HC Deb 17 April 1985 vol 77 cc279-300 A Select Committee of the House of Commons shall be established to oversee the work of any person responsible for, or making use of, the interception of communications—[Mr. Clive Soley.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

4.25 pm
Mr. Clive Soley (Hammersmith)

I beg to move, That the clause be read a Second time.

This is a particularly important new clause. We have touched on this issue in previous debates on the Bill but have received far from adequate answers about why the Government will not move in this direction. We want to know why hon. Members who vote against the new clause and especially why the Government do not have sufficient confidence in the House and the parliamentary system to allow the House to oversee the work of the security services.

The way in which the Bill has been introduced and justified by the Government suggests that they neither give sufficient importance to the views of the elected representatives of the people nor trust them sufficiently to allow them to oversee the work of the security forces. We have heard many arguments why the Government do not want to follow that road.

There are two primary reasons why the Labour party wants a Select Committee to oversee the work of the security forces. The first is the self-evident reason that the House represents the will of the people. Hon. Members are elected to protect the democratic rights of those people, and that is what the electorate expect of us. Parliament must give a high priority to protecting the democratic and civil rights of the people. One way of doing that is for a Select Committee to oversee the work of the security forces. That is an infinitely better approach than that which the Government have designed in the Bill.

Secondly, we have always believed that some interception of communications is necessary and that the security services are necessary. If those services are to be effective, how do we define their guidelines and draw up the law in such a way as to enable them to operate effectively and at the same time to ensure that their operations do not undermine the basic democratic and civil rights of our people? That is the crucial question.

We are faced with the dilemma under the Bill and the Government's past policy of trying to tie the law up either too tightly or loosely. If it is tied up too tightly, the security forces must operate outside the law.

When I first spoke on this subject in the House, I gave the example of the West German police capturing the Baader-Meinhof group by, on their admission, going outside the law. They were forced to do so because German law was drawn so tightly that it did not allow them to bug a table in a cafe that would have enabled them to know where the bombing was to take place. They chose to break the law and, in doing so, they captured the group. It was an especially important event. However, the Labour party believes that it is completely wrong and extremely dangerous to put the security services in that position.

The other side of the argument is that if we tie the law too loosely, which is what the House has tended to do, we have the worst of all worlds, because we say to the security services, "You can do what you like." That is a great danger. Although the Prime Minister and the Home Secretary will say, "We have oversight of such operations," the evidence of the recent past, including the gross embarrassment caused to the Prime Minister by security leaks in recent years is that there has been insufficient parliamentary supervision of the security services. That is not surprising, because the area is far too complex for extremely busy people to keep an eye on everything that is happening in the way they should.

Therefore, for the effective oversight of the work of the security forces, we need a Committee of the House, and I suggest a Select Committee. When appropriate, it can work in public, and when inappropriate, it can sit in private, in deciding whether the law must be changed in any way and in making recommendations to the House. That would get round the problems faced by the West Germans.

The creation of such a Select Committee would also help to ensure that the democratic and civil rights of the British people are fully protected. The public rightly look to Parliament to do that.

Mr. William Cash (Stafford)

Can the hon. Gentleman explain how the amendment would be included in the Bill? He will know that all other Select Committees have been set up under Standing Orders. Why has he chosen this route? Some of the other amendments have some unpleasant characteristics which I shall address in a moment.

Mr. Soley

I look forward to the hon. Gentleman's description of those unpleasant characteristics. All that I can say is that this is not an amendment, but a new clause. It will require the Government to act, and they would then go through the normal process of setting up a Committee. We have chosen to do it in this way because no other way would be in order. It is a perfectly reasonable method. Alternatively, we could amend the procedures relating to Select Committees, but that would be inappropriate in the context of the Bill

Mr. Cash


Mr. Soley

Before the hon. Gentleman intervenes again, I suggest that he thinks carefully about the order of events. If the House passed a new clause calling for the creation of a Select Committee, the implications for the Government would be clear. They would be expected to act in accordance with the new clause.

Mr. Cash

Of course I realise that this is a new clause, not an amendment, and I apologise for the error. However, it would be helpful if the hon. Gentleman could name any other Act that has included such a provision.

Mr. Soley

It is incredible to suggest that we must always have a precedent to justify introducing a measure that we believe is eminently sensible and appropriate. The new clause is not out of order. If it were, it would have been ruled out of order by Mr. Speaker and would not have been chosen for debate. It has been chosen, and I suspect that the hon. Gentleman is trying to dress up a minor nitpicking point when dealing with an extremely important new clause.

Mr. John McWilliam (Blaydon)

Will my hon. Friend reflect that if the House were to adopt the attitude to Standing Orders which the hon. Member for Stafford (Mr. Cash) suggests, it would always have to go on precedent, and we would be without the Bill of Rights, universal suffrage and a great deal of other important legislation that is now on the statute book?

Mr. Soley

My hon. Friend is right. At the end of the day, I have complete trust in you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, and in Mr. Speaker — I understand that he is unwell today — in deciding whether such a new clause should be called. Since it has been called, that is the end of the matter, unless one wishes to indulge in nitpicking, as the hon. Member for Stafford (Mr. Cash) has. I would much rather he addressed his thoughts to the central arguments that I have put, and I shall certainly expect the Minister to do the same. These matters are far too important to everyone in the country to be treated with the disdain, if not contempt, displayed by the hon. Member for Stafford.

In previous debates, when the idea of a Select Committee was mooted, Conservative Members fell back on the argument that there would be a danger of leaks. I said then that that was the weakest of all arguments. The present system leaks like a sieve. There is no evidence that it is leakproof; indeed, all the evidence, if we consider those who have betrayed the country, is that leaks do not come from within the House but from outside. In some circumstances, the leaks could come from the very people who were appointed. As we know, a great problem for the British security services has been leaks from within. The argument about leaks is a non-starter.

That argument is also a non-starter because it is another criticism of the House. Many other countries, including those whose system is based closely on Britain's—I cite Canada as a classic example — use the sort of system that I am describing. Are we really saying that the House of Commons — the originator of parliamentary democracy—is incapable of exercising such responsibility and judgment, but that the parliaments of western Europe and those of the English-speaking world are? We should be devaluing the House if we said that. Indeed, several Government actions suggest to me that, sometimes intentionally and sometimes unintentionally, the Government are devaluing and understating the role of the House.

When I previously mentioned the possibility of a Select Committee, the Home Secretary said that we had not yet given sufficient thought to the role of commissioner or the tribunal. The reason why we have not done so is that we believe that their role would be far too weak compared with what it should be. We have tried to decide whether we want a judicial system or a system based on the parliamentary model, and the Government have come up with a quasi-judicial system. If they had chosen a judicial system—the Bill calls for the appointment of people with suitable legal qualifications—they would be saying that the interception of communications should be decided by the courts. Therefore, the logic is that warrants should be issued only by the courts, which is precisely what happens in many other countries.

I should make it clear that I have reservations about that, but there is much logic in going for a fully judicial system in which a judge grants a warrant. There is also logic in the sort of parliamentary system for which I am calling. There is no logic in a half-baked, in-between scheme that uses neither Parliament nor the courts properly. We shall have the worst of all worlds with this neither-fish-nor-fowl approach from the Government.

That approach tends to make the House irrelevant. The trend in recent years, not only under this Government, has been to undermine the role of the House, and the House certainly does not have the power and authority that it used to have. We have to ask ourselves why that is so.

Frequently, we are seen outside the House as irrelevant. In politics one can be right or wrong, good or bad, Left or Right, but one cannot afford to be irrelevant, because irrelevant institutions fade away. The more we disperse power, whether it is to the European Commission or to committees such as the the one set up by the Bill, the more we reduce the power available to this place. It is all very well to do that knowingly, understanding the consequences, but when we do it in this way we have not even begun to think about the consequences.

One of the most important sectors of government—the sector where the Government allow themselves to intercept communications and interfere with the privacy of citizens of a democracy —is to be a sector on which Parliament will have very little say. The Government may say that the tribunal is required to make a report, that that report will be given annually to the Prime Minister, and that the Prime Minister is required to lay it before the House.

Clause 8 says: (7) The Prime Minister shall lay before each House of Parliament a copy of every annual report made by the Commissioner under subsection (6) above together with a statement as to whether any matter has been excluded from that copy in pursuance of subsection (8) below.

(8) If it appears to the Prime Minister, after consultation with the Commissioner, that the publication of any matter in an annual report would be prejudicial to national security, to the prevention or detection of serious crime or to the economic well-being of the United Kingdom, the Prime Minister may exclude that matter from the copy of the report as laid before each House of Parliament. As we have said before, and as we shall say again today, that goes far too wide. It means that the annual report that will be laid before the House could be—not necessarily would be—extremely thin and could give little opportunity for informed debate.

However, let us assume that a full report, with virtually nothing excluded, is laid before the House. It is then available for us to read, and we may be able to arrange a debate. Let us assume that we persuade the Government of the day to allow one day of prime Government time for that debate. That is one day's debate on an extremely serious matter, compared to what could be done by a Select Committee over many weeks of sitting, bringing evidence before it, questioning people involved, looking at the matter in depth. Which system protects the democratic rights best? The answer is clear. It is the Select Committee system, which can report to the House, after which a full debate can take place. In other words, we would have the best rather than the worst of both worlds.

The quasi-judicial system has all the disadvantages of being complex, confusing and ultimately answering to people who are infinitely too busy to give to it the attention that they would want. Having seen the Prime Minister waltzing around the world recently, I was tempted to get Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber to write music for the trip along the lines of "Evita". There is a song called "Rainbow High" in that play that is appropriate to the Prime Minister's recent jaunt.

The point is that a Prime Minister is infinitely too busy, whether or not he or she is trying to pack in a journey such as the one the Prime Minister undertook, to give this matter the detailed attention it deserves. In particular, a Prime Minister would be too busy to give detailed attention to the protection of the democratic rights of the people ensuring that when we pass legislation that allows the interception of communications, it is done effectively enough to prevent some of the more horrendous crimes such as terrorist bombings, killings and some drug abuses.

Mr. Steve Norris (Oxford, East)

The hon. Gentleman will know that I am not unsympathetic to his line of reasoning. Does he agree that the important sector to which the new clause is addressed is national security and precisely those parts of the security service that would be excluded from the report required under clause 8? How does he propose that the Select Committee on this matter would be in any better position to get round what I see as the insuperable self-imposing and self-limiting barrier—another Chinese wall — whereby the sectors excluded from the report are the ones about which the House would wish to know?

4.45 pm
Mr. Soley

The answer to the hon. Gentleman lies in the example of the Defence Committee. It has to deal with extremely sensitive information at times, and does so very well. It calls before it evidence from the experts with detailed knowledge of highly secret information. It cross-examines those experts and goes into details. It pays visits to some of the establishments and sees some of the equipment. It does not run into any problems. The security services present more difficulties because of the closed nature of their operations, but it does not necessarily follow that we could not have a Select Committee on them. It may be more difficult but it would not be fundamentally different.

We have the problem of being excessively secret in this country. The other nations, particularly the democracies, are more open. At an official level we still pretend that we do not have MI5, MI6 and so on. However, we have these operations, and it is time that we said so openly and publicly. Everybody knows about them and thinks that they are official and public, but there is still this nonsensical pretence. Unless we set up some structure for controlling them, we shall leave the powers solely with two members of the Executive who, even with the best will in the world, cannot exercise that control effectively. That is the key argument, and that is why the new clause is so important. It is of central importance to the Bill, and I commend it to the House.

Mr. Eldon Griffiths (Bury St. Edmunds)

The subject of a Select Committee has been discussed before. There is one central point to be made. The new clause says: A Select Committee shall be established to oversee the work of any person responsible for, or making use of, the interception of communications. That takes a Select Committee smack into the centre of the operations of the police, security and intelligence services.

While I believe that matters of general policing policy should be matters not only for the House but for the police authorities, I am opposed to any political interference in the operation of the police service. I think that I shall carry at least one Front Bench Labour Member with me on that.

Mr. Soley

The hon. Gentleman is making the mistake that has been made by a number of hon. Members. To my mind, democracy is about setting policies and holding people accountable for how those policies are carried out. Those are the two key things, that is how we have practised democracy, and that is the normal process. We do that in all other sectors, and what we are suggesting here is no different.

Mr. Griffiths

The House will have to take account not of what the hon. Gentleman says is in his mind but of what is on the amendment paper. The new clause says: A Select Committee...shall oversee the work"— not the policy or the accountability— of any person responsible for, or making use of, the interception of communications. I can think of no clearer use of the English language. That means that a Select Committee will get involved in the work, the operations, the day-to-day conduct of the police, the security and, as I understand it, the intelligence-gathering services. I object to that, and I am sure that the House as a whole, on reflection, will object to it on the highest grounds of principle.

It is right that the House should set policies and have an oversight of the way in which policies are carried out, and it ought to expect Ministers to be responsible for the policies for which they are accountable to the House. But it is an entirely different matter for a Select Committee of the House to get involved in the work, the operations and the day-to-day performance of the police or security services.

Over the past year, we have seen the attempts of political elements in police authorities to intrude into police operations. I should probably cause unnecessary contention in the House if I went into any of the details where this problem arose during the miners' strike. However, there have unquestionably been attempts by political people in police authorities to tell the police that they should perform their duties in a certain way and that they should give immunity to some people and not to others, because they have taken a political view of police work and operations. That cannot be right.

If a Left-wing police authority intruded into police operations on behalf of that ideology, a Right-wing police authority in some other county could intrude in a different fashion. That is quite wrong. There is no room for party politics in policing, and there is no room for the police in politics. I make that clear. Therefore, I should be opposed to a Select Committee of the House getting involved in operations.

Another illustration could be taken from the recent operations of the GLC, where unquestionably political attempts have been made to interfere with the way in which the metropolitan police carry out their duties. I repeat that it is right that politicians should wish to have a general oversight of policing policies and that the views of politicians should be taken into account by the police at all times. But once we allow politics to intrude in the operation of the law, we start to compromise justice itself and to go down the road towards the east European state.

What distinguishes our police service and administration of justice from those in many other countries, notably in eastern Europe, is that in those countries the concept of justice and of policing arises from the notion of political control. They have political police and political justice. They take the view that all crimes are political or state crimes. The great distinction in our country is that the police are non-political and non-partisan and are removed from any suggestion that there shall be interference by politicians, of whatever complexion, in their day-to-day operations.

The hon. Member for Hammersmith (Mr. Soley) advanced some persuasive arguments, but I think that he is wrong in principle. The language of his new clause is such that it would insert politics into policing and into the security services. He said very fairly—and it is to the honour of the Labour Front Bench—that, although a number of his colleagues in the country have suggested that this Bill for the first time introduces telephone tapping, that it is an obnoxious practice and that it should never be allowed, he and his right hon. Friend the Member for Manchester, Gorton (Mr. Kaufman) have never disguised the fact that from time to time it is necessary in the interests of the security of the state. But the Opposition are properly concerned about accountability. That is the issue here, and I understand that.

However, the new clause would mean that a Select Committee of the House would get involved in the actual work of telephone tapping, and that is an extraordinary proposition.

Mr. Norris

I wonder whether my hon. Friend would say why any oversight of interception by a Select Committee is political, but oversight by a Prime Minister or Home Secretary somehow is not?

Mr. Griffiths

I can give my hon. Friend a precise answer. It is a constitutional point. The Prime Minister and the Home Secretary are responsible to the House, but they are Ministers of the Crown and they carry out that duty in that sense. The Prime Minister owes his or her position to the process of election and to the confidence of the House, and, of course, that is a political matter. But in exercising the duties of a Prime Minister under the law and the constitution, the Prime Minister is the Queen's first Minister. That is his or her constitutional responsibility. The reality is that there can never be a non-political Prime Minister or Home Secretary.

The answer to my hon. Friend is that a Select Committee of the House is not appointed by the monarch; it is a product of the House. Her Majesty's Ministers operate as the servants of the monarch, though responsible to the House, rather than, as a Select Committee operates, as part of the procedures of Parliament. That is an important distinction.

Mr. Eric. S. Haffer (Liverpool, Walton)

Now answer the question.

Mr. Griffiths

I have answered it. The hon. Member for Liverpool, Walton (Mr. Heffer) may not think it a satisfactory answer, and it may be that my hon. Friend the Member for Oxford, East (Mr. Norris) does not think that it is satisfactory, but I see a real distinction here. It is the ministerial conduct of the executive function of government that we are discussing, not the parliamentary oversight, which is a different matter.

I cannot believe it to be right that a Select Committee of the House should be in a position to demand, as the clause implies, that a police officer or member of the security service should be answerable in detail to a Select Committee for his work. Does it mean that the Select Committee would send for him?

Mr. Soley


Mr. Griffiths

That is very interesting. The Select Committee would be able to determine within the rank structure of the security services—whether MI5, MI6 or the special branch—that a superintendent, an inspector or a sergeant should be brought before it and cross-examined. Is that what the hon. Member for Hammersmith proposes?

Mr. Soley

The hon. Gentleman is getting himself into an incredible mess. The Select Committees do that already. They ask people to appear before them to give evidence. Not to attend is a very serious matter.

Mr. Griffiths

I have no doubt that the hon. Gentleman has served on a Select Committee, as I have. It has been the misfortune of many of us to do so. I have served on one for about 18 months, and it has been my frequent experience, occasionally to my intense exasperation, that when a Committee has sought to subpoena or to demand the presence of a civil servant, the Minister in question has refused. Quite often the Minister has been right to refuse. We in the House operate on the basis that Ministers are accountable to the House but that civil servants are accountable to Ministers. The hon. Member for Hammersmith is not correct when he says that at present Select Committees subpoena or command the presence of civil servants. They may do that only if the Minister in question is agreeable to it.

Mr. Soley

indicated dissent.

Mr. Griffiths

The House will have to make up its own mind about it.

I am glad to have elicited from the hon. Member for Hammersmith exactly what the Opposition's policy is. He regards it as entirely proper that a Select Committee should be able to reach right into the special branch, the police, the security services, intelligence gathering and anti-terrorist organisations in Northern Ireland, for example, demand their presence, and cross-examine them here with all the terrifying risks that that involves and all the great risks to individual practitioners — operational police officers and security officers — being exposed to questions which I do not believe they can possibly answer, in the public interest. It is extraordinary that the hon. Gentleman should have gone so far in stating his intentions.

5 pm

This measure would result in an improper intrusion of the legislative function of the House into the Government's executive responsibilities. Worse, it would cause political matters to intrude into the operations of the police and the security services. If the hon. Member for Hammersmith had put on the amendment paper what he meant but did not say—that a Select Committee should have a general duty to oversee policies and Ministers should be required to report to it—hon. Members would have had more sympathy with his ideas. I would not have supported him even in that statement, but Conservative Members would have shown more sympathy. I know that my hon. Friend the Member for Oxford, East takes that view. I should be interested to hear whether my hon. Friend goes as far as the Opposition have gone in demanding that a Select Committee should have the ability to cross-examine the police and members of the security services about their operations.

Mr. Norris

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for giving me the opportunity to explain my feelings precisely. Presumably any Select Committee is required to take account of policy, to compare policy with practice, and, when elucidating the difference between policy and practice, to cross-examine any witness that it chooses. Does not that principle apply straightforwardly?

Mr. Griffiths

I am afraid that it does not. I should be surprised if my hon. Friend can cite chapter and verse of occasions when Select Committees have been able to call before them civil servants, police officers, or anyone else, against the wishes of the Minister. I do not think that they have been able to do so. What matters is the issue of ministerial accountability, not the ability of Ministers to bullyrag, for political reasons, those who have difficult operational tasks.

I can see that I have hardly carried the whole of the Opposition with me, but I believe that this new clause is misconceived. It would be contrary to the proper practices of the House. This measure would nibble away at the proper constitutional relationship between the Executive and the legislature. Above all, the new clause would inject politics into the police and security services, and politics should not be there.

Mr. Heffer

I am speaking from this position because I understand that because a new microphone has been installed it will be easier for the House and the country to hear me. The fact that the leader of the Liberal party is not in his place allows me to speak from here.

I support new clause 1. It is right that we should ask for a Select Committee to oversee the work of any person responsible for, of making use of, the interception of communications. Unlike the hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds (Mr. Griffiths), who did not declare his interest — he is spokesman for the Police Federation—

Mr. Eldon Griffiths

I should make it clear that the Police Federation has formed no view on the Bill. I have had no communication with the federation. I speak for myself alone.

Mr. Haffer

Fair enough. I want to declare an interest. I believe that, as a Left-wing Socialist, my telephone has probably been bugged for the past 14 years. I do not know what good that has done those who have listened to my telephone conversations. They must have listened to some interesting conversations between my wife and her mother-in-law, her brother and many other people. As I have never said anything privately that I would not say publicly, there is nothing for me to be terribly worried about. I know that this bugging occurs, because many years ago when I was a shop steward in the shipyards in Liverpool, I discovered that the local police had a dossier on me. Good luck to them.

We need a Select Committee to oversee the work of these people. What else is it but work? These people are intervening in-the conversations of ordinary citizens. If the hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds believes that the law is above society, he does not live in the real world. Law is determined by the House of Commons and the House of Lords collectively at a given moment. If the given moment means that we have a Conservative, Right-wing, reactionary Government of the type that we have now, laws of that kind will be determined by that Government. If we have a Labour Government, I hope that they will repeal some of those laws. It is ridiculous to suggest that the law is above society.

The other day I delivered a lecture in Trowbridge, entitled the Thomas Helliker Lecture. It was about a 19-year-old man who was hanged in 1803 because he dared to be a member of a trade union. He was accused of burning down a woollen mill which was owned by a certain gentleman. He was not involved, but he knew who had burnt the mill. He refused to give the names of those people, and consequently was hanged. Anyone who tells me that the law is above society, that the law does not reflect the ideas of the people who run society and control the Government and the system is not living in the world in which I live. Those of us in the Labour movement who know about these matters understand that the law is used constantly against those who oppose the existing system of society and want to change it by normal democratic means.

I have been sent a copy of the Leveller Supplement—it is a magazine of the Left — headed "MI5 funded, Monochrome". It is a monthly newspaper, and I received issue No. 4 for 1 April 1985. I had never received that paper before. I do not know who runs it or anything about it, but it contains much interesting information that should be examined.

One article states: a senior Intelligence Officer talks to our Man from Monochrome, Paul Demetriou. The article continues: "John Wilson (not his real name) is a Senior Intelligence Officer at F Branch. F Branch specialises in 'counter subversion'. Its various sections deal with the Communist Party, Trades Unions, Irish Terrorism, etc…Wilson has worked for MI5 for 20 years and for F Branch for the past ten. In an exclusive interview for Monochrome, he discusses his work for the first time. This is what convinces me that my telephone has been bugged for some years. Speaking of Left-wing targets, Wilson stated: Most individuals from the leadership of Far Left organisations are considered to be a threat to the State. Some people have files on them dating back over thirty years. The article states: Like whom? 'Ted Grant … partly because of his activities in the Labour Party (Ted Grant sits on the Editorial Board of Militant)". It goes on to say: During the early 1980s, prominent Labour left-wingers had their home phones tapped. Once this had bizarre results. 'A broken transcript of a conversation between Chris Mullin (a member of Tony Benn' s 'kitchen cabinet' and Tribune journalist) and a friend was passed to the office. There had been faults on the telephone, so the playback was interrupted, but Mullin had clearly been discussing defence policy options. We all imagined that it was part of a new Bennite defence initiative. It was hurriedly analysed by colleagues working on the peace movement. It was only later discovered that Mullin had been talking about various scenarios for his novel (A Very British Coup). That is all in the document. I do not know whether it is true, but someone must answer. It was issued on 1 April. Has any action been taken against that paper since 1 April? Have the Government said that it is all lies? Who is this man John Wilson? What is the material? There is a great deal of other material. Wilson says: F Branch sometimes finds it necessary to infiltrate an organisation using spies and paid informers. A sub-branch FX, is the specialist Branch. Wilson estimates there are 'hundreds' of these, co-ordinated by various MI5 desk officers. Sometimes they are planted, but usually they are recruited from within. He claims MI5 has infiltrated all the major trade unions; the Labour Party; the Communist Party; the NCCL; Greenpeace; groups on the revolutionary left and right. CND again is a major target. Do we not need a Select Committee to oversee the work of those individuals? Perhaps the hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds does not understand that we did not always have a House of Commons with genuine rights. We had a House of Commons which was allowed by the whim or agreement of the monarchy. It had to state that it had its own rights, which it would use in its own way, and the monarch was put in his place.

In passing, I want to make this clear. During the past few days some of the papers have been acting disgracefully with regard to Princess Michael. I do not know her. I shall never meet her. I do not want to meet her. I do not know what her politics are. I am sure that they are not mine. I am sure that they are completely opposed to everything in which I believe, but no one can be responsible for his or her parents. I make that clear. My father, luckily, was not a murderer. He happened to be a regimental sergeant major.

Mr. John Golding (Newcastle-under-Lyme)

That is worse.

Mr. Heffer

It may be worse in the eyes of some people. I did not become a regimental sergeant major. I had no intention of doing so. Some of the papers, including that so-called Labour paper, the Daily Mirror, have been acting disgracefully. If there has been a cover up, concentrate on the cover up, not on the princess, because she is of no importance. That does not advance our political arguments one iota. What is far more important—

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Sir Paul Dean)

Order. I hope that the hon. Member will return to the new clause.

Mr. Heffer

I wanted to say that, because I believe that it is important that someone on the Left of the Labour party should make it clear that we are not against people because their parents might have been Nazis or, in this country, Mosleyites or anything else. We are opposed to what those people stood for, not where their children stand. We must make that clear. I am sorry for anyone who joins the Tory party, but I cannot help it. The children of some Labour people have joined the Tory party, and that is regrettable. We cannot blame people, even if their parents were in the SS.

The future of our country is far more important. We have democracy because the people decided that we should have a democratic Parliament, elected by the people. It took a long time. From the 1642 revolution we had a genuine democratic Parliament in which every man had the vote. It was not until after 1918 that women had the vote. It took a long time to fight for those democratic rights.

As my hon. Friend the Member for Hammersmith (Mr. Soley) made clear, the House represents the will of the country. If it is the will of the country, we should have a Select Committee to oversee what is done in the name of the Government, elected by the people, in relation to the citizens of this country, irrespective of their political views. I do not mind whether people are on the Right or the Left. It is vital that a Select Committee should oversee any interceptions by people acting for the security forces.

We all know that the security forces have a job to do. They must investigate people who want to carry out terrorist activities. No one denies that. They must investigate drug pushers. No one denies that. I welcome every effort that is made towards stopping that filthy business. No one denies that all that is important, but, for God's sake, I heard the Prime Minister talking about the enemy within. Was she talking about trade unionists? Are we the enemy within because we have a different point of view? No one should have his words intercepted because he might have a political point of view different from that of the Administration.

5.15 pm

I have said clearly in the House and elsewhere that I do not agree with what happens in eastern European countries. I do not agree with the police system that operates in those countries. One of the reasons why we must have a Select Committee overseeing our security forces is that I do not want to see us move into the type of society where we have a security body separate from the Administration — that can happen — and, in the end, running the Administration. That is why we must have genuine control of interceptions. I accept the arguments put forward by my hon. Friend the Member for Hammersmith, and I give my unqualified support zo the new clause.

Mr. Norris

The discussions on the Bill take place against the background of public disquiet. The extent to which that public disquiet is informed should be a matter for debate. One cannot argue but that such disquiet exists. The focus of that disquiet is in no small measure the growing assumption—the dawning of the realisation—that if the country has a choice of whether the security services operate within or without the ambit of Parliament, we have for too long allowed the principle to develop, possibly by default, that the security services largely operate outside parliamentary accountability. That accountability is vested formally in members of the Government — the Secretary of State and the Prime Minister.

The new clause seeks to alter that relationship and accountability in two ways. First, it seeks straightforwardly and unequivocally to bring all the security services' operations inside the ambit of Parliament. Secondly, it predicates the view that a Select Committee is more appropriate, ultimately, than a Minister to be accountable for the affairs of the security services.

On that latter point, my hon. Friend the Member for Bury St. Edmunds (Mr. Griffiths) has suggested that a Minister of the Crown is somehow apolitical, while a Select Committee is by definition political because it is selected by this House. I hope that I do not misrepresent my hon. Friend's observations. My experience as a member of a Select Committee, which believes that it is trying to do an important job, is that we work best when we work on a completely apolitical or non-political basis. Indeed, the majority of our deliberations are carried out entirely in that vein.

Mr. Eldon Griffiths

For the avoidance of any doubt between my hon. Friend and myself, let me say that what I argued was that when a Minister of the Crown is acting in his Executive function as a Minister of the Crown he is not, or ought not to be, acting as a party politician. He is carrying out the Queen's government. Of course, he is at the same time a politician. Many Ministers have to act in an appellate fashion. Every Secretary of State determines matters in an appellate capacity. In that sense, he has no politics.

Mr. Norris

I am grateful to my hon. Friend, and I take his observations seriously. I refer him to a point made by the hon. Member for Hammersmith (Mr. Soley) in moving the motion. He said that there were options available to us to control the operation of the security services. One of these is the Executive overview option, which is the one that we currently have. The other is some sort of quasi-judicial option, into which we are being led. I shall argue later and on Third Reading that that is better than nothing, but there is also the judicial option. My view—my hon. Friend may not share it—is that the forum of the Select Committee and the way in which it works is a more appropriate way of monitoring the operations of the security services than the system of Executive accountability.

I have always accepted it as the prerequisite of any Select Committee that it works on the basis, as I said earlier, of looking at Government policy and not only making recommedations as to how that policy should be changed, but, more importantly, comparing the policy theory with the practice—the actuality.

The hon. Member for Liverpool, Walton, (Mr. Heffer) quoted a number of observations. He will forgive me for saying that there are other literary organs from which similar observations have emanated in the past few months. In considering them we have to bear in mind the assurances, given to the House by my right hon. and learned Friend the Home Secretary, that all interceptions have been carried out in accordance with very closely defined criteria which he has spelt out. Surely the essence of the hon. Gentleman's concern, which I share, is that there is a considerable gulf between the very precise circumstances in which interception is to be authorised, and spelt out by the Home Secretary in his assurances—the House would naturally accept that he gave them in good faith—and the stories which constantly arise and which have on occasion a disquieting degree of accuracy about them.

In order to allay public disquiet, there would be considerable merit in having some much more publicly accountable forum in which the activities of the security services generally could be scrutinised. The hon. Member for Hammersmith will recall that I pursued a similar line of argument in Committee. I hope that I am not offending against the conventions of the House by raising a matter which has already been discussed. On that occasion I said that there were qualifications which of necessity would have to be made to the structure of the Select Committee before it would be a suitable body to handle security matters.

One of the most important principles in intelligence operations—anyone who has observed the operations of the security services in the second world war will know it —is the "need to know" principle. That should not be lightly discarded. It follows from that that there is a great danger in allowing information to be disseminated to large numbers of people who do not have a direct interest in or responsibility for that information. The inadvertent disclosure of it could be potentially embarrassing to the security services, and no one on either side of the House would want that to happen.

Therefore, it follows that the Select Committee should be composed of a smaller number of right hon. Members —I use that term advisedly—than is usually the case. Select Committees usually vary in size between nine and 13 members. I suggest that in this instance there should be not more than five right hon. Members. On the "need to know" principle, the smaller the number of right hon. Members involved in the Select Committee, the better.

The members of the Select Committee would need to be people of considerable experience of this House and of government generally. The issues with which they would be dealing would not only be important in themselves and need to be interpreted responsibly and in a proper fashion, but would need to be interpreted by right hon. Members of this House with the necessary experience to know what to look for, who had been through the mill of a Department of State, and had perhaps held the highest offices in the land. They should be people who understand from the inside how the system works.

Mr. David Winnick (Walsall, North)

I appreciate the hon. Gentleman's points. Even the sort of Select Committee for which he is arguing would be an improvement on the present position, in which there is no parliamentary scrutiny whatever, but I wonder whether the hon. Gentleman realises sufficiently that Select Committees are always reluctant, even if they are composed of supporters of the Government of the day, to be regarded as a mouthpiece of the Administration.

The hon. Gentleman has made a number of arguments, some valid, and others not. Is there not a danger that such a small Select Committee, composed of people with a long experience, all of them Privy Councillors, and perhaps some of them ex-Ministers, would in time come to be regarded as a body likely to give approval to the Government or the Establishment of the day? Therefore, to some extent it would defeat the very purpose of having the kind of parliamentary scrutiny which the hon. Gentleman clearly recognises as important.

Mr. Norris

I accept that the possibility suggested by the hon. Gentleman might arise, but in reality I do not think that it would be likely. Right hon. Members on each side of the House eventually retire from day-to-day activity in this House, but that does not mean that their fundamental allegiances are likely to change. Having said that, I can immediately think of examples on each side of the House which run counter to my argument. The important principle is that such a Select Committee should not be composed only of Government supporters. It should be just as much an all-party Select Committee as any other Select Committee. I hope the hon. Gentleman will accept my argument that it should be a smaller body than is usual, for the operationally sensible and straightforward reasons that I have outlined. Secondly, it should be composed of Privy Councillors, because it is an essential prerequisite of such a Committee, not only that it should hear evidence, but that it should know what to look for and how to interpret what is sees. It is not simply a matter of hard work and application, such as is involved in producing a report of the Social Services Committee or the European Legislation Committee. The members of the Committee will need to have been on the course before, so to speak, so as to be able to look properly at the reports which will be presented to them and be able to make something of them. With those qualifications, I think that the option in the new clause, although it falls short in some respects of the option that I proposed in Committee, should commend itself to the House.

5.30 pm

In conclusion, I ask myself one fundamental question: would the country be better off, and would public disquiet be more or less allayed, by the existence of some form of parliamantary overview of the security services? Although I accept that there are potentially a great many difficulties in the way of the establishment of such a Select Committee, and although I admit that its functions would he less than total and less than perfect, none the less I believe that, on balance, the answer to my question is that the more parliamentary overview there is of the security services, the better off the country will be.

Mr. McWilliam

I declare my interest as a Member sponsored by the union which represents the workers in telecommunications.

It has been an interesting debate. I would rather that the proposal before the House was to set up a Select Committee to oversee the security services, but that is not the case. We are dealing with a very limited proposal in new clause 1, which relates only to the interception of communications. I hope that when they are deciding how to vote my hon. Friends and hon. Members on the Government Benches will bear in mind the limitations of the proposed new clause.

I accept fully that there are differences of opinion within the House on whether the security services should come under parliamentary scrutiny. What I do not accept is that there is any difference within the House on the need for the House to safeguard the rights of the individual. That is what we are here for. That is why we have our privileges and why we guard them jealously. That is the reason behind the new clause.

It goes without saying that to intercept someone's communications is to interfere with his fundamental liberties and with his rights as a citizen. That will not be done under the Bill unless there are strong grounds for supposing that a person is engaging in serious crime, espionage or some other heinous act against the state. The definition of serious crime is a crime for which on conviction a person could reasonably expect to be sentenced to three years imprisonment on first conviction. The Bill is to cover serious offences.

The snag is that within the country there is a great belief that even the safeguards contained in the Bill will not stop unofficial tapping by the security services, the police special branch, Customs and Excise and other organisations. The Bill is fundamentally flawed in that respect.

I do not doubt Ministers when they say that it is their intention that the Bill will stop unofficial tapping. The Bill of itself will not prevent abuse. Until aggrieved individuals can be sure that their communications will not be intercepted without a warrant, they will not be satisfied. That cannot be established under the Bill, because the Bill deals only with whether a warrant has been properly issued. It does not at any stage deal with whether interception has taken place.

Such a provision is absent from the Bill. I tried to amend it in that way in Committee, but failed. Conservative Members probably voted as they did because they did not understand the position. Perhaps I did not make it sufficiently clear, but it will not be within the terms of reference of the tribunal or the commissioner to establish whether an interception has been made.

If we are to interfere with the fundamental rights and liberties of citizens, the House itself would be a far greater safeguard of those rights and liberties than the Executive, whatever their political complexion, have proved to be over the years. One has only to look through history books to find out how Executives have used their power. The temptations must be enormous.

People engaged in lawful activities in their daily lives, whether at work or anywhere else, should not have their communications intercepted. The House will no doubt pass this measure, which will interfere with fundamental rights and liberties, but it must retain within itself the oversight of the way in which the restriction of rights and liberties is exercised.

As the hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds (Mr. Griffiths) said, the Bill will not interfere with the day-to-day operations of the police. As a former deputy chairman of Edinburgh city police commission, I have enough experience to know about police operational requirements and capabilities. The Bill will not interfere either with the day-to-day running of MI5, MI6, F branch, Customs and Excise or anyone else who happens to fancy earwigging on someone. It is to ensure that if an interception is made, it is made for sound reasons, that the reasons are clearly stated, that the warrant is given under the hand of the appropriate Secretary of State within the restrictions contained in the Bill and that the interception is in place only for the period of time authorised by the warrant. That is what the job of the Select Committee would entail. and nothing more. Therefore, I commend the new clause to hon. Members on all sides of the House.

Mr. Kevin Barron (Rother Valley)

If the Select Committee proposed by the new clause took evidence from people who might themselves be susceptible to acts of terrorism, surely it could meet in private, as many Select Committees do.

Mr. McWilliam

Of course it could. The Select Committee on Defence does it all the time and sidelines many reports.

My hon. Friend has reminded me of another point—that the House has control over the members of a Select Committee in a way that the House and other legal bodies would not have control over the tribunal, the commissioner or anyone else. If any member of the Select Committee leaked information, it would be a breach of the privileges of the House and that Member could be brought to the Bar of the House, as has happened, and justice could be meted out immediately by the House. [Interruption.] The hon. Member for Grantham (Mr. Hogg) may scoff If he finds that the Government are so lax about the privileges of the House as to allow breaches to take place—

Mr. Douglas Hogg (Grantham)

With respect to the hon. Member, it is not a question of the Government being lax. It is about the House being lax. I can tell the hon. Member now that there is no prospect of the House punishing such a person in the way that he suggests.

Mr. McWilliam

I suspect that there would be such a prospect if what was leaked was against the interests of national security. On the other hand, if what was leaked was merely embarrassing to the Government, it would mean that the Executive had done wrong, and that would be all the more reason for having a Select Committee.

Mr. Robert Maclennan (Caithness and Sutherland)

The trouble with the hon. Member for Grantham (Mr. Hogg) is that he has not been in the House long enough to remember that the hon. Member for West Lothian was treated in just the way that the hon. Member for Blaydon (Mr. McWilliam) suggested.

Mr. McWilliam

It was the hon. Member for the constituency that was then called West Lothian that I had in mind when I said that.

I remind the House that it is our duty to defend the rights and liberties of the citizens of this country. If we merely leave the Bill as it is, we are being negligent in that duty. However, if we introduce the Select Committee, it means that the House is saying unequivocally, "We accept that we are depriving people of liberties and privileges, and we take responsibility for that, but we expect that the people who do it will be answerable to us."

The Minister of State, Home Office (Mr. David Waddington)

This has been an interesting debate. It is obviously right that the House should have had the opportunity to consider whether a Select Committee might have a role in these matters. However, I have a sneaking sympathy for my hon. Friend the Member for Stafford (Mr. Cash). I am not sure whether one could find an Act of Parliament in which there was a reference to a Select Committee which would play a specific role. I have just had a look at the Parliamentary Commissioner Act 1967, and I did not find a reference to one. However, that is by the way. The point is that it is obviously right that we should consider whether there is a role for a Select Committee in these matters.

I am not sure what is meant by "oversee" in the new clause. Is it simply reviewing work, or is it calling a person to account? Is it calling a person to account before or after he acts? I do not know. What is meant by "any person responsible for"? There is little doubt that it covers the Secretary of State, but does it cover the telephone engineer? If is does, have we not been considering for quite a while what protection we should put in the Bill for those who intercept because they have been told to do so as a result of a warrant issued by the Secretary of State? Will the telephone engineer be called to account by a Select Committee for what he properly did in response to a warrant? I should have thought that he could be, according to the wording of the new clause.

Those are not drafting points. A Select Committee sounds very fine. On the face of it, parliamentary accountability is an easy cause always to espouse, but something more precise than that is required. When one tries to be more precise, one sees the difficulties, some of which were identified by my hon. Friend the Member for Bury St. Edmunds (Mr. Griffiths). I shall refer to them in a moment. However, I should first say a quick word about how the security service — much of the debate has focused on it—is controlled now.

The starting point with the security service is the directive first issued in 1952, and endorsed by all subsequent Governments. The principle underpinning the directive is quite clear. The Director General is responsible personally and directly to the Home Secretary for the proper implementation of all the objectives in the directive. He is appointed by the Government and has to retain the confidence of the Government. He seeks direction and guidance from the Home Secretary on the way in which the security service sets about things, but — this is all-important — Ministers do not involve themselves in detailed information obtained by the security service in individual cases, save, of course, where an application is made for an interception warrant.

Ministers do not involve themselves politically. They do not make political decisions, any more than does the Director General, who is enjoined by the directive itself to see that the security service is kept absolutely free from any political bias or influence. Nothing is done that might lend colour to any suggestion that it is concerned with the interests of any particular section of the community or any other matter than the defence of the realm as a whole.

5.45 pm
Mr. Harry Cohen (Leyton)

The Minister has just made the amazing statement that neither the Director General nor the Home Secretary is acting in a political way when he signs a warrant. It is pretty well acknowledged that Mr. Cox of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament had a warrant signed for his phone to be tapped. Was that, or was that not, a political decision?

Mr. Waddington

I do not think that the hon. Gentleman can have been listening carefully to what I said. I know that I was going rather quickly. I must tell him that he must not expect, as a result of such a question, to find that any Minister is drawn into giving a reply that might be taken either as a denial of an allegation of interception or an admission. If he has listened to our debates, he will know that time and again hon. Members have referred to how wise has been the tradition of Ministers never to be drawn into either admissions or denials, so I shall not be drawn now.

All I was saying was that there is a clear directive, laid down in 1952, which enjoins the Director General to see that the security service is kept absolutely free from any political bias or influence. If the Director General is carrying out his duties properly, that is precisely what he does. The Director General is accountable to the Home Secretary. The Home Secretary, of course, does not involve himself in detailed information obtained by the security service in individual cases, save, of course, where an application is made for an interception warrant. Ministers do not therefore involve themselves politically. They do not make political decisions, any more than the Director General himself does so. I cannot be clearer than that.

Mr. Cohen

If the Minister is saying that the Director General makes his decisions on a non-political basis, and that the Secretary of State signs warrants on a non-political basis, what is the role of the Secretary of State? Why is he needed?

Mr. Waddington

It depends on what the hon. Gentleman means by "political". We are making a political decision when we write into an Act of Parliament what should be the powers of the Secretary of State. However, if the hon. Gentleman is suggesting that the Secretary of State makes some party political judgment as to whether there should be interception, all I can say is that he is entirely wrong. The Secretary of State exercises powers which have been approved by Parliament. He sticks to those powers. He does not go outside those powers. What we are now doing in this exercise is to spell out absolutely clearly in an Act of Parliament what those powers are.

What I said about the difficulties of the new clause was touched upon by my hon. Friend the Member for Bury St. Edmunds. The Select Committee is required to oversee the work of those who receive the product of interception. That is one of the things that the new clause is saying. That includes the police and Customs and Excise. For the first time a Select Committee — my hon. Friend was obviously right about this—would have oversight of the work of the police, but, quite illogically, only when their work involved in part a product of interception. That would be ridiculous. It would be the first time that a Select Committee would be able to call before it a member of the police force and cross-examine that police officer about the way in which he had carried out his investigations into a particular case. That would be a departure—

Mr. Golding

Is the Minister aware that the Select Committee on Employment called the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis and three police constables to account for their policing of industrial disputes and to give their opinions of the legislation? Far from the matter being about general policy, there was a detailed examination of policing of the steel and coal disputes.

Mr. Waddington

The clearest distinction has always been drawn between matters of policy and detailed examinations of the way in which detailed operations have been carried out. If hon. Members will look at the new clause, they will see that it says that a Select Committee would be able to oversee the work of any person using the product of interception. That means that the Select Committee would be able, for instance, to have before it a police officer who had carried out a detailed inquiry. Just because part of that inquiry had involved interception in that particular case, a detailed inquiry would be made by the Select Committee into that particular police operation.

As I said earlier, that may be right or it may be wrong. I think that it is wrong. It would certainly be novel. It would examine the judgment of those who were directing inquiries. How could it be the job of a Select Committee to interfere in police operational matters, and how could it oversee the product of interception without looking into the consequences of the inquiry in which interception had played one small part? As for the security services, how could it be right for a Select Committee to have oversight of operational matters? It would undermine ministerial responsibility. It would also undermine the proper responsibilities of senior management and the Director General. I emphasise that the Government do not challenge the need for independent scrutiny of authorised interception. That is provided for in the Bill. However, it would be a different matter if a Select Committee were to carry out inquiries into operational matters at perhaps the same time as the Director General was quite rightly carrying out such an examination.

Mr. MacLennan

At an earlier stage of the proceedings on the Bill the Minister attached weight to the importance of parliamentary accountability and drew attention to the provisions of clause 8, under which the Commissioner is to place an annual report before Parliament. Despite the drafting defects of the new clause, does the Minister not believe that there would be some merit in a Select Committee considering the Commissioner's report so that in turn it would report and give some reality to parliamentary accountability?

Mr. Waddington

I do not think that I should be drawn on that point. The hon. Gentleman is asking for my opinion about a new clause which would be entirely different from this new clause and which would be directed towards an entirely different purpose. Therefore, I believe that the House will appreciate it if I stick to this new clause. The Government are opposed to it on a number of grounds. In terms of security, there is no need to add yet another parliamentary dimension to the existing arrangements for control and accountability. The idea of a Select Committee overseeing operational and day-to-day matters is fundamentally objectionable. Oversight could not mean anything else. This kind of oversight is not the task of a Select Committee. Such an arrangement would run counter to the provisions contained in the Bill for independent oversight and scrutiny and would weaken, not enhance, the proper responsibilities of those concerned. Therefore, I ask the House to reject the new clause.

Question put, That the clause be read a Second time:—

The House divided: Ayes 143, Noes 212.

Division No. 183] [5.55 pm
Alton, David Dubs, Alfred
Anderson, Donald Duffy, A. E. P.
Archer, Rt Hon Peter Dunwoody, Hon Mrs G.
Ashdown, Paddy Eastham, Ken
Ashton, Joe Edwards, Bob (W'h'mpt'n SE)
Atkinson, N. (Tottenham) Evans, John (St. Helens N)
Bagier, Gordon A. T. Fatchett, Derek
Barron, Kevin Faulds, Andrew
Beckett, Mrs Margaret Fields, T. (L'pool Broad Gn)
Beith, A. J. Flannery, Martin
Bennett, A. (Dent'n & Red'sh) Foot, Rt Hon Michael
Bidwell, Sydney Foster, Derek
Blair, Anthony Foulkes, George
Boyes, Roland Freeson, Rt Hon Reginald
Brown, N. (N'c'tle-u-Tyne E) Freud, Clement
Brown, Ron (E'burgh, Leith) Garrett, W. E.
Buchan, Norman Golding, John
Caborn, Richard Gould, Bryan
Callaghan, Jim (Heyw'd & M) Hamilton, James (M'well N)
Campbell, Ian Hamilton, W. W. (Central Fife)
Campbell-Savours, Dale Hardy, Peter
Canavan, Dennis Harman, Ms Harriet
Carter-Jones, Lewis Harrison, Rt Hon Walter
Cartwright, John Hattersley, Rt Hon Roy
Clay, Robert Heffer, Eric S.
Clwyd, Mrs Ann Hogg, N. (C'nauld & Kilsyth)
Cocks, Rt Hon M. (Bristol S.) Hoyle, Douglas
Cohen, Harry Hughes, Dr. Mark (Durham)
Coleman, Donald Hughes, Roy (Newport East)
Conlan, Bernard Hughes, Sean (Knowsley S)
Cook, Robin F. (Livingston) John, Brynmor
Corbett, Robin Jones, Barry (Alyn & Deeside)
Corbyn, Jeremy Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald
Cowans, Harry Kennedy, Charles
Craigen, J. M. Kilroy-Silk, Robert
Cunliffe, Lawrence Kirkwood, Archy
Davis, Terry (B'ham, H'ge H'I) Lambie, David
Deakins, Eric Lamond, James
Dewar, Donald Leadbitter, Ted
Dixon, Donald Leighton, Ronald
Dormand, Jack Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)
Douglas, Dick Lewis, Terence (Worsley)
Litherland, Robert Roberts, Ernest (Hackney N)
Lloyd, Tony (Stretford) Ross, Stephen (Isle of Wight)
Loyden, Edward Shore, Rt Hon Peter
McCartney, Hugh Short, Mrs R.(W'hampt'n NE)
McGuire, Michael Silkin, Rt Hon J.
McKay, Allen (Penistone) Skinner, Dennis
McKelvey, William Smith, C.(lsl'ton S & F'bury)
Maclennan, Robert Smith, Rt Hon J. (M'kl'ds E)
Madden, Max Snape, Peter
Marek, Dr John Soley, Clive
Mason, Rt Hon Roy Spearing, Nigel
Maxton, John Steel, Rt Hon David
Maynard, Miss Joan Stewart, Rt Hon D. (W Isles)
Meacher, Michael Stott, Roger
Meadowcroft, Michael Strang, Gavin
Michie, William Thomas, Dr R. (Carmarthen)
Mikardo, Ian Thompson, J. (Wansbeck)
Milian, Rt Hon Bruce Tinn, James
Morris, Rt Hon A. (W'shawe) Torney, Tom
Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon) Wainwright, R.
Nellist, David Wallace, James
Oakes, Rt Hon Gordon Wardell, Gareth (Gower)
O'Brien, William Wareing, Robert
Orme, Rt Hon Stanley White, James
Park, George Wilson, Gordon
Penhaligon, David Winnick, David
Powell, Raymond (Ogmore) Wrigglesworth, Ian
Prescott, John
Randall, Stuart Tellers for the Ayes:
Redmond, M. Mr. John Mc William and
Rees, Rt Hon M. (Leeds S) Mr. Frank Haynes.
Richardson, Ms Jo
Alexander, Richard Currie, Mrs Edwina
Alison, Rt Hon Michael Dickens, Geoffrey
Ashby, David Dicks, Terry
Aspinwall, Jack Dorrell, Stephen
Atkins, Rt Hon Sir H. Douglas-Hamilton, Lord J.
Atkins, Robert (South Ribble) Dunn, Robert
Atkinson, David (B'ro'th E) Evennett, David
Baker, Nicholas (N Dorset) Eyre, Sir Reginald
Baldry, Tony Fairbairn, Nicholas
Batiste, Spencer Farr, Sir John
Beaumont-Dark, Anthony Favell, Anthony
Bellingham, Henry Fenner, Mrs Peggy
Bendall, Vivian Fletcher, Alexander
Benyon, William Fookes, Miss Janet
Bevan, David Gilroy Forth, Eric
Biggs-Davison, Sir John Fox, Marcus
Blackburn, John Freeman, Roger
Bonsor, Sir Nicholas Gale, Roger
Boscawen, Hon Robert Galley, Roy
Bottomley, Peter Gardner, Sir Edward (Fylde)
Bottomley, Mrs Virginia Goodhart, Sir Philip
Bowden, A. (Brighton K'to'n) Goodlad, Alastair
Bowden, Gerald (Dulwich) Gorst, John
Braine, Rt Hon Sir Bernard Gow, Ian
Bright, Graham Gower, Sir Raymond
Brinton, Tim Gregory, Conal
Bruinvels, Peter Griffiths, E. (B'y St Edm'ds)
Bryan, Sir Paul Griffiths, Peter (Portsm'th N)
Buck, Sir Antony Ground, Patrick
Bulmer, Esmond Hamilton, Neil (Tatton)
Butterfill, John Hanley, Jeremy
Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln) Hannam, John
Carlisle, Rt Hon M. (W'ton S) Hargreaves, Kenneth
Cash, William Harris, David
Channon, Rt Hon Paul Haselhurst, Alan
Chapman, Sydney Hawkins, Sir Paul (SW N'folk)
Clark, Dr Michael (Rochford) Hawksley, Warren
Clark, Sir W. (Croydon S) Hayes, J.
Cockeram, Eric Hayward, Robert
Conway, Derek Heathcoat-Amory, David
Coombs, Simon Hicks, Robert
Cope, John Hirst Michael
Corrie, John Holland, Sir Philip (Gedling)
Couchman, James Holt, Richard
Cranborne, Viscount Hordern, Peter
Crouch, David Howarth, Alan (Stratf'd-on-A)
Howell, Ralph (N Norfolk) Osborn, Sir John
Hubbard-Miles, Peter Page, Richard (Herts SW)
Hunt, David (Wirral) Patten, J. (Oxf W & Abdgn)
Hunt, John (Ravensbourne) Pawsey, James
Hunter, Andrew Peacock, Mrs Elizabeth
Irving, Charles Percival, Rt Hon Sir Ian
Jessel, Toby Pollock, Alexander
Johnson Smith, Sir Geoffrey Porter, Barr
Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N) Portillo, Michael
Jones, Robert (W Herts) Powell, William (Corby)
Kellett-Bowman, Mrs Elaine Prentice, Rt Hon Reg
Kershaw, Sir Anthony Proctor, K. Harve
Key, Robert Raffan, Keith
King, Roger (B'ham N'field) Rathbone, Tim
Knight, Gregory (Derby N) Rhodes James, Robert
Knowles, Michael Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon
Knox, David Ridsdale, Sir Julian
Lang, Ian Roe, Mrs Marion
Latham, Michael Rost, Peter
Lawler, Geoffrey Ryder, Richard
Lawrence, Ivan Sackville, Hon Thomas
Leigh, Edward (Gainsbor'gh) Sainsbury, Hon Timothy
Lennox-Boyd, Hon Mark St. John-Stevas, Rt Hon N.
Lewis,Sir Kenneth (Stamf'd) Shepherd, Colin (Hereford)
Lightbown, David Shepherd, Richard (Aldridge)
Lilley, Peter Silvester, Fred
Lloyd, Peter, (Fareham) Skeet, T. H. H.
Luce, Richard Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield)
McCrindle, Robert Soames, Hon Nicholas
McCurley, Mrs Anna Speed, Keith
Macfarlane, Neil Spence, John
MacGregor, John Spencer, Derek
MacKay, Andrew (Berkshire) Stanbrook, Ivor
Maclean, David John Stern, Michael
McQuarrie, Albert Stewart, Allan (Eastwood)
Madel, David Stewart, Andrew (Sherwood)
Major, John Sumberg, David
Malins, Humfrey Taylor, Teddy (S'end E)
Malone, Gerald Temple-Morris, Peter
Maples, John Terlezki, Stefan
Marlow, Antony Thomas, Rt Hon Peter
Marshall, Michael (Arundel) Thompson. Donald (Calder V)
Mates, Michael Thurnham, Peter
Mather, Carol Townend, John (Bridlington)
Maude, Hon Francis Viggers, Peter
Mawhinney, Dr Brian Waddington, David
Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin Walden, George
Mayhew, Sir Patrick Walker, Bill (T'side N)
Merchant, Piers Waller, Gary
Meyer, Sir Anthony Walters, Dennis
Miller, Hal (B'grove) Warren, Kenneth
Mills, lain (Meriden) Watson, John
Monro, Sir Hector Wells, Bowen (Hertford)
Montgomery, Sir Fergus Wells, Sir John (Maidstone)
Morris, M. (N'hampton, S) Wheeler, John
Morrison, Hon C. (Devizes) Whitfield, John
Murphy, Christopher Wolfson, Mark
Needham, Richard Woodcock, Michael
Nelson, Anthony
Neubert, Michael Tellers for the Noes:
Nicholls, Patrick Mr. Tristan Garel Jones and
Onslow, Cranley Mr. Tony Durant.

Question accordingly negatived.

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