HC Deb 03 June 1981 vol 5 cc1008-28
Mr. Tilley

I beg to move amendment No. 42, in page 48, line 36 leave out 'a British Overseas Citizen'.

Mr. Speaker

With this it will be convenient to take amendment No. 43, in page 48, line 37 at end insert— `(4) A person born stateless outside the United Kingdom and the dependent territories after commencement shall be entitled to be registered as a British Overseas Citizen if on an application for his registration as a British Overseas Citizen the Secretary of State is satisfied that his father or mother was a British Overseas Citizen at the time of that person's birth'.

Mr. Tilley

If there were a prize for the most barefaced cheek in parliamentary draftsmanship, whoever drafted clause 33 would undoubtedly win it. The clause simply states: The provisions of Schedule 2 shall have effect for the purpose of reducing statelessness. To anyone who happened to open the Bill at that page, that might sound a worthy objective. I do not think that anyone would argue with the idea of reducing statelessness. What the clause does not say, and what I hope the House appreciates, is that the statelessness that purports to reduce is actually created by many of the first 32 clauses. To a very limited degree, it seeks to put right what we believe the Bill has done wrong in creating statelessness for the first time in British law.

As I said in an earlier debate, the Opposition are very concerned about the statelessness caused in this country. For the first time in 700 years, children will be born in this country who will have no nationality because their parents are not British citizens and are not legally and permanently settled here. We regard that as a disgraceful provision in terms of injustice to the individual children as well as its very bad effect on race relations which I mentioned in an earlier debate.

As well as creating statelessness at home, the Bill will create statelessness abroad, particularly in the third category of citizenship—the British overseas citizenship. In these two amendments, we wish to address ourselves to the problem of statelessness as created by British overseas citizenship—it is called a citizenship in the Bill, so for the sake of the debate I shall call it a citizenship—which is the new citizenship contained in part III, that is to say, in clauses 23 to 26.

When clause 33 states that the purpose is to reduce statelessness, in terms of British overseas citizenship it merely reduces the statelessness created specifically, openly and intentionally by the Government in clauses 23 to 26.

We said on Second Reading and in Committee that we are opposed in principle to the creation of British overseas citizenship. It will be the residual citizenship of those who are currently citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies but who will not qualify at commencement either for British citizenship or for citizenship of the British dependent territories. That will affect about 1.5 million people who are currently citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies. Twenty thousand of them are already in this country and have been admitted for settlement. We think that it is outrageous that such people should still be British overseas citizens, even though they are legally and physically in this country.

But we are concerned in the amendment with the British overseas citizens still abroad—still, as it were, overseas—of whom there are about 1.5 million. Of those people, about 1.3 million, largely in Malaysia, are dual nationals, in that they not only have CUKC at the moment, thereby qualifying for British overseas citizenship, but have their local citizenship, largely the citizenship of Malaysia. We are not too concerned about those people. The British overseas citizenship will not be much good to them, but at least they will have a valid local citizenship of their own.

The rest, something over 200,000, are the people who are largely or almost entirely of Indian extraction, who have moved, or whose ancestors have moved, to other parts of the former British Empire, particularly on the fringes of the Indian Ocean. Some went in one direction to Malaysia—I have mentioned them already—and others went to East Africa.

We have made clear on Second Reading and in Committee our policy on the East African Asians, as they are known—the people who total about 71,000, who live in the countries of East Africa or have temporarily gone to India and who are currently admitted under the voucher system. It is a system that we regard as inadequate and which is being used very badly by the Government. We press them, even at this late stage, to give more vouchers to India for those East African Asians currently in India, because those are the people who are in some distress and are desperately queueing up to come here. They cannot get vouchers, whereas the allocation for the countries of East Africa—for those East African Asians who are in East Africa—is not being fully taken up.

We not only think that the number of vouchers should be increased. Our policy is that the East African Asians should be made full British citizens, with the right of entry to this country. The removal of their right to come into this country in 1968 was wrong. They should now be allowed to have the right that was promised to them when their countries became independent—that, by maintaining their nationality link with Britain, they would be able, when they wished, to come to this country.

We are not concerned with that issue in the amendment. We are concerned with two things. The first is our policy for those who are not in the category of East African Asians—largely people who are in Malaysia, although there are people in many other Commonwealth countries in smaller numbers who will be potential British overseas citizens if the Bill becomes law. Our policy is that those people should have local citizenship.

If the various independence Acts passed by this House over the last 20 years had been better framed, it can be said with hindsight that it would have been preferable for all the people who are not now being described as British overseas citizens— other than East African Asians—to have had local citizenship as part of the independence Acts of those now independent Commonwealth countries. We feel that it is not too late for the Government to try to negotiate local citizenship where they can for those people. We regard that as by far the best option for those people.

We were not surprised that in Committee the Government refused to accept our policy of making East African Asians full British citizens. They insisted that those who would not get British citizenship or citizenship of the dependent territories under parts I and II of the Bill should get the residual British overseas citizenship contained in part III.

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Having recognised the Government's determination, while not accepting it, we attempt in the amendment to limit the damage that we believe will be caused by the decision to stick to part III and to have such limited provisions for the reduction of statelessness in clause 33. We suggest that the statelessness created by the adoption of British overseas citizenship should be not merely reduced, but abolished.

We must look carefully at British overseas citizenship. It is not citizenship in the normal sense of the word. That is why I was careful to say earlier that I called it British overseas citizenship merely for the convenience of the House. It gives no one who holds it any right of entry, any right of abode or any civic rights in any country.

We were aware of that when we attacked the proposal on Second Reading and in Committee. We said that it was another name for statelessness. We have since concluded that we slightly overstated the case—but only slightly. The people concerned are virtually stateless because the rights that attach to normal citizenship do not attach to British overseas citizenship, but we accept that the people are not stateless if they qualify for, and are given by right, a British overseas citizen's passport.

We are assured by the Government, and particularly by the Foreign Office, that such a passport will be accepted as a travel document in most countries. We were assured in Committee that if someone travelling on such a passport got into trouble he would be granted British consular help if it were needed.

Perhaps the most important vestige of citizenship that attaches to the new category is that by preserving "British" it maintains the ultimate British responsibility for the people involved. We know from the leaks of the internal documents of the Home Office that one original purpose of the idea of British overseas citizenship was to reduce the British responsibility for those people if they ever became refugees.

We hope that the fact that that ploy has been exposed means that it will not be used and that if the people concerned become refugees no Government, even the current Administration, will try to evade their fundamental duty to help people who could become refugees if the countries in which they are now living try to get rid of them, as happened in Uganda.

The category proposed by the Government has some of the appurtenances of citizenship and is just better than nothing. The people involved are not put into a worse position, except by the change of nomenclature, than they were as United Kingdom passport holders, because they had already lost their most important right—that of entry to this country—in the 1968 Act. Only in one way will those people be worse off than they are at the moment as United Kingdom passport holders. Their status is not transmissible to their children. We regard transmissibility of citizenship as a major aspect of genuine citizenship, apart from vestigial status. Because that is not present, they will undoubtely be worse off than they are now as United Kingdom passport holders.

The children of British overseas citizens who have no other nationality and who are not eligible for local citizenship will be stateless in countries where the communities of which their parents are members are already at a disadvantage because of their lack of local citizenship. It would be adding to the problems of this group and creating problems for children yet unborn who would fall under part III and who would not be helped by clause 33 which tries to reduce statelessness.

We welcome the fact that in many countries—Malaysia, we believe, is one—these children would be eligible for local citizenship if born in Malaysia. The Select Committee on Home Affairs has conducted an inquiry in parallel with sittings of the Standing Committee on the Bill to try to elicit the facts about the position of those potential British overseas citizens who would not qualify for any other citizenship. I pay tribute to the work of the Select Committee, especially my hon. Friends the Members for York (Mr. Lyon) and for Barking (Miss Richardson). The words of Herbert Spencer describe the work of the Select Committee: Every candle they lit exposed a greater area of darkness". It became clear that the situation was confused. I hope that the House will excuse my mixed or contradictory metaphor. It was clear that children born to British overseas citizens in some countries would not qualify for local citizenship and that they would therefore be stateless. Equally, they would not be helped by schedule 2, which is supposed to reduce statelessness. The countries singled out by the Select Committee, which made clear that there might also be problems eleswhere, were Singapore and Malawi. I am not criticising those countries. My fear is that if the Bill is passed, Britain will be in no position to criticise other Governments or countries about racist elements in their citizenship laws. We shall be leading the field.

One of our principal approaches to the Bill was the attempt to avoid the statelessness at home and abroad that the Government are determined to create as part of their new approach to nationality. These two amendments are addressed solely to the problems of British overseas citizens living in a country where their children would not acquire the local citizenship.

We suggest that where such a child is born stateless outside the United Kingdom and dependent territories—there are provisions in schedule 2 to help those born within the United Kingdom or dependent territories—he should be entitled to be registered as a British Overseas Citizen if on an application for his registration as a British Overseas Citizen the Secretary of State is satisfied that his father or mother was a British Overseas Citizen at the time of that person's birth. We propose that there should be the option of registration as a British overseas citizen for children who otherwise would be completely stateless. The amendment seeks to rescue—or provide some help; clearly, it is not a complete rescue—for a handful of children, all of whom would be black, from statelessness in various countries. These children are the final innocent victims of the decolonisation process.

Mr. Eldon Griffiths (Bury St. Edmunds)

I have not had the benefit of being a member of the Standing Committee and I am trying to follow the hon. Gentleman's argument. I simply ask for information. If the children of whom the hon. Gentleman is speaking were born in Malaysia or Malawi or anywhere else, would they not, under the legislation of those countries, have access to the citizenship of those countries?

Mr. Tilley

No, not necessarily. The Select Committee report went into great detail and took evidence from both the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and many legal academics. It established that in Singapore and Malawi there would be problems about those children getting nationality and that there might be difficulties in other countries in certain circumstances. I believe that the total number of British overseas citizens in Malawi—my hon. Friend the Member for York would correct me if he were here, but as he is not here I can make my "guesstimates" in the knowledge that he will not contradict me—is about 4,500, and in Singapore the figure is now thought to be in hundreds, though it was once thought to be in thousands. That is an indication of the difficulties that still exist about numbers. So we are talking about a handful of children—hundreds, or possibly only dozens—who would be stateless if the amendment is not accepted.

We were surprised that this tiny concession of giving a vestigial British nationality status to a handful of children was too much for the Government to accept in Committee. However, we hope that it is not too much of a concession, in common humanity, for the House to support tonight.

Mr. Ivor Stanbrook (Orpington)

I am against the amendments, but I appreciate the Opposition's concern with the problem of dealing with overseas citizens. It is true that overseas citizens are, as was said in Committee, part of the debris of empire. They are the people who cannot easily be accommodated within the definition of citizenship of the British dependent territories.

I confess that originally my view was that the Green Paper was right and that the Labour Government were right in their attitude to the citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies who were not to qualify as British citizens, in that there should be only one other category of British citizens, namely, British overseas citizens. That would cover the citizens of British dependent territories as well as those remaining citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies who were distributed around the world. Originally, I thought that that was probably the best approach to the problem, because the whole object of the policy would have been to eliminate this category altogether so that ultimately everyone would have some sort of citizenship and civic rights appertaining to particular territories.

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However, on reflection, especially after the more mature and detailed consideration that, as a member of the Standing Committee, one had to give the Bill, the Green Paper and the White Paper, I revised my opinion.

The British overseas citizen category covers people who cannot logically, politically or legally be accommodated within the category of British dependent territories. One must be realistic. The interests of the citizen of a British dependent territory, whether restricted to citizenship of each dependent territory, as I believe it should be, or as one overall category of citizens for all the British dependent territories, are different. They are related more directly to the United Kingdom in that they have lived within the sovereignty and control of the United Kingdom Government more than the remainder of people who have the status of citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies without the right of abode in the United Kingdom and without any real connection. However, they are resident in Commonwealth countries which are now independent. That gives them an entirely different relationship to the United Kingdom. Whatever their citizenship status, they are subjects, in the proper sense of the word, of their host Governments. Therefore, it is not possible for the British Parliament to legislate meaningfully.

However, such people enjoy, and will enjoy until the Bill is passed, the status of citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies. What can we do? How do we solve the problem of the people who are entitled to the status of citizenship but who are resident in independent sovereign States around the world? The problem is an anachronism which should never have occurred. We should never have had British overseas citizens in the sense that we have to deal with the problem today. The people about whom we are talking do not belong to the United Kingdom. They are relics of our imperial past. They should never have been left out of the citizenship legislation enacted for each territory in the colonial Empire as they gained independence. That is just one of the mistakes that we made.

The problem is acknowledged by the hon. Member for York (Mr. Lyon), if not by the Opposition Front Bench. The 1948 Act was a mistake. In 1948 there was an opportunity to distinguish clearly who belonged to the United Kingdom and who belonged elsewhere. The mistake was that we took a foolish and sentimental view that Britain had a continuing obligation to all the people of every territory within the British Empire which obtained independence even though, as we all now realise, the real responsibility lay with the host Governments.

We passed independence legislation for each territory and left a loophole. The legislation provided that certain people would not automatically achieve citizenship of the new independent country, whether as an option or as a result of internal legislation. Groups of people round the world were left as citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies.

The foolishness arose in the early 1960s out of the mistaken belief by the United Kingdom Government that they were providing for the interests of people who were British. They were providing for people such as the so-called white settlers of East Africa, and especially of Kenya. The provisions for allowing residents in East Africa to retain their United Kingdom citizenship were aimed at people whose home was really the United Kingdom—those whom we wish to allow to return ultimately to Britain, and meanwhile to keep British citizenship. Because of the phraseology used in the appropriate legislation, those who benefited included large numbers—perhaps thousands—of people who did not become eligible, or did not opt for, citizenship under the legislation. That was a mistake of nearly 20 years ago which has resulted in today's thorny problem of hundreds of thousands of people—perhaps 1½ million around the world—who are entitled to the status of British overseas citizenship.

Thank goodness not all of those people hold the citizenship conferred upon them by the Bill as their only citizenship. We are discussing only those who have no other citizenship and to whom we owe, because of our errors, a moral obligation. Even so, should Britain—alone of all the countries of the world—pick up the check, as the Americans say? Is it necessary that Britain should be forced to accept responsibility for those who have no real connection with Britain? The United Kingdom abandoned responsibility for them 10 or 20 years ago. Of course, we should not bear that responsibility. We are simply discussing another mistake in legislation that has been passed by the House.

Mr. Tristan Garel-Jones (Watford)

Does my hon. Friend agree that were we to accept the amendment it would encourage some Governments, who should share the responsibilities, to reject citizenship for children who might be stateless? They could say that Britain was helping them, so why should they accept any responsibility?

Mr. Stanbrook

I am obliged to my hon. Friend for his remarks. I have not yet come to the Opposition's responsibility, or that of the Labour Government, in these matters. It is an important and relevant consideration. Many people may feel that they have a claim on Britain through legislation, diplomatic protection or an obligation under international law, and that that is a sufficient right. Once the word "British" is attached to any citizenship status, Britain has not only a moral but a legal and international obligation.

Sir Albert Costain (Folkestone and Hythe)

Amendment No. 43 uses the words satisfied that his father or mother was a British Overseas Citizen It does not state that a woman must be married. Would it not be possible for any woman who has a child and wishes it to be registered in Britain to claim that a wandering British overseas citizen was its father?

Mr. Stanbrook

What my hon. Friend says is perfectly true. Knowing the care with which Opposition spokesmen approach such legislation, I suppose that they carefully considered that possibility and deliberately omitted the detailed provision that would be necessary to avoid the nuisance to which my hon. Friend has referred.

Mr. Tilley

I do not think that we have given that possibility a great deal of thought, not having the detailed and clearly picaresque experiences of the hon. Member.

Mr. Stanbrook

For a member of an alternative Government, that is a poor show. The Opposition have available to them experts and vast funds of advice, and vast funds, I am assured by my hon. Friend the Member for Uxbridge (Mr. Shersby), which would have enabled them to avoid that trap. If the Opposition had looked at earlier amendments, they would have seen the way in which this could have been dealt with to avoid the mischief to which my hon. Friend referred.

The hon. Member for Lambeth, Central (Mr. Tilley) referred to British overseas citizens as people who have apparently no civic rights. The question is what can be done about them. It is fair to give him credit for looking at it as he has done. His great fear is that a condition of statelessness may arise. The common sense of the situation makes it incumbent upon us to provide that there shall not be any transmissibility in this category. We want it to come to an end as soon as possible. Therefore, it follows that the two Opposition amendments are destructive of the point of the policy.

We want to eliminate this class of citizenship. We acknowledge that it is unsatisfactory. Everyone agrees that it is not worth very much as a concept of citizenship. There are not many civic rights, if any, attached to it. The only duty or obligation which it can claim upon Britain is that the word "British" is attached. If this status is created in British nationality legislation it follows that if any of these people were to be expelled from the countries in which they are living there would in international law be an obligation upon the United Kingdom to take them in. That is a prospect which frightens me, if it does not frighten the spokesmen for the Opposition. It must be avoided.

These people are living in various countries such as Malaysia, East Africa, Singapore and Malawi. For the most part, they are contented with their lot and are not apparently anxious to move anywhere else, apart from those who are covered by the special voucher scheme. The problem does not demand an immediate solution. Thank goodness for that. If it did, it might well result in a situation such as that we faced in 1971 when Asians were expelled from Uganda. That is the core of the problem.

We understand that there are well over 150,000 people who have no citizenship other than this. This so-called citizenship—I am entitled to refer to it in that way because it is bereft of normal citizenship rights—would enable them to claim upon Britain were they to be expelled from the territories where they are. Worst of all, it means that their host Government feel no obligation to them. They know that ultimately if they were to expel these people Britain could, because I do not think it should, feel obliged to take them in even though they are remote from us in real connections and legal obligations.

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Perhaps the most important consideration is that of the British overseas citizens who live in Malawi. The present citizenship laws of that country provide that no one who is not of African descent is entitled to its citizenship. Therefore, those residents in Malawi who at present cannot claim citizenship by virtue of that factor—and that means a great many of the East African Asians who live there—might one day find themselves expelled from Malawi. If they have no citizenship in Malawi, who will take them in?

Much criticism is levelled by people in this country against Britain and British Governments for the way in which they behave on international humanitarian issues. It is misguided and ignorant criticism. Our record, in relation to our capacity to satisfy various demands made upon us, is probably the best in the world. It certainly is when one considers the size of our country, the density of its population and the numbers of people already accommodated here from other parts of the world—people who have no real connection with the country and whose absorbtion is accompanied by the great social friction that we are witnessing today.

It is, therefore, wrong to insist that Britain should take any more. However, we cannot resist such pressure. It arises from events that are no fault of ours. An example was the Vietnamese boat people. We felt obliged to accept 10,000 of them. They came from a part of the world for which we had no legal, constitutional or imperial responsibilities. These people were simply cast upon the high seas——

Mr. Garel-Jones

By Communists.

Mr. Stanbrook

Yes, they were expelled by Communists. We had no obligation to these people save in the general international humanitarian sense. In spite of all our difficulties, and with all the problems that we have brought upon ourselves by this humane attitude towards the legal fiction, the mistake in our legislation that has given us such large immigrant populations which we cannot peacefully absorb, we agreed to accept 10,000 of these people.

No one could criticise this country for its attitude towards future absorbtion and acceptance of refugees from other parts of the world. We have done our bit and more. It is therefore perfectly proper for us to say that a problem exists, that people have a legal connection with us, but is it right for us to bear the responsibility for their future? Of course, we should not bear it. That has been recognised by all British Governments. The position would probably be the same if a Labour Government were now in power and we faced the same situation.

The Conservative Government in 1971 and 1972 accepted what they thought was a moral obligation—I do not think that it was a legal one—to admit here at least 25,000 Ugandans of Indian descent when they were expelled by General Amin. It was said at the time that there was an international obligation on us to accept them because they had retained the status of citizenship of the United Kingdom and Colonies. However, shortly afterwards the Home Secretary, the then Mr. Robert Can, said in the House that it would never happen again, that if the same position arose Britain could not be expected to accept people expelled in such circumstances. So much for the legal obligation and for the duty which the British Government of the time felt they had towards these people.

It was not in discharge of an illegal or international obligation that the Ugandan refugees were taken into this country. It was a pure and simple humanitarian act. All the arguments about international law were applied, and they had the so-called citizenship of the United Kingdom and Colonies. But everyone knew that they did not belong to us. Everyone knew that they were Indians and that, although they lived in Africa, if they had a home to go to other than Uganda, it was India. Nevertheless, at that time, one argument that was used was that we had an international obligation to those people. Indeed, the Attorney-General of the time said that they were accepted because Britain felt it had an obligation to do so under international law.

That did not stop the present Lord Carr of Hadley from announcing publicly and gratuitously from the Dispatch Box that it would not happen again. He was discouraged on political grounds from accepting any obligation for such people in future. The announcement he made on behalf of the Conservative Government would have been confirmed by a Labour Government in similar circumstances. So far as any mass expulsion of citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies has occurred, that stance of the British Government has been confirmed. It was maintained by Labour Governments.

Now we have an opportunity to wind up that problem. It is clear that if only the Government would be more strong-minded that could be achieved without much difficulty. The people concerned belong to the country in which they live. It may be that according to the law of that country they are not technically citizens of that country, but they jolly well ought to be, as everyone knows. The only reason why they are not is that Britain in the end will pick up the check. That is an intolerable situation which should not be allowed to continue.

Labour Members may smile——

Mr. Edward Lyons

The hon. Gentleman does not know what he is talking about.

Mr. Stanbrook

We have had the Labour Party's alternative policy, so we know what a future Labour Government would do. They would negotiate with the host countries concerned. They would call a conference. I agree, it is a splendid idea to call a conference, but the Labour policy would be just the same as the Conservative policy in similar circumstances. It is that these people belong in the country where they now live. They have no real claim upon Britain. There is no connection by family, by blood or by law. We are foolish to maintain that there is. While we do, the individual host Governments find it convenient to assume that there is such an obligation, and find it convenient not to grant to these people normal citizenship rights.

Labour Party policy is to call a conference of Commonwealth countries. All the people living around the world who at present have the right to call themselves British are to gather together through their representatives with the Governments concerned to discuss how local citizenship or local rights and duties can be conferred upon them. That is right and proper. It is common sense and obvious. If that were the end of the Labour Party's policy, one would say that it was a splendid idea. The trouble is that its policy goes a step further. The Labour Party says, in effect, "Before we get to the conference we shall tell everybody concerned that if they will not have them we shall have them. We shall have them all." The Labour Party says "If we are in power we shall not only take them in immediately without any entry vouchers or certificates of entitlement but"——

Mr. Garel-Jones

It will not do it.

Mr. Stanbrook

It says that it will do it. It says, in effect, that when they come to this country it will give them British citizenship from that very moment. What a lot of rubbish! It is codswallop. It is absolute nonsense. The Labour Party will never do it. It knows that very well. It talks in this way only because it is indulging in the irresponsibility of being in Opposition.

The Labour Party knows as well as we do that the country could not afford such a policy. We could not tolerate another 150,000 people from the different parts of the world who would be totally out of place in this country. They would come from Asia, Africa and elsewhere. The Labour Party knows very well that we cannot tolerate the prospect of the present racial tensions being accelerated and aggravated by such an increase in the population by people from other parts of the world.

It seems that all this will be done in the name of a legal obligation. As I have said, it is a load of nonsense. Those who are legally qualified like the hon. Member for York know that as well as anybody.

Mr. Alexander W. Lyon

The hon. Gentleman said it himself at the beginning of the debate.

Mr. Stanbrook

No future Labour Government would adopt such a policy. Its adoption would result in admitting to the United Kingdom large numbers of people of the sort that I have described and endowing them with British citizenship.

The Labour Party's policy in this respect, as in so many others, is complete nonsense. It is irresponsible. Apart from the fact that it would involve telling Commonwealth Governments "We shall take them if you will not have them", there is the germ of a sensible idea that I commend. We are talking about people who belong elsewhere and not in Britain. We have too many such people already for our social peace and we do not want any more.

Therefore, pressure must be applied on these people throughout the world to ensure that they preserve or acquire rights of citizenship locally that will ensure that there is no expulsion and no acceptance by Britain. Whatever my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary or the Minister may say, that is the reality behind the Government's policy. It will not be possible to accept into the United Kingdom large numbers of immigrants from the New Commonwealth or from Pakistan.

Mr. Garel-Jones


Mr. Edward Lyons


Mr. Stanbrook

I give way to my hon. Friend the Member for Watford (Mr. Garel-Jones).

Mr. Garel-Jones

With respect, I suggest that my hon. Friend is being slightly naive about the purpose of the constitutional conference that the Labour Party is proposing. The reason that it is suggesting such a conference is that it does not dare to suggest in a manifesto the sort of policies that the Left wing would like to put forward. Therefore, it suggests that there should be a constitutional conference. It dangles the prospect that these policies might ultimately be implemented. The reality is that they will not be implemented after the ensuing election.

Mr. Stanbrook

I entirely agree with my hon. Friend.

Mr. Edward Lyons

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the amendment relates to children born after the Bill is enacted? As I understand it, the hon. Gentleman is directing his remarks to those who are alive now. It is not for me to say that none of his speech has been within the rules of order. However, does he think that a guillotined debate is a proper time for making a filibuster?

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Mr. Stanbrook

I accept that from the hon. and learned Member for Bradford, West (Mr. Lyons), who made many useful speeches in Committee when he was present. We are talking about an amendment which proposes to deal with a particular problem, which is statelessness among a particular category. However, it is not for me, and it was not for the hon. and learned Member, to say what is in order.

We are talking about British overseas citizens. We are talking about the parents of those whom this amendment proposes to benefit. Therefore, it is important for us to consider whether there should be an extension of that category. Do we want it to be increased? Do we want this status of British overseas citizen to be passed on to another generation? Of course we do not. We do not want more people living around the world with no connection with this country to be dignified by the appellation "British" because to us that means some obligation, not a legal one, but possibly——

Mr. Arthur Lewis (Newham, North-West)

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. No doubt you heard my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Bradford, West (Mr. Lyons)—if I may still refer to him as that—raise a point of order with the hon. Member for Orpington (Mr. Stanbrook). We all know that raising points of order between hon. Members is not in order. However, I ask you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, whether you heard the point of order which my hon. and learned Friend raised. Is it in order to go through the whole gambit of whether we should have immigration and whether there are thousands of people in the context of this amendment? As my hon. and learned Friend said, is it not the case that this amendment refers to children only?

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Ernest Armstrong)

I take the point of order. I believe that the hon. Member for Orpington (Mr. Stanbrook) was relating what he had to say to the amendment although I think that the House has now taken the point. We should not have tedious repetition. I ask him to come to the point.

Mr. Stanbrook

You are right, Mr. Deputy Speaker. The House has taken my point, and for that reason I propose to sit down.

Mr. Jim Marshall

You now understand, Mr. Deputy Speaker, why the Government were compelled to introduce a guillotine motion to curtail debate in Committee. We have just had a fine example of the contributions which the hon. Member for Orpington (Mr. Stanbrook) has made at successive stages of this legislation, particularly in Committee. I do not wish to pick up all the points which he made on a number of occasions. Perhaps I could draw the attention of the House to some of the points which he made. Those points are important, in my opinion, and will be of paramount importance to the people about whom he has spoken so disparagingly—namely, people who will be British overseas citizens.

On a number of occasions the hon. Member has referred to mistakes which have been made in drafting local citizenship forms. He said that we should never have been left with this problem. He said that the mistakes made by British Governments gave rise to that problem. He has repeated the assertions made by the right hon. Member for Down, South (Mr. Powell) on a number of occasions when, with the benefit of hindsight, the 1948 nationality legislation has been condemned and has been said to be a mistake.

In human terms, that means that there are 1½ million people scattered around the world, the debris of the old British Empire, people whom in the past the House was proud to call British subjects, people whom, in the past, the House has been only too pleased to use to advance the interests of the United Kingdom and of the British Empire as a whole. Now, with the benefit of hindsight, those people are seen as one mistake after another. That is an outright condemnation not only of the view of the hon. Member for Orpington but of the way in which the Tory Party, in its mass exit from empire, is treating those who are still citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies.

I remind the House of who British overseas citizens will be. They are people who at present share the same citizenship as you and I, Mr. Deputy Speaker. The big difference is that since 1962 successive Governments have sought to withdraw from that group the right of entry and abode and the right to exercise civic rights. That is a condemnation of successive Governments since 1962. I regret that I include my hon. Friend the Member for Lambeth, Central (Mr. Tilley) in this, but it is even greater condemnation of what we are doing to refer to those people as United Kingdom passport holders. I and most of my right hon. and hon. Friends are United Kingdom passport holders, but the use of the phrase seeks to suggest that that group possesses a citizenship completely different from that which we hold. I do not accept that.

Many of the provisions of schedule 2 would have been unnecessary had the Government accepted an amendment in my name, which was supported by my hon. Friend the Member for Preston, South (Mr. Thorne). It would have enabled citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies who have no other claim to nationality and no other right of abode in another country to become British citizens. Had the proposal been accepted, most of the provisions of the schedule would be unnecessary.

The new British overseas citizenship is virtually meaningless. It gives a person the right to reside in no country. It gives him the right to exercise no civic responsibilities in any country. In an earlier debate, we mentioned people termed "overstays", or illegal immigrants. The few people who fall into that category after commencement and who are at present citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies will become British overseas citizens. If they have children in this country, those children will be stateless. Only under the provisions of schedule 2 will they be able to obtain citizenship, and that only the meaningless British overseas citizenship. Those difficulties could have been overcome if the Government had been prepared to accept the amendment tabled in my name and that of my hon. Friend the Member for Preston, South.

I shall repeat a charge that I have made on several occasions. The category of British overseas citizenship is the logical consequence of the successive immigration Acts that have been placed on the statute book since 1962. It is the final solution for that group of 1.5 million people. This country is echoing the remarks made by the hon. Member for Orpington. Britain is saying that such people do not have any right to come into the United Kingdom. It is saying that we do not accept that we have any moral or legal obligations towards them. In order to make that point clear, we shall remove any last vestige of a direct link with the United Kingdom through the generic citizenship of the United Kingdom and Colonies. That is the logical conclusion of successive immigration Acts.

For that reason, if for no other, we should oppose the creation of British overseas citizenship. I shall large my colleagues in the Parliamentary Labour Party and in the Labour Party at large to accept policy commitments that will implement the type of proposals that I have put forward in Committee over the past five or six months. In that way we could finally remove the stain and dark shadow that is being cast over this country's integrity and honour by the creation of British overseas citizenship.

Mr. Raison

During the course of his remarkable speech, my hon. Friend the Member for Orpington (Mr. Stanbrook) spoke about British overseas citizens and said that they had been described as the debris of empire. He argued that we should not have to be in the position where we have to face up to the problem of British overseas citizens and the need for such citizenship. He argued that the situation was anachronistic and that the matter would have been resolved if the independence legislation, which accompanied the move away from colonies and towards independent Commonwealth status, had been better ordered. My hon. Friend also argued that the 1948 Act was mistaken in its treatment of this problem.

In Committee, hon. Members from both parties put forward the same sort of argument. However, we must face the fact that there is a category that must be dealt with. That is the subject of this debate. The hon. Member for Lambeth, Central (Mr. Tilley) said that he was opposed to the British overseas citizenship scheme in principle. He acknowledged that it confers more advantages on the British overseas citizens than he had been inclined to accept. However, he argued that it is not a proper form of citizenship and tried to spell that out. I have never argued that this is a fully-fledged citizenship, in the sense that we are aiming at in British citizenship. However, it is necessary and is the best solution to a problem that must be faced. We cannot wish it to go away.

The concern expressed by the hon. Member for Leicester, South (Mr. Marshall) is well understood. However, if he were to look closely at the facts he would discover that we are not treating this group shabbily. We are trying to face the problem. It should be borne in mind that elsewhere in the Bill—and outside it—we give fair treatment to those who will become British overseas citizens. We are continuing the special voucher scheme for those currently eligible in East Africa. Those who have gone to India from East Africa also benefit. That is an important and firm commitment on our part. We all know that the Labour Party passed the 1968 Act, which first brought those people under immigration control. The Bill puts the matter on a sensible footing, by conferring a citizenship that accurately reflects their position.

10.30 pm

There is, however, not only the special voucher scheme. Clause 4 confers a most generous entitlement to registration on British overseas citizens who are accepted for settlement if they meet certain residential requirements. They must have been in the United Kingdom for five years preceding their application. They may, however, be absent for periods not exceeding 450 days in all. All of this seems to me to be fair treatment and I reject the charge that in some way we are giving shabby treatment to the British overseas citizens.

Amendments Nos. 42 and 43 introduced by the hon. Member for Lambeth, Central would give an entitlement to registration as British overseas citizens to the children of such citizens born stateless outside the United Kingdom and the dependencies. This entitlement would be an absolute one and not dependent on later periods of residence in the United Kingdom and the dependent territories. It would arise even though the person may have ceased to be stateless.

The Government's view of the principle involved was set out in paragraph 103 of the White Paper. I stress that the Bill's provisions are in accordance with the convention of the reduction of statelessness. Under the convention, there can be two approaches. The first is to provide that a child who would otherwise be stateless automatically acquires his parents' citizenship at birth. The other is to provide that he shall acquire citizenship by registration only after a period of residence in one's territory.

Paragraph 4 of schedule 2 provides for the second alternative. I think that that is reasonable. By definition, British overseas citizenship is a status which has only distant connections with the United Kingdom or an existing dependency. It is a status which is intended to be residual and transitional. It is, therefore, only in the most exceptional circumstances that one should provide for the citizenship to be passed on. It is reasonable to provide for this where the child has been resident here or in a dependency and may be expected in time to qualify for British citizenship or citizenship of the British Dependent Territories. This is the approach adopted in paragraph 4 of schedule 2.

As the House knows, we can derive considerable assistance in this matter from the Second report of the Home Affairs Committee for the Session 1980–81 on the "Numbers and Legal Status of future British Overseas citizens without other citizenship". The hon. Member for Lambeth, Central rather dismissed that report and said, in effect, that it raised more questions than it answered. I think that it was a very useful report and I think it is fair to say that it provided support in general for the position that we are taking. It indicated that in general the children born to future British overseas citizens should have no difficulty in acquiring the citizenship of the country where their parents resided. But examples are given of Singapore and Malawi, where citizenship is restricted.

Nor, of course, can we be sure that other countries will not change their existing citizenship laws or even that they will interpret them in the same way as we do. In principle, it seems hardly desirable to provide that acquisition of one of the Bill's citizenships should depend on the legislation of other countries and not our own.

If the amendment were passed, it would mean that British overseas citizenship might be capable of being passed on indefinitely outside the United Kingdom or a dependent territory. It would also enable any country which wished to do so to deny its own citizenship to the children concerned on the grounds that they already had an entitlement to another citizenship, namely, British overseas citizenship.

Evidence was given to the Home Affairs Committee, for example, that a child born within Malaysia who would otherwise be stateless shall acquire Malaysian citizenship. To accept this amendment could deprive some children of Malaysian citizenship because, it could be argued, they would have an entitlement to be registered as British overseas citizens. Given the large numbers of British overseas citizens living there, I cannot believe that it makes sense that the large number of potential British overseas citizens living permanently in Malaysia should pass on BOC status to their children rather than see them become Malaysians.

Having tried briefly to set out our objections to the amendments, I hope that if the hon. Gentleman does not withdraw the amendment the House will reject it.

Mr. Tilley

The Minister has made it clear that the Government stick to their position. They want these children to remain stateless so that they will be more effective negotiating pawns in trying to force the local States to give them citizenship. We reject that sort of attitude to this handful of children as yet unborn. The very least that the House and the Government ought to do is to ensure that the children are not born stateless. That is what our amendment seeks to achieve. I therefore ask my hon. Friends to support it in the Lobby.

Question put, That the amendment be made:—

The House divided: Ayes 219, Noes 270.

Division No. 199] [10.35 pm
Abse, Leo Campbell, Ian
Adams, Allen Campbell-Savours, Dale
Allaun, Frank Canavan, Dennis
Anderson, Donald Cant, R. B.
Archer, Rt Hon Peter Carmichael, Neil
Ashley, Rt Hon Jack Carter-Jones, Lewis
Ashton, Joe Cartwright, John
Bagier, Gordon A.T. Cocks, Rt Hon M. (B'stol S)
Barnett, Guy (Greenwich) Conlan, Bernard
Barnett, Rt Hon Joel (H'wd) Cook, Robin F.
Beith, A. J. Cowans, Harry
Benn, Rt Hon A. Wedgwood Craigen, J. M.
Bennett, Andrew(St'kp't N) Crowther, J. S.
Bidwell, Sydney Cryer, Bob
Booth, Rt Hon Albert Cunliffe, Lawrence
Bray, Dr Jeremy Cunningham, G. (Islington S)
Brocklebank-Fowler, C. Cunningham, Dr J. (W'h'n)
Brown, Hugh D. (Provan) Dalyell, Tam
Brown, R. C. (N'castle W) Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (L'lli)
Brown, Ron (E'burgh, Leith) Davies, Ifor (Gower)
Buchan, Norman Davis, Clinton (Hackney C)
Callaghan, Jim (Midd't'n & P) Davis, T. (B'ham, Stechf'd)
Deakins, Eric McKelvey, William
Dean, Joseph (Leeds West) MacKenzie, Rt Hon Gregor
Dempsey, James Maclennan, Robert
Dewar, Donald McNally, Thomas
Dixon, Donald McNamara, Kevin
Dobson, Frank McTaggart, Robert
Dormand, Jack Magee, Bryan
Douglas, Dick Marks, Kenneth
Douglas-Mann, Bruce Marshall, D(G'gow S'ton)
Dubs, Alfred Marshall, Dr Edmund (Goole)
Duffy, A. E. P. Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)
Dunn, James A. Martin, M(G'gow S'burn)
Dunnett, Jack Maxton, John
Dunwoody, Hon Mrs G. Maynard, Miss Joan
Eadie, Alex Meacher, Michael
Eastham, Ken Mellish, Rt Hon Robert
Ellis, R. (NE D'bysh're) Mikardo, Ian
Ellis, Tom (Wrexham) Millan, Rt Hon Bruce
Ennals, Rt Hon David Mitchell, R. C. (Soton Itchen)
Evans, Ioan (Aberdare) Morris, Rt Hon A. (W'shawe)
Ewing, Harry Morris, Rt Hon C. (O'shaw)
Faulds, Andrew Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon)
Field, Frank Morton, George
Flannery, Martin Moyle, Rt Hon Roland
Fletcher, Ted (Darlington) Newens, Stanley
Forrester, John Oakes, Rt Hon Gordon
Foster, Derek O'Halloran, Michael
Foulkes, George O'Neill, Martin
Fraser, J. (Lamb'th, N'w'd) Orme, Rt Hon Stanley
Freeson, Rt Hon Reginald Owen, Rt Hon Dr David
Garrett, John (Norwich S) Palmer, Arthur
Garrett, W. E. (Wallsend) Parker, John
George, Bruce Parry, Robert
Gilbert, Rt Hon Dr John Pavitt, Laurie
Ginsburg, David Penhaligon, David
Golding, John Powell, Raymond (Ogmore)
Gourlay, Harry Prescott, John
Graham, Ted Race, Reg
Grant, George (Morpeth) Radice, Giles
Grant, John (Islington C) Rees, Rt Hon M (Leeds S)
Grimond, Rt Hon J. Richardson, Jo
Hamilton, W. W. (C'tral Fife) Roberts, Allan (Bootle)
Harrison, Rt Hon Walter Roberts, Ernest (Hackney N)
Hart, Rt Hon Dame Judith Roberts, Gwilym (Cannock)
Hattersley, Rt Hon Roy Robinson, G. (Coventry NW)
Haynes, Frank Roper, John
Healey, Rt Hon Denis Ross, Ernest (Dundee West)
Heffer, Eric S. Ross, Stephen (Isle of Wight)
Hogg, N. (E Dunb't'nshire) Rowlands, Ted
Home Robertson, John Ryman, John
Homewood, William Sandelson, Neville
Hooley, Frank Sever, John
Howell, Rt Hon D. Sheerman, Barry
Howells, Geraint Sheldon, Rt Hon R.
Hudson Davies, Gwilym E. Shore, Rt Hon Peter
Hughes, Mark (Durham) Short, Mrs Renée
Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N) Silkin, Rt Hon J. (Deptford)
Hughes, Roy (Newport) Skinner, Dennis
Janner, Hon Greville Smith, Cyril (Rochdale)
Jay, Rt Hon Douglas Smith, Rt Hon J. (N Lanark)
Johnson, James (Hull West) Soley, Clive
Johnston, Russell (Inverness) Spearing, Nigel
Jones, Barry (East Flint) Spriggs, Leslie
Jones, Dan (Burnley) Stallard, A. W.
Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald Stewart, Rt Hon D. (W Isles)
Kerr, Russell Stoddart, David
Kilroy-Silk, Robert Stott, Roger
Lambie, David Straw, Jack
Leadbitter, Ted Summerskill, Hon Dr Shirley
Lestor, Miss Joan Taylor, Mrs Ann (Bolton W)
Lewis, Arthur (N'ham NW) Thomas, Dafydd (Merioneth)
Lewis, Ron (Carlisle) Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery)
Litherland, Robert Thomas, Dr R. (Carmarthen)
Lofthouse, Geoffrey Tilley, John
Lyon, Alexander (York) Torney, Tom
Lyons, Edward (Bradf'd W) Varley, Rt Hon Eric G.
Mabon, Rt Hon Dr J. Dickson Wainwright, B. (Dearne V)
McCartney, Hugh Wainwright, R. (Colne V)
McDonald, Dr Oonagh Walker, Rt Hon H. (D'caster)
McKay, Allen (Penistone) Watkins, David
Weetch, Ken Wilson, Rt Hon Sir H. (H'ton)
Welsh, Michael Winnick, David
White, Frank R. Woolmer, Kenneth
White, J. (G'gow Pollok) Wright, Sheila
Whitehead, Phillip Young, David (Bolton E)
Whitlock, William
Wigley, Dafydd Tellers for the Ayes:
Willey, Rt Hon Frederick Mr. James Hamilton and Mr. James Tinn.
Williams, Rt Hon A.(S'sea W)
Wilson, Gordon (Dundee E)
Adley, Robert Farr, John
Aitken, Jonathan Fenner, Mrs Peggy
Alexander, Richard Finsberg, Geoffrey
Amery, Rt Hon Julian Fisher, Sir Nigel
Ancram, Michael Fletcher, A. (Ed'nb'gh N)
Arnold, Tom Fletcher-Cooke, Sir Charles
Atkins, Robert(Preston N) Forman, Nigel
Baker, Kenneth(St.M'bone) Fraser, Rt Hon Sir Hugh
Baker, Nicholas (N Dorset) Fraser, Peter (South Angus)
Banks, Robert Fry, Peter
Bendall, Vivian Gardner, Edward (S Fylde)
Benyon, W. (Buckingham) Garel-Jones, Tristan
Best, Keith Glyn, Dr Alan
Bevan, David Gilroy Goodhart, Philip
Biggs-Davison, John Goodhew, Victor
Blackburn, John Goodlad, Alastair
Body, Richard Gorst, John
Bonsor, Sir Nicholas Gow, Ian
Bottomley, Peter (Wwich W) Gower, Sir Raymond
Boyson, Dr Rhodes Gray, Hamish
Braine, Sir Bernard Griffiths, E. (B'ySt. Edm'ds)
Bright, Graham Griffiths, Peter Portsm'th N)
Brooke, Hon Peter Grist, Ian
Brotherton, Michael Grylls, Michael
Brown, Michael(Brigg & Sc'n) Gummer, John Selwyn
Browne, John (Winchester) Hamilton, Hon A.
Bruce-Gardyne, John Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury)
Bryan, Sir Paul Hampson, Dr Keith
Buchanan-Smith, Alick Hannam, John
Budgen, Nick Haselhurst, Alan
Bulmer, Esmond Hastings, Stephen
Burden, Sir Frederick Havers, Rt Hon Sir Michael
Butcher, John Hawkins, Paul
Cadbury, Jocelyn Hawksley, Warren
Carlisle, John (Luton West) Hayhoe, Barney
Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln) Heddle, John
Carlisle, Rt Hon M. (R'c'n) Henderson, Barry
Chalker, Mrs. Lynda Hicks, Robert
Channon, Rt. Hon. Paul Hill, James
Chapman, Sydney Hogg, Hon Douglas (Gr'th'm)
Churchill, W. S. Holland, Philip (Carlton)
Clark, Hon A. (Plym'th, S'n) Hooson, Tom
Clark, Sir W. (Croydon S) Hordern, Peter
Clegg, Sir Walter Hunt, David (Wirral)
Cockeram, Eric Hunt, John (Ravensbourne)
Colvin, Michael Irving, Charles (Cheltanham)
Cope, John Johnson Smith, Geoffrey
Corrie, John Jopling, Rt Hon Michael
Costain, Sir Albert Kaberry, Sir Donald
Cranborne, Viscount Kershaw, Anthony
Critchley, Julian Kimball, Marcus
Crouch, David King, Rt Hon Tom
Dean, Paul (North Somerset) Knox, David
Dorrell, Stephen Lamont, Norman
Douglas-Hamilton, Lord J. Lang, Ian
Dover, Denshore Latham, Michael
du Cann, Rt Hon Edward Lawrence, Ivan
Dunlop, John Lawson, Rt Hon Nigel
Dunn, Robert (Dartford) Lee, John
Durant, Tony Lennox-Boyd, Hon Mark
Dykes, Hugh Lester, Jim (Beeston)
Eden, Rt Hon Sir John Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)
Eggar, Tim Lloyd, Ian (Havant & W'loo)
Elliott, Sir William Lloyd, Peter (Fareham)
Eyre, Reginald Loveridge, John
Fairbairn, Nicholas Luce, Richard
Fairgrieve, Russell Lyell, Nicholas
Faith, Mrs Sheila McCrindle, Robert
MacGregor, John Newton, Tony
MacKay, John (Argyll) Onslow, Cranley
Macmillan, Rt Hon M. Oppenheim, Rt Hon Mrs S.
McNair-Wilson, M. (N'bury) Page, John (Harrow, West)
McNair-Wilson, P. (New F'st) Page, Rt Hon Sir G. (Crosby)
McQuarrie, Albert Page, Richard (SW Herts)
Madel, David Parkinson, Cecil
Major, John Parris, Matthew
Marland, Paul Patten, Christopher (Bath)
Marlow, Tony Patten, John (Oxford)
Marshall, Michael (Arundel) Pattie, Geoffrey
Mates, Michael Pawsey, James
Mather, Carol Percival, Sir Ian
Maude, Rt Hon Sir Angus Peyton, Rt Hon John
Mawby, Ray Pink, R. Bonner
Mawhinney, Dr Brian Pollock, Alexander
Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin Porter, Barry
Mayhew, Patrick Price, Sir David (Eastleigh)
Mellor, David Prior, Rt Hon James
Miller, Hal (B'grove) Proctor, K. Harvey
Mills, Iain (Meriden) Pym, Rt Hon Francis
Mills, Peter (West Devon) Raison, Timothy
Miscampbell, Norman Rathbone, Tim
Mitchell, David (Basingstoke) Rees, Peter (Dover and Deal)
Moate, Roger Rees-Davies, W. R.
Monro, Hector Renton, Tim
Montgomery, Fergus Rhodes James, Robert
Moore, John Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon
Morgan, Geraint Ridsdale, Sir Julian
Morris, M. (N'hampton S) Rifkind, Malcolm
Morrison, Hon C. (Devizes) Rippon, Rt Hon Geoffrey
Morrison, Hon P. (Chester) Roberts, Wyn (Conway)
Mudd, David Rossi, Hugh
Murphy, Christopher Rost, Peter
Myles, David Royle, Sir Anthony
Neale, Gerrard Sainsbury, Hon Timothy
Needham, Richard Scott, Nicholas
Nelson, Anthony Shaw, Giles (Pudsey)
Neubert, Michael Shaw, Michael (Scarborough)
Shelton, William (Streatham) Townsend, Cyril D, (B'heath)
Shepherd, Colin (Hereford) Trippier, David
Shepherd, Richard Trotter, Neville
Shersby, Michael van Straubenzee, W. R.
Silvester, Fred Vaughan, Dr Gerard
Sims, Roger Viggers, Peter
Skeet, T. H. H. Waddington, David
Speed, Keith Wakeham, John
Speller, Tony Waldegrave, Hon William
Spence, John Walker, B. (Perth)
Spicer, Michael (S Worcs) Walker-Smith, Rt Hon Sir D.
Sproat, Iain Wall, Patrick
Squire, Robin Waller, Gary
Stanbrook, Ivor Waiters, Dennis
Stanley, John Ward, John
Steen, Anthony Warren, Kenneth
Stevens, Martin Wells, John (Maidstone)
Stewart, Ian (Hitchin) Wells, Bowen
Stewart, A. (E Renfrewshire) Wheeler, John
Stokes, John Whitelaw, Rt Hon William
Stradling Thomas, J. Whitney, Raymond
Tapsell, Peter Wickenden, Keith
Taylor, Robert (Croydon NW) Wiggin, Jerry
Taylor, Teddy (S'end E) Williams, D. (Montgomery)
Temple-Morris, Peter Wolfson, Mark
Thatcher, Rt Hon Mrs M. Young, Sir George (Acton)
Thompson, Donald
Thorne, Neil (Ilford South) Tellers for the Noes:
Thornton, Malcolm Mr. Spencer Le Marchant and Mr. Anthony Berry
Townend, John (Bridlington)

Question accordingly negatived.

Further consideration of the Bill adjourned.—[Mr. Raison.]

Bill, as amended (in the Standing Committee), to be further considered tomorrow.