfield, Leslie||Pentland, Norman|
|Brooks, Edwin||Hughes, Roy (Newport)||Perry, Ernest G. (Battersea, S.)|
|Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan)||Hunter, Adam||Pounder, Rafton|
|Brown, Bob (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne, W.)||Jackson, Colin (B'h'se & Spenb'gh)||Price, Thomas (Westhoughton)|
|Buchan, Norman||Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.)||Probert, Arthur|
|Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp'burr||Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.)||Pym, Francis|
|Cant, R. B.||Jones, Dan (Burnley)||Ramsden, Rt. Hn. James|
|Carlisle, Mark||Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham)||Rees, Merlyn|
|Chichester-Clark, R.||Jones, T. Alec (Rhondda, West)||Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir David|
|Clark, Henry||Judd, Frank||Richard, Ivor|
|Clegg, Walter||Lawson, George||Roberts, Rt. Hn. Goronwy|
|Coleman, Donald||Leadbitter, Ted||Robertson, John (Paisley)|
|Concannon, J. D.||Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)||Rodgers, William (Stockton)|
|Conlan, Bernard||Lomas, Kenneth||Rogers, George (Kensington, N.)|
|Corfield, F. V.||Loughlin, Charles||Ross, Rt. Hn. William|
|Crawshaw, Richard||Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson||Shore, Rt. Hn. Peter (Stepney)|
|Dalyell, Tam||McBride, Neil||Silkin, Hn. S. C. (Dulwich)|
|Davies, Rt. Hn. Harold (Leek)||McCann, John||Skeffington, Arthur|
|Davies, Ifor (Gower)||MacColl, James||Slater, Joseph|
|Dell, Edmund||MacDermot, Niall||Small, William|
|Dempsey, James||Macdonald, A. H.||Spriggs, Leslie|
|Dewar, Donald||McElhone, Frank||Swain, Thomas|
|Diamond, Rt. Hn. John||McKay, Mrs. Margaret||Thornton, Ernest|
|Dobson, Ray||Mackenzie, Gregor (Rutherglen)||Tinn, James|
|Doig, Peter||Mackie, John||Tuck, Raphael|
|Dunnett, Jack||Maclennan, Robert||Urwin, T. W.|
|Eadie, Alex||McMaster, Stanley||Waddington, David|
|Edwards, William (Merioneth)||McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.)||Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne Valley)|
|Ellis, John||Maginnis, John E.||Walden, Brian (All Saints)|
|Ennals, David||Mahon, Simon (Bootle)||Walker, Harold (Doncaster)|
|Ensor, David||Mallalieu, J.P.W. (Huddersfield, E.)||Wallace, George|
|Evans, Fred (Caerphilly)||Manuel, Archie||Watkins, David (Consett)|
|Faulds, Andrew||Mapp, Charles||Watkins, Tudor (Brecon & Radnor)|
|Fernyhough, E.||Marks, Kenneth||Wellbeloved, James|
|Finch, Harold||Mayhew, Christopher||White, Mrs. Eirene|
|Fitch, Alan (Wigan)||Mellish, Rt. Hn. Robert||Wilkins, W. A.|
|Ford, Ben||Millan, Bruce||Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)|
|Forrester, John||Mills, Stratton (Belfast, N.)||Williams, Clifford (Abertillery)|
|Fraser, John (Norwood)||Milne, Edward (Blyth)||Williams, Mrs. Shirley (Hitchin)|
|Gardner, Tony||Mitchell, R. C. (S'th'pton, Test)||Willis, Rt. Hn. George|
|Garrett, W. E.||Monro, Hector||Wilson, William (Coventry, S.)|
|Golding, John||More, Jasper||Woodburn, Rt. Hn. A.|
|Goodhart, Philip||Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)|
|Gordon Walker, Rt. Hn. P. C.||Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Griffiths, David (Rother Valley)||Moyle, Roland||Mr. Ernest Armstrong and|
|Griffiths, Eddie (Brightside)||Mulley, Rt. Hn. Frederick||Mr. James Hamilton.|
§ The Temporary Chairman (Mr. E. L. Mallalieu)
The Question is, That the Clause stand part of the Bill.
As many as are of that opinion say Aye—
§ Mr. Eldon Griffiths
On a point of order. [HON. MEMBERS: "Sit down."] At an earlier stage it was agreed by your predecessor in the Chair that Amendment No. 12—[Interruption.] I apologise, Mr. Mallalieu. I appear to have confused the position, since that Amendment will arise later, on Clause 4.
The second part of my submission, on a point of order, is simply to ask whether we are to have a debate on the Question, That the Clause stand part of the Bill.
§ Mr. Eldon Griffiths
I did. [HON. MEMBERS;: "Sit down."] Further to my point of order. Am I correct in understanding that you did not see me rise, Mr. Mallalieu? [Interruption.] It appears that a number of hon. Gentlemen opposite, and particularly some of the occupants of the Treasury Bench, who have not ventured to appear during our discussion of this important Bill throughout the day, are now seeking to suppress further discussion by hon. Members who have taken a keen interest in the matter. It is utterly wrong that Government Whips should creep in at this hour and try to prevent hon. Members from—
§ The Temporary Chairman
Order. The hon. Gentleman must keep to his point of order. Has he anything further to say?
§ Mr. Eldon Griffiths
Only that hon. Members who have participated in discussing the detail of the Bill had every reason to suppose that a debate would occur on the Question, That the Clause stand part of the Bill. I trust that that debate wall now take place. [Interruption]
§ The Temporary Chairman
No hon. Member had risen at the time when I started to put the Question. It was, therefore, not possible for the Committee to have a debate on the subject.
§ Sir D. Renton
Further to my hon. Friend's point of order. You may 366 possibly have been mistaken, Mr. Mallalieu. [HON. MEMBERS: "Shame."] At the moment when you put the Question, I expected my hon. Friend to initiate a short discussion on that Question. I turned round to see if my hon. Friend intended to do so. I am sure that at the moment I saw him rise to his feet you had not finished collecting the voices: and at that point he asked you if there would be a debate on the Question, That the Clause stand part of the Bill.
§ The Temporary Chairman
I paused for quite a long time. I then started to put the Question. Thereafter it was not possible for hon. Members to rise and attempt to continue the debate.
§ Mr. Eldon Griffiths
Further to that point of order. I understand and respect entirely the position into which you have been placed, Mr. Mallalieu. Surely the point is that the Committee is seeking to debate a serious matter and that it is wrong that the opportunity to continue this important debate should be precluded by a focal problem between the point where you sit and where I stand. I assure you that it was my intention, and I thought that I was physically carrying out that intention, to rise to speak on the Question, That the Clause stand part of the Bill.
The House of Commons is capable of looking at the spirit and reality of things and not simply into the technical optics of the problem. We are concerned with an important matter and it would be wholly wrong if a minor optical problem were to preclude further discussion of it.
§ Mr. Russell Kerr (Feltham)
On a point of order. Is there any way in which the Committee can be protected from the persistent filibustering tactics of the hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds (Mr. Eldon Griffiths), to which we have been subjected since shortly after 3.30 this afternoon?
§ Dr. Miller
Further to that point of order, Mr. Mallalieu. Is it in order for the hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds (Mr. Eldon Griffiths) to ask you to assume the Special Powers Act in this Committee?
§ The Temporary Chairman
I can understand the disappointment of hon. Members at not being able to continue 367 the debate. I was expecting one and I looked around to see whether anyone was rising. No one rose until I had begun to collect the voices. Thereafter, whatever the Committee may want, I am not in a position to say more than that a debate is out.
§ Mr. McNamara
I should like your guidance, Mr. Mallalieu. When we have finished this interesting discussion, shall I be able to move Amendment No. 11? I was trying to call attention to the fact that I wished to move that Amendment.
§ Mr. Molloy
May we be spared the humbug we have to endure from the hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds (Mr. Eldon Griffiths)? He rose to a point of order, then discovered that he made a bloomer and was completely confused. Then he sat down and on that slender ground sought to rise on a point of order—
§ The Temporary Chairman
Order. This is not a point of order. There can be no more debate because I have ruled on the matter.
§ Clause 1 ordered to stand part of the Bill.