HC Deb 20 May 1976 vol 911 cc1735-65

'(1) A disciplinary charge shall not be preferred against a member of a police force (or, if already preferred, shall be withdrawn) if he has been convicted or acquitted of a criminal offence and the charge would, if it were criminal, be barred by the conviction or acquittal.

(2) Subsection (1) above shall not be construed as applying to a charge in respect of an offence against discipline which consists of having been found guilty of a criminal offence'.—[Mr. Arthur Davidson.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

Mr. Arthur Davidson

I beg to move, That the clause be read a Second time.

Mr. Speaker

It will be convenient to discuss at the same time the following amendments to the new clause:

Amendment (a), at the end of subsection (2), insert: but no punishment that is applied in respect of such a discipline offence shall be more severe than that to which the police officer already has been sentenced in respect of the said offence'.

Amendment (b), at the end of subsection (2), add: '(3) a disciplinary charge shall not be preferred against a member of a police force (or, if already preferred, shall be withdrawn) if the charge is in substance the same as a possible criminal charge on which the Director of Public Prosecutions has decided, on evidential grounds, not to prosecute'.

We may also discuss Government Amendments Nos. 26 and 38.

Mr. Davidson

These amendments and the new clause are designed to deal with the problem of double jeopardy and to fulfil undertakings given by the Government in Committee. In announcing last July the scheme which is now embodied in the Bill, my right hon. Friend made it clear that, in drawing up his proposals, he had been most careful to ensure that the important principle of no double jeopardy should remain unimpaired. That is still his view and still the Government's policy.

The Government recognise the great importance which the police service, rightly and understandably, attaches to this principle—a concern which was reflected in Committee debates which went on for a great deal of time—at all costs being maintained. There is no question, therefore, of anything but complete agreement on the underlying purpose of these amendments. It is the method of achieving it which has proved difficult to decide.

The difficulty arises because double jeopardy is fairly easy to recognise when it occurs in a given set of circumstances, but is almost impossible to define in general terms so as to provide for every case. The example which is often quoted and which certainly exposes the principle clearly is that when, in the case of a complaint against a police officer, the Director of Public Prosecutions has decided, on evidential grounds, that criminal proceedings should not be brought, proceedings for a similar offence under the discipline code should not be brought if the evidence required to substantiate the disciplinary charge is the same as that which would have been required to substantiate the criminal charge.

But that example by no means covers all the cases in which double jeopardy might occur. It would be contrary to accepted ideas of natural justice and justice as administered in the courts if a police officer were to be charged with a disciplinary offence similar to a criminal offence on which he has already been tried by the courts. That is the basis of New Clause 1.

On the other hand, there may be cases in which, without breach of the principle of double jeopardy, it would be appropriate to bring disciplinary proceedings—for example, where a disciplinary defence rested on elements distinct from criminal aspects of the case. I do not want to weary the House with further examples, many of which were given in Committee, and it would not help the proceedings if I gave any more. However, I shall do so if that is the wish of hon. Members.

4.30 p.m.

Certainly it was found in Committee that there would be many cases in which a decision could be taken only in the light of particular circumstances, because issues are by no means always as clear-cut as might be supposed. There was some disagreement between hon. Members in the Committee about whether in any particular case there was double jeopardy. Because of the wide variety of circumstances in which the principle of double jeopardy might fall to be considered, chief officers of police have not been subject to statutory orders or regulations in this matter. But, as hon. Members who were on the Committee will know, they have followed non-statutory guidance issued by the Home Office, drawn up in consultation with the police service amongst others, based on police experience and acknowledged good practice. This system has worked well and has stood the test of time, so that the chief officers of the service concerned see no need to change i t.

What is important, however, as was stressed in Committee, is that the intervention of the board should not result in any threat to present practice in respect of the rule against double jeopardy. The second part of the amendment is designed to ensure that, in discharging its functions under the Bill, the board shall have regard to current guidance to chief officers on the question of no double jeopardy. We hope that this twofold approach the new clause and the amendment which I have mentioned—will answer the concern of the Committee that statutory provision should be made in the Bill for the principle of no double jeopardy.

Perhaps I may add a few words on the substance of the new clause. It was clear from the Committee discussion that hon. Members were anxious for something more than a provision relating to Home Office guidance of the kind to which I have referred and sought some kind of general provision as well. The new clause attempts to meet this requirement. It is based on the well-established principle that no one should be tried for a second time on the same criminal charge on the basis of evidence which has already been considered by the courts. In such circumstances, the plea of autrefois convict or autrefois acquit —I am afraid that my French is appalling, though it is no worse than my normal English—to use the correct legal terms, would be a bar to further proceedings.

Subsection (1) of the new clause gives expression to the same principle in terms of disciplinary charges similar to criminal charges on which an officer has already been tried. It is generally accepted that where an officer has been convicted of a criminal offence there is no breach of the principle of double jeopardy if a disciplinary charge of conviction for a criminal offence is then proved. If, for example, a police officer commits a serious criminal offence, his fitness to remain in the force is clearly in doubt, and it is right that the chief officer should be able to prefer a disciplinary charge of conviction for a criminal offence so that suitable action may be taken.

Subsection (2) of the new clause, therefore, is designed to make clear that this specific case is not affected by the new provision relating to double jeopardy in subsection (1). Amendment No. 26 does not call for any further explanation.

I have not so far expressly mentioned Amendment No. 38, in Clause 7, page 6, line 4.

Mr. Douglas-Mann

Can my hon. Friend clarify the nature of the advice to be given to chief officers as to the principle involved where an officer has been involved in criminal proceedings? It appears from the wording used in Amendment No. 26 that chief officers are to be guided as to the principles to be app!ied where a criminal offence may have been committed. At present, the 1964 Act is clear that in any case in which a criminal offence has been alleged this must mean double jeopardy. Is it contemplated that there will be any change in that provision? If not, what kind of guidance is likely to be issued to chief officers in relation to such cases?

Mr. Davidson

Certainly no change is contemplated, and the guidance that is already offered to police officers will continue to be offered. The Committee was concerned that any guidance on double jeopardy given under this new amendment should be freely available to Parliament, police and the general public so that there should be no doubt as to the principles to which the board would be bound to have regard in dealing with complaints cases referred to it. This seems a useful suggestion, and the amendment to which I have referred seeks to make provision accordingly.

I am not sure whether I ought to deal with Amendments (a) and (b) to the new clause until they have been moved by Opposition Members, but I shall be quite happy to do so.

Mr. Eldon Griffiths

The hon. Gentleman has used the term "serious criminal offence" as being a case for which a police officer would automatically be disciplined; and because he had been guilty of a serious offence no case would need to be put against him. That is a fact. Of course, this covers not only what the hon. Gentleman describes as a serious criminal offence but any criminal offence, and this can include quite minor matters.It can include any traffic offence. I hope that the hon. Gentleman is not resting his case on the argument that only a serious criminal offence will bring an officer into discipline, because any criminal offence will do so.

Mr. Davidson

Of course, the hon. Gentleman is quite right. I believe everybody will accept that in the case of a serious criminal offence such as shoplifting—which is a serious offence though not one of the most serious—an officer's fitness for the force would certainly be in doubt. It would be up to the chief officer to take whatever disciplinary measures he thought necessary. Equally, in the case of conviction for a traffic offence, although the chief officer would certainly consider whether disciplinary proceedings were necessary, the public at large probably would accept that possibly in those circumstances punishment was not necessary.

It was only for that reason that I mentioned a serious criminal offence. I accept what the hon. Gentleman says. He is quite correct. I hope, therefore, that the House will accept this group of amendments which attempt to deal with the question of double jeopardy, which the Committee and, I am sure, the House, and certainly the police, understandably attach great importance.

Mr. Alison

In considering the Government's new clause, Mr. Deputy Speaker, may I also address myself at the same time particularly to Amendment (b) in the name of my hon. Friends and myself?

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Oscar Murton)

Perhaps I can assist the hon. Gentleman. It is necessary that we refrain from moving the amendments until after the Question on the Second Reading of the new clause has been put and agreed to. The amendments may be discussed generally, but they must be moved at a later stage. A general discussion is in order.

Mr. Alison

Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker. In the context of a general discussion, I shall speak particularly to New Clause 1 and the Government amendments and to Amendment (b). My hon. Friend the Member for Bury St. Edmunds (Mr. Eldon Griffiths) will address himself particularly to Amendment (a) standing in his name.

I start by thanking, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Law Officers' Department for the major advance in the drafting of the Bill which the Governments new clause represents. We were delighted with the ringing tones of his Norman accent in his reference to autrefois acquit. It is this, perhaps, which gives us the lead-in to the criticism I wish to make.

Having thanked the Government for going so far, I and my right hon. and hon. Friends still feel that they have not gone far enough. This is why, in particular, we can elaborate the new clause by the addition of our new subsection in Amendment (b); it should really be subsection (3). To make our dissatisfaction clearer, I refer the Parliamentary Secretary to the advice which, I believe, has been given to the House and to the Government by the report of the working group, Command 5582.

The hon. Gentleman will remember, from paragraph 14(iv) of that report, that there was an elaborate discussion in it on the principle of double jeopardy. Two things emerged, crucially, from that analysis of double jeopardy. The first was that there should be no double jeopardy following acquittal on a criminal charge. It is quite clear that there is no double jeopardy where there is conviction on a criminal charge, because it simply could not arise. However, the principle enshrined there is that there should be no double jeopardy on acquittal on a criminal charge—that is, when a criminal charge has been decided upon, when the Director of Public Prosecutions thinks that there is enough evidence on which to prosecute, a case is launched and an acquittal is secured. That is when there has been a prosecution and an acquittal.

The recommendation of the working group was that it is an existing common law right that there should be no double jeopardy in such a context; that one cannot be charged again with an offence for which one has gained an acquittal. The working group said that this principle should be enshrined for the police in whatever legislation followed its report. That is exactly what the Government have done. They have sought to enshrine the principle of no double jeopardy following acquittal on a criminal charge. So far, so good.

However, the working group went further than that. It analysed and isolated a situation in which there had been no prosecution because on evidential grounds it was found impossible or undesirable, or was not possible for other reasons, to follow through to prosecution. This is what the working group said about double jeopardy in regard to that second subsidiary set of circumstances: The law already ensures against this risk following an acquittal on a criminal charge, and the same principle should apply where, after a complaint against a police officer has been investigated, it is decided that he shall not be prosecuted but he is put on a disciplinary charge, or is given guidance, or is told that the complaint has not been substantiated. it would be unjust to a police officer, if, in consequence of a subsequent review by some other person or body, decisions of this kind could be re-opened and he was put in peril all over again. The working group explicitly isolated not the situation of conviction or acquittal on a criminal charge but the possibility of no criminal charge being levelled because of lack of evidence. It said that in those circumstances there should be no double jeopardy. Indeed, as we reminded ourselves in Committee, the guidance of the Home Office on this subject is quite explicit. It says: After any necessary reference to the Director, the Deputy Chief Constable will decide whether disciplinary proceedings should be instituted against the officer concerned. As now, disciplinary proceedings will not be brought on charges which are in substance the same as possible criminal charges on which the Director has decided on evidential grounds not to prosecute. There are, therefore, at least two hazards to which a police officer is exposed. First, there is that of being subjected to a disciplinary charge when he has already been acquitted in a criminal case. Secondly, there is that of being subjected to the risk of a disciplinary charge when he might have been acquitted had a criminal case been levelled but when it had been decided that the evidence was insufficient to produce one.

Mr. Frank Hooley (Sheffield, Heeley)

The hon. Gentleman seems to be pushing his argument into a very extreme situation. What he is saying, in effect, is that the mere reference, of an alleged offence to the Director of Public Prosecutions shall rule out any disciplinary proceedings.

4.45 p.m.

Mr. Alison

No, I am not saying that. Two things can happen when a reference is made to the DPP. He can either say that the case admits, of no criminal charges and does not come within the ambit of the criminal law. That is one thing that the Director might do. Under such circumstances, as this is entirely a disciplinary matter, I regard it as entirely proper and in no sense double jeopardy that the police officer should be subjected to disciplinary scrutiny. However, the DPP might say "Yes, potentially, prima facie, this is a criminal case. What evidence do you have? "Then an examination of the evidence takes place and the DPP finally decides, in his wisdom and professional experience, that the case, although potentially criminal, is not sufficient to stand up in court. He then rules that there should be no prosecution, on evidential grounds.

It is in that situation that the working group said that there should be subsequently, likewise, no hazard of disciplinary proceedings, because what had been ruled out on evidential grounds as the possibility of a criminal case could not then qualify on the same lack of evidence as a disciplinary charge. That is the same thing as the working group referred to as the scope of possible double jeopardy.

The new clause deals only with the first eventuality—namely, a criminal charge actually having been brought and having resulted in acquittal. That does not go far enough.

There is no doubt that our proposed subsection (3) in Amendment (b) catches up this second hazard, to which there is no doubt that the police disciplinary regulations and Home Office guidance make reference as being an area in which there should be no possibility of a disciplinary charge.

Mr. Hooley

The hon. Gentleman must accept that basically there are two things that the DPP can do. He can either proceed with the matter in court or decide not to do so. If he proceeds with the matter in court and the policeman is convicted or acquitted, very well, that is it. If he does not proceed with the matter in the court, the hon. Gentleman is still saying that that should be a ground for taking no disciplinary proceedings. I find that an extraordinary argument.

Mr. Alison

That is exactly the Home Office view of the existing procedure within the police force.

Mr. Ian Mikardo (Bethnal Green and Bow)

Perhaps —

Mr. Speaker

Order. Perhaps the hon. Member for Bethnal Green and Bow (Mr. Mikardo) will not mind very much if I give my ruling now, by leave of the House, and then I can withdraw again for a short while.

In view of the representations that have been made from both sides of the House about New Clause 3, on which there was no clear undertaking given by the Minister—at least, not according to Hansard—I am, none the less, quite agreeable to the House discussing it, and it will be called.

I am afraid that it is quite impossible for me to agree to New Clause 7 being called. "Erskine May "tells us, Amendments are inadmissible if they refer to, or are not intelligible without, subsequent amendments or schedules, of which notice has not been given, or if they are otherwise incomplete "— as new Clause 7 is.

Mr. Whitehead

May I thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, for your ruling on New Clause 3? I think that those thanks will be echoed by hon. Members on both sides of the House. At what stage do you envisage calling New Clause 3? I believe that 26 separate debates are scheduled.

Mr. Speaker

I shall call it when we come to it.

Mr. Mikardo

Perhaps 1 may put this point to the hon. Member for Barkston Ash (Mr. Alison). It seems to me that his argument would be right if the function of the DPP were to form an opinion in a case put up to him on whether the person concerned was guilty. But that is not his function. His function is to decide whether a prosecution is likely to be successful.

I am sure that the hon. Gentleman will recognise that that is a very different matter. The DPP may well take the view that the person is, prima facie, guilty, or looks to be guilty, or that there is a good chance that he might be guilty, but that, nevertheless. it would be difficult to carry a prosecution. On those grounds. the fact that the DPP has decided that the case might not stand up in a court of law is surely no justification for saying that the disciplinary procedure, which is not so rigidly bound as the rules of evidence in a court of law, ought not to proceed.

Mr. Alison

I do not think I am competent to debate philosophically and definitively the basic and fundamental point of merit that the hon. Gentleman has raised. I make one simple point. The Police Disciplinary Code, the famous guidance from the Home Office upon which the police disciplinary regulations are based and which elaborates and expands the police disciplinary regulations, which are summarised in an important paragraph in the Home Office circular, states: disciplinary proceedings wil not be brought on charges which are in substance the same as possible criminal charges on which the Director has decided, on evidential grounds, not to prosecute. That is the existing practice, whether it is right or wrong. It is a practice which the Government propose to encapsulate as continuing practice in Amendment No. 26, which refers in these situations to the existing practice in disciplinary regulations and the guidance given by the Home Office.

It seems that we have to observe the existing practice of principle. As I understand it, the only reason for the Government not being prepared to accept a fundamental recasting of the Bill on the lines that we sought to have approved in Committee is that any ex post facto scheme would involve the hazard of double jeopardy. They cannot allow that second-class form of double jeopardy to continue as a hazard in the Bill. That is the reason for Amendment No. 26. In the view of the Opposition, what the Government have sought to refer to in that amendment should be brought into the clear and set out as part of the double-jeopardy provision in the new clause.

All that the Government have done in the new clause is to refer to the acquittal case and not to the potential case. I believe that both are extremely important to the police. In fact, both will be observed in future. Therefore, both should be written into the Bill.

Mr. George Cunningham (Islington, South and Finsbury)

I apologise for intervening as I did not follow this matter in Committee. However, I had some correspondence some years ago with the Home Office on this very issue.

At that time a difficulty was that although the police were not supposed to take disciplinary proceedings on the same facts as had been ruled out by the DPP as insufficient for court proceedings, the DPP had several forms of wording available to him for communicating his position to a chief officer of police. One of those forms left it uncertain as to whether he was ruling out prosecution on evidential or other grounds. Let us be clear that in future the DPP will be making quite clear on which of the two grounds he has given a negative answer to the possibility of a prosecution.

Mr. Alison

If the Bill is enacted, it is important that that becomes the clear and regular practice in future. In cases which have been referred to the DPP and which come and go between the two bodies it is important that when the DPP reaches his final decision he makes it clear that he is not prosecuting because it is not a criminal case, or because the evidential grounds are not sufficient. If he decides not to prosecute because there is no criminal case, the matter immediately becomes inadmissible to disciplinary charges. Nobody is disputing that. If the position is that there is not enough evidence, or the evidence cannot be substantiated, the procedure should be that the police cannot follow it up on a disciplinary charge which in substance amounts to that which will be prosecuted on a police charge.

That is all that we are seeking to write into the face of the Bill. We have extracted the terminology that is used in the Home Office guidance and tacked it on to the amendment. We extracted those words from the Home Office's own guidance and wrote them into the face of the double-jeopardy clause.

It is important because a further complicated matter arises in this context, on which, I hope the Minister will be able to give us some guidance. I refer to the matter of what does or does not go to the Police Complaints Board from the DPP reference.

Clause 2 provides that nothing shall be taken to the Police Complaints Board until the question of criminal proceedings has been dealt with by the DPP. We are anxious to know clearly what can and what can not emanate from the consideration of a complaint by the Director of Public Prosecutions to the Police Complaints Board.

It is self-evident that a case in which the complaint is proved to be a criminal act, the policeman being the subject of a criminal prosecution and convicted, would never go to the Police Complaints Board. In those circumstances the matter would have been disposed of in the criminal dimension and that would be that. Likewise, I understand that if there is an acquittal on a criminal charge, the complaint cannot go to the board. After all, what would be the point? By definition it would be inadmissible as a disciplinary case.

The new clause provides that if there is an acquittal on a criminal charge the officer cannot be subsequently charged on a disciplinary basis. There would be no point in taking the matter to the board because the board exists to determine whether there shall be a disciplinary charge. If an acquittal means that a disciplinary charge is ruled out, by definition there is no good cause for it to go subsequently to the board.

In the light of our amendment, what happens to the new clause if disciplinary proceedings are ruled out because, although no charge has been laid, the evidential grounds are insufficient? This is the second-class sort of hazard. Once again, it seems that it would make no sense to send a case to the board when the board has no scope for laying a disciplinary charge. Where no charge has arisen, such a reference is disbarred because double jeopardy Mark II arises. There would seem to be no good cause for referring cases to the board in those circumstances.

There are other instances in which cases do not go to the board. In fact, it becomes quite a long and interesting list. For example, when a complaint is withdrawn, the case cannot go to the board. There are other examples. It is important that we know in the second category of double jeopardy, the one in which no charges are being preferred because of a lack of evidence, why it is that the decision as to whether a disciplinary charge should be laid should be left to the board. The decision should be one on which the DPP rules when there are not sufficient evidential grounds for a prosecution.

Why should ex post facto the Police Complaints Board—this will be the provision resulting from Amendment No. 26 —receive cases that have not been prosecuted as criminal cases, it being left to the board to decide on guidance, admittedly, whether there is to be a disciplinary charge? It seems that the matter stands or falls on evidential grounds alone. Surely the DPP is the best judge of that.

I dare not ask leave to move my amendment at this stage because I understand that this is not the proper time to do so, but I hope that the Minister will take the point that the working party envisaged this subsidiary double-jeopardy as being a real one. I believe that the Government recognise that in Amendment No. 26, and we insist that they put it on the face of the Bill alongside the formal acquittal cases. Double jeopardy, from the police point of view, is equally hazardous. It would cost the Government little to make that concession.

5.0 p.m.

Mr. Eldon Griffiths

First, I should like to thank the Government for living up to an undertaking given in Committe to try to deal more effectively with double jeopardy. They have done their best and gone nearly all the way to succeeding.

I should declare an interest at this stage which will be with me through the night's proceedings. I am an adviser to the Police Federation. The police service is grateful to the Government for what they have sought to do in living up to the Home Secretary's undertaking.

I have three points to put to the Parliamentary Secretary. The first is that, in reality, the police have always been and will continue to be subjected to double jeopardy regardless of the new clause. I say that for the following reason. If a police officer is taken before the court on any criminal offence—it can be a minor offence: having one over at Christmas, not being in possession of a valid driving licence for his private car, or something of that kind—and is found guilty, he is automatically taken into the disciplinary procedure of his force as well. Therefore, he goes through the wringer twice.

In the disciplinary proceedings he may be cautioned, reprimanded, reduced in rank, or dismissed the force. In any event, his career will suffer and he will be punished a second time. That is a double jeopardy which any disciplined service is bound to accept. That is the nature of a disciplined service.

However, I hope that the House is not under the illusion that, if we pass the Bill with this new clause, we shall eliminate double punishment of a police officer for the same offence. We shall not.

The question, as my hon. Friend the Member for Barkston Ash (Mr. Alison) stressed both in Committee and now, is whether the police should be subjected to punishment essentially on the same evidence when the Director of Public Prosecutions has decided not to prosecute.

In this connection I must refer to a letter written on behalf of the Under-Secretary of State and signed by her private secretary. This is the Minister's letter of 29th March to my hon. Friend the Member for Barkston Ash. I refer particularly to the penultimate paragraph in which the hon. Lady seeks to explain the Government's view: The Government scheme deliberately provides for the majority of cases to go to the Board (except those mentioned in Clause 2(2)) even though, in a considerable number of these cases…the decisions taken by the Director will rule out any possibility of disciplinary proceedings. That is where the Director has decided that there is no case to be prosecuted or the complaint has been withdrawn. The letter goes on: The Government believe that the examination of the case by the Board in such circumstances will serve to reassure the public that the complaint has been properly examined by the police. Unless, for any reason, the Board dissent from the view that the police have taken, or wish to make further enquiries about it, it will, under our scheme, be for the Board to notify the complainant that there are no grounds for disciplinary proceedings". Where a chief officer of police decides that he must discipline an officer after the DPP has considered the case, surely that should be the end of the matter. It cannot be right that the police Complaints Board should come into the case and, in effect, provide a third bite at the cherry.

I stress this point because, while the police service is grateful to the Government for trying to deal with double jeopardy, in effect, they have increased the problem of extended jeopardy. Because the Board is involved, the procedures for examining a case against a policeman will be stretched out. Instead of the man, his wife, his family, and his fellow officers being left in doubt about the disposition of his case for a matter of weeks, the odds are that he could be left in that situation for many months. I think that the Parliamentary Secretary should accept that in dealing with double jeopardy he ought not to extend the period of jeopardy. That is a real anxiety in the police service.

Mr. Hooley

The hon. Gentleman is absolutely right about this idea of extending the jeopardy. It is built into any system which relies on review rather than independent investigation. As long as the people he represents in the police force resist an independent investigation ab initio, they are forced into the extended jeopardy which he has rightly described.

Mr. Griffiths

The hon. Gentleman consistently sticks to his original point. But, for better or for worse, it is not the system that he proposes and, I suspect, would still prefer that the Government should accept. Therefore, while I take his logic—it is unarguable—the fact remains that, as things arc, I am entitled to complain that we shall be protracting the jeopardy of accused police officers, and that cannot be right.

As you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, have allowed general, though not specific, discussion on Amendments (a) and (b) to new Clause 1, I propose to put this point briefly. Since there is inherent in this matter an extending and protracting of the jeopardy, it is all the more important that, at the end of the line, when disciplinary proceedings are brought against the police officer, the punishment should not be more severe than that which he would have received from the court. That is an important point to which we shall come later. I put it in now because it relates to the protracting and extending of the jeopardy.

Mr. Andrew F. Bennett (Stockport North)

I should like to refer briefly to Amendments (a) and (b). Amendment (a) appears to be restrictive and to have a bad effect on the court. It is clear that on many occasions in deciding what sentence to impose, the court takes into account other circumstances which may result from conviction. Often the court will pass a fairly light sentence if a man is likely to be dismissed from his job.

If this proposal were put into the Bill, it would be difficult for the court to pass a light sentence, because it would realise that the disciplinary proceedings which would automatically follow would be committed to a very light sentence as well. The court operates sensibly in dishing out a sentence by taking into account the effect of a conviction on a man's job. Therefore, although the police should not be more severe than the court, it seems dangerous to accept this amendment.

I turn now to Amendment (b). I am concerned about "evidential grounds". Many people are concerned about how the DPP works. It is difficult to obtain much guidance. But certain members of that office have on occasions addressed conferences and given some indication of how the DPP works. It appears that the Director of Public Prosecutions looks at the evidence and decides, first, whether he believes it, and, secondly, whether it will convince a jury. Apparently, a case may or may not go forward depending on previous experience of the behaviour of juries.

If the person in the DPP's office believes that the man is not guilty, it is

wrong for the case to go back to the board. But if the DPP says that, from past experience of putting such cases before juries, police officers have been believed in preference to members of the general public—in other words, it is a test of the court's reaction to the evidence—it is better for the matter to go to the board. Unless "evidential grounds" is satisfactorily explained, I hope that the amendment will be opposed.

Mr. Alison

Has the hon. Member for Stockport, North (Mr. Bennett) taken on board that the procedure he has objected to—namely, the uncertainty of evidential grounds for not proceeding with the prosecution—will be applied by Government Amendment No. 26, which will insist that the board observes the existing guidance given to the police in relation to their regulations? It would be exactly the same procedure by the back door as we are hoping to have by the front door.

Mr. Griffiths

I accept that to a certain extent, and I believe that it is one of the disadvantages of the Bill.

The guidance is that which is contained in Government Amendment No. 26. Can the Minister say whether the guidance which is intended to be sent out will be identical to that which exists at present? I cannot believe that it will be. I am sure that in the light of the new Bill it will be somewhat different guidance. I do not ask for it in detail now, but I hope that the Minister can at least give us an indication of the broad rules by which the Home Office expects chief officers to operate.

Mr. Arthur Davidson

I do not know in what detail I am entitled to reply to the new clause.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

The hon. Gentleman is perfectly entitled to reply in detail to the amendments on the debate on the clause. The amendments to the new clause will be put eventually, if that is so required.

Mr. Davidson

Perhaps I may answer the last point. The guidance will be the same as it is at present, but modified to take account of the board, and of the amendments and so forth in the Bill. I cannot give the guidance in detail but obviously it will be modified. Basically, however, the principles of the present guidelines will be preserved.

Mr. Eldon Griffiths

Will the guidance cover this specific question? After a disciplinary action has been gone through by a chief officer, it goes on to the complaints board which will explain to the original complainant what has happened. is the board to be the final source of information to the complainant, or will this matter remain with the police service itself?

Mr. Davidson

It will remain with the police service as at present. If I am wrong about that, I will correct it before the end of the debate.

Mr. Frank Tommy (Hammersmith, North)

Supposing a senior officer is involved in a charge of discipline and the chief constable decides that this man should be dismissed from the force and then the complaints board takes up the case and decides that he should not; whose authority for discipline will prevail? Let us suppose the position is reversed and the chief constable decides not to dismiss a man but the complaints board thinks he should be dismissed. Surely such a man would have the right to claim for wrongful dismissal.

5.15 p.m.

Mr. Davidson

Obviously there are two sets of circumstances here. If charges are to be preferred, quite clearly the police would notify the individual that a disciplinary or criminal charge was to he preferred. If no charges were preferred the police would inform the officer as at present, and the board would say that is the end of the matter. Of course the Bill very much preserves the basic principle that it is up to the chief officer to decide on disciplinary charges.

I agree with the basic aim of Amendment (b) which is designed, as are the Government's own amendments, to ensure that the setting up of the new complaints procedure will not expose the police officer to the risk of double jeopardy. The amendment is in fact based upon, and is worded similarly to, the guidance issued to chief officers in the Home Office circular.

It is one thing to formulate guidance in respect of a matter which ultimately must be left to the decision of the chief officers and quite another to convert the judgment into a statutory requirement. The Government have considered very carefully the example of double jeopardy contained in the amendment, but they have concluded that it cannot be given statutory force in the way proposed.

The first difficulty arises from the words "in substance the same". In practice there are not many cases where a criminal charge can be matched by a similar charge in the police discipline code, and what is "the same" must be a matter of personal judgment. It is a judgment which should be made by the chief officer, as it is now. If these words became part of the law, they would lead to endless arguments as to whether a disciplinary charge offended the principle set out in the amendment.

Another major difficulty in some cases arises from the fact that it is unlikely that the Director of Public Prosecutions has a particular criminal charge finally in view before reaching a decision that no criminal charges should be preferred. I am sure the hon. Gentleman accepts that counsel frequently take a long time to decide the exact nature of a criminal charge and whether the evidence fits a particular criminal charge. Even the ultimate charge may be found by the court to be defective.

If the evidence does not support any further action, it is pointless to consider what criminal charges might have been brought. There is no question of compelling the Director of Public Prosecutions to define hypothetical charges when possible criminal charges will not always be defined. In these circumstances, the provision in the amendment would achieve little or nothing.

Mr. Alison

I am obliged to the Minister for dealing in such detail with our misgivings about the provisions he has drafted. This is a nebulous area where often the unfortunate chief constable might find himself in some embarrassment in sorting out what is in substance the same case as a criminal one. It will he much more difficult for him if the case is to be Passed to the board to decide. At least at present the chief officer is in the hands of the Home Secretary under the guidance provided. for example, by Regulation No. 14. But in the whole agonising business of weighing up whether a charge is in substance a criminal charge, the fate of the officer concerned could be worsened and double jeopardy could bite even more deeply.

Mr. Davidson

The guidelines will be there and the amendments set them out. I do not think that I can carry the lion. Member further with me than that.

Mr. George Cunningham

Is my hon. Friend sure that the Director of Public Prosecuions, in transmitting his decsion, will always make clear whether he is saying that the action complained of is not an offence, that it is so trivial that it is not worth prosecuting, or that the evidence would not stand up in court? Is he sure that on all occasions the DPP will clearly indicate when the third situation arises, because that was not the case a few years ago?

Mr. Davidson

The DPP does not in general give his reasons.

Mr. Julius Silverman (Birmingham, Erdington)

Apart from giving his reasons, does the DPP ever specify the particular offence upon which he has decided not to prosecute? Or does he say in general terms that he does not intend to take action?

Mr. Davidson

He would say in general terms, on evidential grounds maybe, that he has decided not to prosecute. There can be many complicated reasons why the DPP cannot proceed in a particular case.

Mr. Silverman

May I make a suggestion? The DPP may not prosecute for several reasons. One could he that there is not enough evidence to take to a jury; another that the facts brought forward, while they may be reprehensible and justify a disciplinary charge, do not amount to a criminal offence, and that is one of the things that the DPP must decide upon. That is something, on which clearly the chief officer must subsequently use his discretion.

Mr. Davidson

In general, the DPP does what my hon. Friend has said and will continue to do it. But he cannot specify in great detail why he has decided not to bring a particular case. It may be that he regards one of the witnesses as unreliable—perhaps because the witness has a string of convictions. That is not the sort of point that he can make in any detail.

Mr. George Cunningham

I quite understand that within any one class of reason it would not be appropriate for the DPP to give his full reasoning. I can see no reason, however, why he should not distinguish between classes, those classes being, first, that the action is not a criminal offence, secondly, that it is a criminal offence but that it is not worth prosecuting, and, thirdly, that the evidence would not persuade a jury. It is important if the last class applies that the chief officer should be told that, because under Home Office guidance of a few years ago that would mean that he should not proceed with disciplinary proceedings.

The trouble is that the form of words used by the DPP would not indicate whether that last class applied. When I was trying to persuade Home Office Ministers in the last Conservative Administration that this should be made clear, I was given unsatisfactory reasons why it was undesirable to make it clear. I should have thought that the matter might have advanced a bit since then.

Mr. Davidson

I do not know whether it has advanced as far as my hon. Friend would have liked. The DPP will indicate the general reasons, if not the particular reasons. I cannot go further than that, but I am sure that the DPP will have noted what my hon. Friend said, and I shall pass the comments on to him anyway.

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Oscar Murton)

It might be convenient if I intervene now to explain a point which may be of general assistance to hon. Members and which I may not have made clear earlier in the proceedings. Mr. Speaker's intention was that we should discuss New Clause 1 with Amendments (a) and (b), taking Amendments Nos. 26 and 38 with them. The aim is to have a fairly full debate so that the amendments to the new clause may be dealt with formally afterwards. I do not, of course, say this as any reflection on what the Minister was saying, merely to help hon. Members.

Mr. Davidson

The amendment in the name of the hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds (Mr. Griffiths) seeks to provide that in respect of a disciplinary charge of having been convicted of a criminal offence, no punishment should be imposed which is more severe than that imposed by the court for the criminal offence. It is not possible to make a valid comparison between the issues which the court has to decide in considering the appropriate punishment and those considered at a hearing by a chief officer of police in respect of a disciplinary charge founded upon the fact of that criminal offence. In considering the appropriate punishment in each of these two sets of circumstances very different criteria apply.

The question for determination by the court would be what is a suitable sentence in the light of the circumstances of the offence, of the offender himself and, of course, primarily in the interests of public justice. The question for determination by the chief officer is certainly of a different character. Essentially it is whether a conviction unfits a police officer for continued service in the police force in general or in his particular rank. In any event, there is no similarity between the range of punishments available under the criminal law and under the police disciplinary regulations.

I well understand the concern felt by the hon. Member, but the amendment would serve no useful purpose since the decisions that the courts and the chief officer have to take are based on very different criteria.

5.30 p.m.

Sir Bernard Braine

I shall be brief. This is a delicate and sensitive matter in the sense that police officers do not ask to be treated any better than the generality of their fellow citizens, but they insist that they should not be treated any worse. Ministers will recall how in Standing Committee we repeatedly had to remind them of the sensitivity of the police service from the top to the bottom —from chief officers to constables on the beat—on this score.

That accounts for the vast array of amendments, some of them of a fundamental character, which the Government have felt obliged to put down. In his calm and charming way the Parliamentary Secretary referred on a number of occasions to "guidelines"—he almost threw the word away. But the guidelines and regulations that will flow from the Bill are the key to whether the police service co-operates.

The Home Secretary is aware that the police service as a whole will do its duty. It will faithfully carry out the role it must play under the new arrangements. There is no question about that. The police service did not much like the Bill in the form in which it was presented to Parliament. But the principle of introducing an independent element into inquiries about complaints against the police by the public was accepted by both sides of the House and by the police service.

In referring to guidelines and regulations the Minister goes to the heart of the matter. Government Amendment No. 26 reads: (7) In discharging their functions under subsections (2) and (3) above the Board shall have regard to any guidance given to them by the Secretary of State with respect to such matters affecting the:preferring and withdrawing of disciplinary charges as are for the time being the subject of guidance by him to chief officers of police, including in particular the principles to be applied in cases that involve any question of criminal proceedings. I take it that the guidelines will be in the form of regulations and Home Office circulars. Complaints against the police have been the subject of a degree of consultation over the years. There were many circulars but I do not know exactly how many. I presume that regulations are being considered already in the light of what was said in the Standing Committee.

I call for an assurance that on this delicate and sensitive issue there will be no cursory consultation with the Police Staff Association involving a few days or the odd week or two before regulations are laid before Parliament. I call for an explicit assurance for the Police Staff Associations that there will be the fullest consultation before regulations are drawn up to form the guidelines upon which the Police Complaints Board is to proceed. Such an assurance may colour much of what I shall say, or what I shall not say, in the rest of the debate.

Mr. Eldon Griffiths

I am grateful for the explanation that we are to discuss the range of amendments together.

In the presence of the Home Secretary I wish to say again that the police service is grateful to him for covering double jeopardy. The right hon. Gentleman has kept his word. But no explanation has been given on how the final disposition of the case will be conveyed by the board to the complainant, and therefore to the public.

There are three bites at this cherry. First, the officer may be charged with a criminal offence. He might have been speeding or had one over the limit during his week-end off. That would go to the DPP and perhaps to a court. The court can decide to punish or to let him off.

The next bite at the cherry involves discipline. The whole disciplinary procedure can be deployed against the officer and a variety of punishments could ensue—from reprimand, caution, transfer, suspension, loss of pay to a reduction in rank.

The new matter is that at the end of that procedure the board has to look at the way in which the deputy chief constable has disposed of the disciplinary charge against that officer. If the board is under pressure, that could take months. During that period the officer and his family will be left in uncertainty and protracted jeopardy.

At the end of that road the board can decide that the deputy chief constable has not imposed enough discipline on the officer. The board might conclude that he was too severe. Either way, the officer is faced with a third round before the matter is disposed of. The Bill protracts the jeopardy of that man and leaves him uncertain for a considerable time.

At the end of the procedure, when the complaints board has decided that it is not satisfied with the discipline imposed, there could be arguments about it and the case could go to a tribunal—the fourth round. The chief officer may be over-ruled by the tribunal and forced to punish the officer more severely, although he may have publicly indicated that he did not think the officer should be punished at all. That fourth round is inherent in the Bill. It is a further protraction. The Home Office should direct its efforts to reducing the length of time. That is important.

Will the Minister say that the Chief Officer will be seen to be the man who finally disposes of the matter? Nothing could be so subversive—but that is too strong a word—nothing could undermine the authority of the Chief Police Officer or tile confidence between him and his men so much as the Public appearance of the chief officer being overruled over the discipline of his own men. The federated ranks of the services are worried that a chief officer may be more severe than he might otherwise be because of the fear that the board will overrule him. No chief officer lightly puts himself in a position where he might be overruled.

I urge the Government to use every available means to reduce the length of time that these procedures can protract the jeopardy of police officers. I urge them to make certain that the board does not erode the public responsibility of chief officers to exercise discipline, because that could damage the morale of his men.

I take the point the hon. Gentleman made about Amendment (a), in my name. It is an argument I had already considered when I put down the amendment. One cannot draw an exact parallel between punishment for matters in the civil courts and the professional discipline that must be applied for the benefit of the service. I accept that, but I hope that the hon. Gentleman will accept that if a court of law has decided that the offence committed by a police officer justifies, say, a £25 fine, that officer should not subsequently find himself at the end of a whole disciplinary procedure involving the hoard, the tribunal and so on and then be confronted with what amounts to a financial penalty, through suspension, loss of leave, or loss of preferment, many times greater than the fine.

I do not seek to make the two sets of punishment analagous. They are not, but there must be some proportion. Nothing would cause more anxiety in the police service than if, as a result of the board's intervention, overruling a chief officer, a man were given a penalty vastly in excess of what a court of law had thought reasonable in all the circumstances. These are important matters.

Mr. Alison

I am grateful to the Parliamentary Secretary for his effort to deal with this nebulous area of secondary jeopardy, the area that the hon. Member for Islington, South and Finsbury (Mr. Cunningham) hit upon when he said that it would be helpful if the Director of Public Prosecutions would in future make quite clear why in police complaints cases he is not proceeding to a prosecution—that is, whether his decision is on the basis of lack of evidence, that would certainly help clarify this area.

The Government's position is still very obscure. What the Minister has said so far, helpful though it was, has not clarified the matter. Neither has the Government's new clause or, above all, Amendment No. 26.

The operative guidance—the word "guidance" appears in Amendment No. 26—is set out in paragraph 14 of the existing Home Office guidance to chief officers, which says Where an allegation against a police officer has first been the subject of criminal investigation, and it has been decided after reference to the Director of Public Prosecutions or otherwise that criminal proceedings should not be taken, there should normally be no disciplinary proceedings. The hon. Gentleman has already picked up the phrase where the allegations are in substance the same", which is what the Home Office guidance says in another version.

So far, so good. There is fairly clear guidance that there should not be double jeopardy, in the sense that the normal pattern is that if there are no evidential grounds for criminal prosecution, there should be no disciplinary charge. But the hon. Gentleman rightly said that a problem arises with an allegation that is not substantially the same. What do we mean by that? Paragraph 15 of the guidance says: It is for the chief officer (or his deputy) to decide whether or not disciplinary proceedings should be taken in these circumstances. That is the existing guidance. Is it to be the continuing responsibility of the chief officer in these circumstances to decide whether disciplinary proceedings should be taken? If it is, there is no reason for the papers to be sent in such a case to the Police Complaints Board, because what the Government's amendment says it that the Board shall have regard to any guidance given to them by the Secretary of State". The guidance says that it is for the chief officer or his deputy to decide whether a case can go to the board if the case is one in which the Director of Public Prosecutions has decided not to proceed, on evidential grounds. The board will scratch its head and ask "What do we do? We must have regard to the guidance, and that says that it is for the chief officer to decide".

So the case goes back to the chief officer. Why send it to the board in the first place? What is the point of this circular procedure, which merely extends the period of jeopardy and uncertainty for the unfortunate officer, and results in the board's buying two 10p stamps to send back the case?

5.45 p.m.

We should write on the face of the Bill that there should be no double jeopardy here. If the guidance changes, if paragraph 15 is withdrawn and it is not for the chief officer to decide, following a decision by the Director of Public Prosecutions not to prosecute, there is double jeopardy. The case must be passed to the board with advice from the chief officer for it to make the decision. That goes clean against the existing guidance. Presumably it is not intended, but it would produce double jeopardy of the worst sort.

I believe that the Government intend to keep to their existing guidance. They say so in Amendment No. 26. We are left with the ludicrous situation that when a case goes to the board it looks at guidance which says "Send it back to the chief officer". That is circuitous and pointless. It would be easier to have the Home Office guidance set out in terms on the face of the Bill, as in our proposed new subsection. Without it, we shall run into serious difficulties.

I hope that the Parliamentary Secretary appreciates one subtle point about complaints which do or do not go to the board. This comes about if a criminal case on the complaint is held not to be substantiated, and no criminal charges are preferred, but a subsidiary disciplinary case arises on a subordinate issue. I think of the peculiar example of the man whose complaint that he was hit on the head is not substantiated as a criminal charge but the police say that the officer concerned was off his beat, a matter which is the subject of a separate disciplinary charge.

We accept that it is desirable that that should remain so. Such a disciplinary charge does not go to the board, because it is not the subject of the same complaint. To have one set of such cases going to the board and one set going to the chief officer is thoroughly muddled. The simple way out is to have the existing guidance, however broad it may be, on the face of the Bill, in our desire to protect the police from double jeopardy and give them the benefit of the doubt.

Mr. Hooley

I was rather disturbed by some of the remarks of the hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds (Mr. Griffiths), who gave the impression that it would be the board's function to insist on penalties or punishments greater than punishments which might otherwise be given. My reading of the Bill is that it has no standing in the matter of punishment, because even where the matter is referred to a tribunal, it is made quite clear that the punishment will remain the prerogative of the chief officer, although the Bill says that he shall consult the other two members of the board. The hon. Gentleman is gibing false information if he suggests that the board will have some authority in the matter of the punishment which may be meted out to the offender.

Mr. Eldon Griffiths

If I gave that impression, I am glad that the lion Gentleman has corrected it. But the board will be able to tell the chief officer that it is not satisfied with the disposition of the case and require him to dispose of it in a different way. That brings in the question of punishment.

Mr. Hooley

The Bill does not speak of the board's not being satisfied with the disposition of the case. The board's duty is to be satisfied that charges have been preferred where they should be. Its only power in relation to the chief officer is to say at the end of the day "We are satisfied that you have preferred the correct charges" or, alternatively, "We are not satisfied and direct you to prefer the correct charges." But from that moment on the disciplinary proceedings, the punishment, and so forth are as much in the hands of the police as they are now.

The hon. Member for Barkston Ash (Mr. Alison) has the matter quite out of focus, because the whole essence of the review procedure is to determine that where charges ought to have been preferred—not whether the man is guilty—they were so preferred, and that the police carried through their true functions in matters of discipline in relation to the particular complaint.

The hon. Gentleman's arguments bring in quite separate and extraneous matters, although I accept, as I have already said, that once the police reject the principle of independent investigation they are landed with the difficulty of extended jeopardy, and there is nothing we can do in the terms of the Bill to get out of that.

The Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. Roy Jenkins)

Concerning the point made by the hon. Member for Essex, South East (Sir B. Braine), there will, of course, be consultation about the forms of the negotiation. We do not want them to be endlessly protracted. There will be full opportunity for consultation. That is the whole basis on which we proceed in this matter.

The point made by the hon. Member for Barkston Ash (Mr. Alison) to some extent was a false point. Of course the new scheme affects existing arrangements. That is inherent in having an independent element. It is not a question of the chief officer taking a decision which is

Division No. 149.1 AYES [5.56 p.m.
Aitken, Jonathan Clegg, Walter Howell, David (Guildford)
Alison, Michael Cope, John Hutchison, Michael Clark
Atkins, Rt Hon H. (Spelthorne) Costain, A. P. Irving, Charles (Cheltenham)
Bell, Ronald Cunningham, G. (Islington S) Jenkin, Rt Hon P.(Wanst'd & W'df'd)
Benyon, W. Dodsworth, Geoffrey Jones, Arthur (Daventry)
Berry, Hon Anthony Drayson, Burnaby King, Evelyn (South Dorset)
Biggs-Davison, John Eyre, Reginald Kitson, Sir Timothy
Blaker, Peter Falrgrieve, Russell Lamont, Norman
Boscawen, Hon Robert Farr, John Langford-Holt, Sir John
Bottomley, Peter Fisher, Sir Nigel Latham, Michael (Melton)
Bradford, Rev Robert Fookes, Miss Janet Lawrence, Ivan
Braine, Sir Bernard Forman, Nigel Lawson, Nigel
Brotherton, Michael Fowler, Norman (Sutton C'f'd) Le Marchant, Spencer
Buchanan-Smith, Alick Goodhart, Philip Lester, Jim (Beeston)
Budges, Nick Goodhew, Victor Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)
Burden, F. A. Gray, Hamish Loveridge, John
Butler, Adam (Bosworth) Griffiths, Eldon Luce, Richard
Carlisle, Mark Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury) MacGregor, John
Channon, Paul Hastings, Stephen Marten, Nell
Churchill, W. S. Hayhoe, Barney Mather, Carol
Clark, Alan (Plymouth, Sutton) Holland, Philip Maudling, Rt Hon Reginald
Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe) Hordern, Peter Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin

known and then overruled by the board. The matter will be referred to the board and a decision will be taken by the board on the advice of the chief officer. The board may accept the advice. In exceptional circumstances it will overrule him. But it will be one decision. It will not be announced as one decision and then reviewed. It will be one decision taken by the board on the advice of the chief officer.

The hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds (Mr. Griffiths) spoke about protracted proceedings. My whole object is to avoid protracted proceedings. His point about danger of double jeopardy would have very much greater force if we had some retrospective element brought in. looking at the matter after it had just been investigated.

I hope that on the basis of those assurances we may now begin gradually to make a little progress.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause read a second time.

Mr. Eldon Griffiths

In the circumstances. I will not move Amendment (a)

Amendment (b) proposed: at the end of subsection (2) add— '(3) a disciplinary charge shall not be preferred against a member of a police force (or, if already preferred, shall be withdrawn) if the charge is in substance the same as a possible criminal charge on which the Director of Public Prosecutions has decided, on evidential grounds, not to prosecute'.

Question put, That the amendment be made:—

The House divided: Ayes 102, Noes 140.

Mayhew, Patrick Parkinson, Cecil Taylor, Teddy (Cathcart)
Miller, Hal (Bromsgrove) Pattie, Geoffrey Tebbit, Norman
Mills, Peter Peyton, Rt Hon John Thatcher, Rt Hon Margaret
Miscampbell, Norman Rees, Peter (Dover & Deal) Townsend, Cyril D.
Moate, Roger Rees-Davies, W. R. Viggers, Peter
Moore, John (Croydon C) Rippon, Rt Hon Geoffrey Walker-Smith, Rt Hon Sir Derek
More, Jasper (Ludlow) Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey) Walters, Dennis
Morris, Michael (Northampton S) Rost, Peter (SE Derbyshire) Weatherill, Bernard
Morrison, Charles (Devizes) Sainsbury, Tim Whitelaw, Rt Hon William
Morrison, Hon Peter (Chester) Sims, Roger Wiggin, Jerry
Neubert, Michael Spicer, Michael (S Worcester)
Newton, Tony Steen, Anthony (Wavertree) TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Nott, John Stewart, Ian (Hitchin) Mr. John Corny and
Page, Rt Hon R. Graham (Crosby) Stradling Thomas, J. Mr. Michael Roberts.
Armstrong, Ernest Hooley, Frank Perry, Ernest
Barnett, Guy (Greenwich) Howell, Rt Hon Denis Price, C. (Lewisham W)
Barnett, Rt Hon Joel (Heywood) Howells, Geraint (Cardigan) Price, William (Rugby)
Bates, Alf Hughes, Rt Hon C. (Anglesey) Richardson, Miss Jo
Bean, R. E. Hughes, Mark (Durham) Roberts, Gwilym (Cannock)
Beith, A. J. Hughes, Roy (Newport) Robinson, Geoffrey
Benn, Rt Hon Anthony Wedgwood Hunter, Adam Rodgers, George (Chorley)
Bennett, Andrew (Stockport N) Jay, Rt Hon Douglas Rodgers, William (Stockton)
Bradley, Tom Jenkins, Hugh (Putney) Rooker, J. W.
Brown, Ronald (Hackney S) Jenkins, Rt Hon Roy (Stechford) Roper, John
Buchan, Norman John, Brynmor Rose, Paul B.
Callaghan, Rt. Hon J.(Cardiff SE) Johnson, James (Hull West) Sedgemore, Brian
Cant, R. B. Johnson, Walter (Derby S) Selby, Harry
Cartwright, John Kilroy-Silk, Robert Sheldon, Robert (Ashton-u-Lyne)
Clemitson, Ivor Lamond, James Short, Rt Hon E. (Newcastle C)
Cocks, Michael (Bristol S) Latham, Arthur (Paddington) Silkin, Rt Hon John (Deptford)
Cohen, Stanley Lee, John Silkin, Rt Hon S. C. (Dulwich)
Cook, Robin F. (Edin C) Lipton, Marcus Silverman, Julius
Corbett, Robin Lyons, Edward (Bradford W) Skinner, Dennis
Cox, Thomas (Tooting) McCartney, Hugh Small, William
Cryer, Bob McElhone, Frank Smith, John (N Lanarkshire)
Davidson, Arthur MacFarquhar, Roderick Spearing, Nigel
Davies, Bryan (Enfield N) Mackenzie, Gregor Spriggs, Leslie
Davies, Denzil (Llanelli) Maclennan, Robert Stallard, A. W.
Deakins, Eric McNamara, Kevin Stoddart, David
Doig, Peter Madden, Max Stonehouse, Rt Hon John
Dormand, J. D. Mahon, Simon Summerskill, Hon Dr Shirley
Douglas-Mann, Bruce Marshall, Dr Edmund (Goole) Taylor, Mrs Ann (Bolton W)
Dunnett, Jack Maynard, Miss Joan Thomas, Ron (Bristol NW)
Eadie, Alex Mendelson, John Thorpe, Rt Hon Jeremy (N Devon)
Ellis, John (Brigg & Scun) Mikardo, Ian Tinn, James
Evans, Ioan (Aberdare) Millan, Bruce Tomney, Frank
Faulds, Andrew Miller, Mrs Millie (Ilford N) Tuck, Raphael
Flannery, Martin Molloy, William Urwin, T. W.
Fowler, Gerald (The Wrekin) Moonman, Eric Walker, Terry (Kingswood)
Garrett, John (Norwich S) Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw) Watkins, David
George, Bruce Murray, Rt Hon Ronald King Weetch, Ken
Gilbert, Dr John Newens, Stanley White, Frank R. (Bury)
Gourley, Harry Noble, Mike Whitehead, Phillip
Grant, John (Islington C) Ogden, Eric Whitlock, William
Grimond, Rt Hon J. O'Halloran, Michael Wigley, Dafydd
Grocott, Bruce Palmer, Arthur Willey, Rt Hon Frederick
Hamilton, James (Bothwell) Pardoe, John Wise, Mrs Audrey
Hardy, Peter Park, George Wrigglesworth, Ian
Harper, Joseph Parry, Robert
Harrison, Walter (Wakefield) Pavitt, Laurie TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Hayman, Mrs Helene Pendry, Tom M. Donald Coleman and
Heffer, Eric S. Penhaligon, David Mr. Ted Graham.

Question accordingly negatived.

Clause added to the Bll.

Forward to