HC Deb 27 October 1976 vol 918 cc490-521

Lords Amendment: No. 1, in page 2. line 1, leave out "he cannot show to be" and insert "is not".

4.18 p.m.

The Minister of State, Home Office (Mr. Brynmor John)

I beg to move, That this House cloth disagree with the Lords in the said amendment.

There are two concepts which are new in this Bill. The first is that the burden of asserting rights has now shifted to the individual, away from the system previously adopted, which was that of reporting to the Race Relations Board and of that Board taking up the matter on behalf of the individual. We believe that it is right that that should be so, but of course it leads to the problem that, for example, in employment cases, he would assert those rights without the benefit of legal aid.

The second point which is new is the concept of indirect discrimination. It is new because it deals with a question where there is nominal equality but de facto inequality. For the concept of indirect discrimination to be established, five primary issues of fact have to be decided first, whether a condition or requirement has been applied to the complainant; second, whether the complainant has failed to comply with it; third, whether the failure has operated to the detriment of the complainant; fourth, whether the condition is such that the proportion of those of his racial group who can comply is considerably smaller than those not of his racial group; fifth, whether the condition or requirement is justifiable, irrespective of the racial group.

In another place, an amendment was moved whereby the onus was placed on the complainant for all five of the primary issues of fact whereas in the Bill, as it left the House earlier, the onus remained upon the complainant for the first four of the conditions but shifted in the fifth to the respondent.

The House should consider the position which arises if the complainant proves the first four of the conditions. If he satisfies those four requirements it is proved that a condition acts in a racially discriminatory way against a person. We believe that where that racially discriminatory position is established by the complainant, the onus should then shift to the respondent to prove the fifth condition, namely whether the condition or requirement is justifiable irrespective of the racial group to which it applies.

The Lords put in the amendment mainly because of the burden of proof argument. We believe that they were wrong because of a number of factors. In the Lords, the impression was given that the onus was on the respondent to prove his innocence on all five of the grounds, whereas in four of them the onus is still on the complainant. The second reason that the Lords were wrong concerns their references to guilt and the connotation of criminality. The Bill deals with civil liability.

The Lords were also wrong in their argument about the burden of proof. Lord Hailsham said that the burden of proof is always on the person who seeks to assert a right, but that is not always so. As the hon. and learned Member for Montgomery (Mr. Hooson) appears to agree, the burden of proof is not constantly upon the complainant.

I can give examples from civil law. Under the Trade Union and Labour Relations Act 1974, a complainant must establish that he has been dismissed and once he has done that the onus shifts to the employer who must justify that dismissal. Lest hon. Members should think that the 1974 Act is too recent an example, I give another—Section 30 of the Bills of Exchange Act 1882, which has a longer pedigree. Under that Act the onus passes to the respondent to prove that he has given value.

Perhaps the noble Lord, Lord Hailsham should have considered the situation in the criminal law more carefully because it is not always the prosecution which must discharge the burden of proof. An example is the Prevention of Corruption Act 1916. In the Sexual Offences Act 1956 the burden of proof shifts to the defendant accused of living off the immoral earnings of a prostitute. Under Section 5 of the Magistrates' Court Act 1952, the onus of proving exception or exemption rests with the defendant.

It is right to shift the burden in this case, because the facts are particularly and peculiarly within the knowledge of the respondent. Let us revert to the present example—that of indirect discrimination. Take the example of preventing a Sikh from gaining employment in an engineering factory, for instance, because he will not wear a safety helmet. That man is not able to fulfil a vital requirement or condition. In some cases such a condition of employment would not be justifiable on other than racial grounds. The complainant would not be able to establish easily whether the condition was justifiable. The employer has the expert knowledge of the industry and is the person who lays down the conditions.

One could call the evidence of an expert but such cases will be dealt with by the industrial tribunals, to which legal aid does not apply. That is why the Government believe that in cases of indirect discrimination the onus in respect of four of the primary issues of fact should be fairly laid upon the complainant. In the fifth, the matter is peculiarly within the knowledge of the respondent, and the onus in that issue should be on the respondent. I invite the House to disagree with the Lords in their amendment.

Mr. Percy Grieve (Solihull)

The Lords have done a great service to the law and the administration of the law in our country in restoring the burden of proof where it should be. It is all very well for the Minister to say that this is not a penal matter, but the series of Acts and this Bill concerning race relations, constitute, rightly or wrongly, a substantial inroad into the rights and liberties of the ordinary citizen. Those who think that they are aggrieved by what they deem to be discrimination can now go to the court under the Bill and seek ever wider and ever greater remedies. I strongly believe that when such people go to court the burden should be on them when they are challenging the citizens of this country. The burden should be on them to show that what they choose to term discrimination is not justifiable.

The Minister said that whether it is justifiable or not, the circumstances are peculiarly within the knowledge of the person who is alleged to have discriminated. If that criterion was applied to any offence in which the motive or intent has to be proved, the burden of proof would be reversed. It would be a sad day indeed for the country.

Mr. Ronald Bell (Beaconsfield)

Is it not the case that the burden of proof is always on the prosecution in cases of identity or when establishing whether a person was in a particular place at a particular time? In such cases, the accused has knowledge because he knows whether he was there.

4.30 p.m.

Mr. Grieve

My hon. and learned Friend's contribution exactly meets my point. We do not serve the cause of good race relations well by changing the burden of proof and subjecting our citizens to a plethora of legislation.

There was recently in the Midlands, near to my constituency, a case which showed the error, difficulty and vice of imposing upon people legal restraints which the great bulk of the population think to be wrong. There is no doubt that in putting up outside this house a notice which brought him before the courts Mr. Relf was in breach of the law, and he was wrong to be in breach of the law. There is no doubt that when he refused to obey an order to take the notice down the learned judge had no alternative but to send him to prison for contempt of court.

But what happened? Mr. Relf went on hunger strike and was in danger of death. He was released from prison and got away with that breach of the law. If he had not, those of us who represent Midland constituencies know that there was a grave possibility of riots in the Midlands. That is the consequence of imposing upon the people a vast code of law which does not meet with their approval, which makes vast inroads into their liberties and which now, in this zeal for race relations legislation, seeks in an important, material particular to reverse the burden of proof.

Lest I should be misunderstood, I say at once that I do not impugn the motives of any of those in the House, the Government, the great Departments of State or elsewhere who think that one can serve the cause of race relations by legislation. But I believe that they are wrong. That the burden of proof should be reversed shows the lengths to which they are prepared to go in defiance of what I believe to be the beliefs of ordinary people, certainly in defiance of liberties and freedom which the people have enjoyed for centuries.

It is tragic that, with the vast problems we face today, the race relations industry is probably one of the few industries to be flourishing.

I end as I began, by saying that another place has well served the cause of law, esteem for law and in the end—because good race relations depend upon those things—the cause of race relations itself by reversing the burden of proof provision. I hope that the House wilt decide that the amendment should remain.

Mr. Dudley Smith (Warwick and Leamington)

The House and the Home Office would do well to mark the words of my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Solihull (Mr. Grieve).

The Minister of State said that the Bill provided a new concept. The concept that the amendment would remedy is a very undesirable concept. Parliament should be very careful about placing extra burdens on an accused person, whether in a criminal or a civil case. If the accused must prove his innocence, rather than officialdom having to prove his guilt, we shall be taking a long step towards the final erosion of democracy as we have practised it.

My hon. and learned Friend referred in general terms to the race relations industry. This is the third race relations measure on which we have been engaged in recent years. I yield to nobody in my desire to improve race relations. That is why I sit on the Select Committee on the subject and why I try to represent the some 6,000 immigrants who live in my constituency. But, alas, race relations are not improving. As we have all seen, in recent months there has been a definite deterioration.

I believe that this legislation, ambitious as it certainly is and desirable as some people think it is, is counter-productive. Some of the provisions have worked against good race relations. The more we try to strengthen certain aspects of race relations, the more we shall provoke certain people to break the law.

My hon. and learned Friend referred to the case of Mr. Robert Relf. I suppose one should always try to speak well of constituents. He is a constituent of mine, but I regard him as a rather pathetic and very undesirable person in many respects. Not for a moment do I condone what he did. He carried out an act of complete provocation. I should be among the first to condemn what he was trying to achieve In my view it was not a genuine attempt to sell his house but an attempt to draw attention to his case and promote his own racial ideals, but the race relations industry encouraged him and enabled him to become a martyr.

By going on hunger strike, in the end Mr. Relf won. He beat the judge who had sent him to prison for contempt of court and he received a great deal of publicity and a great deal of support from some people who did not understand the issues. He provoked a great deal of racial tension and hostility in the West Midlands area. My hon. and learned Friend did not exaggerate when he said that if the man had died, if he had not been released, there could well have been riots in the Midlands. That is unthinkable.

We must consider carefully when we legislate. We must try to produce legislation that the man in the street understands and regards as fair. On Second Reading of the Bill in another place, Lord Harris referred to it as "long and complex". Lord Hailsham called it ill-timed and ill-thought out."—[Official Report, House of Lords, 20th July 1976; Vol. 373, c. 739.] He thought that the effect of some provisions would be counter-productive. I agree. The Bill contains some good provisions which could assist, but there are many others that the House should not approve. One is the fundamental point that the Lords seized upon, that the onus of proof was to be on the accused individual. The Home Office would be doing a service if, as a gesture of good faith early in these proceedings, it accepted this Lords amendment.

Mr. George Cunningham (Islington, South and Finsbury)

I agree with the hon. Member for Warwick and Learnington (Mr. Smith) to this extent, with regard to the value of what the Lords did to this Bill. They performed a service in debating a point which is certainly a fundamental one affecting the rights of the citizen. I am glad that they did so, whether or not one agrees with the outcome of that debate. My inclination on this point was to read their deliberations carefully, to listen to this debate and, at any rate, to make up my mind at the end. My mind is not yet entirely closed.

I was a little surprised, listening to the Minister of State, to hear him so firm in his view that the burden of proof can in certain circumstances be shifted. I recall the debates on a much less important matter that we had a few months ago on a Private Bill, the British Railways Bill, when some of us were trying to defend the practice whereby the burden of proof lies upon the defendant when he is found with property for the possession of which he cannot give a satisfactory explanation. By a fairly long-established law, in those circumstances the burden of proof lies on the defendant.

Mr. Grieve

I am sorry to interrupt the hon. Gentleman, but what he has said—and I say this with the utmost humility—is not strictly accurate. The defendant is called upon for an explanation. If he does not give an explanation which the jury accepts or believes or thinks may be true, it may take that into account in bringing in a conviction. It may convict. There is not a complete shift of the burden of proof.

Mr. Cunningham

That is comparable to the situation that would exist under the Bill before it was amended by the Lords, because the party would have to show to the court that he had these other reasons for doing what he did. I think that it is very comparable although not exactly comparable. There are other differences as well.

A few months ago the Home Office was rather keen to get rid of provisions on the statute book where the burden of proof attaches to the defendant. The Minister of State seems to be taking a different line today. We are not supposed to be engaged in a discussion of where there ought to be a law on race relations. We are on a narrow technical question, about the partial burden of proof. I found it interesting to read the remarks of Lord Molson at column 39 of the Lords Hansard of 27th September. The noble Lord instanced the case of a person who might be letting his house furnished and might wish to impose a condition to the effect that the person who took it would not not cook highly spiced materials in the house. He implied that that could be a reasonable condition to impose because the smell of the spice would attach to the curtains and the furniture and that would be a legitimate reason for wanting to impose what would amount to a racial discrimination. That very well illustrates the kind of creeping discrimination which we have to try to stop. It is vitally important that, before discrimination has a cancerous and long-term effect, we nip it in the bud. God knows we must not trample on the fundaments of our legal system. In doing so we would do more harm than good.

That example well shows the kind of thing we have to try to catch.

It is because I think we shall manage, with proper and sufficient safeguards, to catch that type of discrimination with the Bill as it stands, and would have greater difficulty in catching it if the Lords amendment is accepted that I am inclined to vote against it.

Finally, I raise a point which has been been made in the House and in another place, namely that this kind of provision already exists with regard to sex discrimination. I do not recall that people felt that in that instance there was great objection in principle to its introduction.

4.45 p.m.

Mr. Ronald Bell

The hon. Member for Islington, South and Finsbury (Mr. Cunningham) has rightly said that this is a very narrow point, but I think that he has widened it a little because the problem he posed, of a condition requiring somebody not to cook highly spiced foods, would not be caught by this provision at all since a person from India who liked curry could, nevertheless, comply with the condition perfectly well. It is not something inherent in him but a practice which could be objectionable in particular circumstances.

The Minister of State, too, widened the debate a little by saying that we should not bother about the shifting of the burden of proof because we were dealing with civil jurisdiction. He implied that we were making rather heavy weather of it. I shall not repeat what I have often said about the extreme harshness of the civil procedure in this context. I shall merely summarise it by saying that it is much much harsher than a criminal procedure in this context, for reasons which I have given seriatim.

This has been illustrated in one way in the case of Mr. Relf. For an act of discrimination under this legislation one may, in theory, find oneself imprisoned for the rest of one's life. A person is quite likely to be sent to prison and if he is not, the damages and the costs awarded against him are very much higher than any fine that any court would impose. There are other factors, but that is enough to show that we are dealing with something serious.

There is another point which arises out of the Bill and that is that a person who has committed an act of discrimination is to be deemed for certain purposes to be a person of generally bad character. He is labelled as such for the rest of his life. This goes far beyond any of the provisions of the criminal law. Let us not be misled by the Minister's speech into thinking that we are on a small point here. We have to treat it seriously and arrive at the right solution.

The Minister of State justified his resistance to the Lords Amendment by quoting other occasions in the civil and criminal law where the burden shifts to the accused. I know that to be true. I have resisted many of those instances during their passage through the House, as have other hon. Members. Hon. Members have always used the argument, rightly, that each one is used as a precedent for the next. Each one is justified on its special circumstances and then used as a precedent. The Minister of State gave an example of a person consorting with prostitutes and living on immoral earnings. He has to explain that. There were other cases like that.

In Clause 1 we are discussing indirect discrimination where it may be assumed that a person is not discriminating directly or intentionally. He is putting requirements forward for a job—without any intention to discriminate—with which it would be more difficult, perhaps, for a West Indian immigrant to comply than a native Briton.

Mr. Emlyn Hooson (Montgomery)

Would the hon. and learned Member give concrete examples?

Mr. Bell

One easy thing would be for someone to say that he wanted two passes at A-level. That would certainly rule out most West Indian immigrants.

There are plenty of other features that I could mention, qualifications with which an African immigrant would find it very difficult to comply—and a good many Asiatic immigrants, too. There is no difficulty about imagining those, but it may be more agreeable and tactful not to go through the list.

If such a requirement is to the detriment of an immigrant applicant because it would be more difficult for him to comply than it would be for others, the person being complained about is guilty—I use the criminal word, I do not know what other word I can use to describe an act of discrimination—unless he can show that it is justifiable irrespective of the matters alleged in the subsection. How can one make a comparison between that and a situation involving consorting with prostitutes or of being in possession of a bill of exchange which has been fraudulently negotiated? How can one bring in examples presented to us by other laws?

In this case we have somebody who is acting in the most normal and, without this legislation, justifiable way, without even the requirement of intention. He is put into the position of being in peril, unless he can prove to the satisfaction of the court that such action was justifiable in relation to the job.

The definition in this provision is not very exact. An employer may say "That is the sort of person I want because this involves only a small operation." We must remember that there is no exemption in the Bill for smallness, as there used to be. If there are only one or two people employed, the employer may say "I want that person because he is a complaisant and agreeable collaborator." However, that will not get him very far.

We are dealing here with the most extreme clause in the Bill. We are saying that a citizen can be called before the courts and put in peril of a damaging financial experience, and that if he is obdurate he will be sent to prison for doing something which, until now, would be considered the most normal action anybody would be entitled to, namely, to specify the requirements for a job without reference to race or colour but merely by saying "These are the qualifications which I shall be seeking in an applicant".

Because of the obsession of some people with discrimination, this requirement is to be rooted out. It is being said that any penumbra of a shadow of discrimination must be proceeded against in the courts. Therefore, by this extreme clause the Government are saying that if a person is hauled before the courts, he will have to fight his own way out.

If this provision goes through, it will add one big log to the fire of legitimate resentment which is felt by the population at this constant battering by people whom they must think are anti-British to the core by people whose view is that anybody who is coloured can do nothing wrong and that anybody who is white can do nothing right. That is the impression that is being gained, and this kind of legislation justifies it. It is outrageous and is deeply resented by the British people. The Minister will be foolish if he does not take the opportunity afforded to him by the Lords of accepting this minimal and extremely sensible amendment.

Mr. John Lee (Birmingham, Handsworth)

This discussion will be a long vigil and I shall not burden the House with a lengthy speech from the Labour Benches. Indeed, it behoves hon. Members on both sides of the House to be as brief as possible in their remarks, and I propose to observe that rule.

It is evident that a number of hon. Members, including the hon. and learned Member for Beaconsfield (Mr. Bell), have no desire for this legislation to be effective. That is the principal reason for their taking the line they are adopting today—and I suspect that it was the principal reason why the other place railroaded through the enormous number of amendments now before us, amendments which, taken in totality, would emasculate the Bill.

Having said that, let me say by way of contrast that I have some misgivings about any provision in any law which, however laudable, seeks to erode a fundamental principle in the burden of proof. It seems strange that we should choose to do this not as part of an act of law reform when the whole matter can be seen in the whole perspective of English law, but as a side wind. I suspect that when the courts come to determine cases under this law we shall run into difficulties with the judges.

Judges over a long period of time tend to lean against certain concepts. For example, judges have leaned against statutory offences, for the very good reason that it is a fundamental ingredient of English criminal law that there should be mens rea—a guilty intent with regard to a particular offence.

Mr. Ronald Bell

I entirely agree with the hon. Gentleman's remarks in this context, but I think he meant to refer to absolute statutory offences.

Mr. Lee

I am obliged to the hon. and learned Gentleman. That is what I meant to say.

When we try to go beyond this area there is a tendency to seek redress. Let me give an example. I used this example when the House discussed the deplorable Sexual Offences Bill, a measure which will put all kinds of hazards in the way of somebody wrongfully convicted of rape. I was the one Member of the House who fought against that legislation all the way.

I then mentioned the case of Sweet v. Parsley when the House of Lords rightly reversed the decision of the Divisional Court. That case involved an owner of premises who was found guilty because cannabis had been smoked on her premises. If we accept this amendment inserted by the Lords, whatever their motives—and I suspect that for the most part they were deplorable motives—it probably will not make much difference, and indeed, paradoxically, it may be easier for this law to be made effective because there will be less resistance by the judges in the appellate courts when these matters are considered at a higher level.

Mr. Sydney Bidwell (Ealing, Southall)

My hon. Friend knows that I regard any contribution he makes as of far greater significance than any contributions on this subject that we are likely to hear from the Opposition Benches. I agree with my hon. Friend that these provisions in the amendment are in line with what was sought to be done in the Sexual Offences Act. I am sure my hon. Friend will have in mind that those who are engaged in anti-racialist activities and who seek to extend racial harmony believe that eventually the two agencies that cover these subjects should be amalgamated. It would be quite wrong to have a sense of outrage, even from a legal point of view, about this aspect if such a view were not expressed when we considered the other Bill.

5.0 p.m.

Mr. Lee

I understand my hon. Friend's reasoning. This is an arguable proposition but I am not expressing a, sense of outrage. My view is that the Minister's whole approach is commendably correct. My fear is that we should be pushing our luck with the courts if, as a side wind of this piece of legislation, we were to take such a course.

My hon. Friend has mentioned another piece of legislation which has run in parallel with the Bill. It is part of a laudable campaign that we have run to eliminate discrimination from our public life. When cases come to be considered under that Act it may well be that we shall come up against the problem that I shall describe—I hope not with impropriety—as the psychiatry of judges.

Perhaps I should say straight away that I have no intention of voting against the Government, although I have not the slightest inhibition about doing so when I feel that it is the proper course. I have voted against the Government on many occasions, but generally speaking I have done so for far worthier causes than that now before us.

I suggest in the friendliest possible spirit to my hon. Friend that it might not be bad tactics to accept the amendment and some of the others that follow that are on similar lines. That acceptance would cause the filibusters to fall flat on their faces. If my hon. Friend took that couse, they would not be able to argue at such great length.

My hon. Friend assisted the promoters of a ridiculous and oppressive piece of legislation—namely, the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Bill. When the House considered that measure, he persuaded my hon. Friend the Member for Hemel Hempstead (Mr. Corbett) to accept an amendment to delete the words "conspiracy to rape". It was an otiose provision, but the fact that it was there enabled me to argue at greater length. If my hon. Friend had not been persuaded to accept the amendment, it is possible that I might have succeeded in talking out that piece of legislation. That was my desire but my hon. Friend the Minister of State sabotaged my attempt. I suggest that he might sabotage the tactics of the filibusterers on the Opposition Benches if he accepted the amendment before us.

On a rather more serious plane, it would do. no harm—possibly, paradoxically, it might do some good—if my hon. Friend were to accept the amendment.

Mr. Hooson

I have come to the firm conclusion that the Government are right in the attitude that they have taken towards the amendment. The real test for the House is whether it wants this legislation to be effective. It would ill become the House to give the impression that it wanted to pass a Bill but did not want it to be effective. That is the impression that would be given if the House were to leave loopholes that allowed racial discrimination to take place in the absence of effective sanctions.

Like the hon. and learned Member for Solihull (Mr. Grieve), I have spent my life at the Bar. When I approach legislation which transfers an onus of proof from one side to the other my whole instinct is to be against it. When I first considered the issue in the context of the Bill, I thought that I should probably be against it. However, the more I looked at it, the more it seemed that there would be no real chance of injustice, and that is the real test.

When the hon. and learned Member for Beaconsfield (Mr. Bell) was speaking I asked him to give an example of the sort of discrimination that he thought might result in some injustice. The best he could do was to suggest that if a job were available for someone with two A-levels and an advertisement were displayed to that effect, that might in some way be interpreted as discrimination on the ground of race, colour or something of that sort. With the greatest respect to the hon. and learned Gentleman, I have never heard such nonsense in my life. If that is the best example he can suggest, heaven help us.

Mr. Grieve

I appreciate what the hon. and learned Gentleman is saying, but if the test which he is asking the House to apply in this case is right it would be right to apply it to every criminal case where intent is a necessary ingredient of the crime.

Mr. Hooson

I respectfully disagree with the hon. and learned Gentleman. I refer him to the speech that was made in another place by the noble and learned Lord, Lord Hailsham. Lord Hailsham gave three reasons for departing from the normal rule to which the hon. and learned Gentleman is so attached, namely, that the onus should be placed firmly on the man who complains that there has been a breach of the law. Lord Hailsham said: Secondly, it is generally recognised, and I have every sympathy for this and support it where the, principle is applicable, that where a matter is distinctly within the knowledge of the accused and not within the knowledge of the party asseverating the ingredient in the crime or the delict, then the possession of that knowledge—for instance, the possession of a licence in certain cases—is something which the accused ought to bring forward and establish to the satisfaction of the court on the balance of probabilities. This is perfectly good justice and I would not object to it as a general principle."—[Official Report. House of Lords, 27th September 1976; Vol. 374, c. 30.] The point has already been made that Lord Hailsham constantly referred to this provision as though he were dealing with the criminal law. We are dealing with civil proceedings but the principle he adumbrated is important and seems to be entirely applicable to this debate.

The person who brings an action under these proceedings has to prove four things. The onus of proof transfers to the other side on one matter only when the person who has taken the action has proved all the other things. There is that requirement when an act cannot be shown to be justifiable, irrespective of colour, race, nationality or the ethnic or national origin of the person to whom it is applied. The onus is on the other side to prove that there has been an act of discrimination. All that is required of the person against whom the allegation is made is to establish that he has done it for a perfectly valid reason unconnected with colour, race, nationality or ethnic or national origin.

Nothing is said in the Bill about the standard of proof. A great deal of difficulty has arisen in these discussions because of the absence of standard of proof. Everyone knows that in a defamation case in the High Court the onus of proof is on the plaintiff, but in an issue involving qualified privilege the onus—it may be a lesser onus—rests with the defendant.

What is the standard to be applied by the judges? That is a matter for the judges to decide. I think that the hon. Member for Birmingham, Handsworth (Mr. Lee) was right when he said that the judges would have something to say about the standard as opposed to the onus of proof.

The reality is that the Race Relations Bill is passing through the House and it is the desire of most Members that the Bill be effective. If it is to be made effective, it is necessary to have the onus put upon the other side, namely, the person against whom an act of discrimination has already been proved, to make it effective. I do not think that that will result in any injustice.

Mr. Ronald Bell

The point of the illustration I gave about an advertisement specifying two A-levels was not that it would be irrespective of race, and so on. The qualification for that is in a different clause. I do not think that the hon. and learned Gentleman has been studying the text of the Bill very closely. I remind him of the wording of Clause 1(1): … a requirement or condition … (i) which is such that the proportion of persons of the same racial group as that other who can comply with it is considerably smaller than the proportion of persons not of that racial group who can comply with it". That is the point of my reference to A-levels. It gives the burden of proof.

Mr. Hooson

I think that the hon. and learned Gentleman has misapprehended the provision. I do not think that any court will suggest that an advertisement requiring someone to have two A-levels is a clearly valid reason that the standard of attainment required for the job will be regarded as colour discrimination. This is clearly an important matter. We are not here departing from the normal standards of our law. The onus of proof is normally always on the person who avers that there has been a breach of the law. That has always been the general rule, although there have been exceptions since the Bills of Exchange Act 1880, and I think that this is one of the exceptions.

Mr. John Stokes (Halesowen and Stourbridge)

In the debate so far we have heard many lawyers, but if the Bill becomes an Act it will have to be understood and obeyed by the vast bulk of the population who are not lawyers. I think that the ordinary Englishman believes, as his ancestors have believed for centuries—since the English law first came down to us from our Saxon and Norman kings and their councils—that a man is innocent until proved guilty. That, of course, still applies, thank goodness, in most instances of grave offences against our law—even the gravest, such as treason, murder, rape and robbery with violence.

Therefore, the ordinary man, whom we all represent, will ask himself why this matter of racial discrimination is so overwhelmingly important that it must have different legal principles applied to it. If they could be here, our constituents would be astonished that this debate is taking place at all. When the nation is in the greatest economic crisis since the war, and when, above all, everyone is looking for a lead from the Government and the House, they would be astonished that we are having to spend the greater part of the day on legislation which most people think is vexatious, unwise and unfair to English people. One will not hear any man or woman in the street criticise the other place for these important amendments, which show, I believe, that the Lords are, in this instance, more trustees for the rights of ordinary English men and women than are hon. Members opposite.

Clause 1 shows how unsuitable for law-making this sort of thing is. I suspect that that is one of the reasons why the Lords did not accept this part of the Bill. Why are we in this House repeatedly called upon to pass laws which exaggerate the importance of racial discrimination in our lives, making it a worse offence than anything else? Why do we have to alter the rules of evidence, which are understood throughout the country, just in this case? I fear that if we allow this clause to go through without the Lords amendment, in time, whatever view the judges may take innocent people will be found guilty. I believe that the attempt to put this provision back as it was is grossly unfair to the vast majority of the people whom we represent, and is another attack on their ancient liberties.

5.15 p.m.

Mr. Nick Budgen (Wolverhampton, South-West)

It is an ancient and well-tried principle of the English common law that the representative of the prosecution or the plaintiff shall prove his case from first to last. The Minister of State conceded that in general the burden of proof should always rest either upon the prosecution or upon the plaintiff, but he argued for the proposition that the burden of proof in this case should rest upon the respondent or the defendant. He said, first, that this was not a penal matter. That is true. In theory at least, we are dealing with something that can properly be described as a tort. The usual consequence of a citizen being found guilty of a tort is that he pays damages or costs.

In this case, however, the consequences of a breach of the tort of discrimination will be far more serious. Here, I do not just want to take up the points that my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Beaconsfield (Mr. Bell) made about the enormous monetary consequences of being found guilty of discrimination. It goes much further than that.

From Clause 12, it is obvious that any organisation which seeks to discriminate as defined in the Bill will be found guilty of an offence, and very serious consequences will flow from that. Again, if a person wishes to be a dentist or a barrister or a solicitor—to belong to any of the professional bodies in the country, indeed—the fact that he has been guilty of discrimination is a factor which, under Clause 12, the professional body concerned has to take into account, and it may well refuse him entry into that closed shop. We are dealing with something that may give rise to a man being unemployed for the whole of his life, and which may make an organisation totally ineffective.

For example, the State spends 60 per cent, of the gross national product. Let us suppose that a firm producing certain goods is found guilty of discrimination. It may well be that it will never again sell its goods to a Government body. Although theoretically we are dealing with what is a tort, the consequences of being found guilty of that tort are far more serious than the consequences of being found guilty of many crimes. So the Minister of State is wrong in suggesting that an exception to the vitally important principle of the common law can be considered on the ground that this is merely a tort.

The Minister's second argument was that this part of the tort of discrimination concerns a matter wholly within the knowledge of the respondent. That is not a good argument for breaching the fundamental principle of the common law. Under the criminal law, the prosecution has to prove the intention to defraud, for example. Plainly the question whether the accused man intends to defraud is something that is peculiarly within his knowledge. Nevertheless, the prosecution has to point to the elements of the evidence and persuade the jury that the intention of the accused was to defraud. So once again, the Minister cannot breach the overriding principle on that second ground.

The third argument was put forward by the hon. and learned Member for Montgomery (Mr. Hooson), who, although a lawyer of great eminence, did, I suggest respectfully, take a bad point here. He said that in the tort of discrimination there are five constituent parts. In the first four, the onus of proof is on the plaintiff or the prosecution, but on the fifth it is on the respondent. That is not a good argument. In many criminal charges, there are three, four or even five constituent parts, each of which has to be proved by the prosecution. The fact that there are a number of constituent parts does not allow the prosecution to say that having proved four, which was pretty hard work, the onus should now be shifted on to the respondent to prove the fifth. That is plainly a bad argument.

The other argument put forward by the hon. and learned Member for Montgomery was that the law must be effective. Just what does he mean? That is a good parrot cry, but it does not stand up to serious analysis in relation to a well-tried common law principle like the need to force the prosecution to put its case. If we want this law to be effective—and that always has been the cry of the authoritarian throughout the ages—we could say that anybody who is accused would automatically be found guilty by virtue of being accused. That would be extremely effective. But effectiveness has nothing to do with it. The legal principles have been hammered out in an attempt to get a balance between the authoritarian demands of the State and the rights of the individual. To talk about the need to be effective is not a good argument against the central proposition accepted here by the Minister of State. The importance of great common law maxims is that they have been hammered out over the years by the experience of many people, and they are proof against the fashions and the emotions of the moment.

We are dealing here with fashionable legislation. It is fashionable among the south-east proponents of the civilised society. I do not denigrate their views, which are put forward with great elegance and force. But these people with fashionable views will, on occasions, walk over people who hold less fashionable views.

The principles of common law are proof against the emotions of the moment as well. Supposing, for example, that in a rush of blood this House decided to introduce a new criminal offence of mugging, and in order to make it effective, put the onus of proof on the accused. I bet there would be plenty of hon. Gentlemen on the Government Benches who would say, quite rightly, that this was a disgraceful Fascist attempt by the Right Wing to accuse black people of muggings. If we say that it is disgraceful that black people should be treated in this way and subjected to a standard of proof different from that applied to anyone else in this country, the same argument must apply to this fashionable tort of discrimination. These legal principles should be applied as a safeguard for the rights of individual citizens against the efforts of arbitrary people to impose their will.

Mr. George Cunningham

But surely we have done this in the last year or two. We have responded to a very dangerous situation by introducing the antiterrorism legislation. That was not a response to emotion. It was a response to the particular needs of the time. Surely that is what we are doing here.

Mr. Budgen

The anti-terrorism legislation was introduced for a short period, and it is renewable each year. Undoubtedly it takes away the rights of individual citizens, but the same argument was applied to some war-time legislation which was also introduced for a short period. This race relations legislation is being introduced for ever, presumably, and it is not being introduced in response to transitory conditions in which the State takes away individuals' rights in the face of a greater evil. In this case, we must adhere to the fundamental principles of English common law.

I take up an important point made by the hon. Member for Birmingham, Hands-worth (Mr. Lee), about dealing with judges' attitudes to this sort of legislation. Surely all legislation must be based on consent. If it is not, there is a risk that those who have to apply it will not do so. The most obvious example of legislation on the statute book which was not applied was the highly offensive penal legislation against the Luddites. Time and time again, when these people were being charged before the criminal courts, juries refused to convict them in the face of overwhelming evidence, because they thought that these unhappy people should not be convicted and transported for breaches of the criminal law which the juries regarded as wholly unfair.

There was a story about a case on the circuit on which I practise. It is reputed that this is a true story, and I am sure it is, although I have not researched it. There was one action at the assize court in which a dear old farmer defended himself against allegations that he was in breach of planning regulations. He defended himself with great vigour but very little relevance. At the end of the day, the judge summed up in these terms: Members of the jury, Mr. X is accused of an offence under the planning regulations. There is, in law, no defence to the prosecution case. But I am bound to tell you that if you find Mr. X not guilty, there is nothing I can do about it and nothing the law can do to Mr. X. So, against all the evidence and as a consequence of the judge's acting with great humanity but total impropriety, the accused was found not guilty.

If we stick this sort of legislation down the throats of county court judges and our fellow citizens, we will reach the stage where the law is not being properly applied by those whose duty it is to apply it. I believe that the Minister of State should take account of the fact that the fundamental principle behind this legislation is highly contentious.

I believe profoundly that there is no general consent for the legislation. The Government believe otherwise, but if they wish to get consent for the general principle they will do well to make sure that the details are seen to be as fair as possible. It is by adherence to the fundamental principles of English common law that the Government will demonstrate their desire to be fair about the details.

5.30 p.m.

Mr. Patrick Mayhew (Royal Tunbridge Wells)

We believe that the Lords amendment ought to stand. It reflects what we argued in Standing Committee and on Report. It is plainly right, notwithstanding that the mischief which it is aimed to overcome is also to be found in the Sex Discrimination Act, which was referred to by the hon. Member for Islington, South and Finsbury (Mr. Cunningham). At risk of spoiling everybody's fun, not least that of the Minister of State, I shall break a hallowed convention and say that I wish that I had paid a bit more attention to that Act when it went through the House. It contains blemishes which are lovingly relied upon by the Government, who say that the House is stuck with these blemishes in all parallel legislation for ever more. That is to say that the struggle naught availeth … And as things have been, things remain. That is hardly an encouraging approach to adopt. Because I have driven over one red traffic light by mistake I do not feel obliged to drive over the next on purpose. I therefore am not persuaded by the unlovely precedent of the Sex Discrimination Act in anything that I have to say.

We are concerned with the offence of discrimination, to which the Bill will apply, and with the way in which it should be proved. I make no apology for calling it the offence of discrimination. Discrimination is the mischief at which the Bill is aimed. Under the Bill sanctions against discrimination have already been touched upon by several of my hon. Friends. I am not surprised because those sanctions are formidable. In case we get it into our heads that this is a sort of liars' party, that it is a pedantic and somewhat unrealistic debate, which is being conducted primarily for the lawyers, we should remember that we are debating a Bill that provides substantial sanctions for those who discriminate on racial grounds. We are not dealing with a Bill which is merely exhortation and which provides for a mere rap over discriminating knuckles. Part 2, which deals with employment, imposes a subjection to the jurisdiction of the industrial tribunal. At present the tribunal can impose what is, in effect, a fine up to a maximum of £5,200. That may have been extended by order; I do not know. It is called compensation, but in effect it is a fine. It is payable to the person discriminated against, but in effect it is a fine imposed by the tribunal.

Under Part III, which deals with education, the supply of goods, services and premises, one can be hauled before a county court or, in Scotland, a sheriff court, and there made to pay substantial damages. There is no legal aid for a respondent before an industrial tribunal. In practice, he never gets his costs even if he wins. Before both the industrial tribunal and the county and sheriff courts the Bill provides that the complainant, but not the respondent, may claim advice and help of the most comprehensive kind from the Commission. To this had to be added—before their Lordships happily deleted it—the right for the prospective complainant to interrogate his prospective opponent as to his reasons for doing any relevant act before he so much as formulated the complaint that he might in good time have thought it right to bring.

As if that were not enough, there is the sanction of branding the respondent as the perpetrator of an unlawful act. In these days, when so much patronage is exercised by government—both local and central—in commercial and as well as many other fields, that is not a negligible sanction. Therefore, I believe that we could properly say that under this Bill discrimination has to be looked at as an offence and that the complaint of discrimination takes on the nature of a charge. In the face of such a charge, attended by such potentially enormous sanctions, we believe it would be repugnant that any man should have to prove himself innocent.

I appreciate the argument of the Minister of State that in one important particular that cannot be said of this clause, but it is worth reminding ourselves why this is a principle of English common law, whether civil or criminal. It has been the bedrock of our common law for centuries that one is not allowed, as a complainant, to say "I said you did; now prove you did not". The reason this has been the bedrock of our law is quite simple. It was well expressed in another place by Lord Foot. He said: Once the prosecution have proved the fact that he imposed this condition upon the taking of such a job, then the court before whom this matter comes have got to ask themselves, 'Has the defendant nevertheless satisfied us and shown that this was justifiable irrespective of matters of race and the like?' Supposing the court is in doubt. Supposing the court says, 'We really do not know. We have listened to the prosecution, who have said that this is obviously discriminatory. We have listened to the explanation given to us by the defendant, and he says that it was not intended to be discriminatory but was imposed for quite different reasons'. If they should come to the conclusion that the burden of proof has not been satisfied by the defendant, then they are obliged to convict."—[Official Report, House of Lords, 27th September 1976; Vol. 374, c. 40.] We therefore believe that it is unjust that a Bill with these virtually criminal sanctions of great potential severity should impose a burden of proof upon the defendant. One has only to test the provision against the practical example of what will happen if the court is left in doubt to see why we have had this principle at the root of our criminal law for all these years.

Once this House legislates in that way it produces an Act of Parliament which is seen to be unfair. My hon. and learned Friend the Member for Solihull (Mr. Grieve) said that it did no good to the cause of racial tolerance to legislate in a way that was seen to be unfair. By doing that one minimises confidence in the law, and, most important, resentment builds up against the beneficiaries. For the greater part those beneficiaries will be coloured people, and resentment against them is the last thing we would want to see. I question whether the Minister of State is right when he says that the clause as it was before the Lords amended it does not propose any significant departure from what is already in our civil or criminal law.

The hon. Gentleman reminded us of Lord Hailsham's reference to the three classes of cases where the burden was shifted and the one case where the matter at issue was solely within the knowledge of the accused. The Minister also gave us the result of much midnight oil-burning by those who sit beyond the Bar, and quoted a number of examples of statutory provisions where the burden was shifted. We heard about Section 30 of the Bills of Exchange Act, Section 81 of the Magistrates' Courts Act, the Trade Union and Labour Relations Act, and others. It is common ground that there are these statutory examples, but this Bill is not in that category.

We are concerned with the question whether an act is justifiable irrespective of colour, race, nationality or ethnic origin. We are not concerned with how the respondent would justify it and the question whether it is justifiable is not solely within his knowledge.

It is not a difficult burden for the complainant to discharge. In an open-and-shut case, he has only to point to the facts and show that an action was plainly unreasonable and could not be justifiable. Not all cases will be open-and-shut. There will be debatable cases, with matters of balance and judgment for the courts to weigh.

What possible justification can there be for the complainant not having to prove his case or not having to establish a prima facie case? It is not very difficult, but he should have to point to some evidence that is not capable of being justified without relation to race and the rest of it.

Mr. Bidwell

As a buttress to their arguments, hon. Members on the Opposition Benches have cited that put-up job, the Relf case. in which the public were naturally interested. Does the hon. and learned Gentleman not agree that the original wording in the Bill has no bearing on that case?

Mr. Mayhew

I do not wish to be diverted into a consideration of that case, which was solely a matter of the best way to deal with contempt of court. Of course it generated a great deal of resentment, ill-feeling and anxiety, in exactly the same way as I indicated could happen where there is unfair and manifestly unjust legislation.

The Minister of State said that this legislation was on all fours with the list he gave us and that it came within the categories propounded by Lord Hailsham, but that is not so. Whether an action is justifiable may be debatable and the person who makes a complaint should have the burden of establishing a prima facie case. It is not a difficult burden to discharge.

It is wrong that a statute with these sanctions should transfer, in an important particular, the burden of proof so that we could get the situation described by Lord Foot of a court being in doubt and having to convict. It is also extremely dangerous for this House ever to legislate to put the burden on a defendant because a precedent is created and it become much harder to resist it on the next occasion. The hon. Member for Birmingham, Handsworth (Mr. Lee) voiced fairly his misgivings about any suggestion that the burden should be shifted.

The hon. and learned Member for Montgomery (Mr. Hooson) has left the Chamber after voicing a thoroughly illiberal sentiment. Nothing less liberal can be imagined than seeking to justify such a provision by saying that we must make the law effective. The more hideous the offence, the more important it is that the law does not permit an innocent person to be convicted of it. We shall not run the risk of such an injustice occurring.

There are rare cases in which the burden of proof can be transferred, but this is not one of them. We ought to be particularly careful not to add to that very small number of cases in which this is done unless we are driven to it by overwhelming necessity. No such necessity exists here, and I hope that my hon. Friends will support the Lords amendment.

5.45 p.m.

Mr. John

The Opposition must single out what is criminal responsibility and what is civil responsibility. The two became confused in their minds and their terminology. Words such as "guilty" and mens rea are matters of criminal evidence. We are dealing with civil liability. I heard such ringing declarations about the state of the law that I began to think that the most subversive doctrine in English law must be res ipsa loquitur under which, in effect, a defendant is called upon to explain a point.

Before the stage which we are now discussing is reached a complainant must prove that a racially discriminatory condition has been set up. It is all very well for the Opposition to say that the burden of proof is a mere nothing, but if they analyse the clause—and far too few of them have done so—they will see just how difficult it is for a person who alleges indirect discrimination to succeed in raising that presumption.

The hon. Member for Warwick and Leamington (Mr. Smith) said that legislation must be intelligible to the layman, but I find that the people who are potentially the victims of indirect discrimination recognise that condition. The hon. Gentleman, from his experience of the Select Committee, will know that the idea against which the clause is directed is perfectly well known to them. Racial discrimination is a complex matter and the statutory armaments against it must sometimes necessarily be complex.

Mr. Dudley Smith

I agree with what the Minister has said. It is a fair point. However, he must surely understand that while other laws affect highly-educated and ill-educated people it is more likely that—apart from the people are evilly motivated and endeavour deliberately to create discrimination—less intelligent people will commit racial discrimination, partly, perhaps subconsciously. They may find themselves in breach of this legislation, and it is surely our duty to make the law as clear as possible to them and everyone.

Mr. John

I have never found breaches of the law necessarily categorised as by people of either less or more intelligence. I have met people whose intelligence was not in doubt who have committed the most simple breaches of the law in complete ignorance but in complete confidence that they knew what the law was. The hon. Gentleman has not given a fair example. We are talking about a condition which has been imposed and which militates against the complainant because it militates against his racial group more severely than others.

The hon. and learned Member for Beaconsfield (Mr. Bell) talked about two passes at A-level. There are jobs for which two A-level passes are necessary. If so, that is a justifiable condition which the person concerned would be able to impose and that would dispose of the matter, but if the condition of two A-level passes had as the motive not qualification for the job but to keep out, for example, West Indians who the prospective employer knew could not fulfil the condition in the same numbers as others, that would be potentially discriminatory.

Mr. Ronald Bell

Surely the Minister appreciates that motive is irrelevant in this clause. It has nothing to do with motive. I made this point in relation to the question: what do we mean by "justifiable"? I postulated an employer who wanted a person of that kind to work for him. The suggestion was that the qualification may not have been necessary for the job in the strict sense, but that, because it was a small unit, and without any thought of racial discrimination, he may have wanted somebody with that educational standard. How would he be placed?

Mr. John

If the condition was justifiable, he would be excused. If not, and if it has the effect of being racially discriminatory, it ought not to be protected and neither should he.

In passing, I say to the hon. Member for Wolverhampton, South-West (Mr. Budgen), who talked about there being no general consent for this legislation, that

we are considering Lords amendments. Frankly, general consent for the legislation has been given, according to the usages of this House, on Second Reading, in Committee, and on Report.

The hon. and learned Member for Royal Tunbridge Wells (Mr. Mayhew) referred to discrimination and raising resentment almost by inadvertence through the law heightening rather than lessening tension. Before that situation arises, a condition must be laid down which is proved to be potentially racially discriminatory. The complainant must prove a racially discriminatory act. On the other hand—I hope that hon. Members will not try to minimise this—the respondent has to discharge only one of the five tests. The onus is on him to prove that the condition laid down, which is racially discriminatory, is justifiable. This is not a great breach of the principle, nor is it a great injustice, because it is he who has laid down the condition and therefore he knows the reason for it. If it is not found to be justifiable on examination, the person who laid down that condition ought not to be exempted or sheltered in any way.

I did not seek to put things on all fours, nor did I cite the doctrine of precedent, because I did not mention the Sex Discrimination Act, having taken an oath early in Committee to mention it as little as possible, but there are circumstances in which it is right, where a person has laid down a condition, for him to be asked to prove that it is justifiable. I believe that this is such a case. Therefore, I submit that their Lordships were profoundly wrong in putting in this amendment and I ask my right hon. and hon. Friends to join me in rejecting it.

Question put, That this House doth disagree with the Lords in the said amendment:—

The House divided: Ayes 213, Noes 160.

Division No. 344.] AYES [5.56 p.m.
Abse, Leo Bates, Alf Brown, Hugh D. (Provan)
Allaun, Frank Beith, A. J. Brown, Robert C. (Newcastle W)
Anderson, Donald Bennett, Andrew (Stockport N) Buchanan, Richard
Archer, Peter Bidwell, Sydney Callaghan, Jim (Middleton & P)
Armstrong, Ernest Bishop, E. S. Campbell, Ian
Ashley, Jack Blenkinsop, Arthur Cant, R. B.
Ashton, Joe Boardman, H. Carmichael, Neil
Atkinson, Norman Bottomley, Rt Hon Arthur Cartwright, John
Bagier, Gordon A. T. Boyden, James (Bish Auck) Clemitson, Ivor
Barnett, Guy (Greenwich) Bray, Dr Jeremy Cocks, Rt Hon Michael (Bristol S)
Cohen, Stanley Jenkins, Hugh (Putney) Ross, Stephen (Isle of Wight)
Coleman, Donald John, Brynmor Ross, Rt Hon W. (Kilmarnock)
Colquhoun, Ms Maureen Johnson, James (Hull West) Rowlands, Ted
Corbett, Robin Johnson, Walter (Derby S) Ryman, John
Cox, Thomas (Tooting) Jones, Alec (Rhondda) Sandelson, Neville
Craigen, J. M. (Maryhill) Jones, Barry (East Flint) Sedgemore, Brian
Crawshaw, Richard Jones, Dan (Burnley) Shaw, Arnold (Ilford South)
Cronin, John Judd, Frank Shore, Rt Hon Peter
Crosland, Rt Hon Anthony Kaufman, Gerald Short, Mrs Renée (Wolv NE)
Crowther, Stan (Rotherham) Kilroy-Silk, Robert Silkin, Rt Hon John (Deptford)
Cunningham, G. (Islington S) Lambie, David Silkin, Rt Hon S. C. (Dulwich)
Davies, Bryan (Enfield N) Lamborn, Harry Silverman, Julius
Davies, Ifor (Gower) Lamond, James Skinner, Dennis
Davis, Clinton (Hackney C) Latham, Arthur (Paddington) Small, William
Dean, Joseph (Leeds West) Lee, John Smith, Cyril (Rochdale)
Dempsey, James Lestor, Miss Joan (Eton & Slough) Smith, John (N Lanarkshire)
Doig, Peter Luard, Evan Spearing, Nigel
Dormand, J. D. McCartney, Hugh Steel, David (Roxburgh)
Douglas-Mann, Bruce McDonald, Dr Oonagh Stewart, Donald (Western Isles)
Eadie, Alex McElhone, Frank Stoddart, David
Edge, Geoff MacFarquhar, Roderick Stott, Roger
Edwards, Robert (Wolv SE) MacKenzie, Gregor Strauss, Rt Hon G. R.
English, Michael Mackintosh, John P. Summerskill, Hon Dr Shirley
Evans, Fred (Caerphilly) Maclennan, Rober Swain, Thomas
Evans, Gwynfor (Carmarthen) McMillan, Tom (Glasgow C) Taylor, Mrs Ann (Bolton W)
Evans, Ioan (Aberdare) McNamara, Kevin Thomas, Ron (Bristol NW)
Faulds, Andrew Magee, Bryan Thompson, George
Fitch, Alan (Wigan) Mallalieu, J. P. W. Thorne, Stan (Preston South)
Flannery, Martin Marks, Kenneth Thorpe, Rt Hon Jeremy (N Devon)
Fletcher, Ted (Darlington) Marquand, David Tinn, James
Ford, Ben Marshall Dr Edmund (Goole) Torney, Tom
Forrester, John Marshall, Jim (Leicester S) Tuck, Raphael
Fowler Gerald (The Wrekin) Maynard, Miss Joan Urwin, T. W.
Mellish, Rt Hon Robert
Fraser, John (Lambeth, N'w'd) Mikardo, Ian Wainwright, Richard (Colne V)
Freeson, Reginald Millan Rt Hon Bruce Walden, Brian (B'ham, L'dyw'd)
Freud, Clement Moonman, Eric Walker, Terry (Kingswood)
Garrett, John (Norwich S) Ward, Michael
Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)
Garrett, W. E. (wallsend) Morris Rt Hon J (Aberavon) Watkins, David
Ginsburg, David Moyle, Roland Watkinson, John
Golding, John Mulley, Rt Hon Frederick Watt, Hamish
Gourlay, Harry Murray, Rt Hon Ronald King Weetch, Ken
Graham, Ted Newens, Stanley Wellbeloved, James
Grant, George (Morpeth) Oakes, Gordon Welsh, Andrew
Grant, John (Islington C) Orme, Rt Hon Stanley White, Frank R. (Bury)
Grimond, Rt Hon J. Ovenden, John White, James (Pollock)
Hamilton, James (Bothwell) Pardoe, John Whitehead, Phillip
Hardy, Peter Park, George Whitlock, William
Harper, Joseph Parker, John Wigley, Dafydd
Harrison, Walter (Wakefleld) Parry, Robert Willey, Rt Hon Frederick
Hatton, Frank Penhaligon, David Williams, Alan (Swansea W)
Henderson, Douglas Perry, Ernest Williams, Alan Lee (Hornch'ch)
Hooley, Frank Price, C. (Lewisham W) Williams, Sir Thomas (Warrington)
Hooson, Emlyn Radice, Giles Wilson Alexander (Hamilton)
Hoyle, Doug (Nelson) Rees, Rt Hon Merlyn (Leeds S) Woodall, Alec
Hughes, Rt Hon C. (Anglesey) Reid, George Woof, Robert
Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N) Roberts, Albert (Normanton) Wrigglesworth, Ian
Hughes, Roy (Newport) Robinson, Geoffrey Young, David (Bolton E)
Hunter, Adam Roderick, Caerwyn
Irvine, Rt Hon Sir A. (Edge HIM) Rodgers George (Chorley) TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Irving, Rt Hon S. (Dartford) Rooker, J. W. Mr. John Ellis and
Jay, Rt Hon Douglas Roper, John Mr. A. W. Stallard.
Jeger, Mrs Lena Rose, Paul B.
Adley, Robert Butler, Adam (Bosworth) Finsberg, Geoffrey
Alison, Michael Carlisle, Mark Fookes, Miss Janet
Arnold, Tom Channon, Paul Forman, Nigel
Atkins, Rt Hon H. (Spelthorne) Clark, Alan (Plymouth, Sutton) Fowler, Norman (Sutton C'f'd)
Awdry, Daniel Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe) Goodhew, Victor
Bell, Ronald Clegg, Walter Gorst, John
Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torbay) Cooke, Robert (Bristol W) Gow, Ian (Eastbourne)
Benyon, W. Cope, John Grant, Anthony (Harrow C)
Berry, Hon Anthony Corrie, John Gray, Hamish
Biffen, John Dodsworth, Geoffrey Grieve, Percy
Biggs-Davison, John Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James Griffiths, Eldon
Body, Richard Drayson, Burnaby Grist, Ian
Boscawen, Hon Robert Durant, Tony Hall, Sir John
Bottomley, Peter Eden, Rt Hon Sir John Hall-Davis, A. G. F.
Brittan, Leon Elliott, Sir William Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury)
Brocklebank-Fowler, C. Eyre, Reginald Hampson, Dr Keith
Brotherton, Michael Fairbairn, Nicholas Harvie Anderson, Rt Hon Miss
Buchanan-Smith, Alick Fairgrieve, Russell Havers, Sir Michael
Budgen, Nick Farr, John Hawkins, Paul
Bulmer, Esmond Fell, Anthony Hayhoe, Barney
Heseltine, Michael Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin Sainsbury, Tim
Hicks, Robert Mayhew, Patrick St. John-Stevas, Norman
Higgins, Terence L. Meyer, Sir Anthony Shaw, Giles (Pudsey)
Holland, Philip Miscampbell, Norman Shelton, William (Streatham)
Hordern, Peter Moate, Roger Shersby, Michael
Howe, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey Molyneaux, James Silvester, Fred
Hunt, David (Wirral) Monro, Hector Sims, Roger
Hunt, John (Bromley) More, Jasper (Ludlow) Sinclair, Sir George
Hurd, Douglas Morgan, Geraint Skeet, T. H. H.
Hutchison, Michael Clark Morgan-Giles, Rear-Admiral Smith, Dudley (Warwick)
James, David Morrison, Charles (Devizes) Speed, Keith
Jenkin, Rt Hon P. (Wanst'd&W'df'd) Morrison, Hon Peter (Chester) Spence, John
Jessel, Toby Mudd, David Sproat, lain
Jones, Arthur (Daventry) Neave, Airey Stanley, John
Jopling, Michael Nelson, Anthony Steen, Anthony (Wavertree)
Joseph, Rt Hon Sir Keith Neubert, Michael Stewart, Ian (Hitchin)
Kershaw, Anthony Newton, Tony Stokes, John
King, Evelyn (South Dorset) Onslow, Cranley Stradling Thomas, J.
Kitson, Sir Timothy Page, John (Harrow West) Taylor, R. (Croydon NW)
Knight, Mrs Jill Page, Rt Hon R. Graham (Crosby) Tebbit, Norman
Lamont, Norman Paisley, Rev Ian Townsend, Cyril D.
Latham, Michael (Melton) Percival, Ian Vaughan, Dr Gerald
Lawrence, Ivan Pink, R. Bonner Viggers, Peter
Lawson, Nigel Price, David (Eastleigh) Wall, Patrick
Le Marchant, Spencer Raison, Timothy Walters, Dennis
Lloyd, Ian Rees-Davies, W. R. Weatherill, Bernard
Loveridge, John Renton, Rt Hon Sir D. (Hunts) Whitelaw, Rt Hon William
Luce, Richard Ridley, Hon Nicholas Wiggin, Jerry
McCrindle, Robert Ridsdale, Julian Wood, Rt Hon Richard
Macfarlane, Neil Roberts, Michael (Cardiff NW) Young, Sir G. (Ealing, Acton)
Macmillan. Rt Hon M. (Farnham) Roberts, Wyn (Conway)
Marten, Neil Rodgers Sir John (Sevenoaks) TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Mates, Michael Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey) Mr. Cecil Parkinson and
Maude, Angus Rost, Peter (SE Derbyshire) Mr. Jim Lester.
Mawby, Ray Royle, Sir Anthony

Question accordingly agreed to.

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