HC Deb 15 December 1981 vol 15 cc259-79 11.28 pm
The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (Mr. James Prior)

I beg to move, That the draft Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Act 1978 (Continuance) (No. 2) Order 1981, which was laid before this House on 2nd December, be approved. I ask the House to renew for a further six months all the provisions of the Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Act that are in force. The last six months have not been uneventful. Last July the Republican hunger strike dominated people's thoughts and there were regular street disturbances. I am glad to say that that is now over, but the violence fostered by the terrorists has by no means ended. I know that the whole House will join me in expressing sympathy to all those who have suffered, and to their families.

We have had good reason recently to feel something of the tragedy, because of the murder of Robert Bradford, whom we greatly miss tonight. During 1981, 98 people have died, 1,315 have been injured, and there have been 807 shooting attacks and 383 bomb attacks.

Those figures are worse than those for 1980, but they are better than for most years in the preceding decade. They demonstrate that terrorism remains a powerful threat to the lives and prosperity of all the people of Northern Ireland. The strong feelings inevitably created by the hunger strike have left an unhappy residue of deep distrust between the communities, but the terrorists have failed in their objective of capitalising on that distrust to bring about inter-sectarian violence on a scale that might lead to anarchy.

They have achieved a number of assassinations of those concerned with the protection of the community. The people of Northern Ireland are rightly deeply worried by these repeated attacks. Members of the RUC and its reserve, of the Regular Army and of the Ulster Defence Regiment form a higher proportion of the ranks of those killed than in previous years. I pay tribute to all those in the security forces who have again given unstinting service this year.

There are many examples around the world demonstrating the advantages possessed by the ruthless terrorist conducting a campaign of murder for political reasons. Nevertheless, the security forces in the Province have had substantial successes. Some of them, as in recent weeks, have been spectacular. Many more have passed with less attention. So far this year 861 people have been charged with terrorist offences, 43 for murder and 65 for attempted murder. A very high proportion of the total prison population in Northern Ireland comprises people serving sentences for terrorist offences.

The process of detection and arrest is a complex and finely stranded web. It requires a great deal of unobtrusive research and solid grind as well as courage. The police are deploying as many men as possible on anti-terrorist work. The strength of the RUC is now 7,280 men and women—an all-time high. Their professionalism is widely respected, not only in the whole of the community of Northern Ireland but among the police in Great Britain and abroad.

The specialist skills and assistance of the Army are at their disposal whenever and wherever required. At present there are over 11,000 Regular troops in the Province. Renewal of these provisions is one way in which Parliament can demonstrate its support for the security forces. The powers under the emergency provisions Act are a vital part of the security forces' armoury in circumstances where violence and intimidation are rife. They are provisions that one would not contemplate in normal times. We provide them with reluctance, and only after careful scrutiny even in exceptional times. They are, however, procedural modifications, which retain the fundamentals of our judicial system.

We have not strayed from the essential assumption of innocence in default of clear proof to the contrary, or from trial in open court. The Diplock courts recognise the reality of intimidation, which all who are familiar with the circumstances in the Province appreciate. They are the powers that the security forces find invaluable in bringing terrorists to justice. They are not indiscriminate powers that damage the innocent as well as the guilty and undermine the principles of respect for law which all of us are concerned to uphold.

The prime requirement to counter a terrorist campaign is information and evidence. The prime objective of the security forces and the Government is to improve the flow of information and evidence so as to secure the conviction of terrorists. That is the standard against which tactical changes in the operation of security policy are assessed. The security forces are continually refining their tactics and procedures. They welcome constructive proposals and positive support. Above all, they welcome information and evidence from the public.

They should not be distracted by other events from their real task of protecting the lives of all members of the community. Nor should understandable anger over particular outrages lead us to play the IRA game by relieving our feelings in indiscriminate retaliatory action that accelerates the cycle of terrorism and violence. It is the Government's primary aim to bring an end to terrorism and to restore normal policing throughout Northern Ireland. Security policy is guided by that aim, and the Government take full responsibility for it. The professional means whereby it is carried out within the law are a matter for the Chief Constable and the GOC. The Government place no restraint upon their operation other than that of the law, which it is their function to sustain. If they need further resources we are committed to finding them.

Other factors can make the security situation worse or better. Security in any society is a function of many factors. In Northern Ireland, relations with the Republic, the economy and the system of government all have a bearing. Now is not the time to consider these wider issues, but we do well to remember that they all have their impact on the situation that we are discussing.

Successive Governments have rightly attached much importance to effective security co-operation with the Republic. Co-operation between the Royal Ulster Constabulary and the Garda is excellent and it achieves solid results. The apprehension of terrorists and the frustration of their plans mean that lives are saved in Northern Ireland. Both Governments want that cooperation to be even more effective in the common purpose of defeating violence and murderers.

I mentioned the interconnection between security and the economy and the system of government. The House will obviously wish to have an opportunity to debate these matters at some length before long. The people of the Province, whatever their political or religious views may be, have all suffered immensely from the violence of the last few years. Intimidation, fear, suffering and bereavement have become an ever-present accompaniment for much of the community. In these circumstances it is the poor and the defenceless who suffer most. It will not be easy to find a way through this, but we owe it to the overwhelming majority of decent people in Northern Ireland to seek a solution. One of the prerequisites is to improve security and defeat terrorism, from wherever it comes. The renewal of these provisions is an essential part of our campaign and I urge right hon. and hon. Members in all parts of the House to support the order.

11.37 pm
Mr. J. D. Concannon (Mansfield)

When we last debated the renewal of these emergency provisions six months ago, we had a full day's debate in which to put our position to the then Secretary of State. Tonight's debate is a short one and I shall be brief. As they have done before on similar occasions, the Opposition will forgo their right of reply.

I join the Secretary of State in his praise of the security forces and in his message of sympathy to those who have been bereaved since we last debated this matter. Since that time one of our number has been killed—one who used to take a keen interest in these debates.

Since our last debate, two things have changed. We have a new Secretary of State, and the Labour Party now has a coherent policy on Northern Ireland, accepted by conference. Even so, it is with regret that I stand at the Opposition Dispatch Box for the third time to put forward our views on the renewal of this order. Opposition Members, like the Secretary of State, find it a continuing source of displeasure and disappointment that such extraordinary powers continue to be applied in Northern Ireland.

The powers were originally necessitated by the violence that erupted from political incompatibilities. They can be safely and completely withdrawn only when violence diminishes markedly and an acceptable political settlement is reached. Therefore, I urge the Secretary of State to renew his efforts to establish some form of political compatibility between the communities in Northern Ireland, for only then will those who advocate political change by violent means be effectively isolated and lose support.

Perhaps the most insidious feature of emergency legislation is the way in which it acquires an air of permanence. It is now eight years since the Diplock Commission's recommendations were put before the House in the Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Act 1973. Those proposals were designed to meet a specific emergency and it was not intended that the main features of the Act should remain permanently on the statute book.

Shortly after we assumed office in 1974, the Labour Government instituted an inquiry into the 1973 Act. We realised that the position in Northern Ireland changed frequently, and we were anxious to ensure that those far-reaching powers properly suited the position. Lord Gardiner undertook the review. His Commission stressed the fact that the existence of emergency powers should be limited both in scope and duration. We accepted almost all of Lord Gardiner's recommendations. We ended internment immediately and put an amended Act through the House in 1978. That is the Act that we are renewing tonight.

The Labour Party's view, as ratified at this year's conference, is that we should have an urgent and independent review of the Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Act 1978 to ensure that the powers that it confers upon the security forces are consistent with the preservation of civil liberties and human rights, balanced by the maintenance of law and order. That idea was first advanced from the Opposition Benches 18 months ago by my predecessor, and only last July the Opposition devoted their debating time to a motion calling for an independent review of the Act.

Why do we believe that such a review is important? On principle alone, it is essential that such comprehensive powers and unusual judicial processes should be monitored constantly to ensure that no abuse occurs. Further, the Government of the day must demonstrate publicly their belief that such wide-ranging powers are intended to be temporary. That can best be done by having regular, open and independent reviews of the legislation. In addition, there is some disquiet, both here and in Northern Ireland, about some provisions of the Act. A proper inquiry is needed to discuss those areas of disquiet and to encourage confidence in the process of law.

The hon. Member for Belfast, West (Mr. Fitt), who usually attends these debates, is ill; and he has sent a message explaining why he cannot be here.

The Government have argued on many occasions that a formal provision for review in Parliament is sufficient. We disagree. Our procedure does not allow for searching questions on matters of detail, nor do we have the opportunity to amend or delete sections of the Act in such a debate. In addition, and with respect to those hon. Members who may disagree, I do not believe that we have the expertise to review such an important piece of legislation.

As the Act is the product of two judicial inquiries, it is essential that an inquiry should be held before we embark upon changing or amending such provisions. During the past 18 months the Government's excuses for not implementing such a review have been simplistic and pedantic. In our view, they have not adequately dealt with our request, which is why we continue to press it.

Last December, the then Secretary of State glossed over our suggestions by saying that such a review would raise false expectations and would, in his view, increase tension. We maintain that without a review tensions are bound to increase. If certain provisions cause anxiety among many sections of the community in Northern Ireland, the Government have an overriding duty to ensure that such anxieties are properly allayed. Not to do so is simply to aid and abet increasing distrust in the judicial process and the rule of law.

In July, the Minister, in a disappointing and disingenuous reply to a debate, suggested that a review of the Act would suggest that the Government had doubts about whether major parts of the Act were working properly. Doubts are nothing to be ashamed of—there should always be doubt where such powers exist. They effectively suspend the normal process of common law for those suspected or accused of terrorist offences. They are so far-reaching that there must always be doubt that they are being properly applied or, indeed, are needed at all. The exclusion of doubt brings an element of permanence to the Act, which we sometimes find distressing.

All sections of the Act would benefit from a review. It is vital to ensure that all powers permitted by the Act are still required, and if they are not they should be removed from the statute book. We wish a review to consider the Diplock courts. In the Labour Party conference statement, which is now policy, we said that a total return to jury trial would be impossible while paramilitary activity continued on the existing scale. We also noted the problems that Diplock and Gardiner outlined, that witnesses and jurors are subject to intimidation where there is a high level of inter-community violence. There is, however, plenty of scope for changes in the one judge, no jury courts—the Diplock courts—that deal with terrorist offences.

A review might investigate recent claims that judicial case hardening has affected judgments. It might also investigate the possibility of extending participation in trials for scheduled offences. Further consideration of the idea of a panel of judges to preside in such courts would be valuable.

We must remember that in the Irish Republic three judges sit together on cases relating to terrorist offences. If there are still insufficient judges in Northern Ireland—and that argument was used by Gardiner—there is scope to consider the idea of two justices of the peace being appointed to sit with each judge hearing a scheduled offence. There are more than 300 JPs in Northern Ireland. That would have the added benefit of introducing an element of lay participation into the trials. I put forward those ideas not because I want to pre-empt the work of any inquiry, but to show that there is plenty of scope for spreading the burden of scheduled offences trials from single judges.

The Opposition regard a return to jury trial for all offences to be an essential objective but realise that persistent intimidation and violence make that impossible. However, there is one important area of review that might be considered—the possible descheduling of certain offences. One suggestion is that all offences with maximum sentences of less than five years should be returned to the process of normal jury trial. That change would include such offences as possession of minor firearms, unlawful collection of information and membership of illegal organisations. Such a descheduling exercise would show faith in the principle of jury trial and it deserves thorough consideration by an independent inquiry.

Mr. Michael Mates (Petersfield)

What does the right hon. Gentleman consider to be a minor firearm?

Mr. Concannon

The hon. Gentleman knows the Northern Ireland context. I refer to maximum sentences of less than five years. I am putting forward a descheduling exercise not as the Opposition's view but as an area that in inquiry could consider. That would have to be followed by a debate in the House. These are ideas that various organisations and individuals have been expressing for some time while urging that a review should take place.

An inquiry should consider also part II of the Act, which deals with powers of arrest, detention and interrogation. These powers are highly controversial and need continually to be assessed in the light of the changing security situation. A review could deal with disquiet over section 11, which was specifically designed to go hand in glove with section 12 on internment. As the House knows, section 12 has been withdrawn. However, it is still on the statute book and it is high time that the relevance of the section was reviewed. Some of the sections in the second part of the Act may be inconsistent with a security policy, which is aimed at returning primary policing functions to the RUC.

There are many other sections of the Act which could be improved by the sort of inquiry that we are suggesting, and I am sure that they will be referred to in the debate.

It is not good enough for justice to be done; it must be seen to be done, especially in Northern Ireland where public confidence in the forces of law and Government is such a volatile commodity. We strongly urge the Government to adopt our moderate and sensible proposal and to allow the House, as well as the people of Northern Ireland, to have the benefit of an independent inquiry into the 1978 Act.

The aim of the Opposition, as declared at our last conference, is to achieve a reasonable balance between the maintenance of law and order and the protection of civil rights. We have accepted the necessity for some emergency powers—this is now Labour Party policy—so long as the security situation remains serious, but we believe that there is a strong case for a fundamental review of the operation of the Act. If such a review is not implemented in the course of the present Administration, we shall give it the highest priority when we are next in power.

The Opposition will not be voting against the renewal of the Act for the reasons that I have stated, but if the Secretary of State does not accept the clear case for a review, which is both fair and honest, we cannot declare our support for the Act as it now stands and we will not be voting for renewal.

11.52 pm
Mr. James Kilfedder (Down, North)

The emergency powers renewal has been introduced with reluctance by the Secretary of State. The people of Northern Ireland who have suffered so much, especially in recent months and weeks, will derive no comfort from what the right hon. Gentleman said, no matter how much he wrapped it up in fair words and words of sympathy.

The reference by the right hon. Gentleman to civil rights and the speech of the right hon. Member for Mansfield (Mr. Concannon) show that this democracy has no stomach to fight those who have destroyed democracy in a part of the United Kingdom and who have destroyed the lives of innocent people in a part of the United Kingdom. It seems that the Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland is telling the IRA that if there is a Labour Government after the next election the people of Northern Ireland will be surrendered to the gunmen because that Labour Government, if such a Government should ever come about, will feel that the terrorist must be handled with kid gloves.

I regret to say that the speech of the right hon. Member for Mansfield will cause the IRA to laugh, as it must have laughed often enough at speeches made in the Chamber by Government spokesmen as well by other right hon. and hon. Members. In the face of such weakness, the IRA will take encouragement and redouble its efforts to murder and mutilate.

It is all right for hon. Members, but it is the people of Northern Ireland who face death and mutilation. I wish that those who speak in such fair terms had to live in Northern Ireland, and had to live along the border where people do not know whether they will be murdered during the night by evil men who are carrying out a heinous campaign of sectarian slaughter. So many speeches, promises and solemn undertakings have been made by the Secretary of State and his predecessors that there is now an ever-widening credibility gap between the Government and the long-suffering people of Ulster.

To recreate confidence the Secretary of State must show some notable successes in the next few months. These can be achieved only by a more aggressive attitude towards the Provisional IRA terrorists, who murder with impunity. I emphasise that they can murder with impunity because if caught they surrender, if questioned they scream allegations of brutality against members of the security forces, if convicted they do not face the death penalty, and if sent to prison the term is frequently less than their atrocities warrant, and they are subsequently released on generous early release terms.

A short time ago I tabled a parliamentary question asking the Secretary of State how many persons had died in Northern Ireland as a result of IRA terrorism since 14 September—the date when he took office—and how many IRA terrorists had been shot or killed by the security forces in the same period. The right hon. Gentleman's reply confirmed my worst suspicions. In a period of about 10 weeks, 27 people had died as a result of terrorist activity in Northern Ireland, and he stated that the majority of those deaths were attributable to Republican terrorism. Within the same period, only one person was shot dead by the security forces. That was on 19 October in Belfast, in an incident at a vehicle checkpoint.

Those stark figures explain why the Provisional IRA campaign of murder, destruction and terror is in its thirteenth year and why the Army is not succeeding, because the Government have put a political restraint on the security forces preventing them from carrying out a campaign that would root out and destroy the IRA.

The Government endeavour to sidestep the irrefutable allegation that they are not putting their heart and soul into rooting out and destroying the IRA by referring to the Anglo-Eire talks and improved co-operation between the two Governments and the security forces on either side of the border. But the one measure that justice demands and friendship should provide—the extradition of wanted terrorists to Northern Ireland from the Republic—is not forthcoming. The reason is simple. Although the means may be different, the aims of the Republic match those of the IRA—that is, a united Ireland.

I hope that the Government fully realise that the Ulster people have taken more than enough terrorism. For 13 years they have shown courage, forbearance and patience, despite heinous atrocities. There was a time a few weeks ago when civil war could easily have broken out. Indeed, I think that many people expected it to happen. I warn the Government against interpreting the present calm as acquiescence by the Ulster people in the policies at present being pursued by the Government.

This period of calm provides a vital opportunity for the Government to act decisively. The time has come for sterner measures against the terrorists.

Mr. Mates

What measures?

Mr. Kilfedder

First, if I were a member of the Government in a country in which terrorism of this kind was in its thirteenth year I would say that there should be martial law. Certainly, martial law should be established in certain regions of the Province.

I advocated long ago that identity cards and fingerprinting, linked to a computer, should be introduced. That has not been done. Every available member of the SAS ought to be deployed in Northern Ireland until the terrorists are defeated.

After listening to the figures that the Secretary of State gave the House today of the number of people who had died as a result of terrorist activity in Northern Ireland during the past year, I believe that the Government should be ashamed to come to the Dispatch Box without fresh measures to show their determination to defeat the IRA.

Thirteen years ago the then Home Secretary argued against the adoption of stern measures in the Province, on the basis that a score of people might die as a result of such action to defeat the troublemakers. Today, after 13 years, more than 2,000 people have died and tens of thousands have been multilated, yet the Government are still harking on the need for a soft response.

Some time ago I called on the Prime Minister to summon a meeting of Unionist Members of Parliament together with the GOC Northern Ireland and the Chief Constable. My demand went unanswered, but that refusal has not gone unnoticed by the Ulster people, who want action and results. I repeat that demand tonight. The Government should show their concern by consulting the Ulster Members of Parliament—certainly those who attend this House. Indeed, that is the basis of the meeting that the Secretary of State has arranged for next Monday to deal with unemployment.

After shedding crocodile tears over the Protestant victims of the IRA's avowed campaign of sectarian slaughter, Cardinal O'Fiaich now refers to their evil deeds as a mortal sin. He must do more. If the Roman Catholic Church can excommunicate a woman for having an abortion, it is high time that Cardinal O'Fiaich excommunicated the Provisional IRA. In doing so he would show unqualified support for those priests who, with Christian integrity, have condemned the IRA. That is the way ahead.

12.2 am

Mr. Harold McCusker (Armagh)

I shall follow closely what the hon. Member for Down, North (Mr. Kilfedder) said, but on the basis of the two opening speeches and the reaction of some hon. Members to what the hon. Member said, I believe that there is an air of unreality about the debate that has no relevance to the situation in Armagh, Tyrone or Fermanagh. It almost makes me doubt whether it is worth while saying what I shall say.

Thirteen years are 13 years too many. Those hon. Members who shake their heads and say "You cannot ask for stronger measures" should think of what it is like to have 13 years of turmoil, terror, slaughter and destruction, day after day, week after week, and month after month. I heard nothing from the two Front Bench spokesmen to indicate that I shall not be saying the same in 14, 15, 16 or 17 years. These are no longer temporary provisions. They are now permanent, and we are condemning people in Northern Ireland to a lifetime of tyranny.

Nothing was said to convince me that during the next 12 months there will be any improvement. In fact, terrorism has become self-sufficient. It is continually regenerating itself.

We were supposed to be reassured by the fact that 861 terrorists have been convicted this year. It was 1,000 last year and 1,000 the year before. It will be 1,000 next year, but we heard nothing to suggest that the troubles would be brought to an end. To do that we must first convince all the people of Northern Ireland that the Government are determined to do so, and we must convince the terrorists as well. That will require something more than the comments that we have heard tonight.

Children in Northern Ireland who are now 15 years old have known nothing but terrorism. They have lost their childhood. A person who is 30 years old has lost what many people would regard as the best and most exciting years of his life. If, like myself, one is between 40 and 45 years old, one looks back with gratitude to the fact that one once enjoyed a life-style where murder was such an occasional event that it horrified the whole community where we witnessed a bank robbery only on the television screen or in the cinema, and where freedom and happiness were available to everyone. I want to ask the House the same question that I asked my three colleagues last week. Shall I have to go home one of these days and say to my three children "Boys, get used to this life because this is the sort of life that you will have to live for ever"? That is the consequence of 13 years of tyranny.

What can we do to improve the position? I know that we cannot stop a determined murderer. If the attempted murders of President Reagan and the Pope and the murders of the Kennedys could not be stopped, it proves that if a man is sufficiently determined he can kill. The difference in those cases was that there was always one deterrent—the likelihood that the person would be caught and amply punished. That is not the position in Northern Ireland.

If we are lucky enough to catch those people and the police bring them to the police station to interrogate them, at the first stage we have all sorts of mechanical and electronic devices, not to help the police and the interrogators but to put the criminals under surveillance. The whole psychology of the interrogation system is that the person being interrogated is potentially a guilty man. So we watch him, monitor him and look after his interests, as a suspected terrorist.

If the professional killers remain silent, if the organisers of the killings remain silent, and if those of us who know anything about Northern Ireland know that those people exist and remain silent, in a few days the terrorists will walk free and plan more killings. Is it not time for all the people of Northern Ireland to do something? Is it too much to expect a person to answer legitimate questions put to him by the police about alleged terrorist incidents? Is there any reason why an innocent person in Northern Ireland should not be prepared to accept that limitation if it helps us to put away terrorists? I hope that the Government will consider that point.

I believe that silence must be considered an offence. A court must be able to take account of the fact that a man who has been asked a number of reasonable questions about a terrorist incident in which it is suspected that he is involved must respond, and that if he does not respond, perhaps it is an indication of his guilt.

The right hon. Member for Mansfield (Mr. Concannon) referred to minor firearms offences. What is a minor firearms offence in Northern Ireland? The gun that is being carried will be used to kill someone, or has been used to kill someone, and yet when a person found with guns, or explosives, or a person found recording the movements of the security forces appears in court, he is frequently allowed out on bail and absconds. Do the judges believe that being taken to court deters a terrorist? Serious offences have been relegated by the right hon. Gentleman as minor offences, yet every one of them has probably been a contributory factor in someone's death.

Last week, one of the killers of my good friend Jim Hewitt was tried. Overnight, premeditated murder became manslaughter and the convicted man was given eight years' imprisonment for killing a decent citizen who was a part-timer in the security forces. In London, on the same day, a man found guilty of receiving stolen goods was given eight years' imprisonment. Where is the deterrent? What is the basis for the conviction that we are about to defeat the terrorists and that terrorism will not win?

No matter where I look, and no matter where I go, I can find nothing to convince me or my supporters, or to convince the IRA, that the House has the determination to do what is necessary. A six-year sentence automatically becomes one of three years; an eight-year sentence becomes one of four years; a 10-year sentence becomes one of five years. Remission is automatic. We do not even have a parole board system under which people are expected to show some contrition or remorse, and to show that they have given up a life of crime. Anyone who behaves reasonably well will have half his sentence remitted.

The hon. Member for Down, North spoke of the dangerous situation that now exists. If the House does not deal with terrorism the time will come when the people of Northern Ireland themselves will attempt to deal with it. It will be a terrible thing if that has to happen. No one has done more than I have to try to contain the dispute within the confines of the House. I have tried here to articulate the feelings of my people, in order to take some of the pressure off them and remove some of the frustration, but the House is not offering us anything. It is not saying anything other than that we shall be back again next year after another 100 people have died—and again the year after that.

The Secretary of State must offer us some hope. He must offer us some conviction that terrorism must and will be defeated. For the first time, over the past few months, one has felt a resentment in Northern Ireland that will boil over one of these days. I hope that it will not, but it will be contained only if the House itself shows that it can deal with terrorism.

12.12 am
Sir John Biggs-Davison (Epping Forest)

I am proud to follow in the debate the hon. Member for Armagh (Mr. McCusker), who shares the dangers of his constituents and speaks fearlessly on their behalf.

It is said that Provisional Sinn Fein—whom Airey Neave and others described as the Provisional IRA in mufti—contemplates contesting elections. I hope it will. Let it do that. Let it submit itself and its cause to the judgment of the electorate.

The partition of Ireland arose through the democratic decision of a distinct population, exercising its right of self-determination. While the Provisional IRA and the Irish National Liberation Army seek to deny by force that democratic will, it will be necessary to continue the powers contained in the Act, reluctant though we all are to continue them.

Successive Secretaries of State have based their policy on the primacy of the police and the bringing of the terrorists to justice before the courts. That policy is sound. One argument in its favour is the way in which the Provos rage so furiously against what they call the "criminalisation" policy of the Government.

The powers are still necessary. The time has not yet come—the speech of the hon. Member for Armagh brought that out forcefully—when the RUC can dispense with powerful military backing, and the defence of the border is clearly still a task for the Armed Forces of the Crown.

Those of us who go to Northern Ireland from time to time notice and are told by Ulster people that there are few troops to be seen in uniform. There are fewer troops visible and we need more troops that are invisible and indistinguishable. I agree with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State who said on 3 November: It is not only the open, but the covert, side of security that is important. These debates provide us with an opportunity to pay tribute to the security forces, the Northern Ireland prison and fire services and the men and women who drive the ambulances. The hon. Member for Armagh said that the emergency has gone on terribly long. The tenth anniversary of the formation of the Ulster Defence Regiment has passed. I was present in the City hall when the regiment received the freedom of the City of Belfast.

I was among those who expressed the hope that the occasion might have been marked by the provision of a long service medal for the UDR. The Territorials, for whom we all have the greatest admiration, have such a decoration and they are not at risk of terrorism. The Rhodesia Medal was struck promptly enough. Those who invigilated at the election in what is now Zimbabwe were sometimes in danger, but it was small compared with the risks run by the UDR in Northern Ireland. As for the Royal Ulster Constabulary, I hope that the RUC Reserve will not much longer be excluded from the Royal Warrant governing the award of the Special Constabulary long service medal.

Of course we owe the security forces far more than medals or motions in the House, but there are those, even in the House, who play politics with the honour and morale of the security forces. I gave notice to the hon. Member for Antrim, North (Rev. Ian Paisley) that I intended to mention him if I was fortunate enough to catch the eye of the Chair in this debate. He replied to the effect that he had to be on the Continent rather than in attendance at the House this evening. Of course, it is open to him to pursue his vendetta with the Chief Constable—chief constables can look after themselves—but it was monstrous for the hon. Member to allege that the RUC ignored a warning and could have saved our colleague and friend Robert Bradford. The hon. Gentleman should substantiate that charge or withdraw it.

It is surely also time that the hon. Gentleman withdrew or proved his accusation that troops were wining and dining at a well-known Republican house when they might have saved Sir Norman Stronge or caught his murderers. These ever wilder and more vicious attacks on the security forces seem to indicate a paranoiac desperation.

In a decade, the hon. Member has boxed the compass of options on Ulster—from full integration with Britain, which makes sense, to independence from Britain, which spells civil war and disaster. He seems incapable of constructive policy or consistent action and it is time that Loyalists saw the hon. Member for the non-Loyalist that he is.

The hon. Gentleman and others in the House and outside have criticised the Anglo-Irish summit, which I prefer to call a summit between leaders of the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, but I think that everybody could agree with a certain passage in the communiqué when the Prime Minister and the Taoiseach reiterated their resolute opposition to violence and commended the level of co-operation between the security forces of the two countries". My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has referred to the excellent co-operation between the Garda Siochana and the RUC. The Belfast Telegraph stated on 28 November that co-operation between the RUC and the Garda is regarded as even better than that between the London Metropolitan Police and provincial forces in Belfast. I come now to the roots of the evil that has afflicted Northern Ireland for longer than the two world wars put together. About 600 suspects wanted for questioning in connection with terrorist crimes are believed to be at this moment in the Republic. Two hundred of them may still be active in terrorism and the other 400 are suspected of having been involved in various crimes before leaving the Province for the Republic.

In 1975, the House passed the Criminal Jurisdiction Act and Oireachtas Eireann passed the Criminal Law Jurisdiction Act. There was parallel legislation in the two countries permitting suspects to be tried in one part of Ireland for offences committed in the other. What has been the effect? Only in one case, that of the murder of Captain Nairac of the Grenadier Guards in 1977, has there been a successful prosecution. Other prosecutions have failed on technical grounds or for lack of evidence. I understand that the police in both countries would like to remove differences in the rule of evidence. The Republic, strangely enough, guards old British customs which have disappeared and still observes the judges rules of 1912.

The hon. Member for Down, North (Mr. Kilfedder) spoke of extradition. Hon. Members have not heard the result of a meeting between the Law Officers of the United Kingdom and of the Republic. We know, however, that the situation is unsatisfactory. We understand that the Irish Republic believes that it is unconstitutional to extradite those who claim a political cover for their crimes. relying on article 29(3) of its constitution which says that Ireland accepts—

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Bernard Weatherill)

Order. I am extremely sorry to interrupt the hon. Gentleman, but I think that his remarks are going slightly wide of the order. The order relates to the renewal of temporary provisions. I should be grateful if the hon. Gentleman would stick to that subject.

Sir John Biggs-Davison

I was commenting on the remarks of the hon. Member for Down, North, who was not interrupted from the Chair and who referred to the absence of extradition from the Republic of Ireland.

Mr. Kilfedder

No. I touched upon it.

Sir John Biggs-Davison

I shall not proceed further on that line except to say that the granting of extradition or the introduction of an efficacious substitute will, for the Unionists in Northern Ireland and in this House, be the acid test for the "unique relationship" between the United Kingdom and the Republic.

12.22 am
Mr. Wm. Ross (Londonderry)

Like other hon. Members representing Northern Ireland, I live with the problem day by day. We come to the House every month at Question Time, and on occasions such as tonight, and listen to what can only be described as a litany of terrorist incidents and police success. The fact that the litany is given every month, every six months and every year is not an indication of success. It is an indication of continuing failure by the Government to eliminate terrorism within the borders of the United Kingdom.

If terrorism is to be beaten, it will demand not only sound judgment on the measures to be taken but foresight in the developing situation in Northern Ireland. That foresight was signally lacking in respect of the conditions for the remand of prisoners in Crumlin Road prison that culminated in the riot at the week-end. The conditions were not good. The Government had been warned a long time ago of those conditions, yet the riot occurred. On that occasion the Government waited for the explosion, as they seem to do time after time in relation to security in Northern Ireland.

Why did the Government wait on that occasion? If the problem was overcrowding, why has a brand new H-block been lying empty in Magilligan prison for the past three months, furnished and ready for inhabitants? Why has that block not been used? Would it not have required the minimum of foresight to have made use of that facility and thereby relieve the pressure and possibly avoid the incident of the wrecking of the prison at the weekend?

If this is a demonstration—I think that it is—of the failure of the Government to foresee what can happen and a failure to make use of facilities in this relatively small and unimportant field, how does the Secretary of State expect the people of Northern Ireland to have any confidence in him in dealing with the more serious issues?

I accept that whenever we deal with terrorism we need covert operations, troops and police. A month ago the Spearhead battalion was flown in. Now we read in the newspapers that that battalion is to be pulled out. Can the Secretary of State confirm or deny that newspaper report of today?

Mr. Prior

The Spearhead battalion is certainly not being pulled out for the time being.

Mr. Ross

That is very welcome news, because it is clear that that battalion has had a good effect. If that good effect is to remain, given the situation in Ulster, those troops must long remain.

The other newspaper report to which I should like to refer concerns the case mentioned by my hon. Friend the Member for Armagh (Mr. McCusker) relating to his constituent and friend. Like my hon. Friend, I found this whole affair appalling. A man who was clearly guilty of complicity in the murder of a member of the Ulster Defence Regiment has had the murder charge withdrawn by the Crown. He was a man who joined the IRA knowing that it was an organisation dedicated to murder, and therefore he volunteered willingly to commit murder and took part in murder. He was caught, but he got off with four years' imprisonment.

If that is the value that this House and the courts in this country put on any man's life, and especially on the life of a man who desires to serve the community, it is a sad day for democracy and for the standards of justice that British people should expect and should have given to them.

If the confidence of the people of Northern Ireland and, above all, the confidence of the members of the security forces is to be maintained, a much stricter sentencing policy will have to be introduced. There is no way that anyone can think that a life is worth only four years' imprisonment for a murderer. When the courts give a man, in effect, four years' imprisonment they are destroying the whole basis of the idea of a local security force or of any security force of men volunteering and putting their lives on the line for that purpose. It is not good enough. It will not do. Something must be done to correct it.

The most dangerous fallacy that underlies the whole of the Government's approach to security in Northern Ireland is the policy, which has been so evident for so many years, of co-operation with Dublin being necessary in order to defeat terrorism. The assumption is that Dublin can and will deliver enough to defeat the IRA. The hon. Member for Down, North (Mr. Kilfedder) drew attention to the fallacy. The Irish Republic can do only two things to defeat the IRA. The first is to grant extradition, and I doubt whether that will be granted by a Dublin Government. The second is to have strict control of the border. I discount all the other ploys that have been tried. They are nothing but froth. At best they are cumbersome and inefficient; at worst they are totally useless. History proves that.

Extradition is an emotive subject in the Irish Republic. No Dublin Government can deliver extradition and hope to survive, least of all the present one, with the ultra-green Mr. Haughey sniping continually at their heels. It is nonsense to believe that we shall get extradition, although, if we did, it would be more than welcome. As extradition does not lie in our hands but, effectively—

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Bryant Godman Irvine)

Order. That subject has already been ruled out of order.

Mr. Ross

I am grateful for your guidance, Mr. Deputy Speaker. The Irish Republic has effectively ruled the subject out of all possible debate.

I move to the question of border security. The Irish Republic has a border with the United Kingdom which is uncontrolled. If the Secretary of State does not accept my word, he should consider the evidence of cross-border smuggling, which shows clearly a failure to control the border. The facts and figures are available in the Northern Ireland Office.

It is shameful that the proud nation of which we are all members should run cap in hand to a foreign country that shelters the murderers of our fellow citizens to ask it to protect our property. It is not a job for the Irish Republic. The protection of the frontiers of this nation lies with us and with the House. It is up to the Armed Forces of the Crown to defend the border. I am not interested in excuses. In my first speech in the House almost eight years ago I asked for the border to be tightly sealed and controlled. If that were done, the job of our security forces would be much easier. It is up to all of us to shoulder the responsibility for the defence of our frontier. It is not too late for the Government to do the job. All it takes is a little conviction and a little bit of guts.

12.33 am
Mr. Robert Rhodes James (Cambridge)

I intervene briefly in following my hon. Friend the Member for Londonderry (Mr. Ross). I hope that he will always regard me as his hon. Friend because of the work that we do together for the Ulster university at Coleraine and our involvement in the affairs of Northern Ireland.

This is my first attempt to intervene in such a debate, despite my long involvement in the affairs of Northern Ireland. Having listened to the debate after the Front Bench speeches, I am even more depressed by the negativism of the contributions, and I feel an increasing resentment that the English people and English Members should be involved in an internecine tribal war.

Mr. Kilfedder

It is murderers killing innocent people. It is not tribal war.

Mr. Rhodes James

The hon. Member for Down, North (Mr. Kilfedder) declined to allow me to intervene in his speech. I hope that he will allow me to say what I feel on behalf of my constituents and as someone who loves and respects and has faith in the people of Northern Ireland. I shall continue as I began because I believe deeply in these matters.

I wish to make a point which the hon. Member for Londonderry will understand. It concerns a figure which the House should understand and appreciate. In Northern Ireland, 30 per cent. of young people who have the opportunity of higher education go to the mainland of Great Britain. About 80 per cent. of them never return to Northern Ireland. There is a brain drain of the best and brightest people in Northern Ireland. They are leaving the Province for the mainland. There is a collapse of faith in Northern Ireland. The order relates to the negative aspects of the situation. I intervene briefly to emphasise the most positive aspects.

If we regard the order purely in terms of its negative aspect, we miss what is crucial to the future of the Province and the United Kingdom. The hon. Member for Armagh (Mr. McCusker) does not accept that some of us have faith in the future of the Province. Some of us have faith that, although orders such as the one that we are discussing are necessary in the short term, and although the evils of terrorism must be resisted, it is important that English Members of Parliament who know something about Northern Ireland should emphasise their faith in its future and in the decent people who live there. We should stress that in such a debate as this. It is important for the young people of Coleraine and Belfast, and for the young people of this country who are of one nation. That is the important aspect.

I intervene to resist the negative and parochial approach of hon. Members. There will be no resolution of the problems until we come together and recognise that the future of the Province is the future of our nation.

12.38 pm
Mr. Neville Sandelson (Hayes and Harlington)

I hope that the hon. Member for Cambridge (Mr. Rhodes James) will forgive me if I do not take up all the points that he raised, although I sympathise with much of what he said. The debate is short and I shall be brief. I hope to be to the point. I agree with almost everything that the right hon. Member for Mansfield (Mr. Concannon) said.

The renewal of the emergency provisions is both necessary and, in the circumstances, inevitable. I wish that it were otherwise. There is not one of us who does not hope that the circumstances will change to permit the dismantling of emergency provisions which intrinsically offend democratic and juridical principles.

The London-Dublin dialogue and the studies that have emerged from the bilateral talks at least point a way forward from the sectarian impasse and give a grain of hope for the future. Inevitably they have produced familiar tantrums amounting to near hysteria on the part of some who appear to prefer demagogy to responsibility, and who give the impression that they are averse to any progress towards a feasible solution that might bring the two communities together in restoring a measure of normality in the life of Ulster.

It was equally predictable that terrorists who also refuse to countenance any form of compromise in their ultimate demands would seek to undermine the talks by a new campaign of murder and violence. But that is the situation with which we are faced, and it is a time for all of us in the House to give unequivocal support to the Government and the Secretary of State in the immensely difficult task that he has set himself. The right hon. Gentleman has the good will of my right hon. and hon. Friends in what he is trying to achieve. Nor should we do anything tonight to add in any way to the difficulties of the security forces and the other services in Northern Ireland. No one can envy their role or fail to admire and respect the way in which for years they have performed their duties of trying to maintain the peace, law and order and some semblance of normality in the Province.

Let me emphasise the concern felt by all my lion, Friends at the continuance, however necessary I, for one, deem it to be, of emergency legislation that, by its nature, is repugnant to us. It is important in these debates to reiterate that concern. Following the important conference in Belfast in June of this year, which was chaired by Lord Gardiner and was attended by a representative body of individuals who met to discuss the administration of justice under emergency laws, it was stressed in its report that the most insidious feature of emergency legislation is the way in which it acquires an air of permanence". The right hon. Member for Mansfield referred to that. So we must never allow ourselves to become inured to legislation of this kind, to allow an ambience of permanence to surround it, or to permit its continuance a day longer than the situation that gives rise to it.

The legislation has been debated in considerable detail on previous occasions and will be again in the future. The question in our minds at all times should be how and when the legal system in Northern Ireland should return to normality. I feel a continuing concern about the procedures of arrest and interrogation, the operation of the Diplock courts, the list of scheduled offences and the special category status. All these are given an artificial legality, although by normal yardsticks in a civilised society they are unlawful and offensive.

In essence, this whole corpus of permitted procedure constitutes a denial of civil liberties and individual rights within the norms of the rule of law. This is not the moment to deny the Government these administrative instruments. It is, however, six years since the Gardiner report reviewed the operation of the emergency provisions, and I believe that a further review is now overdue. There are many features of the legislation that should be scrutinised afresh in the light of experience with a view to possible change and alleviation.

In particular, I have in mind the judicial composition of the Diplock courts and the list of scheduled offences. Mere administrative difficulties should not be accepted as a conclusive reason for not changing the single judge system. Public confidence in the courts, in their judgment and impartiality would be greatly increased by broadening the membership of the panel of those who sit in judgment. Either professional judges or lay assessors could be added to the court and it may be that the arguments previously advanced against doing so now lack some of their earlier cogency. It is time that this aspect of the courts and their procedures was looked at anew.

Further, the list of scheduled offences should be re-examined. It may well be possible to remove from the list various offences of a lesser character, carrying lesser sentences. Those of a lesser character are different from offences of a minor character. There is a clear distinction to be drawn. The right hon. Member for Mansfield has said, and I support him, that all offences with a maximum sentence of five years' imprisonment or less could now be de-scheduled and returned to jury trial. That should be looked at.

My main reason for urging upon the Government a fresh review of the operation of the Act is that I believe that legislation of this kind should, by its very nature, be the subject of constant and continuous review by an independent body of a high judicial status. I hope that the Secretary of State will agree to do that. I have declared my support for the renewal of this order, but I must reserve my position when the matter returns for renewal if the Government, in the meantime, should have failed to provide for a suitable judicial inquiry to review the legislation and the way in which it operates.

12.47 am
Mr. Christopher Murphy (Welwyn and Hatfield)

I support my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State in his belief that the Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Act should remain in force. No one who has any knowledge of Ireland can be other than greatly concerned about the situation in the Province. It is therefore clear that this order is necessary. If terrorism is to be defeated, as it must be for the sake of the Irish people on both sides of the border, the current security arrangements have to be maintained and indeed strengthened, as this order, in part, seeks to do. It is also necessary that, to ensure the satisfactory outcome of such arrangements, close cross-border co-operation between the Governments of the Irish Republic and the United Kingdom should continue and strengthen.

This continuation order will be the more successful in achieving these objectives if the Anglo-Irish joint studies are allowed to proceed in the atmosphere of good will that has been created by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister and the Taoiseach. Important though I believe the joint studies on all subjects to be, paramount must be that of security, which, together with the working of the Act, can make a lasting contribution to obtaining peace in the Six Counties.

Having seen the security situation at first hand from both sides of the border, I know that it is almost self-evident that it is vital that the order should be passed. The citizens of Northern Ireland rightly look to their Government to provide the means of protection and expect provision to be made to ensure public order. The renewal of this order is essential for the police and the Army to carry out their onerous duties. I associate myself with the tributes paid to their courage and dedication. The order also shows, once again, the support of Westminster for the Union while the majority of people in the Province wish to remain within the United Kingdom. Closer co-operation between our country and the Irish Republic must be seen by all right-thinking people as realistic and appropriate, given our historic and geographic connections. The order enhances the conditions for such a relationship without prejudicing the inherent rights of Ulstermen.

The need for the transfer of responsibilities for affairs in Northern Ireland to locally elected representatives becomes more and more acute. In assisting the speeding up of that long-awaited movement, this order is vital. It attempts to produce a more stable background against which that transfer can take place.

The hopes and aspirations of the Irish—North and South—lie with the defeat of murderers who misuse people and their religious beliefs for their own selfish and narrow motives. The Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Act 1978 must remain in force as part of the armoury to ensure that such defeat comes about speedily. The order should be passed unopposed to show our determination that democracy, not terrorism, should triumph.

12.50 pm
The Under-Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (Mr. John Patten)

In the eight minutes remaining in the debate, I can hardly do justice to the many points raised by right hon. and hon. Members on both sides of the House. I propose to deal first with the straightforward request by the right hon. Member for Mansfield (Mr. Concannon) and from the SDP spokesman, the hon. Member for Hayes and Harlington (Mr. Sandelson)—who was spot-on in his discussion of the order—for a wide-ranging review of the workings of the Act. Secondly, I shall turn to the question of the way in which the Act and its continuance relates to security in the Province—a question that was discussed with such passion and vigour by the hon. Member for Down, North (Mr. Kilfedder), the hon. Member for Armagh (Mr. McCusker) and the hon. Member for Londonderry (Mr. Ross).

I say straight away to the right hon. Member for Mansfield that we do not intend at the moment, or in the near future, to accede to his request for a wide-ranging review of the provisions of the Act. We do so because there may well be cause for such a review when circumstances have changed—when, for example, the public disquiet about the workings of the Act have reached a great pitch or when—[HON. MEMBERS: "They have".]—terrorism has begun to decline to such a level that the Act may be thought unnecessary. Neither of those conditions obtains at the moment. Surely the right hon. Member for Mansfield and his hon. Friend the Member for Hammersmith, North (Mr. Soley) recognise that at such a time it would be improper for the Government either, by instituting a review, to hold out hope to terrorists that our resolve was weakening, or to upset the law-abiding people of the Province by knocking away one of the vital elements of the security forces.

Mr. Clive Soley (Hammersmith, North)

Surely the Minister would agree that we wish to show to the House and to the world in general that we have a strong commitment to democracy. A review would do that. If we dealt with sections 11 and 14 of the Act and introduced the word "reasonable", as we have already dropped section 12, it would be a demonstration of the way in which we should go. That would be a strong case for a review, so let us have one.

Mr. Patten

I appreciate the points that the hon. Gentleman makes and I appreciate his interest in human rights and the rights of those detained and arrested. That interest is shared by hon. Members on both sides of the House. However, the Act and the working of the provisions are subject to scrutiny in the House once every six months.

We have had a wide-ranging debate and discussion. The right hon. Gentleman put forward many detailed points on the workings of the Diplock courts and on the question whether judges should be afforced by justices of the peace. The hon. Member for Hayes and Harlington also put forward many detailed points about the workings of the Diplock courts.

We are aware of the concern about some issues that are affected by the Act and we have the opportunity, in this all-too-brief debate tonight, to discuss some of them. Now is not the time, when there are such problems in the Province, to begin to consider instituting such a review.

Mr. Kevin McNamara (Kingston upon Hull, Central)


Mr. Patten

I know that the hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull, Central (Mr. McNamara) wished to speak in the debate.

In the four minutes that remain I must turn to the second part of my remarks, which relate to the terrific concern that has been shown by hon. Members on both sides of the House about the relationship of the provisions of the Act to the security position in the Province. None who live on this side of the water could fail to be moved by the passion shown by hon. Members this evening. Few can appreciate the danger in which so many of them live and the public service that they render to their constituents. It would be foolish to deny that, or the problems that they face in carrying out their duties between London and their constituencies in the Province. Not only do they have to act as Members of Parliament; they have to act almost as county and district councillors. I hope that all of us on this side of the water agree on that.

Despite the passionate way in which hon. Members have put their case, I ask them to step back for a moment from the intense problems that they face and realise that not everyting is gloomy in the Province. It is not simply a litany of failure. I do not wish to indulge in statistical point-scoring with the hon. Member for Armagh—

Mr. McNamara

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. Is it in order to ask whether, in the time available, any hon. Member who is opposing the renewal of the order will be given an opportunity to speak? Only one member of the main Opposition party has been called to speak in the debate.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

That question is not in order.

Mr. Patten

I do not wish to indulge in statistical point-scoring with the hon. Member for Armagh, but he criticised my right hon. Friend for his record during the past year and said that only 861 charges had been laid for scheduled offences compared with 1,000 last year. Last year the number of charges laid was only 511, and the 861 laid this year shows considerable improvement.

This week cars have been allowed into the centre of Belfast, which enriches that city in the evening— [Interruption.] Anyone who has seen the urban desert of Belfast during the past 10 years, with people unable to walk in the streets, would not laugh so easily at the idea that cars enrich the life and culture of the Province. The police are slowly taking over from the Army. My right hon. Friend has vigorously met the security challenge with the introduction of the Spearhead battalion, the additional mobile support units of the RUC—one has been sent to Newry—and the more flexible deployment of the UDR—

It being one and a half hours after the commencement of proceedings on the motion, MR. DEPUTY SPEAKER put the Question, pursuant to Standing Order No. 3 (Exempted business).

Question put:

The House divied: Ayes 103, Noes 14.

Division No. 29] [12.58 am
Alexander, Richard Griffiths, PelerPortsm'thN)
Ancram,Michael Hampson,DrKeith
Atkinson, David (B'm'th,E) Hannam,John
Beaumont-Dark,Anthony Harrison, Rt Hon Walter
Berry, Hon Anthony Hawksley,Warren
Bevan, David Gilroy Heddle,John
Biggs-Davison,SirJohn Hogg,HonDouglas(Gr'th'm)
Blackburn,John Hunt, David (Wirral)
Boscawen.HonRobert Jopling,RtHonMichael
Bottomley, Peter (W'wich W) Kershaw, SirAnthony
Bright,Graham Kilfedder, James A.
Brinton,Tim Lang, Ian
Brooke, Hon Peter Lester, Jim (Beeston)
Brotherton, Michael Lloyd, Peter (Fareham)
Brown, Michael(Brigg&Sc'n) Lyell,Nicholas
Browne,John(Winchester) McCusker,H.
Bruce-Gardyne,John Macfarlane,Neil
Budgen,Nick MacGregor,John
Butcher,John McNair-Wilson,M.(N'bury)
Cadbury,Jocelyn Major,John
Carlisle, John (LutonWest) Marlow,Antony
Clark, Hon A. (Plym'th, S'n) Mates,Michael
Cope,John Mather,Carol
Costain,SirAlbert Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin
Cranborne,Viscount Mayhew, Patrick
Dover,Denshore Mellor,David
Dunn,Robert(Dartford) Meyer, SirAnthony
Faith, Mrs Sheila Mills,Iain(Meriden)
Fenner, Mrs Peggy Moate, Roger
Forman,Nigel Molyneaux, James
Garel-Jones,Tristan Murphy,Christopher
Goodhew,Victor Neale,Gerrard
G rant, Anthony (Harrow C) Needham,Richard
Nelson,Anthony Speller,Tony
Neubert,Michael Spicer, Michael (SWorcs)
Newton,Tony Stanbrook, Ivor
Osborn,John StradlingThomas,J.
Page, John (Harrow, West) Taylor, Teddy (S'end E)
Page, Richard (SW Herts) Thompson,Donald
Patten, John (Oxford) Thorne,Neil(IlfordSouth)
Pattie,Geoffrey Waddington,David
Powell, Rt Hon J.E. (S Down) Waldegrave,HonWilliam
Prior, Rt Hon James Waller, Gary
Proctor, K. Harvey Ward,John
RhodesJames, Robert Watson,John
Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon Wheeler,John
Roberts, M. (CardiffNW) Williams,D. (Montgomery)
Ross,Wm. (Londonderry) Wolfson,Mark
Sainsbury,HonTimothy Young, SirGeorge (Acton,)
Shepherd,Colin(Hereford) Tellers for the Ayes:
Silvester, Fred Mr. Selwyn Gummer and
Sims, Roger Mr. Alastair Goodlad.
Speed, Keith
Bennett,Andrew(St'kp'tN) Maynard, MissJoan
Campbell-Savours, Dale Parry, Robert
Canavan,Dennis Richardson,Jo
Cryer,Bob Ross, Ernest (Dundee West)
Dubs,Alfred Skinner,Dennis
Duffy, A. E. P.
Holland,S.(L'b'th,Vauxh'll) Tellers for the Noes:
Lamond,James Mr. Ian Mikardo and
Marshall, Jim (LeicesterS) Mr. Kevin McNamara

Question accordingly agreed to.

Resolved, That the draft Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Act 1978 (Continuance) (No. 2) Order 1981, which was laid before this House on 2nd December, be approved.

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