HC Deb 04 June 1981 vol 5 cc1102-25
Mr. Tony Marlow (Northampton, North)

I beg to move amendment No. 48 in page 31, line 10, leave out subsection (1).

I do not think that anyone could oppose the sentiments of the subsection. Like motherhood, the sentiments are rather nice. The subsection is, however, nonsense. It will have not a scintilla of effect on the law of the land or on the application of that law. The subsection is purely verbiage. It is a sop to noisy, uninformed and sometimes malevolent critics of the Bill. It is pure preaching and exhortation. It might be proper and acceptable if delivered from a pulpit. It is absurd and out of place in an Act of Parliament.

First thoughts excluded subsection (1). First thoughts, like first impressions, are often right. My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary has said on many occasions that this is not a racialist Bill. I agree. If it were a racialist Bill, I would be opposed to it. As it is not a racialist Bill, there is no need for the subsection. We should have left well alone. So what happened? The Government, after much consideration and no doubt after much advice, brought forward the original Bill—the Bill they wanted, the Bill they believed to be fair and correct, the Bill that they believed corresponded with the wishes of the people and the Bill they thought to be sensible.

Mr. Roy Hattersley (Birmingham, Sparkbrook)

Until they changed their mind.

Mr. Marlow

As the right hon. Member for Birmingham, Sparkbrook (Mr. Hattersley) implies, the Government were then got at. First, the Labour Party led by the right hon. Gentleman—the Sparkbrook footpad—mindful of the large immigrant vote in most marginal constituencies determined, in a most unscrupulous and discreditable way, to misrepresent the Bill as a racialist Bill, which it is not. Vote grubbing is always pretty sordid. In the hands of the right hon. Gentleman, it has plumbed new depths.

The Labour Party was then joined by the enthusiastic amateurs of the cloth, tripping over themselves as they rushed to the barricades to fight the purported injustices of the Bill without either understanding the issues or carrying out any scrutiny of the credentials of their far from disinterested informers. There was no substance, but there was a row. Sadly, as is often the case, Governments dislike rows, and, instead of standing firm for common sense and for what my right hon. Friend would have said was an unnecessary change in the Bill, nonsense prevailed. Damaging concessions were made and damaging legislation was produced.

Clause 41 is concerned with discretion. It gives the Home Secretary, a governor or a lieutenant-governor discretion over the granting of nationality to minors, over naturalisation and resumption of nationality following renunciation, among many acts of discretion. The original Bill—it now appears in subsection (2)—stated that, in exercising their discretion, the Secretary of State, a governor or a lieutenant-governor shall not be required to assign any reason for the grant or refusal of any application". It adds that the decision of the Secretary of State, a governor or lieutenant-governor shall not be subject to appeal to, or review in, any court". Yet subsection (1) states that the discretion shall be exercised without regard to the race, colour or religion of any person who may be affected by its exercise". Let us suppose that the Lord High Chamberlain, in his voyage through the list of the great and the good, turns up a bad one. Let us suppose that a bad egg slips through the net and is installed as governor of one of our few remaining imperial atolls. Let us suppose that this governor, once installed, develops a fetish about green-eyed, brown-skinned Chinamen of some obscure branch of the Presbyterian faith and decides to exercise his discretion only in their favour. What recourse would be available to a brown-eyed, black-skinned Scottish Buddhist who believed that discrimination had been exercised against him?

Mr. David Steel (Roxburgh, Selkirk and Peebles)

Is the hon. Gentleman trying to be funny or offensive?

5.30 pm
Mr. Marlow

I am trying to make a point. If the right hon. Gentleman cannot follow me, I feel rather sorry for him. I shall finish my point.

What recourse would be available to a brown-eyed, black-skinned Scottish Buddhist who believed that discrimination had been exercised against him? The Government need give no reason for their action. No appeal can be taken against that action. Where does our hero go? What action can he take? Where can he go for solace, justice and restitution? What, then, is the meaning of subsection (1)? What is the value of subsection (1)? What is the effect of subsection (1)?

Then there is the reverse possibility. Let us suppose that a religious sect develops in some far-flung corner of the world. Let us suppose—it could happen—that one of the sacraments demanded by this strict and demanding order would be the human sacrifice of young children. Might not the Home Secretary, in his wisdom, feel inclined to be discreet over the grant of nationality to the adherents of such beliefs? Would he, under the Bill, be allowed to exercise such judgment?

This subsection, as put forward, is manifest nonsense. It is not for this House to produce nonsense and put it on the statute book. I ask my hon. Friend the Minister to withdraw the subsection.

Mr. Nick Budgen (Wolverhampton, South-West)

In view of the greater publicity that is likely to be given to these proceedings compared with the Committee proceedings, I hope that the Minister will explain some of the practical implications of the implementation of clause 41. Although all of us who have been in politics, even for a short period, understand the importance of the little nonsense, this is not a little nonsense. It is important, serious and properly meant. Will the Minister tell us where, for the purposes of clause 41(1), discrimination is defined? I hope that my hon. Friend will note the questions that I ask, because my hon. Friend the Member for Northampton, North (Mr. Marlow) and I want serious answers and do not wish to delay the proceedings. Serious answers will assist us. I can find nothing in the definition clauses to help us to understand what discrimination means for these purposes.

Under section 11 of the Local Government Act, central Government may make grants to local authorities. My recollection is that it is at least arguable—in my time, I have disputed it—that those grants may be made taking into account the number of persons in any given area who are of certain ethnic minority groups. That could be described as reverse discrimination—the fashionable term.

Mr. Hattersley

That is correct.

Mr. Budgen

It may be regarded as reverse discrimination. Are we to understand that discrimination, as defined here, covers not only what I shall call straight discrimination but also reverse discrimination? If it covers reverse discrimination, perhaps my hon. Friend will explain how the Secretary of State can make decisions which are a necessary part of his duties without going along with acts of reverse discrimination which are sometimes done under the dubious legality of section 11 of the Local Government Act?

My hon. Friend the Member for Northampton, North has raised an important issue. If this is serious legislation and the might of the State is to be put behind it—not a case where two glasses of sherry and a pat on the back from the bishops are insufficient and that something is needed in the Bill to make them feel that all their trips from their dioceses to London have borne fruit—surely the subsection should not be in the Bill. If it is meaningful, it should be law that can be enforced.

The essence of law is that it should be enforceable. We are not here to make pious protestations. We are here either to take away rights or to give rights. If a substantial minority in the country believes that it is at risk from grievous, straightforward discrimination from the Home Office, surely there should be a right of appeal and an obligation on the Secretary of State to state his reasons. The very existence of subsection 2 raises the suspicion that must exist in all our minds that this is nonsense, and not merely one of those amusing nonsenses that we so often enjoy. This is dangerous nonsense.

Mr. Edward Lyons

The next two amendments to be debated are Social Democratic Party amendments, first, to force the Government to give a reason for refusal, and, second, to deal with the question of appeal. Does the hon. Gentleman propose to support those amendments on the basis that they will give teeth to subsection (1)?

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. Before we get too far, I remind the hon. Gentleman that we are debating whether to leave out subsection (1), not subsection (2).

Mr. Budgen

With respect, the nature of subsection (1) can perhaps be revealed by the existence of subsection (2).

My observations are merely probing observations. I do not suggest that my hon. Friend would support palpable nonsense merely to try to assuage the complaints of a vocal minority. I am sure that he will assuage my doubts and that I shall find it possible to support the Government on this matter, as always.

Mr. Hattersley

I should not have done the hon. Member for Northampton, North (Mr. Marlow) the courtesy of prolonging the debate, and thus making it more important, had it not been for the fact that in Committee I told the Government that I welcomed the addition of clause 41(1) and would be glad to support it publicly whenever the opportunity arose. It has been the hon. Gentleman's technique, whenever I have offered a tentative or humble opinion on the Bill, to announce that my opinion was the result of my desire to grub about for the votes of immigrant minorities. If that is true in this particular, I am grubbing about in the company of the Church of England, the Roman Catholic hierarchy and the Methodist Conference. That is not bad company in which to grub about for such squalid purposes.

I do not propose to pursue the boring subject of my motives, not even the more fascinating subject of the motives of the hon. Member for Northampton, North. He said that were the Bill a racist measure he would not support it. He said that, so it must be true. However, I wish that he would cease giving the opposite impression, first, by saying all those things that arouse racial feeling and, secondly, by pursuing all those notions on the Bill that are certain to divide racists in this country rather than bring them together.

It is a matter of embarrassment and shame to me that I share a place in the House with a Member who writes down and then reads out such phrases as "brown-eyed, black-skinned Scottish Buddhists" and then speculates about how the Home Secretary would behave towards ethnic minorities, part of whose normal practice is the human sacrifice of a young child. No doubt the hon. Gentleman regarded that as the epitome of sophisticated wit, but that view will not be shared by either side of the House.

On the principle of the amendment, I agree with half of what was said, or implied, by the hon. Member for Wolverhampton, South-West (Mr. Budgen). He misunderstood not only the phraseology, but the meaning of positive discrimination and affirmative action. I understand his difficulties. I agree that clause 41(1), which the amendment seeks to remove, would be better and more effective were it subject to appeal to a tribunal or court. I only wish that when the House divided on that principle yesterday we had had the advantage of the hon. Gentleman in the Lobby in support of the contention that he is advocating this afternoon. He suggests an appeal or objection when he does not have to vote for it, but when an appeal was possible yesterday afternoon he voted against it.

Mr. Budgen

I was simply asking the Minister about the Government's position. If the Government are serious and not spoofing, I expect them to support the argument put forward by Opposition Members.

Mr. Hattersley

I am sure that the Government will defend themselves more than adequately. Let me offer what I believe to be the Government's view. While the Opposition say, and will continue to say, that such qualifications should be written into the Bill in a way that can be tested in law, there is a substantial argument in favour of writing in such a declaration in clause 41.

I shall make only two points, because this is a debate of absolute triviality. I shall make the points because the hon. Member for Northampton, North appeared to be operating in his new capacity as guardian of our matchless constitution. He implied that declarations of Government intent were inappropriate in Bills. Either he or one of his misguided hon. Friends made that point in Committee, until I had the good fortune to point out that such a declaration appeared in the great Education Bill of 1870, against which I have no doubt the hon. Gentleman would have voted. Other members of the Committee, better informed in historical and constitutional matter; than myself, quoted other Bills that had begun their preamble and long title with a general statement of Government principle about the matter under consideration. For my part, I can think of no more appropriate a Bill for such a declaration than one concerning British nationality, and therefore the nature of British society.

It is appropriate that in this clause, which deals with the grant of British citizenship at the Home Secretary's discretion, the Home Secretary should declare on his behalf and on behalf of his successors that when he makes that grant and exercises that discretion it is his intention and will that those who exercise discretion on his behalf should use their judgment in a way that is unclouded by considerations of race, colour and religion. I hope that that affirmation is an opinion that will unite both sides of the House and the people of Britain.

My only reservation about the clause is that I should have liked to see such an affirmation included in an earlier part of the Bill, and applied to the Bill as a whole. Grubbing about as I do with the bishops for Labour votes, I share the view of the Church of England, the Catholic hierarchy and the Methodist Conference that the Bill should have begun with a firm declaration that the definition of British citizenship was concerned with citizenship in a nation that has become a multi-racial community, has been accepted as such, and is welcomed as such.

5.15 pm

While the Government were not prepared to go that far, it is proper that they should go as far as they have in clause 41(1). It helps to allay the fears of the ethnic minorities. I have to say to the hon. Member for Northampton, North that it is clear from his behaviour, his demeanour and from every speech that he makes on this issue that, far from wanting to allay the fears of the ethnic minorities he believes that there is some advantage in increasing their fears and insecurities. I am happy to say that that is not the Government's view. I am happy to pay tribute to the Government in that particular. It is because of such a clause that some of us are prepared to say, as I say, that while the Bill will bear with disproportionate force on the ethnic minorities, I have no doubt that it is not the Government's intention that it should do so. I have tried to draw a distinction between racism by intent and racism by effect.

It has never been my role or purpose to accuse the Government, especially the Home Secretary, of racist intention. That he was prepared to insert such a clause in the Bill confirms what I am happy to accept and believe to be his good faith in these particulars. For that reason I hope that the Home Secretary will not need our support in the Lobby. I hope that there will be universal agreement about the declaration. If the House is divided, we shall certainly support him to show our judgment about his intentions. We shall support him in the belief that the Bill should allay the fears of the racial minorities and that the clause goes some way towards achieving that desirable objective.

5.45 pm
Mr. Stanbrook

It should be pointed out that the subsection under discussion was not included in the Bill as originally presented to the House, but was inserted at a later stage in Committee. I was opposed to it then, and I am opposed to it now. I support the amendment moved by my hon. Friend the Member for Northampton, North (Mr. Marlow). I believe that the Government are in some intellectual difficulty. It is rather inconsistent to insert such meaningless verbiage into a Bill that has such political significance.

I hope that Britain does not believe in putting pious platitudes into legislation. We do not believe—and this is especially true of the Conservative Party—in empty gestures. If we put things into our law, we always try to make them enforceable. Airy-fairy, meaningless platitudes—so beloved of the Liberal Party, which has not held power for a long time—are no help to the clear discussion of political issues and to the wise government of a country. For that reason we do not, as a principle and custom in Britain, indulge in such expressions. They mean nothing. They are expressions of good will, gestures of respect, aspirations of honesty, purity and love. We all know that those are matters of individual conscience that cannot possibly be the subject of statute, but that, unfortunately, is what the Government have fallen for in this subsection.

I am not saying that many other countries in the world—many other legislatures—do not indulge in such a foolish device. Indeed, one has only to read many international conventions—for example, that of the United Nations—to—see that aspirations, international humanitarianism and peace—

Mr. Budgen

I remind my hon. Friend that the United States has a Supreme Court with the duty of deciding individual cases in the light of the general aspirations set out in the constitution. It may be that the Home Secretary has a view about the creation of such a court in this country and that we are to move in that direction. I do not know.

Mr. Stanbrook

That may be. I am always glad that those who framed the United States constitution were mistaken in thinking that they were copying ours, because we do not put judges at the top of our system. Thank goodness, we place at the top of our political system elected leaders who can interpret the will of the people better than judges can.

All these lovely phrases and wonderful humanitarian aspirations and commandments to be loving, friendly, beneficial—

Mr. Raymond Whitney (Wycombe)

And virtuous.

Mr. Stanbrook

—and virtuous, as my hon. Friend suggests—are common currency on the international scene, and certain Governments indulge in them all the time, so that we never know what they are really saying. France and the French Government particularly like this game. One sees the signature of the French State annexed to one of these wonderful aspirations and pious expressions of international good will and so forth, and that looks marvellous. Later, with ratification, come the conditions. Then, right at the bottom, one finds the kind of words that change the whole attitude towards enforcement.

In this country, fortunately, we have been more honest than that. Generally speaking, we put into our laws only those things in which we believe and are willing to enforce—

Mr. Whitney


Mr. Stanbrook

—hitherto, as my hon. Friend says. There have been one or two occasions perhaps when we were led by a Liberal or a Labour Government, when, unfortunately, we may have fallen into error, but, generally speaking, Conservative Governments do not fall into this kind of error. That is why I applauded when my right hon. Friend resisted the pressure to put into the Bill the kind of wishy-washy nonsense that the bishops and the Churches wanted inserted about recognising that this is a multi-racial society, as though it makes the slightest difference to the meaning of the words in the Bill. Indeed, had such an expression been inserted by way of a preamble to the Bill, under our law words in preambles are not part of the statute and therefore cannot be prayed in aid in court.

That brings me to the intellectual inconsistency on the part of the Government in this little matter if this aspiration or commandment is to be given to Secretaries of State. We all know that no Secretary of State will exercise his discretion in a racially discriminatory way and that it is unnecessary to put this provision into a statute. But if we were to say that he needed this kind of injunction, it would be intellectually consistent to provide some kind of review of his decisions. If this is to be a matter of discretion, who will know whether in any particular case there was a breach of the provision? It is impossible to say. It is a matter for his own conscience, and such matters are best left alone.

The subsection might also give rise to legal complications. Having provided for a statutory duty, it is difficult then to say that no decision under the clause shall be subject to appeal or to judicial review in any court of law. What, then, is the point of putting in such a provision? Unfortunately, it is simply a gesture to those in the community and their political leaders who believe that gestures have some value. As a matter of honesty, we must say that they do not. The Bill is what is enforceable in it. It is no use at all and does not advance the cause of immigrants and would-be British nationals to say that the Secretary of State must exercise his discretion in a virtuous way. Of course he will. Moreover, if he did not, there would be nothing in the Bill to prevent that.

I therefore ask the Government to accept the amendment, although without any great conviction that they will, because the provision is nonsensical and ought not to be allowed.

Mr. Raison

My hon. Friend the Member for Orpington (Mr. Stanbrook) has just said that he asks the Government to accept the amendment, but without any great conviction that they will. Those closing words were entirely justified, because I cannot advise the House to accept the amendment of my hon. Friend the Member for Northampton, North (Mr. Marlow). The amendment would remove a provision which we believe has a useful role to play, not least in reassuring those in the ethnic minorities who have expressed fears and anxieties about the Bill. We do not believe that those fears and anxieties are justified, and we believe that they have been played upon by various elements concerned to discredit our intentions in bringing forward the Bill. Nevertheless, we recognise that they exist and we are concerned to allay them. We regard this provision as playing some part in that process and in helping people in the ethnic minority communities to feel secure. To say that the provision is damaging, as my hon. Friend the Member for Northampton, North did, seems extremely far-fetched. Who on earth does he believe that it could damage?

We do not see the provision as anything more than I have described. I emphasise that we do not see it as suggesting in any way that discrimination is practised in exercising the discretionary powers to grant citizenship, or that it has been practised in the past.

My hon. Friends the Members for Wolverhampton, South-West (Mr. Budgen) and for Orpington touched on the question of appeals. We do not see this as a prelude to an appeal system. Anyone who considers that he has been refused citizenship on the grounds of race, colour or religion will be able, as at present, to make representations—possibly through his Member of Parliament—to my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary, who is accountable to Parliament for his decisions. Allegations of this kind could also amount to complaints of serious maladministration and would therefore come within the purview of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration, if referred to him by the individual's Member of Parliament.

There is, therefore, a remedy for the aggrieved applicant who considers that he has been discriminated against, and in our view there is no justification for any new machinery in the light of this provision. That, however, is not to say that we do not regard the provision as worth while. We believe that it has value as a statement of good intent and practice.

Mr. Sydney Bidwell (Ealing, Southall)

It has been the custom up to now of Home Secretaries of both parties never to state to a Member of Parliament or to the House—and they are not required to do so—their reasons for turning down naturalisation applications. Is the Minister saying that henceforth the Home Secretary will be expected to be more forthcoming to a Member of Parliament in explaining why an application has been turned down?

Mr. Raison

It is true that there is no requirement to state the reasons, but that is not to say that the reasons are never stated. It is also true, as I have just said, that there is the possibility of recourse to the ombudsman, and this has happened in the past. If the person felt that he had been refused on some kind of discriminatory ground, he could go to his Member of Parliament. Knowing the hon. Member for Ealing, Southall (Mr. Bidwell) as I do, I am sure that he would take the matter up. There is, therefore, the power to raise this matter.

Mr. Jim Marshall (Leicester, South)

On the question of exercising discretion, I think that the Minister knows that I am at one with him on the desirability of including this provision in the Bill. I draw his attention, however, to a difficulty that he might have to face, or indeed may already face. The provision refers to non-discrimination in terms of religion as well as other factors. He will be aware that there are a number of Churches operating in this country which do not have a good name and have been the subject of various investigations. If an individual involved in that sort of organisation were to apply for naturalisation, how would the Minister be able to say that he would not be influenced by opinions that he may have, or by opinions held in the community, about the way in which these Churches or organisations operate?

6 pm

Mr. Raison

That is a slightly hypothetical question. I have always been reluctant to generalise when discussing these matters. I prefer to consider particular details. When considering naturalisation, we have in mind a specific set of circumstances. If we had reason to believe that an individual might do some specific damage, that factor would be taken into account in assessing his character. We try to avoid generalisations.

The provision has value as a statement of good intent and practice. The clause contains the principles upon which the discretionary system of granting citizenship must work in a multi-racial society if it is to command respect and acceptance. I believe that it does no harm for the Government to make that clear. The value of such declarations must not be over-estimated, but a statement of this sort from the Government is seen as a reflection of our commitment to a racially harmonious society. I believe that it is welcomed by those in the ethnic minority communities who are trying, often against considerable odds, to stress the virtues of moderation and responsible behaviour.

A provision of this sort has been pressed for by many groups both inside and outside the ethnic minority communities.

Mr. Marlow

I am at one with my hon. Friend in wanting to allay any fears and alarm among the ethnic minorities. As my hon. Friend has just said, a statement of this sort does allay those fears, but why does it have to go in the Bill? Why cannot the Government just make the statement? People would understand it just as well.

Mr. Raison

The Government have on many occasions made similar statements to that which appears in clause 41(1). However, in the context of the Bill there are certain apprehensions. These have been unjustified, but they exist. We have inserted the provision to allay these anxieties.

My hon. Friend the Member for Wolverhampton, South-West (Mr. Budgen) told me in a rather peremptory way that I had to write down his questions. Being obedient to the command of my hon. Friend, I started to do so. His first question was to ask where "discrimination" was defined in the Bill. I do not know why he asked that question. The word "discrimination" does not appear in clause 41(1). I do not think that discrimination is defined. However, there is no reason why it should be, because it is not in the provision that he is apparently trying to delete. He then asked a question that probably had something to do with clause 11, involving grants to local authorities. That in turn raised the issue of reverse discrimination. I did not really understand what he was talking about, and I am not sure whether he did. The issue seemed to be irrelevant to the debate. At that stage I stopped writing down my hon. Friend's questions.

I have made the point, and the right hon. Member for Birmingham, Sparkbrook (Mr. Hattersley) has made it too. The clause and subsection have to be seen as a reflection of deeper attitudes and as evidence of our commitment to a racially harmonious society. As I said in Committee, there are people living in this country who crave reassurance. Their fears and apprehensions are exaggerated, and too many people are stirring up these fears and apprehensions. The value of this amendment is that it will do something to offset these fears and apprehensions and to show those concerned that we believe that they are entitled to be treated fairly and, in particular, not to be discriminated against."—[Official Report, Standing Committee F; 12 May 1981, c. 1936.] That is the essence of our position, and that is why I call upon the House to reject the amendment.

Mr. K. Harvey Proctor (Basildon)

I shall delay the House for a few brief moments after the love-in of the two Front Benches. I had wished to put a few questions to my hon. Friend the Minister of State for him to answer when he replied, and I am sorry that I am not now able to do so.

The right hon. Member for Birmingham, Sparkbrook (Mr. Hattersley), in what I thought was a typically modest contribution, talked about the statement in clause 41(1) and described it as an affirmation or declaration of faith in the multi-racial society. Having listened to the views of my hon. Friend the Minister of State, I wonder whether it would be appropriate to insert such a phrase into all Bills that pass through the House. It may be thought by some that at the beginning of the next Parliament the assertion should be made that all our legislation is carried without regard to the race, colour or religion of any person.

I share the view of many of my right hon. and hon. Friends that this form of words does not need stating in our tolerant society. In the Western world, ours is perhaps the most tolerant of societies. It does not need to be stated in our legislation in one Bill or in several Bills. That is my main reason for supporting the amendment introduced by my hon. Friend the Member for Northampton, North (Mr. Marlow).

My hon. Friend the Minister of State talked about the need to give reassurance. I presume that he meant that it is necessary to give reassurance to the ethnic minority communities. On an earlier amendment I spoke about the need to give reassurance to the indigenous population. The balance in the Bill is upturned, and that I regret.

I ask my hon. Friend the Minister of State to tell us what "race" means. What is the definition of "race"? What is meant by "colour" and how is my right hon. Friend's discretion to be affected by clause 41(1)?

My hon. Friend the Member for Wolverhampton, South-West (Mr. Budgen) spoke about discrimination when discussing clause 41(1). I happen to believe in discrimination. Discrimination is a good word. Another word, a smaller word, is "choice". I believe that in all human dealings we should discriminate in the widest possible area and in every way that we can detect. Choice is good. It is good for individuals and it is good for society.

I find myself in some difficulty in accepting the Government's contention in changing this provision between Second Reading and Report. I regret that the change has taken place, and I feel that the motive force behind the insertion of this provision will get to work and that the thin end of the wedge will be pushed more and more in the House and more and more into subsequent legislation.

Amendment negatived.

Mr. Edward Lyons

I beg to move amendment No. 105, in page 31, line 17, after 'discretion' insert— 'save where the reason for refusal of an application is that the Secretary of State is not satisfied that requirements of residence or of sufficient knowledge of the English or Welsh language have been fulfilled'. The purpose of the amendment is to compel the Secretary of State to inform applicants why an application for citizenship has been refused, where the reasons for that refusal are that requirements of residence have not been met or that sufficient knowledge of the English or Welsh language has not been shown.

The amendment has been dictated by the addiction of Democrats—a view that all hon. Members should share—to open government and to an open society. In recent years there has been an increase in the powers of the Executive. The least that someone is entitled to know is why the Executive makes such decisions. The Bill states that the Executive is under no obligation to tell an applicant for citizenship why his application has been refused. Nevertheless, that application is of great importance to the applicant and may alter his life and his privileges, rights and duties.

The trouble is that under the Bill there is no appeal system through the courts and the applicant who does not know why he has been refused has only one remedy, namely, to go to his Member of Parliament. However, the Member of Parliament is handicapped when it comes to taking sensible details from his constituent, because the applicant cannot tell him why he has been refused. For example, a man might say that he had been refused because the Home Office thought that it was not his intention to reside here. He might claim that it was his intention to do so. The Member of Parliament could then ask the applicant what his intentions were. Having collated the material, he could write to the Minister setting out the reasons why the applicant—and perhaps the Member of Parliament—thought the decision wrong.

The Member of Parliament might adduce information from the applicant that would change the Minister's mind. Therefore, if an hon. Member wishes to represent his constituent effectively, he must be able to ask him the right questions. Under the Bill, a constituent is not told the reason for refusal, and therefore an hon. Member cannot ask the correct questions.

Mr. Robert Taylor (Croydon, North-West)

How can the gentleman involved be a constituent if he is not a citizen of the United Kingdom?

Mr. Lyons

That is a technical point. Like most hon. Members, I believe that anyone living in a constituency is entitled to ask his Member of Parliament to consider his problem. If hon. Members refuse to help, they may prevent many loyal people from having their cases considered by a Minister. Some may have been denied nationality simply because of a language difficulty. They may have lived here all their lives. Some may have fought on the same side as the British Army. The sons and daughters of those with problems often come to Members of Parliament for help. Those sons and daughters are British citizens and constituents. It is to adopt a narrow view of an hon. Member's responsibilities to say that he should refuse to relay worthwhile material to Ministers on behalf of his constituents.

Mr. J. Enoch Powell

Might I suggest that hon. Members are representatives of constituencies, and not of the electors in those constituencies? We come to the House as representatives of a place and everything that affects those living there.

Mr. Lyons

I am grateful to the right hon. Gentleman for that support. The amendment is a paving stone for arguing that there should be some form of appeal or judicial review. Such a system cannot work unless the reason for refusal is known. The qualifications for naturalisation are set out in schedule 1. They are requirements of residence, of knowledge of language and of good character. The amendment does not oblige the Government to state any reason for refusal if it is based on a lack of satisfaction about the applicant's good character.

6.15 pm

To that extent, the amendment maintains a fall-back position. In Committee, amendments were tabled to the effect that the Home Office should give reasons for a refusal in such cases unless security was involved. The Home Office argued that that would indicate to those suspected of being security risks that that was the reason for their refusal. Therefore, for the purpose of the amendment, I have omitted good character.

No harm can be done by telling a person the reason for the refusal if it is based on the ground that his knowledge of the language is insufficient. That can have no bearing on security. I accept that the Minister sometimes provides that information. However, there is no reason why the provision of such information should not be mandatory. The same applies to refusal on the grounds of residence. It is not uncommon for constituents to believe that the Home Office's interpretation of ordinary residence and of periods spent in this country is unduly restrictive and wrong.

As the Minister knows, hon. Members often write to him about what constitutes five year's residence. Under the Bill, the requirements for residence have been changed. Less is left to discretion and more is left to fact. A person must show that he has been here for five years and that he has not been out of the country for more than a certain number of days. However, schedule 1 contains the provision that the applicant must show that he intends to remain in Britain. That is a matter for argument.

On Tuesday we dealt, to some extent, with how the Home Office considered fluency in the English language.

The basis of my argument is that many people say that they want open government. If that is so, why should someone not be given the reasons for a refusal of citizenship when it is made on the ground of inadequate residence, inappropiate intentions as regards residence or inadequate fluency in English or Welsh? It is not good enough for the Government to take refuge behind the argument that that would give someone else a hint that he was being refused as a security risk. We must push towards a more open system, and Social Democratic Party Members have tabled the amendment with that in mind.

Sir Charles Fletcher-Cooke (Darwen)

I am not sure how far the amendment goes. If there are two reasons for refusal, one of which is incompetence in the English or Welsh language, will the amendment require that the language difficulty be stated and that something be added to show that there is another reason, or will the language difficulty be the only reason stated? In the latter instance, the amendment should apply only to cases in which the only reason for refusal is incompetence in English or Welsh.

Mr. Lyons

The hon. and learned Gentleman has made a lawyer's point. As a lawyer, I do not say that with disrespect, but if the refusal is on the grounds of language difficulty and/or residence, that fact should be stated. If the amendment is technicality defective, there is plenty of time to amend it in another place. The Government will have no problem doing that.

We need a more open attitude by the Government. In this country and others we are seeing a continuing encroachment by the Executive and more power being handed to the Executive. It is the duty of all hon. Members to fight to ensure that there is a limit to that.

There are thousands of applications for citizenship every year, and it is impossible for one Minister to keep a close eye on the applications and how they are dealt with. The decisions rest with civil servants. Civil servants change, and those of 20 years hence may make unjust decisions, raise the required standard of English or take a tougher line on intention of residence. Why should applicants not be told why their application has been refused, so that, even if judicial review is denied to them, they can take the matter to their Member of Parliament, who can assemble the necessary material?

The Minister of State said in Committee, and has repeated on Report, that hon. Members have a role to play. I wonder whether it is right for hon. Members to be dragged so much into the forefront of such matters, but that is where we are and the Minister of State has frequently referred to our being in that position. Hon. Members are entitled to have information from their constituents, and the constituents are entitled to receive that information.

Mr. Arthur Lewis (Newham, North-West)

There are times when Ministers and civil servants get papers, names and people mixed up. Mr. S. I. Patel may not be the Mr. S. I. Patel that Ministers or officials think he is. He may be refused because it is alleged that he has a stain on his character. If he is not told the reason for the refusal, he cannot explain that he is not the Mr. S. I. Patel who has done something wrong.

The Minister ought to explain to applicants the reasons for refusals. Will the amendment cover that point? If so, I shall support it, but if it does not go that far I shall have to reconsider my position.

Mr. Lyons

The amendment would enable someone who spoke English fluently to smell a rat and to suspect that there had been a mistake in identity if he were refused on the ground that he could not speak English.

More than 75 per cent. of applications are refused on the basis of inadequate residence or inadequacy of language. The amendment would cover all those people and would enable them to direct their minds to the appropriate point, so that they could try either to improve their English or to conform with the requirements of residence as soon as possible. I ask the Government to think again.

Mr. Bidwell

I do not wish to detain the House for too long. I am acutely aware that I did not have to endure the long hours of the Committee stage. I was fortunate enough to be chosen to serve on the Committee dealing with the Transport Bill, which was also guillotined, and that is why the Minister of State did not enjoy my presence on the British Nationality Bill Committee, which was denied the wisdom that I have acquired through being the hon. Member for Ealing, Southall.

I listened carefully to the hon. and learned Member for Bradford, West (Mr. Lyons). We have been jointly involved in race relations and immigration in the past, but we have never had a collaborative exercise in the Chamber as a Labour Member and an SDP Member. I warmly approve of what the hon. and learned Gentleman is doing in the amendment, though I may not approve of what he does on other occasions. The amendment leaves out the question of good character, which would involve a determination of what is held to be good character. That aspect will remain unsatisfactory. The amendment confines itself to language and residence requirements.

It is not good enough for the Minister of State to say, as he did in an earlier intervention, that inquiries can be channelled through hon. Members. Much will depend on whether hon. Member's are diligent, and some are not. It would be wrong to deprive an applicant of an explanation for the refusal of his application. I hope that if the amendment is not accepted the Government will bear in mind the anxieties that the Bill has aroused and will assure us that there will be improvements to the present system.

I have never sought to arouse needless anxieties. Like my right hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Sparkbrook (Mr. Hattersley), I do not believe that the Home Secretary has any fundamental differences with me about the necessity for struggling for racial harmony in Britain. The right hon. Gentleman may not have had my grass roots involvement, but I do not see any fundamental differences of principle between us. I am sure that he wishes to allay fears and he could do so by telling us that he will improve the present system.

Hon. Members have asked why people have been refused naturalisation and the automatic answer has always been that it is not customary for the Home Secretary to reply in detail to Parliament or to an hon. Member, giving details of the reasons for turning down an application. We have been left to guess and often our guesswork has been correct because we ask the constituent what he has done and we find out that he may have been involved in a misdemeanour. Thus, he has to wait 10 years for naturalisation instead of the normal five years. I hope that Ministers will be more forthcoming about the possibility of improvements, because the Government have forced the pace and there will be more applications for naturalisation.

The Labour Government did not bring forward nationality legislation. In doing so this Government, rightly or wrongly, have taken their fate in their hands. We have not heard the last of it. In such matters there is always an area of flexibility. We may find ways and means by which information would be more readily forthcoming when the Home Secretary finds that he has to turn down applications.

6.30 pm
Mr. Clinton Davis (Hackney, Central)

I would like to follow briefly on the point made by my hon. Friend the Member for Ealing, Southall (Mr. Bidwell) who speaks with considerable knowledge of these matters, having regard to the constituency which he has served well for many years. My constituency is not dissimilar. There is little doubt that there will be an increasing number of naturalisation applications. My concern is that there is bound to be a great deal of suspicion and irritation if the Secretary of State does not assign reasons for the refusal of applications for naturalisation on these two grounds, neither of which involves questions of security.

When there are likely to be several thousand more applications than are currently being made, there must be cause for concern about the objectivity of those who carry out the tests. It is not possible for the Secretary of State to satisfy himself as to the scrupulous fairness and the standards of objectivity applied by individual members of his staff. There can be little doubt that injustices will arise.

I do not want to prolong the debate because the matter was debated at considerable length only the other day. Nevertheless I should like to put on record, as a Member of Parliament with a large number of constituents from various areas of the New Commonwealth, my concern and theirs about the operation of the system. I stress that this is an area where no question of national security can be involved. One way of allaying some of the fears and anxieties would be for the Secretary of State to relent a little, to bear in mind the wide areas of concern and to go out of his way to ensure that justice will be seen to be done. That is not asking a great deal. I have no wish to inflame the situation and I think the Secretary of State will take it from me that I am not being disruptive. Having had many discussions in my area I wish to assist him to allay anxieties. I hope that his response will be correspondingly positive.

Mr. Whitelaw

I hope that I can to some extent at least answer the proper anxieties of the hon. and learned Member for Bradford, West (Mr. Lyons) and the hon. Members for Ealing, Southall (Mr. Bidwell) and for Hackney, Central (Mr. Davis). I do not believe that I should accept the amendment. First, it is unnecessary, as I shall explain. It would create difficulty in that it would put undue weight on specific grounds of refusal. I shall come back to that argument.

As the hon. and learned Member for Bradford, West made clear, the amendment seeks to provide that the Secretary of State should not be exempted from giving reasons for refusing applications which are at his discretion when he is not satisfied that the applicant has met the residence requirements or the language test. Once the transitional provisions for the acquisition of citizenship are phased out, only applicants for naturalisation have to meet these particular requirements, so here we are dealing with requirements which applicants for naturalisation have to meet under schedule 1.

As was explained in Committee, it is the normal practice to tell unsuccessful applicants for naturalisation the reasons for the refusal of their applications where this arises because they have not satisfied the residence requirement or the language test. We discussed this again on Report in the lengthy debate on the appeals procedure. Then I gave a similar and clear undertaking as to my view about what should be done. I made it clear that we proposed to go on giving reasons after the Bill came into force.

I see no reason why this practice, which has gone on for some years, should change. I would go further. Having heard the debate the other day, I would seek to be more positive than before in giving reasons in these instances when it is possible to do so. Reasons have been given. If hon. Members can point out cases where this has not been so I shall be prepared to consider them.

Mr. Alexander W. Lyon (York)

Is the Home Secretary saying explicitly that he will now give reasons in relation to refusals on grounds of character other than the issue of national security?

Mr. Whitelaw

No, I did not say that. I confined myself to the residence requirement and the language test. There are difficulties in going further. I was asked to comment on those two points which are raised in the amendment. It is on that basis that I am addressing myself to those points. The hon. Gentleman said that I had said I would go further. I said I would go further in these two areas and that if it was put to me that there were cases in regard to the residence requirement and the language test where reasons had not been given I would seek to be as positive as I could in giving reasons.

I think that the record will show that that is what I said. I know that the hon. Gentleman would like me to go further.

Mr. Alexander W. Lyon

I am sorry; I thought that the right hon. Gentleman went further in his speech the other night. I thought that in saying he was going further now he was about to say that and that is why I asked him the question.

Mr. Whitelaw

I am prepared to consider giving reasons, but I am confining myself to this amendment. I cannot see any point in compelling the Secretary of State to give reasons on these issues. If we already do it and want to go on doing it, I am not clear why it is necessary to try to compel us to do it.

There is a further difficulty. It could be argued that statutory force should be given to this practice so as to restrain our successors who might be less generous. I doubt whether that would be necessary. There is a practical difficulty. A requirement like this would mean that when insufficient knowledge of English was only one of the reasons why an applicant had been refused one might get into further difficulties. This was the point made by my hon and learned Friend the Member for Darwen (Sir C. Fletcher-Cooke). The hon. and learned Member for Bradford, West said that it was rather a lawyer's point. It makes it very difficult for me to make it because I can think of few people less likely to make a lawyer's point than myself. I did not think I was making one. I think it is a practical point of some importance.

Mr. Clinton Davis

The amendment says save where the reason for refusal", not a reason for refusal. Does not that meet the point that the Secretary of State is making?

Mr. Whitelaw

I do not think it does. I will look at it again. As I understood it, the point of the amendment was that the reason would be given particularly in the case of insufficient knowledge of English. If it was not only that but other reasons, one gets into a difficulty. I do not necessarily say that it is an insuperable difficulty, but there would be scope for awkwardness and misunderstanding.

To single out these two grounds of refusal would have an unfortunate effect on our general approach to the giving of reasons. As has been repeatedly stressed in Committee, we want to give reasons, and I made it clear this afternoon that I am keen to do so. Reasons may on occasion be given where an applicant's financial position is unsatisfactory, particularly where there are arrears of tax, or where an applicant has had a recent but not too serious criminal conviction on which a more lenient view might be taken with the lapse of time.

We are particularly concerned that, where it is possible for the applicant to put the matter right, he should know why he has been refused—that meets the point made by the hon. Member for Ealing, Southall—so that he may have the opportunity to take action before applying again. We are constantly reviewing the practice to see whether more can be done to help applicants in this respect, and we shall continue this positive approach to the question of giving reasons.

In effect, the amendment would make it necessary to give reasons only in two instances—where refusal is on grounds of failure to meet the residence requirement, or of failure to meet the language test. Some hon. Members have made it clear that they do not think that those should be the only circumstances in which reasons should be given. The hon. Member for York (Mr. Lyon) was keen to push me further. The amendment could have an inhibiting effect and make such a further move difficult. The amendment might have the damaging effect that if reasons were given that the applicant had failed to satisfy the residence requirement or the language test it would be unnecessary for the Government to strive unduly to give reasons in other instances, to some of which I have referred. A positive approach, as at present, makes extra demands on hard-pressed staff, and means that some cases have to be looked at particularly carefully to see whether and how reasons can be given.

Mr. R. C. Mitchell (Southampton, Itchen)

The clause states that the Secretary of State shall not be required to give any reason, not that he shall not give any reason except in these two cases. The effect of the amendment is not that the Secretary of State cannot give reasons in other cases if he so desires, but that he shall not be required to give reasons.

Mr. Whitelaw

That does not invalidate the objection that if there is a requirement to give reasons in two particular cases there will be a tendency to give reasons only in those two cases and there could be an excuse, because the statutory requirement is there, not to give reasons in other cases. I have had administrative experience and, in my view, that is a valid and reasonable point, although I do not make too much of it.

We shall give reasons for the refusal of citizenship wherever we can. I have given that assurance, and I give it again. That is a much better and broader approach than the narrow statutory requirement envisaged in the amendment.

I hope that I have shown to the House that I am anxious to give reasons wherever possible. I certainly hope to give reasons in the two conditions set out in the amendment. I do not wish to go further than that, and I hope that the hon. and learned Gentleman will not press the amendment. I believe that a statutory requirement would sometimes be restrictive on the giving of reasons.

Mr. Alfred Dubs (Battersea, South)

I should like to be clear on what will be the practice in the future. Will the Secretary of State endeavour to give reasons where possible, or suggest the two-year period, which is already present practice? If he does not do so, will not people interpret giving no reason and suggesting no further application in two years' time as meaning that it is not sensible for the individual to apply again because he has no hope of working off his character defects? Is that the position? People will interpret the letters they receive very carefully in the future.

Mr. Whitelaw

I do not think all that can be read into it. We would not wish to read all that into the present practice. I am anxious to make the present practice as forthcoming as possible, and that is why it would be wrong for me to be led any further on the lines suggested.

I hope that the hon. and learned Member for Bradford, West, whose feeling and motives in this matter I fully understand, will decide on balance that it is better not to have this statutory requirement but rather to try a positive approach to giving reasons in the future.

Amendment negatived.

6.45 pm
Mr. Edward Lyons

I beg to move amendment No. 112, in page 31, line 19, leave out 'or review in'.

The intention of the amendment is to ensure that there shall be a right of judicial review of refusals of applications for citizenship. On Tuesday, the House debated a new clause tabled by the official Opposition seeking to set up an appeal tribunal against refusal. In addition, a new clause, which was not selected, was put down on behalf of the Social Democratic and Liberal Parties to enable appeals to be sent to an adjudicator, as happens now under the Immigration Appeals Act 1969. Virtually all hon. Members on the Opposition Benches wanted an appeals procedure, but we lost that vote.

There is no appeals procedure against Home Office decisions on applications for citizenship. But the Home Office has gone further than was the position even in 1948, by excluding judicial review. In 1948 judicial review did not exist, but now it does, since the Law Commission recommended judicial review and rules of court were made to give effect to the Law Commission's report. The judiciary, the Divisional Court in particular, upon application, can look at the method by which decisions are reached to determine whether there has been a proper exercise of discretion by officers of the Executive and whether the rules of natural justice have been observed.

By deliberately inserting an exclusion of the right of judicial review the Home Office has shown that it is determined that no one shall interfere with the operations of the executive branch of government dealing with nationality. That is distressing. It means that the Home Office is saying that it does not want the judges, however esteemed and respected they are, however concious of their responsibilities, to poke their noses into the way in which it conducts its business in relation to the thousands of people who apply for citizenship year by year. Anyone who feels that the operations of the Executive should be opened up to scrutiny must be disturbed that this possible last-ditch judicial right to intervene, and possible judicial scrutiny, are to be excluded from the Bill.

This is probably the first Bill to come before Parliament from which a right of judicial review has been excluded. Before 1977 that right did not exist.

Mr. Alexander W. Lyon

Is a prerogative writ a judicial review? I ask only as an earnest seeker after truth.

Mr. Edward Lyons

The hon. Gentleman asks whether writs of certiorari and mandamus are a method of judicial review. I suppose that they are, as the present system is their successor. None the less, for the Government to go out of their way to exclude an examination of the way in which decisions are reached shows a nervousness which a self-respecting Home Office need not show if it is confident that all its operations will withstand the scrutiny of our High Court judges.

I should like to see the system of judicial review extended. I am against anything that precludes the courts from watching over the operations of the Executive to ensure that it is operating its discretion fairly and as intended by the Legislature when that discretion was given. Therefore, I make no apologies for introducing the amendment on behalf of the Social Democratic Party. We believe that the courts should be a recourse for citizens and residents who apply for citizenship. Without delaying the House further, because I know that the guillotine falls at 8 pm and that important amendments are to be debated, I ask the Minister to consider allowing the amendment to succeed—it is a simple amendment—to ensure that in administrative law there is a remedy and the possibility of investigation by the judiciary into the way in which decisions are reached.

I am a member of the executive of Justice. Justice is a reputable organisation of legal watchdogs seeking to see that the law is impartially and fairly administered and that Executive decisions are reached without oppression against those against whom they operate and in respect of those who are affected by them. Therefore, I hope that the Minister will change his mind.

Mr. Raison

I am afraid that I shall have to tell the hon. and learned Member for Bradford, West (Mr. Lyons) that the Government cannot accept the amendment. It is intended to open the way for those refused citizenship by grant, as opposed to entitlement, to seek a judicial review of the decision. It could be argued that we accept that those who have an entitlement to citizenship and are refused it can seek a judicial review of the decision and that we should be prepared to grant a similar right to those who seek citizenship by grant, and who are refused it. However, I believe that those cases are different.

A person who has an entitlement to citizenship has to fulfil criteria which are essentially objective—criteria such as residence and citizenship status and, in clause 3(2) of the Bill, parental occupation. If an applicant for citizenship as an entitlement considers that the Home Secretary has acted wrongly or unreasonably in refusing to grant him the citizenship to which he considers himself entitled, and seeks a judicial review, the courts can properly consider the procedures leading to the decision and whether a fair and reasonable decision has been reached. The criteria are essentially limited, specific and objective.

However, citizenship by grant rests to a considerable extent on different criteria. Of course, applicants for naturalisation have to meet objective criteria such as residence, but they also have to meet subjective criteria—the most notable of those is, of course, the good character requirement, though the requirements as to language and future intentions also have subjective elements. Though there are well-established procedures for considering those matters, the judgments that have to be made are essentially subjective. The courts would find it much more difficult in such cases to determine whether the decision was fair and reasonable. In order for the courts to make such a determination, the reasons for the decision in question would have to be made known. The Government are not prepared to accept the principle that reasons should be given in all these cases.

We consider that the arguments against an appeals system—which have already been rehearsed—against refusals of citizenship by grant apply equally here. As long as the good character requirement remains and is assessed on the basis of reports, it would not, in our view, be apt to permit applicants for citizenship by grant to seek judicial review of the decision to refuse them citizenship.

There are, of course, practical problems too. The police would be reluctant to have information divulged to them in confidence and set out in their report to the Home Office possibly produced in court and made available to the applicant. They would feel restricted in the information they could include in reports, and the Home Secretary's discretion could be greatly limited. There would be particular difficulty with refusals on security grounds. The courts would not welcome additional and time-consuming work.

Accordingly, in the light of those factors, and particularly the inherent difficulty of any meaningful judicial review of subjective criteria, I urge the House to reject this amendment.

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Bryant Godman Irvine)

The Question is, That the amendment be made.

As many as are of that opinion say "Aye".

Mr. Edward Lyons


Mr. Deputy Speaker

To the contrary, "No". [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] I think that the Noes have it.

Mr. Lyons


Mr. Deputy Speaker

I think that the Noes have it.

Mr. Lyons


Mr. Deputy Speaker

May I put amendments Nos. 49 and 50 together? [Interruption.] I thought that the hon. and learned Member for Bradford, West (Mr. Lyons) had indicated that he did not want a Division.

Mr. Edward Lyons

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I said "Aye" on two or three occasions. I thought that I had said it clearly. I am conscious of the passage of time, but I should prefer a Division on the amendment.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Very well.

Question put, That the amendment be made:—

The House divided: Ayes 231, Noes 282.

Division No. 201] [7.00 pm
Abse, Leo Dempsey, James
Adams, Allen Dewar, Donald
Allaun, Frank Dixon, Donald
Anderson, Donald Dobson, Frank
Archer, Rt Hon Peter Dormand, Jack
Ashley, Rt Hon Jack Douglas, Dick
Ashton, Joe Douglas-Mann, Bruce
Bagier, Gordon A.T. Dubs, Alfred
Barnett, Guy (Greenwich) Duffy, A. E. P.
Barnett, Rt Hon Joel (H'wd) Dunn, James A.
Beith, A. J. Dunwoody, Hon Mrs G.
Bennett, Andrew(St'kp't N) Eadie, Alex
Bidwell, Sydney Eden, Rt Hon Sir John
Booth, Rt Hon Albert Ellis, R. (NE D'bysh're)
Bottomley, Rt Hon A. (M'b'ro) Ellis, Tom (Wrexham)
Bradley, Tom English, Michael
Bray, Dr Jeremy Ennals, Rt Hon David
Brocklebank-Fowler, C. Evans, Ioan (Aberdare)
Brown, Hugh D. (Provan) Evans, John (Newton)
Brown, R. C. (N'castle W) Ewing, Harry
Brown, Ronald W. (H'ckn'yS) Faulds, Andrew
Buchan, Norman Field, Frank
Callaghan, Rt Hon J. Flannery, Martin
Callaghan, Jim (Midd't'n & P) Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)
Campbell, Ian Foot, Rt Hon Michael
Campbell-Savours, Dale Ford, Ben
Canavan, Dennis Forrester, John
Cant, R. B. Foster, Derek
Carmichael, Neil Foulkes, George
Carter-Jones, Lewis Fraser, J. (Lamb'th, N'w'd)
Cartwright, John Freeson, Rt Hon Reginald
Cocks, Rt Hon M. (B'stol S) Garrett, John (Norwich S)
Coleman, Donald Garrett, W. E. (Wallsend)
Conlan, Bernard George, Bruce
Cook, Robin F. Gilbert, Rt Hon Dr John
Cowans, Harry Ginsburg, David
Cox, T. (W'dsw'th, Toot'g) Golding, John
Craigen, J. M. Graham, Ted
Crawshaw, Richard Grant, George (Morpeth)
Crowther, J. S. Grant, John (Islington C)
Cryer, Bob Grimond, Rt Hon J.
Cunliffe, Lawrence Hamilton, James (Bothwell)
Cunningham, G. (Islington S) Hamilton, W. W. (C'tral Fife)
Dalyell, Tam Harrison, Rt Hon Walter
Davies, Ifor (Gower) Hattersley, Rt Hon Roy
Davis, Clinton (Hackney C) Haynes, Frank
Davis, T. (B'ham, Stechf'd) Heffer, Eric S.
Deakins, Eric Hogg, N. (E Dunb't'nshire)
Dean, Joseph (Leeds West) Holland, S. (L'b'th, Vauxh'll)
Home Robertson, John Race, Reg
Homewood, William Radice, Giles
Hooley, Frank Richardson, Jo
Horam, John Roberts, Albert (Normanton)
Howell, Rt Hon D. Roberts, Allan (Bootle)
Howells, Geraint Roberts, Ernest (Hackney N)
Huckfield, Les Roberts, Gwilym (Cannock)
Hudson Davies, Gwilym E. Robinson, G. (Coventry NW)
Hughes, Mark (Durham) Rooker, J. W.
Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N) Roper, John
Hughes, Roy (Newport) Ross, Ernest (Dundee West)
Janner, Hon Greville Ross, Stephen (Isle of Wight)
Jay, Rt Hon Douglas Rowlands, Ted
Johnson, James (Hull West) Ryman, John
Johnson, Walter (Derby S) Sandelson, Neville
Johnston, Russell (Inverness) Sever, John
Jones, Barry (East Flint) Sheerman, Barry
Jones, Dan (Burnley) Sheldon, Rt Hon R.
Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald Shore, Rt Hon Peter
Kerr, Russell Short, Mrs Renée
Kilroy-Silk, Robert Silkin, Rt Hon J. (Deptford)
Kinnock, Neil Silkin, Rt Hon S. C. (Dulwich)
Lambie, David Skinner, Dennis
Leadbitter, Ted Smith, Cyril (Rochdale)
Leighton, Ronald Smith, Rt Hon J. (N Lanark)
Lewis, Arthur (N'ham NW) Soley, Clive
Lewis, Ron (Carlisle) Spearing, Nigel
Litherland, Robert Spriggs, Leslie
Lofthouse, Geoffrey Stallard, A. W.
Mabon, Rt Hon Dr J. Dickson Stewart, Rt Hon D. (W Isles)
McDonald, Dr Oonagh Stoddart, David
McElhone, Frank Stott, Roger
McKay, Allen (Penistone) Straw, Jack
McKelvey, William Summerskill, Hon Dr Shirley
MacKenzie, Rt Hon Gregor Thomas, Dafydd (Merioneth)
McNally, Thomas Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery)
McNamara, Kevin Thomas, Mike (Newcastle E)
McTaggart, Robert Thomas, Dr R.(Carmarthen)
Magee, Bryan Thorne, Stan (Preston South)
Marks, Kenneth Tilley, John
Marshall, D(G'gow S'ton) Tinn, James
Marshall, Dr Edmund (Goole) Torney, Tom
Marshall, Jim (Leicester S) Varley, Rt Hon Eric G.
Martin, M (G'gow S'burn) Wainwright, E. (Dearne V)
Maxton, John Wainwright, R. (Colne V)
Maynard, Miss Joan Watkins, David
Meacher, Michael Weetch, Ken
Mellish, Rt Hon Robert Wellbeloved, James
Mikardo, Ian Welsh, Michael
Millan, Rt Hon Bruce White, Frank R.
Mitchell, Austin (Grimsby) White, J. (G'gow Pollok)
Mitchell, R. C. (Soton Itchen) Whitehead, Phillip
Morris, Rt Hon A. (W'shawe) Whitlock, William
Morris, Rt Hon C. (O'shaw) Wigley, Dafydd
Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon) Willey, Rt Hon Frederick
Morton, George Williams, Rt Hon A. (S'sea W)
Moyle, Rt Hon Roland Wilson, Gordon (Dundee E)
Newens, Stanley Wilson, Rt Hon Sir H.(H'ton)
Oakes, Rt Hon Gordon Wilson, William (C'try SE)
O'Halloran, Michael Winnick, David
Orme, Rt Hon Stanley Woodall, Alec
Owen, Rt Hon Dr David Woolmer, Kenneth
Palmer, Arthur Wright, Sheila
Parker, John Young, David (Bolton E)
Parry, Robert
Pavitt, Laurie Tellers for the Ayes:
Penhaligon, David Mr. Robert Maclennan and Mr. Edward Lyons.
Powell, Raymond (Ogmore)
Prescott, John
Adley, Robert Banks, Robert
Aitken, Jonathan Beaumont-Dark, Anthony
Alexander, Richard Bendall, Vivian
Amery, Rt Hon Julian Benyon, W. (Buckingham)
Ancram, Michael Best, Keith
Arnold, Tom Bevan, David Gilroy
Atkins, Robert(Presto N) Biffen, Rt Hon John
Baker, Kenneth(St.M'bone) Biggs-Davison, John
Baker, Nicholas (N Dorset) Blackburn, John
Blaker, Peter Gummer, John Selwyn
Body, Richard Hamilton, Hon A.
Bonsor, Sir Nicholas Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury)
Boscawen, Hon Robert Hampson, Dr Keith
Bottomley, Peter (W'wich W) Hannam, John
Boyson, Dr Rhodes Haselhurst, Alan
Braine, Sir Bernard Hastings, Stephen
Bright, Graham Havers, Rt Hon Sir Michael
Brittan, Leon Hawkins, Paul
Brooke, Hon Peter Hawksley, Warren
Brotherton, Michael Hayhoe, Barney
Brown, Michael(Brigg & Sc'n) Henderson, Barry
Browne, John (Winchester) Heseltine, Rt Hon Michael
Bruce-Gardyne, John Hicks, Robert
Bryan, Sir Paul Hill, James
Buchanan-Smith, Alick Hogg, Hon Douglas (Gr'th'm)
Buck, Antony Holland, Philip (Carlton)
Budgen, Nick Hooson, Tom
Burden, Sir Frederick Howe, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey
Butcher, John Howell, Rt Hon D. (G'ldf'd)
Butler, Hon Adam Hunt, David (Wirral)
Cadbury, Jocelyn Hunt, John (Ravensbourne)
Carlisle, John (Luton West) Irving, Charles (Cheltenham)
Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln) Jenkin, Rt Hon Patrick
Carlisle, Rt Hon M. (R'c'n) Johnson Smith, Geoffrey
Chapman, Sydney Jopling, Rt Hon Michael
Churchill, W. S. Kaberry, Sir Donald
Clark, Hon A. (Plym'th, S'n) Kershaw, Anthony
Clark, Sir W. (Croydon S) Kimball, Marcus
Clegg, Sir Walter King, Rt Hon Tom
Cockeram, Eric Kitson, Sir Timothy
Colvin, Michael Knox, David
Cope, John Lamont, Norman
Corrie, John Lang, Ian
Costain, Sir Albert Langford-Holt, Sir John
Cranborne, Viscount Latham, Michael
Critchley, Julian Lawrence, Ivan
Crouch, David Lawson, Rt Hon Nigel
Dean, Paul (North Somerset) Lee, John
Dickens, Geoffrey Lennox-Boyd, Hon Mark
Dorrell, Stephen Lester, Jim (Beeston)
Douglas-Hamilton, Lord J. Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)
Dover, Denshore Lloyd, Ian (Havant & W'loo)
du Cann, Rt Hon Edward Lloyd, Peter (Fareham)
Dunn, Robert (Dartford) Loveridge, John
Durant, Tony Luce, Richard
Dykes, Hugh Lyell, Nicholas
Eden, Rt Hon Sir John McCrindle, Robert
Edwards, Rt Hon N. (P'broke) MacGregor, John
Eggar, Tim Mac Kay, John (Argyll)
Elliott, Sir William Macmillan, Rt Hon M.
Emery, Peter McNair-Wilson, M. (N'bury)
Eyre, Reginald McNair-Wilson, P. (New F'st)
Fairbairn, Nicholas McQuarrie, Albert
Fairgrieve, Russell Madel, David
Faith, Mrs Sheila Major, John
Farr, John Marland, Paul
Fell, Anthony Marlow, Tony
Fenner, Mrs Peggy Marshall, Michael (Arundel)
Finsberg, Geoffrey Marten, Neil (Banbury)
Fisher, Sir Nigel Mates, Michael
Fletcher, A. (Ed'nb'gh N) Mather, Carol
Fletcher-Cooke, Sir Charles Maude, Rt Hon Sir Angus
Forman, Nigel Mawby, Ray
Fowler, Rt Hon Norman Mawhinney, Dr Brian
Fox, Marcus Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin
Fraser, Peter (South Angus) Mayhew, Patrick
Fry, Peter Mellor, David
Gardner, Edward (S Fylde) Meyer, Sir Anthony
Garel-Jones, Tristan Miller, Hal (B'grove)
Glyn, Dr Alan Mills, Iain (Meriden)
Goodhew, Victor Mills, Peter (West Devon)
Goodlad, Alastair Miscampbell, Norman
Gorst, John Moate, Roger
Gower, Sir Raymond Molyneaux, James
Gray, Hamish Monro, Hector
Griffiths, E. (B'ySt.Edm'ds) Montgomery, Fergus
Griffiths, Peter Portsm'th N) Moore, John
Grist, Ian Morgan, Geraint
Grylls, Michael Morris, M. (N'hampton S)
Morrison, Hon C. (Devizes) Skeet, T. H. H.
Morrison, Hon P. (Chester) Speed, Keith
Mudd, David Speller, Tony
Murphy, Christopher Spence, John
Myles, David Spicer, Michael (S Worcs)
Neale, Gerrard Sproat, Iain
Needham, Richard Squire, Robin
Nelson, Anthony Stainton, Keith
Neubert, Michael Stanbrook, Ivor
Newton, Tony Stanley, John
Nott, Rt Hon John Steen, Anthony
Onslow, Cranley Stevens, Martin
Oppenheim, Rt Hon Mrs S. Stewart, Ian (Hitchin)
Page, John (Harrow, West) Stewart, A. (E Renfrewshire)
Page, Rt Hon Sir G. (Crosby) Stokes, John
Page, Richard (SW Herts) Stradling Thomas, J.
Parkinson, Cecil Tapsell, Peter
Parris, Matthew Taylor, Robert (Croydon NW)
Patten, Christopher (Bath) Taylor, Teddy (S'end E)
Patten, John (Oxford) Temple-Morris, Peter
Pattie, Geoffrey Thomas, Rt Hon Peter
Pawsey, James Thompson, Donald
Percival, Sir Ian Thorne, Neil (Ilford South)
Pink, R. Bonner Thornton, Malcolm
Pollock, Alexander Townend, John (Bridlington)
Porter, Barry Townsend, Cyril D, (B'heath)
Powell, Rt Hon J.E. (S Down) Trippier, David
Prentice, Rt Hon Reg Trotter, Neville
Price, Sir David (Eastleigh) van Straubenzee, W. R.
Prior, Rt Hon James Vaughan, Dr Gerard
Proctor, K. Harvey Viggers, Peter
Pym, Rt Hon Francis Waddington, David
Raison, Timothy Wakeham, John
Rathbone, Tim Waldegrave, Hon William
Rees, Peter (Dover and Deal) Walker, B. (Perth)
Renton, Tim Walker-Smith, Rt Hon Sir D.
Rhodes James, Robert Wall, Patrick
Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon Waller, Gary
Ridley, Hon Nicholas Ward, John
Ridsdale, Sir Julian Wells, John (Maidstone)
Rifkind, Malcolm Wells, Bowen
Rippon, Rt Hon Geoffrey Wheeler, John
Roberts, Wyn (Conway) Whitelaw, Rt Hon William
Rossi, Hugh Whitney, Raymond
Rost, Peter Wickenden, Keith
Scott, Nicholas Williams, D.(Montgomery)
Shaw, Giles (Pudsey) Winterton, Nicholas
Shaw, Michael (Scarborough) Wolfson, Mark
Shelton, William (Streatham) Young, Sir George (Acton)
Shepherd, Colin (Hereford) Younger, Rt Hon George
Shepherd, Richard
Shersby, Michael Tellers for the Noes:
Silvester, Fred Mr. Spencer Le Marchant and Mr. Anthony Berry.
Sims, Roger

Question accordingly negatived.

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