§ Mr. Alexander W. Lyon
I beg to ask leave to move the Adjournment of the House, under Standing Order No. 9, for the purpose of discussing a specific and important matter that should have urgent consideration, namely,the removal of Miss Kwai Yuk Tam, a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies, who is being removed from this country tomorrow on the order of the Home Secretary".The matter is urgent as Miss Kwai Yuk Tam is to be removed tomorrow and there is no right of appeal.
I have to persuade you, Mr. Speaker, that the issue is important enough to warrant interference with the procedure of the House. I could do that on the basis of the human need of this girl. She is being sent back to Hong Kong to live in an attic with her elderly father, 1440 her new mother, who hates her very much, and her new stepbrothers, one of whom has indecently assaulted her twice in the narrow confines of the home in which they are residing together. Miss Kwai Yuk Tam is now living in Scarborough with a constituent of mine who is her brother. He is her natural brother, and the only relative to whom she can turn. Her brother has a substantial income in this country, but he could not afford to maintain her in Hong Kong.
In pursuance of the immigration rules—in my view, far too rigidly applied in this case—this girl is being sent back to a life that I would regard as little short of hell, when she could be perfectly comfortably accommodated by her brother in circumstances that would put no call on the British taxpayer and would give her and her brother immense relief from anxiety and a great deal of future happiness. I do not believe that the House, even in its present inflamed mood about immigration, wants the girl to be removed and taken to Hong Kong.
I could put the case on that narrow basis, Mr. Speaker, or on the wider basis that it was in 1772 that a negro slave arrived in this country and the Lord Chief Justice decided that any person who got into the country would be given refuge from slavery. That is part of our history, because it is that which is part of us. When people ask me about the British way of life, I tell them that that is the British way of life.
It says something about our values today that we can send back a girl in these circumstances without let or hindrance merely because we have fallen below the standards to which I have referred. I do not believe that the House wants that to happen. I believe that it would be to the enlightenment of the country as a whole that we should explain to the people in detail why it is that a girl of 18 years is being treated in this way—in order to justify their resentment against coloured immigrants.
§ Mr. Speaker
The hon. Member for York (Mr. Lyon) did me the courtesy of giving me notice this morning before 12 o'clock that he wished to move the Adjournment of the House under Standing Order No. 9 for the purpose of discussing a specific and important matter 1441 that he believes should have urgent consideration, namely,The removal of Miss Kwai Yuk Tam, a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies, who is being removed from this country tomorrow on the order of the Home Secretary.I listened carefully to the hon. Gentleman and to the matters that he raised. The House knows that I am obliged to take into account several factors but not to give my reasons. I fear that I cannot accede to the hon. Gentleman's request.