HC Deb 16 June 1971 vol 819 cc573-96
Mr. Callaghan

I beg to move Amendment No. 40, in page 10, line 16, leave out subsection (2).

The provision which the Amendment seeks to delete reads as follows: The Secretary of State may by order exempt any person or class of persons, either unconditionally or subject to such conditions as may be imposed by or under the order, from all or any of the provisions of this Act relating to those who are not patrial. The rubric says: Exceptions for seamen, aircrews and other special cases". I think the intention of the Clause is certainly to deal with these limited groups of people, such as the crew of a ship or the crew of an aircraft, but, as my hon. and learned Friend, the Member for Dulwich (Mr. S. C. Silkin) pointed out in Committee, there is in the Clause, whatever may be the intention of the Clause, nothing which prevents the Home Secretary from using this subsection to modify the whole purpose of the Bill in relation to, for example, immigrants coming from the European Economic Community if we decide that we should enter into the arrangements with the other countries at the end of the negotiations. The purpose of this discussion is to try to secure some information from the Government as to what effect our entry into the E.E.C. would have, what impact it would have, on the Bill.

I would try to draw up a model, as it were, of future immigration into this country—clearly, it must be a model susceptible to a lot of refinements—once we have the pattern which will emerge eventually when the Bill becomes an Act; that is to say, assuming, if I may, for the purpose of the model, that the question of the Kenyan Asians, and of those affected in some way, who have been admitted over a period, is not a permanent problem, and that we have met the temporary phenomenon. I am referring to the large number of dependants who have been coming here in recent years in order to join workers who arrived some years earlier. We have seen, those of us who have studied the statistics, that the figure of dependants is now taking a steep dive or curve, and over a period of two or three years there will probably be a substantial restriction in the number of the vouchers which have been issued. This has dwindled even more substantially. Let us push the, as it were, temporary factors, on one side for the purpose of my rough and ready model.

I would put it to the House, as a sort of working hypothesis, that the number of immigrants we are likely to get from the Commonwealth each year—and the House will accept that this is a rough and ready estimate—will be possibly about 8,000; say, 2,000 workers and, say, three dependants each; about 8,000 people altogether. Then there would be, from countries outside the E.E.C, of which the largest are Spain and the United States, perhaps another 15,000. Then, finally, from the E.E.C, as enlarged, there might be a total of, say, 12,000 to 15,000. Add all these three together and the permanent pattern of immigration might be of, say, 35,000 to 40,000 in a year—round about that.

Mr. Powell

At approximately what date, very roughly, does the right hon. Gentleman expect this pattern to be established?

Mr. Callaghan

I am much obliged to the right hon. Gentleman. For dependants, I think it would come within five or six years, probably not much longer, although my opinion is worth very little on this. The downward curve has been so steep, although it has decelerated, that I think it will flatten out fairly quickly. With the Kenya Asians, this will depend on the policy of the Government—which I cannot foretell, and I do not suppose the Home Secretary can—on the rate of entry, although he has recently doubled the number of vouchers. I cannot put a useful term on that.

Assuming that this will become a permanent Act, it is reasonable to try to exclude the temporary phenomena when one wants to get a permanent picture. I have tried to do this, although no doubt what I am saying will be modified substantially by pressures over the years. This is the kind of working model which I would expect. If I am right in saying, taking everybody coming into the country, black, white, brown or yellow, from the E.E.C., the Commonwealth or anywhere else, the figure might settle down at 35,000 to 40,000. Then the E.E.C. immigrants might on that basis, if they do not come in in larger numbers—

It being Ten o'clock, further consideration of the Bill, as amended, stood adjourned.

Ordered, That the Immigration Bill may be proceeded with at this day's Sitting, though opposed, until any hour.—[Mr. Clegg.]

Bill, as amended (in the Standing Commitee), further considered.

Mr. Callaghan

I make the large assumption that the number of people coming from the E.E.C. will be no greater than it is at present. That, again, is an assumption which will probably be falsified. If I am allowed to make that assumption, my first point is that we are considering a Bill which, if we enter the E.E.C, will be substantially and drastically modified in its basic principles literally within months.

Mr. Bidwell

We cannot have an adequate picture without thinking also of the likely exodus from this country of workers who go to work in Western Europe.

Mr. Callaghan

That would give the overall picture of the net inflow of immigrants and the outflow of those leaving, but it would not affect the principles upon which the Bill is based.

The point which I have been rather long in getting round to is this. The Government have placed before us a Bill whose purpose is to assimilate the principles of immigration for Commonwealth entrants and for aliens, and to amalgamate the best of both into one simple set of principles. I am saying—and this is an argument I have had many times in discussions on the Bill—that the Bill was introduced at the wrong time, if, within a matter of months, possibly 30 per cent. of the number of permanent immigrants coming into the country could be exempt from the provisions. It would have been far better if the Home Secretary had waited a little to see what the consequences were at the end of the negotiations.

We understand that the Government are not seeking to modify the provisions of the Treaty of Rome or the directives that arise under it. My hon. Friend the Member for Lewisham, North (Mr. Moyle) asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster about this, and the reply was: We accept the Community's policy on freedom of movement of labour. We are clarifying in discussion with the Community certain details which affect the implementation of this policy in regard to this country but these were not discussed at the Ministerial negotiating conference on 11th and 12th May."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 20th May, 1971; Vol. 817, c. 342.] Will the Home Secretary or the Minister of State tell us whether the details which affect the implementation are of such a character that the Home Secretary will use Clause 8(2) to make any exemptions that he has in mind? Will he give us details of what the changes in the implementation will amount to?

I emphasise again that the question of free movement runs entirely counter to the principles upon which the Bill is based, as I shall seek to demonstrate. I have drawn up seven important differences between the principles on which the Bill is based and the principles which now apply within the Community itself. I shall trouble the House, if I may, by reading some of them.

I take, first, Regulation No. 1612/68 on the freedom of movement of workers within the Community, and here I draw particular attention to the preamble and to Articles 1, 3, 10 and 11. The preamble provides that, … equality of treatment shall be ensured in respect of everything relating to the actual carrying out of a wage-paid occupation and of access to housing, and also that obstacles to the mobility of the workers shall be eliminated, in particular as regards the worker's right to be joined by his family and the conditions for the integration of that family…. Article 1: Any national of a Member State, irrespective of his place of permanent residence, shall be entitled to take up and carry on a wage-paid occupation in the territory of another Member State in accordance with the provisions governing the employment of nationals of that State imposed by law, regulation or administrative action. I shall not dilate on these; I shall just read them to the House because I think that the House should know, as we have not had the information before, what the major provisions are.

Article 3(1): … provisions imposed by law … of a Member State shall not apply if they restrict the right of non-nationals to apply for, offer, engage in or carry on employment or make it subject to conditions not prescribed in respect of nationals"— and it goes on— or if, while applicable irrespective of nationality, their exclusive of principal aim is to keep nationals of other Member States away from the employment offered". That is pretty clear. I come now to Article 10, although there are others which, I suggest, are worthy of attention. Article 10 runs contrary to the principles on which the Bill is based— (1) The following shall have the right to take up residence with a worker who is a national of one Member State employed in the territory of another Member State, whatever their nationality:— (a) his spouse and their children under the age of 21 years, or dependent on him". That is directly contrary to most of the things which we have been discusing in the past few months. It goes on— (b) dependent relatives in the ascending line of the worker and his spouse". There are other provisions in that Article with which I shall not trouble the House as I am just picking out the principle.

Article 11 flies in the face of what we have been trying to do in the Bill— The spouse and children under the age of 21 years or dependent on a national of a Member State engaged in a wage-paid occupation or self-employed in the territory of another Member State shall have the right to engage in any wage-paid employment throughout the territory of that Member State …". Without further detail, that is sufficient, I think, to show that the principles upon which we shall be operating and which will apply in respect of a considerable proportion of the people who would otherwise be affected by the Bill will in the event be abrogated.

I draw attention to just one other Regulation, No. 1251/70 of 29th June last. This is concerned with the rights of a worker to remain in the territory of a member State when he ceases to be employed there: … it is important … to guarantee the worker residing in the territory of a Member State the right to remain in that territory when he ceases to be employed thereby reason of the fact that he has reached retirement age or by reason of permanent incapacity to work …". When the worker has arrived at the end of his working life he should have a sufficient period to decide where he wishes to establish his definitive residence; … the exercise by the worker of the right to remain implies that this right shall be extended to members of his family; … in the case of the decease of the worker during his working life, the right of the members of his family to remain must also be recognised and be the subject of special conditions. Anyone who has listened to our debates or who has studied our proceedings in Committee will know that, time after time, we have been seeking to restrict the rights of Commonwealth citizens to do exactly that.

We have been indulging in a process that I always understood was not liked by the Conservative Party, namely, a process of levelling down. We have been levelling down rights of Commonwealth workers to equate with those of alien workers. Having done that, we find within a matter of months—it will obviously take some time to implement—that we shall be faced with a drastic alteration in the whole principles on which the Bill is based in relation to a large number of people.

I draw attention to seven important differences. First of all, Regulation 7 of the Draft Immigration (Control on Entry) Rules provides that leave to enter will normally be given for a limited period. As I understand the directives, that cannot apply except in special cases to those who come from E.E.C. countries. Articles 7 and 24 of our proposed draft regulations place a restriction on a foreign national or alien—or a "non-patrial" as I suppose I must refer to him—not only in regard to a specific employment, but also in regard to a specific post inside that employment. I find nothing in the E.E.C. regulations which would lead to that conclusion in respect of those nationals.

Draft Regulation 11 says that a passenger is not to be admitted for settlement as the wife, child or other dependant of a resident unless he holds a current entry certificate. That again runs directly contrary to the directive. I take a particular instance in the draft regulation 22 dealing with au pair girls. A girl admitted under an au pair arrangement has no claim to stay on in the United Kingdom in some other capacity. I do not think that would be true in the event of our entry into the E.E.C. in regard to an E.E.C. national. Regulation 24 says that if a person coming to the United Kingdom has no work permit, leave to enter is refused. This is probably reconcilable, but it is not clear from reading the regulations.

Regulation 35—and I remind the House that these are regulations which Parliament will shortly be asked to agree—provides that the wife, and children under 18, of a person who has been admitted or is on the same occasion being admitted to the United Kingdom to take up his employment should be admitted for the period of his authorised stay with a condition restricting freedom to take employment. The E.E.C. regulations, as I read them, make it clear that no such restriction can be placed on the wife or dependant of someone who has a permit to come here from the E.E.C, but these regulations are proposing to implement them.

Regulation 37 provides that the resident must be able and willing to support and accommodate his dependants without recourse to public funds. These are essential requirements for the grant of admission. There is nothing in the E.E.C. which gives the Government authority to impose that particular regulation.

Finally, I turn to the aspect of the regulations which deals with control after entry. Regulation 35 provides power to deport such people and their dependants. Again the E.E.C. regulations make no such provision.

I have made my criticism that these provisions are ill-timed. In this particular regard it appears that, as in many other instances, they are particularly ill-timed and should have been left over until the negotiations were completed.

Will the Home Secretary be using Clause 8(2) to make the exemptions which will be required to conform to the E.E.C, assuming that we enter? Alternatively, does he intend to introduce a new Bill? If he intends to do neither of those things, is he satisfied that it is sufficient to use the rule-making power which he has, subject to submission to Parliament in due course for approval, to effect these changes? Those are the machinery questions.

10.15 p.m.

Finally, I should like to ask an important question of substance. Has the Home Office made a detailed study of this matter? If so, can the right hon. Gentleman tell us at this late stage what I have sought to secure from the Home Office consistently during the debates on the Bill: namely, whether my interpretation and understanding is right or wrong, accurate or inaccurate? Will he give us a clear picture of what the situation will be, assuming that the negotiations are successful? If he can do that, we shall at least know as much about the impact of the E.E.C. upon the Bill as we are likely to know. As it stands, I can only tell the House that I believe that we have been engaged in an exercise over two or three months now assimilating principles on this matter, or purporting to assimilate principles on this particular matter, when we are now going to hit a mine which will rip a hole in the bottom of this craft. I do not say that it will sink it; I think that there will be sufficient buoyancy in the tanks to keep it afloat. However, there is no doubt that it will substantially impair the efficiency of the Bill.

I think that we are entitled at this late stage in the negotiations with the E.E.C. and also at this late stage in the proceedings on the Bill to have a clear and full statement from the Government, which we have not had so far, about the impact of the negotiations, if successful, upon the provisions which we have been considering.

Mr. Maudling

The effect of the Amendment, which has been the peg on which the argument has been hung, would be to eliminate the power to exempt from immigration control classes of individuals. This power has been used in the past to give exemption, for example, to members and officials of other Governments, consular officials and officials of international organisations. These obligations to give exemption from immigration control to people in these categories shift and change with changing international obligations. Therefore, we must have the flexibility to exempt from immigration control certain classes of people.

In Committee we accepted an Amendment to the effect that no order exempting any class of people can be made without going through the negative Resolution procedure. So there will be in future what there was not in the past—a parliamentary check on its use. The right hon. Gentleman was not challenging this, apart from a desire to discuss the European Economic Community and its effect on the Bill.

The right hon. Gentleman asked whether we would use Clause 8 (2), if we join the Common Market, to deal with its free movement of labour provisions. The answer is: certainly not; it has nothing to do with it. Clause 8(2) gives exemption from immigration control. There is no question, under the rules of the E.E.C., of giving anyone exemption from immigration control.

The change will be made in the regulations which will be made under the Act. No amendment is necessary to the Bill. The necessary changes can and will be made, if the House approves our entry to the E.E.C., through amendments in the regulations which will now be subject to the negative Resolution procedure. It is therefore probably outside the scope of the Bill to go into the merits of the E.E.C. negotiations and the provisions regarding the free movement of labour.

The situation will change remarkably if we join the E.E.C, because we shall be joining a community, and it will make a fundamental difference. There will be this free movement of labour in and out, as the hon. Member for Southall (Mr. Bidwell) said, and it will be easier for people to come here from the E.E.C. countries to take up work, and for our people to go to the E.E.C. countries.

Mr. Stanley Orme (Salford, West)

The right hon. Gentleman referred to our people being able to go to the E.E.C. countries. There have been recent reports that some of the E.E.C. countries would object to coloured British citizens from Commonwealth countries going into the E.E.C. Has that matter been discussed? As with the question of work permits, and so on, the British people have been given no information about that.

Mr. Maudling

That is part of the negotiations—

Mr. Orme

The right hon. Gentleman should know about it.

Mr. Maudling

I have taken the precaution of finding out about it.

Mr. Hugh Fraser (Stafford and Stone)

It is important to know where we stand, especially on the question of the associated status of the E.E.C. What is the position about immigration control over persons in the associated States of the E.E.C. coming into Europe? That is vital to the consideration of Commonwealth immigration, and it behoves my right hon. Friend to tell us how the matter stands.

The West Indies, if we are successful, have been offered associated status. Similarly, some of the African States will be given associated status. That will mean that the citizens of the Côte d'Ivoire and Senegal will have associated status. It behoves the Government to explain how the matter stands.

Mr. Maudling

The time for the House to decide whether the consequences, in this respect, or any other, of the negotiations are acceptable in the national interest is not now, but when the results of the negotiations are laid before the House in the form of a White Paper. As I understand it, the provision for the free movement of labour refers to nationals of the Community members, and therefore would refer to United Kingdom nationals, but detailed discussions are going on about the definition of national for this purpose, because there are complicated points about that. There is no question of discrimination on the basis of colour. The time to discuss this is when the negotiations are complete, and when the White Paper is here and we have these detailed matters before us.

The basic principle of the Community is freedom of movement of labour, for the purpose of taking employment, of nationals of the member States of the Community, and that is capable of being contained within the Bill by necessary amendments to the regulations which the Bill will give us power to bring into effect, and which will be subject to Parliamentary control when they are made.

Sir Derek Walker-Smith (Hertfordshire, East)

My right hon. Friend referred to the White Paper in this context. Are we to understand that when the White Paper is produced within a matter of a few weeks it will deal fully and exhaustively with this question of nationals, and who is covered by that term? I ask that because my right hon. Friend will appreciate that the word "nationals", which is the key word in the Treaty of Rome, and in the regulations of the Community—which the right hon. Member for Cardiff, South-East (Mr. Callaghan) has read—is not a word which we have been accustomed to apply.

We refer to certain types of citizenship, and the concept of nationals in that sense is a new one in English law. We have reached this stage in the negotiations, and so far as the House knows nothing has been done to interpret these phrases and correlate our position and our law to the requirements of the Community. Is this all going to be spelled out in the White Paper?

I am sorry to have been so long, but this is my last question. My right hon. Friend referred to parliamentary control over the Statutory Instruments and Regulations, but surely Parliament will not be able, by the negative Resolution procedure, to annul an Instrument which is necessary to give effect to the requirements of the Treaty of Rome? My right hon. and learned Friend is tempting me into wider fields of argument about the pros and cons of membership of the Community, which inevitably gives preferential treatment to the other members of the Community. It means nothing unless it does. I take the point about national and United Kingdom citizens. That is why we are having detailed discussions about the interpretation. I would expect that there would be broader alignment between the two concepts, but discussions are proceeding on this matter as on others, and the House cannot take a decision until the necessary information is laid before the House when the time comes for a decision. As much as we enjoy the many debates, I think that we shall enjoy them better on a relevant Motion than we will tonight when this debate is not relevant.

Clause 8(2) is not relevant here because there is nothing in the Treaty of Rome which would oblige us to exempt people from immigration control. It will certainly oblige us to give preferential position to Community members. This is part of being a Community. I am a little surprised by the right hon. Member for Cardiff, South-East who has a good deal to say these days about the Common Market, who seemed to think that there was something very wrong in the idea, if we join, of people from other Community countries having preference over the rest of the world.

But that is surely the basis on which his Government conducted their negotiations. It has always been accepted—it always must have been—that if they accepted the free movement of labour—I have no reason to believe that the Labour Government were against these provisions of the Treaty of Rome; they certainly did not say so—they could either give the rest of the Community the preference over the rest of the world, including the Commonwealth, or they could give complete freedom of movement for the rest of the world and the whole of the Commonwealth.

This is the dilemma of the right hon. Gentleman. If he is going to make a great point that it would be wrong to give this preference, he must explain how he and his Government negotiated for some time on precisely that basis.

Mr. Callaghan

What I have asked for and failed to get throughout this debate is information. That is what I am asking for. I have expressed no particular view—I was careful not to do so this evening—on this matter. What I want to know is how far the Bill is consistent with the Treaty. I pointed out—so far, the Home Secretary has done nothing to remove my doubts—that there are at least seven important provisions in which the Bill is inconsistent. I was not proposing to introduce such a Bill as he has introduced, and I doubt whether he would have introduced it if he had not been saddled with it as the result of a foolish election pledge.

Mr. Maudling

I repeat that joining the European Economic Community would not call for any amendment of this Bill. That seems to be a pretty adequate answer to the hon. Gentleman's point.

Miss Joan Lestor (Eton and Slough)

Before the right hon. Gentleman sits down, would he clarify two things for me arising out of what my right hon. Friend the Member for Cardiff, South-East (Mr. Callaghan) said? First, the Bill is supposed to be bringing together the entry of Commonwealth people and aliens. But he has already said that, if we enter the E.E.C, this will not apply, because preference will be given to members of the E.E.C. over the Commonwealth. Therefore, the basis of the Bill is clearly in doubt if we enter.

I should like the right hon. Gentleman to try to answer a question which several of us have put over a long period and to which we cannot get an answer. Would Commonwealth people working in this country who are not citizens of this country have to take out citizenship before they would be acceptable as Community workers? Many of them are not citizens but are permanent residents. I cannot understand the reluctance of the Government to give an answer. As I read the Treaty of Rome this is crystal clear; they must be citizens.

Second, surely the Bill is applicable to, and must be seen in conjunction with, what may happen if we enter the E.E.C. That is, that, while there will be free movement of labour for those people in E.E.C. countries, this will surely not apply to the restrictions which the right hon. Gentleman is imposing in the Bill, when he says that he is bringing both sides together, because Commonwealth people will come here for a year, which can be renewed at the will of the Home Secretary, but aliens who are members of E.E.C. will not be so restricted.

Mr. Maudling

I will explain the position again. Joining the Community means the free movement of labour. It means that people living in other countries of the Community will be able to come here free of restriction to seek work. At present, under the legislation of the Labour Government, there is a restriction on Commonwealth entrants. Thus, one cannot reconcile the position of the Community with the legislation enacted by the Labour Government—[HON. MEMBERS: "Answer."]—unless one took the sort of view to which I referred in relation to Commonwealth citizens compared with citizens of the Community, and I have never heard hon. Gentlemen opposite suggest that course.

Mr. Orme

The right hon. Gentleman gave some interesting information when he referred to discussions going on in the E.E.C. about the definition of "nationals". He did not allay our fears and suspicions about the objections being raised by some member countries of the Community about coloured immigrants in Britain perhaps seeking work in those countries.

Why cannot we have a clear answer to our questions? We are worried because there is good reason to think that some E.E.C. countries—leaving aside France, which makes special arrangements for Algerians—are taking their white policies seriously. It is all very well for the Home Secretary to speak of the free movement of labour in the Community, but what about the special associate membership which the West Indies have been offered? How will that fit in? I trust that all these matters will be covered in the White Paper.

I am raising these points in an anti-racial sense. There are others in Britain who raise them in a racial sense.

Mr. Selwyn Gummer (Lewisham, West)

Does the hon. Gentleman think it would help towards racial understanding in Britain if he would be willing not just to say that he is suspicious but to say which countries he suspects, because I suspect that he is mentioning a suspicion simply to stir up worries about the Community. Is he aware that under the Treaty of Rome the arrangement for the free movement of labour apply to all Community members in a totally reciprocal way, but not to those with associate status?

Mr. Orme

There is more to it than the free movement of labour. For example, why are discussions going on about nationality?

Our doubts and suspicions are based on informed reports, though we do not get information from the Government or the E.E.C. We must rely on Press reports, and it is clear that considerable discussion is going on in the Six about the free movement of Commonwealth labour at present in this country. Because we are having such difficulty in getting information on this subject, we are having to raise this issue at every possible opportunity.

Mr. Alexander W. Lyon

The debate is a rather amusing one.

Mr. Orme

It is now that my hon. Friend has risen to speak.

Mr. Lyon

It started in Committee when a query was put to the Under-Secretary about the meaning of Clause 8(2). Unfortunately, my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Dulwich (Mr. S. C. Silkin) then intervened to say that the terms might cover the regulations that would be introduced affecting the E.E.C, whereupon my right hon. Friend the Member for Cardiff, South-East (Mr. Callaghan) said that he had not realised that before and began to make a speech about the E.E.C. He did the same tonight. Curiously enough, we have a goodly audience, mostly of anti-marketeers.

Mr. Orme

There are a lot in the House. We are the majority.

Mr. Lyon

It would have been, perhaps a little more appropriate if we had had a balanced discussion about the movement of labour within the E.E.C. upon a resolution particularly apt for that point. We could have had a proper reply from the Government about the discussions taking place with the E.E.C. on the matter. But since some of my hon. Friends have raised the question of the E.E.C. and its movement of labour policies, to try to redress the balance a little one ought, perhaps, to indicate, as has already been indicated to some extent, that the fears which have been aroused may not be as substantial in fact as they are in psychology.

There is a free movement of labour in the E.E.C. But it is accorded only to nationals of the Community. The difficulty about nationality, which is the subject of discussion between Britain and the E.E.C, arises not out of any antipathy of the E.E.C. to anybody coming from abroad but out of the nature of nationality as we in Britain understand it.

As the right hon. Member for Wolverhampton, South-West (Mr. Powell) has repeatedly pointed out during the Bill's passage, we have no workable definition of nationality. Therefore, we are in difficulties in defining who are nationals when it comes to the E.E.C Under the British Nationality Act, we accord the claim of citizenship to two different types of people, namely, United Kingdom citizens—that is, citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies—and Commonwealth citizens. "Commonwealth citizens" includes everybody in the designated territories, which is practically the whole of the Commonwealth. If we are to say that those are nationals, clearly there would be the possibility of an influx into the E.E.C. countries about which they would be very concerned—and so should we.

Mr. Orme


Mr. Lyon

We must remember that the preceding Conservative Government, the Labour Government and now this Government have all introduced legislation to restrict the right of Commonwealth citizens to enter Britain. It is not a question of the Community but of who we ourselves say are nationals and, therefore, whom the E.E.C. should regard as nationals. Under the terms of the Bill, the obvious solution would be to say that patrials were nationals, and that patrials, therefore, would have the right of free movement. To discover whether that is the solution that will emerge we will have to wait for the famous White Paper which the right hon. and learned Member for Hertfordshire, East (Sir D. Walker-Smith) and everyone else is waiting for.

As for the real size of the problem, may I say this to allay the fears of my hon. Friend the Member for Salford, West (Mr. Orme). The position has been that although there was a considerable movement of labour, particularly from Southern Italy in the early years of the Community, that movement has been declining, even in geometric terms, over the period that the Community has been in existence. The more that Southern Italy in particular has shared in the common economic growth of the Community the more that flow has been staunched.

The position in the Community now is that there is an increasing demand for labour from outside of the Community. The influx of immigrants from outside the Community has been growing apace. In 1970 it was four times what it was in 1965. The rate of immigration will allow easily for the kind of flows in from the Commonwealth which we are contemplating in the light of the Bill.

It is my great hope that it will require considerably more and that all the efforts of successive Governments to try to get over this problem by restricting the flow will be negated by the demand for labour, if, as I expect, the Community grows apace when we enter and it is enlarged. The demand for labour will have to be satisfied from somewhere and if it is to be satisfied in this country it is highly likely that it will be satisfied from Commonwealth countries. Far from being an anti-black move, it seems that entering the Community will lead to much more liberal legislation than our own.

Mr. Merlyn Rees

My hon. Friend the Member for York (Mr. Alexander W. Lyon) put his finger on the reason why in Committee, after many hours of discussion of an immigration policy, we thought that we had the right to know what the Government's thinking was on entry to the Common Market. We do not say that we should have known whether they were for or against entry, but we believe that it was wrong to make a major change in immigration policy before knowing the entry terms in the context of immigration rules and citizenship. This is a Bill based on new principles. Patriality is not citizenship, it is right of abode, it is purely a method of immigration. Our whole argument was that a government introducing such a Bill ought to tell us their thinking on a number of points.

The right hon. Gentleman said that it was simple—if we go into the Community, procedurally it is not a matter of 8(2), it is not a matter of the Bill as a whole; it comes under the rules under Clause 1 dealing with the general principles, which say that rules may be made by the Government of the day and it is these which matter.

The rules on immigration can only be implemented because of this Bill and we felt that we had every right to know what Government thinking was. We tried to use this opportunity, because we have failed on every other, to find out what it was that the Government were saying. It is not only a question of the rules. Eventually the Government will have to tell the House and country what their policy will be on work permits. Under the 1962 Act work permits and employment vouchers were swept aside. This is the key to entry to this country. Until we know Government thinking on this we will not know the rate, scope and type of entry to this country. Maybe we will not know this until the Government have learned whether we are to enter Europe. It is relevant for us to discuss this, for Members to know whether they are for or against. It is one of the factors about which a large number of people in between the anti-marketeers and the pro-marketeers want more information one way or the other. It is apparently thought right to probe on sugar and fishing, but when anyone asks questions about labour movement we get no answer. Yet there are over a million foreign workers in Germany, and a million foreign workers in France. About 40 per cent. of the people living in Switzerland are foreign workers. We have done exactly the same thing by a different method, by absorbing into our working system large numbers of people from the Commonwealth. The same thing is happening all over Europe. All we are asking is that a Government who see fit at this time to introduce a new Immigration Bill with an effect on the movement of labour should give us the benefit of their thinking.

10.45 p.m.

I understand that there are special provisions in the E.E.C. for the entry of workers from the overseas territories. Are we to apply for similar rules for our workers from overseas territories? What will happen to Commonwealth citizens coming into this country on work permits when E.E.C. workers have to have priority for jobs? I am not arguing the merits of that, but just saying that the Government should tell us the position.

This is not a citizenship Bill, although citizenship is mentioned in the Long Title. My hon. Friend the Member for York (Mr. Alexander W. Lyon) revealed that apparently one of the problems for the Europeans is our curious laws of citizenship. They can say that again! Those laws, which were first laid down in curious fashion in 1948, are at the very least illogical, and it might well be that the logical European mind boggles at the illogicality of what we did then.

There are two aspects of that on which we should know the Government's thinking. We have debates about Kenyan Asians, who, under the 1968 Act, are non-belonging citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies. I bet that at Brussels they boggle at that, when we tell them about British subjects without citizenship. I wonder how that translates into French. There are belongers as well, who are people formerly living in the British Protectorates, British-protected persons. Where do we stand on them?

Before the large number of us who are not at the extremes of the Common Market issue to have to make up our minds, we have every right to know on labour movement, just as on sugar or fishing, what the Government think. It might well be that labour movement is the much more important factor in the changes to come, whether we are in or out of the E.E.C. Certainly it seems to be important both in Europe and here, and even the United States is now absorbing surplus population of the West Indies.

All that we are asking is that we should know the Government's thinking. All we have been told is that this does not come under subsection (2) and that we shall find out one day. We have tried and failed.

Mr. Maudling

The question of whether subsection (2) should or should not be in the Bill is totally irrelevant to the discussion about the Common Market and the free movement of labour. I do not think that the vote on the Amendment would be capable of an interpretation on that basis.

I absolutely agree with the hon. Gentleman that when the House takes its decision about the result of the negotiations, on whether we go in on certain terms or not, all relevant factors in joining the Community, including the consequences to the movement of labour, will then fall to be discussed and judged, as part of the general decision whether or not the whole negotiation package is acceptable.

The Bill will be equally apposite and appropriate whether the House decides to go in or stay out.

Mr. Hugh Fraser

May I ask a simple question? If we are to go into the Common Market, does the Home Secretary agree that there will have to be harmonisation of the laws regarding these matters between ourselves and the Common Market? Clearly there is no possibility of harmonisation with this series of new laws.

Will my right hon. Friend explain how he will get round this. He would have to reproduce this after consultation with the Common Market and there will have to be redefinition of citizenship and patriality and all these things and, therefore, if we go in the House will have wasted a good deal of time.

Mr. Maudling

I have explained many times that if we were to accept the Treaty of Rome with all its regulations in their entirety this Bill would not call for amendment.

Mr. Callaghan

I agree that Clause 8(2) is not a convenient vehicle and is not a matter of substance, but we have had the same difficulties wherever we have chosen to alight to try to extract information. We have been told that this is not the appropriate place.

The Home Secretary has a habit of sliding out of a difficulty by pointing to what seems to be a debating point. It is not sufficient for him in substance to say that the Bill will not need to be amended because he knows this is a machinery Bill and that it is the regulations and rules made under it which will have to be amended.

It is clear, and I do not think the Home Secretary would deny it, that the principle on which the Bill is based will be completely eroded. The principle of attempting to assimilate these two conditions will be destroyed and we shall have to come back to the question of citizenship.

It may be that as a matter of machinery he will not need to come before us with a new Bill, but it is clear he will have to come before us with new regulations and rules, which will be subject to negative procedure and we shall have to accept them holus bolus or reject them. [Interruption.] If that is wrong I am glad to hear it. The Home Secretary tries to assuage the House by saying that entry would not have this effect, but he knows there will have to be modifications and his right hon. Friend the Member for Stafford and Stone (Mr. Hugh Fraser) was right, as was his right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Hertfordshire, East (Sir D. Walker-Smith), on this matter.

There will have to be modifications of the principle on which the Bill is based and of the practice followed at the ports by those operating the principles of the Bill.

Amendment negatived.

Mr. Powell

I beg to move Amendment No. 103, in page 10, line 28, leave out from '1964)' to second 'a' in line 29.

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Miss Harvie Anderson)

It would also be convenient to discuss Amendment No. 104, in page 10, line 31, at end insert 'or a person who is a member of the family and forms part of the household of such a member or person'.

Mr. Powell

I am afraid this is extreme anticlimax. This Amendment is concerned with a very small point. Subsection (3) describes three classes of persons exempted from the provisions of the Act. The first are members of the diplomatic missions; the second are those who belong to the families or households of such members, and the third are those who have similar immunity to that of members of diplomatic missions.

The simple question I want to put is why it is right to exclude the households and families of persons who have like immunity with members of diplomatic missions. There may be some secret which explains this apparent anomaly. Perhaps I should explain that I am not a lover of diplomatic immunity or its extension. Indeed, in the early 1920s I opposed most of the measures brought before the House for an extension of it. But if we have it, and in so far as we have it, we should apply it consistently in the Bill. I hope that my hon. Friend the Minister of State will be able to clear up the apparent difficulty.

Mr. Sharples

The provisions in the Bill following the existing provisions in the Aliens Restriction (Amendment) Act, 1919, as amended by the Diplomatic Privileges Act, 1964, which gives exemption to certain people but which does not afford the same immunity to heads of certain missions and other international bodies the personnel of which are entitled to the same diplomatic immunity as diplomatic agents. The majority of these people are officials of international organisations and we are obliged to give the personnel immunity by agreements with other member states. In a certain number of cases we are obliged, also by agreement, to give immunity to the families of such people.

It has never been the intention of successive Governments to extend such immunity generally to the families of personnel in international organisations of this kind. The provision in the Bill follows the precedent which has existed for very many years, and we feel that the existing situation should be maintained. To accept the Amendment would give immunity to a larger number of people in this country not entitled to it now.

Mr. S. C. Silkin

Would the same answer be given if the same question were asked on Amendment No. 41?

Mr. Sharples

I will deal with Amendment No. 41 when we reach it.

Mr. Powell

I am obliged to my hon. Friend the Minister of State for his reply.

I take it that the general principle is that a mission is regarded as a whole and that the diplomatic immunity is given to the mission as such and that the family and household have also traditionally been included; whereas in the third category the immunity applies to individuals as individuals and not as members of a mission and that there is not, therefore, a similar ground for bringing in the family and household. If I have correctly apprehended my hon. Friend's point, I am grateful to him for elucidating the matter.

I beg to ask leave to withdraw the Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Mr. Sharples

I beg to move Amendment No. 41, in page 10, line 44, at end insert: 'or as a member of an international headquarters or defence organisation designated for the time being by an Order in Council under section 1 of the International Headquarters and Defence Organisations Act 1964'. The exemption from immigration control which is given by Clause 8(4)(c) to members of visiting forces is extended by this Amendment to members of international headquarters or defence organisations which are within the scope of the International Headquarters and Defence Organisations Act, 1964.

It was the intention of Parliament in 1964 that members of such bodies should in general be treated in the same way as members of visiting forces. The 1964 Act applied the Visiting Forces Act, 1952, to them with certain modifications. It is therefore appropriate that they should have the same degree of exemption from immigration control as members of visiting forces will have.

In answer to the point made by the hon. and learned Member for Dulwich (Mr. S. C. Silkin) on the last Amendment, I think that only when there are specific international agreements does the exemption apply to the families of such people.

Amendment agreed to.

11.0 p.m.

Mr. Sharples

I beg to move Amendment No. 42, in page 11, line 5, after '(4)' insert '(b) or (c)'

The Amendment is in exactly the same terms as one moved by the hon. and learned Member for Rowley Regis and Tipton (Mr. Peter Archer) in Committee. My hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs undertook to consider the point. My hon. Friend has considered the point and thinks that the Amendment moved in Committee by the hon. and learned Gentleman was exactly right.

Amendment agreed to.

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