§ Mr. Hoyle
Are you aware, Mr. Speaker, that Adolfo Calero, the well-known terrorist and military leader of the Contras. is visiting the House of Commons at the moment? Apart from the double standards shown by the Prime Minister and the Conservative party in acting as hosts to that well-known terrorist, may I contrast the treatment of that man with the treatment of Mr. Bennett, whose pass was withdrawn, although he was an innocent person? Were you aware that that terrorist was visiting the House? As it lies within your powers, will you ask that man, that monster, who has the blood of innocent people dripping from his hands, to withdraw from the House immediately?
§ Mr. Speaker
Order. Let me deal with one at a time. I have no knowledge that any regulation in regard to visitors to the House has been broken. If the hon. Gentleman has any knowledge of any regulation being broken, perhaps he will come and see me about it.
§ Mr. David Ashby (Leicestershire, North-West)
Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. Surely there is a precedent, because in 1978 during the Sandinista revolution against the legitimate Government of Nicaragua, the Sandinista leader visited the House at the invitation of the Labour party.
§ Mr. George Foulkes (Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley)
Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. On behalf of the Labour Front Bench, I should like to support my hon. Friend the Member for Warrington, North (Mr. Hoyle). We know, Mr. Speaker, that at the moment you are dealing with access to the precincts of the House of Commons. I am sure that you will agree that it is important for you to be seen to be even-handed in the matter and to treat both sides and all Members of the House on an equal basis. As my hon. Friend said, I understand that Adolfo Calero, a Contra terrorist leader, known to have led that band of terrorists, killing innocent civilians in Nicaragua, has been invited into the House—[SEVERAL. HON. MEMBERS: "He is here"]—is present in the House at the invitation of Conservative Members. All that we are asking, Mr. Speaker, is that you look into the matter, find out the facts about the invitation and the exact 302 circumstances, and make a statement to the House about whether there has been, as my hon. Friend and I believe, a breach of the regulations.
§ Mr. Speaker
Order. I can deal with the matter. I shall certainly look into it, hut, as I said to the hon. Member for Warrington, North (Mr. Hoyle), I have no knowledge that any regulation has been broken. I cannot be responsible for anybody who is brought into the House by another hon. Member. That has never been the responsibility of Mr. Speaker, but, if any regulation has been broken, I shall gladly report to the House.
§ Mr. Bowen Wells (Hertford and Stortford)
I should like to support your ruling, Mr. Speaker, because it is—[Interruption.]
§ Mr. Speaker
Is it a different point of order?—[Interruption.] Order. I have said what I am going to do about the matter and I cannot say any more.
§ Mr. Banks
It is a new point of order, Mr. Speaker, because you have impressed upon the House the need to ensure that hon. Members of all parties are protected from the possibility of personal attack or outrage upon them as individuals. Many of my hon. Friends have attacked the policies and the attitudes of the Contra terrorists and we now hear that the leader of the Contras is here—an assassin, a man who has the blood of women and children on his hands, and who will undoubtedly be taking this opportunity to find out about Opposition Members who have defended the legitimate Sandinista Government of Nicaragua. This man should be dragged from the House. We need to be protected from him.
§ Mr. Wells
Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. Is it not in the best traditions of this House that those putting different points of view should be admitted without distinction? People representing the current Nicaraguan Government have been admitted on behalf of the Labour party, so this man, who is putting a contrary point of view, should be admitted also. I look to you, Mr. Speaker, to maintain such access to the House to the fullest of your power and ability.
§ Mr. Speaker
A different point of order. Well, let me deal with them one at a time. I have already said that I shall look into this matter. If any regulations have been broken I shall, of course, report to the House but if regulations have not been broken, the matter is as the hon. Member for Hertford and Stortford (Mr. Wells) has said. This place has always been open to visitors provided that they come in with a Member. However, I shall certainly look into it.
§ Mr. Grocott
Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. In any inquiries that you make, may I ask you to look into the question of who is paying for this terrorist's visit to this country? As you will appreciate, Mr. Speaker, it is the responsibility of all of us in the House to show some solidarity with sister legislatures and, as you know, the Congress of the United States is at the moment desperately attempting to bring the President to book for the way in which he has diverted funds to the Contras via Iranian arms sales. We owe it to the Congress of the United States to make sure that we know where the money is going.
§ Mr. Patrick Cormack (Staffordshire, South)
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. Will you take action if, and only if, this gentleman has applied to become a research assistant?
§ Mr. Winnick
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. When you say that regulations may not have been broken, will you bear in mind that many of my hon. Friends believe that the House of Commons, this honourable House, would be contaminated by having in our presence someone who is the leader of a notorious band of murderers who have carried out countless acts of terrorism? If I may, Mr. Speaker, I would ask you to ask the Serjeant at Arms to see where this person is, and to see to it that if this person is on the premises he is turfed out now. May I also ask you whether you intend to report back to the House today, because we are concerned about this issue and find no justification whatsoever for Tory Members to invite over a notorious terrorist when they pay lip service to opposing terrorism?