§ Mr. Max Madden (Bradford, West)
I apologise for delaying the House, Mr. Speaker. My point of order relates to a point of order that I raised yesterday. I have made further inquiries since asking you yesterday about the procedures that the Government intended to pursue to implement a decision announced on 22 November to impose a charge for entry certificates. I have discovered that the imposition of the charge was implemented by statutory instrument on 22 November by the Foreign Office. As there is widespread concern about the legality of this procedure, it seems that the Government are guilty of sharp practice. I should like your advice, Mr. Speaker, on the remedies that are available to hon. Members and others who question the legality of the Government's decision, bearing in mind that the statutory instrument was introduced on the day that it was said by the Minister responsible that the charge was to be imposed.
§ Mr. Sydney Bidwell (Ealing, Southall)
Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. As you know, Sir, I have a profound interest in these matters. The issue raised by my hon. Friend the Member for Bradford, West (Mr. Madden) involves many of my constituents and possibly dependent relatives overseas. For the first time in our history, we are charging Commonwealth citizens a certain sum for entry certificates—in other words, visas—when they have a lawful right to come here. This will be a controversial matter. I wish to tell the Leader of the House to think about the matter because I shall be raising it on Thursday during business questions and drawing attention to early-day motion No. 200.
[That this House requests a reconsideration of a proposal made on 22 November to introduce, for the first time, a charge for entry certificates for Commonwealth citizens; and points out that refusal of an entrance certificate, simply because the fee cannot be paid, would not be lawful under the Immigration Act 1971.]
I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will take note because—
§ Mr. Speaker
Order. It is only Tuesday. The hon. Gentleman should not raise with me today what he wishes to talk about on Thursday.
§ Mr. Speaker
Order. Before I take another point of order, I shall deal with the statutory instrument.