HC Deb 02 March 1978 vol 945 cc647-8
8. Mr. Hooley

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will review the practice of regular Home Office appeals against the decisions of adjudicators in immigration cases.

Dr. Summerskill

No, Sir. The Home Office does not seek leave to appeal to the immigration appeal tribunal as a matter of course but only in cases where a point of law is involved or, more rarely, when an adjudicator's decision is thought to be clearly contrary to the weight of the evidence.

Mr. Hooley

Does my hon. Friend agree that the adjudicating system is an important safeguard in the whole question of dealing with immigration regulations and must be seen to be an effective safeguard? Does she agree that if the Home Office continues its practice, which is increasing year by year, of deliberately setting out to overthrow the adjudicators' decision in numerous cases, this will undermine the efficacy of the adjudication system?

Dr. Summerskill

My hon. Friend misinterprets the position. Under the Immigration Act 1971, any party to an appeal to an adjudicator may, if dissatisfied with the determination, appeal to the immigration appeal tribunal. Between 1974 and 1976, 150 such Home Office apeals were heard and determined and 695 appeals from immigrants were heard and determined.

Mr. Budgen

Does the Minister agree that the single most important objective of immigration policy should be strictly to control immigration? Will she explain why the Home Office does not, as a start, follow the excellent example of the present Prime Minister, who in 1969 withdrew the right of male fianées to enter this country?

Dr. Summerskill

Apart from the fact that the hon. Gentleman's question has nothing to do with the original Question, it was this Government who introduced the right of male fianées to enter this country, because there was sexual discrimination to the extent that fiancés and wives were allowed entry but fianées and husbands were not.

Mr. Alexander W. Lyon

Will my hon. Friend look at the way in which her Department is interpreting the Divisional Court judgment in Ru Bangoo whereby any Commonwealth citizen in this country who left after 1973 for a holiday can have his status impugned and be put on a 'plane without right of appeal? Is this not the beginning of a policy of repatriation?

Dr. Summerskill

My hon. Friend has raised a particular case. May I suggest that he writes to me with full details of his argument. I shall consider it.

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