§ Order for Second Reading read.
§ Mr. Speaker
I have selected the reasoned amendment in the name of the Leader of the Opposition. Since we have such a late start to this important debate, I appeal for brief contributions from the Front and Back Benches.
§ The Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. Douglas Hurd)
I beg to move, That the Bill be now read a Second time.
Like my predecessors, Labour and Conservative, I have to show that the necessary effort against terrorism requires certain limited powers for the police and for the courts which go beyond those granted by the ordinary law. I hope that I shall not have great difficulty in doing that this afternoon because events in all our minds make the argument for me.
The Bill covers international as well as Irish terrorism. There are examples of how we have suffered from international terrorism which I need not rehearse because they are familiar to the House. But for some months now our fellow countrymen in Northern Ireland, and we ourselves, have been living through a particularly intense phase in the latest campaign by the Provisional IRA. The past 20 years have seen in the United Kingdom a terrorist campaign unparalleled in the western world, aimed ostensibly at the goal of a united Marxist Ireland. This campaign has caused the death of almost 3,000 men, women and children, more than three quarters of them Irish men and women. It has also been responsible for the deaths of more than 400 soldiers. This year alone 91 people have been killed in Northern Ireland.
Those statistics take their place among all the other statistical information with which we are bombarded, but they do not tell the full story of the individuals—of 21-year-old Gillian Johnson murdered in county Fermanagh: she is not just a statistic; a 12-year-old schoolgirl severely injured when a bomb exploded on a school bus; two elderly householders killed when a booby trap bomb exploded in a block of flats in Londonderry; 32 soldiers and six police officers killed this year; Mr. Lavery and his 13-year-old granddaughter murdered last week in the village of Benburb.
It should not be just for right hon. and hon. Members representing Northern Ireland constituencies to lay those tragedies before us. Recent events prove beyond doubt a point that was made at Question Time today—that we must redouble and intensify our efforts to tell the world the simple truth about the Provisional IRA.
I want to make two brief points before I come to the Bill. The record shows that the only currency in which the Provisional IRA is interested is that of corpses. In creating misery they are masters, but in advancing towards a united Ireland they are failures. They have not broken the determination of the people of Northern Ireland. They have not deflected our security forces. They have not bullied the House or our constituents into calling on us to abandon the effort against them. The few and fractious 208 voices raised in support of the abandonment of Northern Ireland find no echo. For all their ferocity, the IRA has failed, and will continue to fail.
A month ago the hon. Member for Newry and Armagh (Mr. Mallon) accused the Government of working onthe cardinal error that somehow we can make the law defeat terrorism."—[Official Report, 2 November 1988; Vol. 139, c. 1113.]But it is not an argument against a particular measure that by itself it does not do all that is required. Success against terrorism in Northern Ireland, as elsewhere, depends on energetic co-operation in the security effort on both sides of the border. It depends on all the valiant efforts, in which the hon. Gentleman's party joins, being made to reconcile the two communities in the north. It depends on sustaining the economy. But it also depends, and depends crucially, on having in place laws properly adapted to the prevention and pursuit of terrorism. Terrorism is a crime, but it is an exceptional crime, directed at the heart of society, carried out on the whole by well-trained and well-equipped men. Society has to learn to protect itself by measures to prevent terrorism and then, if necessary, to bring terrorists to justice.
The Bill is called the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Bill, not the "Punishment of Terrorism" Bill. The limited special powers which I shall ask the House to approve save lives because they are powers of prevention. I exercised those powers for a year as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and for three years in my present position and, incident by incident, I have no doubt of that. If we have to wait to act until evidence of a specific offence is available, we may have to wait until there is a victim. That is to wait too long. We must be able to act where we can before blood is spilled on the streets.
The first Prevention of Terrorism Bill was introduced by a Labour Government in two days in November 1974 in the light of a particular violent campaign on the mainland. Members of the Opposition Front Bench once grasped the nettle and took the action that they have since come to oppose. The 1974 Act and the Act passed two years later in 1976 contained many of the powers which we have come to see as essential to our security forces—proscription, special powers of arrest and detention and exclusion, as well as examination at ports handling traffic within the common travel area. The 1976 Act was replaced by a further Act in 1984, which was given a five year life. It expires on 21 March 1989.
The Bill before the House replaces that Act. In working it out we have had in mind three principles. We want to preserve the core of the powers which have proved their worth in the fight against terrorism. We want to bring before the House a number of new measures, principally financial, which we believe will add significantly to those defences, and we want to bring in a number of reforms which have been proposed in the review of the legislation by Lord Colville.
During the passage of the 1983 Bill my predecessor announced an independent scrutiny of the operation of the Act each year. There have been thorough and critical reviews by Sir Cyril Philips in 1984 and 1985, and by Lord Colville in 1986 and 1987. Last year I asked Lord Colville to widen his terms of reference to consider not just the operation of the Act but the legislation as a whole. The Bill includes many of his recommendations, and I thank him for the care and thoroughness with which he has 209 approached a difficult and sometimes thankless task. Lord Colville has agreed to continue his work of scrutinising the operation of the Act, by the police and the Executive, and that is good news.
The central powers in the Bill remain unchanged because we believe that they are needed. Lord Colville accepted the continued need for the powers of arrest and detention, but disagreed with us over exclusion. I share Lord Colville's dislike for exclusion in principle. I must take great care when exercising the power. A great amount of detail is brought before me in each case. But I see no alternative when it is not possible to bring charges against those who are planning acts of terrorism. Let me give an example.
Earlier this year the police were able to locate and follow a number of people in London whom they suspected of being members of an IRA active service unit. It was not possible to bring charges against them because no terrorist act had yet been committed. But I had no doubt on the information available to me that they should not be allowed to remain here to prepare or plan for acts of terrorism. As right hon. and hon. Members will know, we sometimes have intelligence which, for obvious reasons, we cannot quote in court. Case by case, there are justifications for exclusion. Let me give another practical example which crops up from time to time. Exclusion seems to be justified when people convicted of serious terrorist offences talk openly in prison of their intention to become involved in terrorism again once their sentence has expired. There again, with the proper precautions, a decision on exclusion is justified.
§ Mr. Tony Banks (Newham, North-West)
Will the Home Secretary accept from me that no Opposition Member supports terrorism or bomb outrages, or indeed, as far as I know, the IRA? However, since the right hon. Gentleman is giving examples, let me give him one. One of my constituents, Peter Clifford, a bookseller, was arrested under the Prevention of Terrorism Act and, frankly, that was an outrage. That is why people such as me object to it. How many people have been arrested under the Act but have never been charged with terrorist offences?
§ Mr. Hurd
I am sorry that I gave way to the hon. Gentleman. I was dealing with exclusion. He misses the whole point of the legislation, which is prevention. It is illusory to suppose that every act of detention or exclusion can be justified only if a charge follows. If the hon. Gentleman had been following my argument, he would know that the whole point is that that is not necessarily so.
§ Mr. Hunter
I just felt that my right hon. Friend was being too fair in referring only to Lord Colville's objections to exclusion orders. It is equally relevant to record that Lord Jellicoe, in his review, regarded exclusion orders as being vital to public safety and to combating terrorism.
§ Mr. Hurd
There is disagreement between those two noble Lords, and I have given my view.
The system of three-year reviews introduced in the last Bill has meant a substantial reduction in the number of people excluded, which is now 123. Even if the power were used even less than it is now, I should continue to believe that in a rare number of cases it is necessary.
The power to arrest and detain persons on reasonable suspicion of involvement in the commission, preparation or instigation of an act of terrorism has shown itself to be an invaluable part of our armoury, and Lord Colville had no hesitation in recommending its continuance.
The House is aware of the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in the case of Brogan and others, which was delivered last week. The court found that the purpose of the arrests of the four applicants in that case fell well within the purposes permitted by the convention—that these arrests were based on reasonable suspicion of the commission of an offence within the meaning of the convention, and that the intention behind the arrests was to bring charges if sufficient and usable evidence could be obtained. The judgment makes it clear that the arrest powers—a cornerstone of our prevention of terrorism legislation—do not conflict with the European convention on human rights.
Where the court differed from the Government was not over the arrest power or the length of detention available under the Act, but on the need for detainees to be brought before a judge or other officer authorised by law to exercise judicial power.
The Government have no doubt that the seven days detention, which has been available under the 1974 Act and its successors, is fully justified in some cases in order to give the police time to complete often complex inquiries to establish—
§ Mr. Hurd
I shall finish this section about detention, because it is an argument that runs forward, and then I shall give way to the hon. Gentleman.
I was saying that I believe, as our predecessors did, that this power is fully justified in some cases to give the police time to complete often complex inquiries in order to establish whether an offence has been committed. In his report, Lord Colville set out 14 reasons why the police might need this period of detention in such cases. The extended period of detention has led to major charges in respect of a number of terrorist crimes. I shall give an example. Following the shooting at close range of an off-duty part-time RUC reservist, and, acting on information, the police detained a person in connection with the crime. A three-day extension of his detention was requested for questioning about the suspect's alleged involvement in the incident and to await the completion of forensic and fingerprint comparisons. But it was only after a further two-day extension—up to the maximum—for the police to check out an alibi that the detainee could be charged with murder. He is now serving a life sentence.
Against the background of the terrorist campaign that this country continues to suffer, and the overriding need to bring terrorists to justice, we do not believe that the maximum time a detainee is available for interview under the terrorism legislation should be any less. We wish to ensure that the police continue to have the powers which they and we believe they need to counter terrorism. It 211 follows, as those familiar with the convention will know, that there are two ways in which we can proceed. We can decide to derogate under the convention in respect of the exercise of these powers, as provided for in article 15 of the convention; or we can introduce a judicial element into the procedure for authorising extensions of detention in order to comply with article 5.3 of the convention. The court recognised the difficulties of judicial control over decisions to arrest and detain suspected terrorists. It acknowledged that these may call for suitable procedural precautions. It acknowledged, too, the particular circumstances of Northern Ireland.
Our system contrasts with that on the continent, in which examining magistrates supervise police inquiries and also, normally, authorise detention. I have no doubt that the House, as I would, would have preferred to see this matter resolved before debating the Second Reading of the Bill today. But it would not have been sensible to rush into hasty decisions on a highly complicated problem between last week's judgment and today's debate. I believe that the House will understand why we feel it necessary to proceed with a little more deliberation in this case. We are examining the problem with an open mind, and I shall bring forward our proposals, as the House is entitled to expect, before the Bill leaves this House.
Does the hon. Member for Sunderland, South (Mr. Mullin) wish to comment on detention?
§ Mr. Mullin
Does the Home Secretary agree that at the root of many of the actual and alleged miscarriages of justice lie convictions based mainly—or entirely in some cases—on confessions obtained in police custody? Does he agree, therefore, that the longer a suspect remains in police custody, the easier it is for police to obtain uncorroborated confessions? Does he agree that that is an unhealthy aspect, which is common to many of the principal alleged miscarriages of justice, starting with Timothy Evans and finishing with the Birmingham and Guildford bombing cases?
§ Mr. Hurd
The hon. Gentleman's worries about these matters are to a substantial extent out of date. I believe that the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 and the changes in procedure as to what happens in police stations in Northern Ireland mean that many of those fears are now unfounded.
Lord Colville recommended that the Act should become permanent. We have considered his recommendation carefully and, of course, one can argue that after 14 years, if terrorism shows no sign of abating, Parliament should face the need for permanent legislation. We believe that it is right that exceptional powers, such as these, should be allowed to remain on the statute book only for as long as is absolutely necessary. We believe that Parliament should regularly have to take a conscious decision as to whether they should remain in force. That is why the powers in the Bill will, as now, have to be renewed regularly or they will lapse. They can be renewed wholly or in part, as Parliament decides, so that if Parliament takes the view at any time that a certain provision can safely be allowed to cease to have effect, this can happen. But we do not believe that it is necessary to have a new Act every five years. So we have returned to the position in the 1974 and 1976 Acts of annual review and continuance, but we shall give the Bill no expiry date.
212 There are two provisions in part V of the Bill which are new and which apply only to Northern Ireland. I shall mention them only in summary, because my hon. Friend the Minister of State will deal with them in his reply. Those provisions refer to changes in the remission arrangements, which arise because of our growing concern about the number of people who return to terrorism after being released from prison. Those changes will not affect those now in prison and will apply only to those who commit offences after the Bill becomes law.
We have decided first to reduce remission from one half to one third for people who commit serious terrorist offences and who are sentenced to fixed terms of five years or more. This will not apply to those sentenced to less than five years imprisonment or to those convicted of non-scheduled offences. We are also providing—remember that this is important—that people on conditional release from prison, who are convicted of a scheduled offence, will be required to serve first any unexpired period of remission relating to the previous prison sentence. These measures are designed to deter people from committing terrorist offences and, by restricting the opportunity for those convicted to become further involved on release, to protect the general public.
§ Ms. Clare Short (Birmingham, Ladywood)
From the time that the right hon. Gentleman served in Northern Ireland, he will appreciate that the large numbers of young people who are in prison because they have been convicted of offences connected with terrorism tends to tie their families, those who live near them and whole sections of the community to support and loyalty to that individual and loyalty to the paramilitary organisation. He must know that because it relates to the concern to obtain the release of young prisoners. Does the right hon. Gentleman believe that the Bill will simply tie even more people, for even longer, to loyalty to the person in prison and thus to the paramilitary organisation?
§ Mr. Hurd
The great thing is to prevent people from being swept into that disastrous cycle. Notions such as, "You are in the Maze, but not for so long and then you come back and join us again" are held by certain people. If the new added deterrents are known, from the start, by new offenders I believe that they could have the opposite effect to what the hon. Lady fears. I believe that they will effectively discourage people from getting involved in such horror.
The new provisions on the finances of terrorism are complicated. I am truncating my remarks, but if there are any particular points that hon. Members wish to raise, as opposed to in Committee, my hon. Friend will deal with them later.
The existing Acts prohibit contributions to acts of Northern Irish terrorism and give a power to the courts to order the forfeiture of any money or property intended to be used for terrorist offences. In recent years, it has become clear that we must do more than that and that we need more extensive financial legislation to strike at the financial roots of terrorism. The Chief Constable of the RUC, Sir John Hermon, made that clear in his annual report for 1987. One estimate of the annual income of the Provisional IRA is put at between £3 million and £4 million a year. The provisionals need that money to buy arms and equipment because it is not all given to them by 213 Colonel Gaddafi. They need the money to support the members of their ASUs and their dependants and also to fund the work of Sinn Fein.
Because money is so important to the Provisional IRA, that organisation has devoted a good deal of time and effort to fund raising. We must halt and reverse its success. Such fund raising is partly a matter of extortion and armed robbery and, of course, that is already covered by law. However, the IRA has gone into apparently legitimate business that gives it an assured income and a firmer base. It is, for example, producing, on quite a large scale, pirate videos. It is engineering mortgage fraud through unsuspecting estate agents. The RUC is actively investigating those matters, but the Chief Constable believes that the powers contained in the Bill are vital if he is to tackle the root of such terrorist racketeering.
It is not just the IRA which is involved in such things. We also have evidence that middle east terrorist groups have used the London banking system to their advantage. An Abu Nidhal cell was discovered in London in 1986 and it was run at a cost of about £50,000 a year. Money had been brought into the United Kingdom by couriers and maintained by the cell's leader to pay for safe houses, the travel expenses of the agent, as well as the salaries of the team.
In the Bill we propose a range of measures aimed at intercepting the flow of funds to terrorism. We have built on section 10 of the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act 1984 to provide a comprehensive scheme of investigation, prosecution and forfeiture of funds or property destined to be used to finance terrorism. Under clause 9 of the Bill it is an offence to solicit, receive or to make available money or other contributions for terrorist purposes. It will also be an offence to enter into, or otherwise be concerned in, an arrangement whereby money or other property is made available to a person for terrorist purposes, which are widely defined in the Bill. That is intended to cover, for example, banking transactions involving payments to a customer's order. The offence will also cover an arrangement whereby money or other property is made available to a lawful business and either that money, or the profits of that activity, is intended to be used for terrorist purposes. I make it clear—it could become an important point—that those offences will apply to Northern Irish and international terrorism. Moreover, entering an arrangement facilitating the retention or control of terrorist funds will be an offence—the so-called laundering offence. In order to commit that offence the person entering into such an arrangement must know, or have reasonable cause to suspect, that the arrangement is related to terrorist funds.
We hope that, as with the Drug Trafficking Offences Act 1986, the police will have the co-operation of the banks and other financial organisations. We have discussed the proposals with the financial institutions of the banking world in London and Belfast and they accept the need for incisive action against funds passing through banks and other financial institutions. We are glad of that.
The Bill will provide for the forfeiture of money or property destined for terrorist use or which was the subject of an arrangement for handling or laundering terrorist funds. It will prohibit dealings in property, which is liable to be forfeited, and the police will be able to apply for a 214 restraint order before a person is charged. That power to freeze has been extremely important in the case of drug trafficking and that power is crucial if anyone liable to be charged with one of the financial offences is not to frustrate the forfeiture procedure by shifting his assets abroad while the proceedings go on.
The Bill provides for Orders in Council to designate other countries whose forfeiture and restraint procedures will be enforceable in the United Kingdom. Those Orders in Council will be made as and when we manage to negotiate mutual enforcement agreements with other countries. We would hope to start that process as soon as the Bill becomes law. If funds can cross international barriers, the powers to intercept those funds must also cross those barriers. That is an obvious point that was also applied to drug trafficking cases and it is beginning to work out quite well.
Linked to the strong new proposals on finance are new powers for the police to carry out investigations into terrorism. The police may apply to a magistrate for a warrant to search for material on terrorism that does not include "special procedure" or "excluded" material or items subject to legal privilege. All those terms will be familiar to those who soldiered through the Police and Criminal Evidence Bill in 1984. The police will also be able to apply to a circuit judge for an order requiring specified material to be produced, including bank records or bank transactions.
In Northern Ireland there will be a separate option available to the Secretary of State where he considers that a court-based application for a warrant or order would not be appropriate. He may then issue a "Secretary of State's Order", but only after applying a rigorous test to the case in question to prove that the RUC investigations would be prejudiced, that a person's safety would be endangered, or, on a broader plane, that the safety of Northern Ireland would be endangered. In weighing up such an application, the same considerations then apply to the Secretary of State's order as would apply to a court application.
The new measures, which hang together to an extent, are complex and far reaching. They aim to prevent the flow of funds to terrorist organisations. They will apply to the funding of terrorism here or abroad. I believe that if we get them through and get them working properly, they will greatly reduce the resources of terrorism and thus the ability of the terrorist to kill and maim.
§ Mr. Hurd
No. I have already given way to the hon. Lady and I am coming to the end of my speech. I am also aware that you, Madam Deputy Speaker, have a long list of speakers. It is already nearly 6 pm and the debate must end at 10 pm.
Finally, let us consider the point of principle. I hope that I have set out in summary, but nevertheless across the board, a convincing case for limited, special powers to resist terrorism, and, in particular, for the specific powers in the Bill. Some of those powers are familiar from similar previous Bills, but the provisions that I have spent the past 15 minutes outlining are new.
In recent years this subject has stoked up a great deal of anger and heat across the Floor of the House. Is it really unrealistic to hope that we can do better than that today? I have deliberately presented the case in uncontroversial terms and I have deliberately refrained from making the 215 kind of debating points that Opposition right hon. and hon. Members know that I could make, perhaps to some effect.
In answer to the hon. Member for Newham, North-West (Mr. Banks), we do not say that the Labour party, here or in the country, supports terrorism because it has voted against the predecessors of the Bill. We simply say that, in our view, those who oppose the Bill have not thought through the nature of terrorism. They have not thought through the techniques that are at the command of terrorists, nor have they thought through the means that society, through the House and the Government, need to prevent the spilling of blood and to deal effectively with those who have spilt it. That is our charge, and it is a serious one. I hope that it can be met tonight.
It would be a great strength to this country if we could proceed on this matter with general agreement. There really is no abuse of power in the proposals. Lord Colville's scrupulous examination of how the powers have hitherto been handled confirms that. There is nothing tyrannical or abusive in the new proposals on finance. It is a carefully thought out response to the efforts of our enemies. I very much hope that the Opposition will, if they can, take advantage of the fact that it is a new Bill and support us tonight.
§ 6 pm
§ Mr. Roy Hattersley (Birmingham, Sparkbrook)
I beg to move, to leave out from "That" to the end of the Question and to add instead thereof:this House, reasserting its determination to defeat terrorism and believing that the defeat of terrorism in Northern Ireland can only be achieved with the wholehearted support of law-abiding citizens, declines to give a Second Reading to a Bill which undermines the rule of law on which the fight against terrorism must be based; and refuses to provide permanent powers either for a suspect to be detained for seven days without charge or for exclusion orders which effectively impose internal exile on British citizens, since such powers are wrong in principle and, by the offence they cause, aid rather than combat terrorists and terrorism; and further asserts its support for the measures to confiscate terrorist funds since these are both consistent with a free society and likely to provide practical results.
We invite the House to vote for our amendment which, if carried, would deny the Bill a Second Reading. We wish to do that as a demonstration of our irrevocable opposition to the continuation of powers that we believe to be wrong both in principle and in practice.
The way in which the Home Secretary moved the Second Reading enables me both to follow Mr. Speaker's injunction to be brief and to attempt to match the reasonable tone that the right hon. Gentleman employed in advocating his cause. He was right to say that the dispute between us—and dispute there is and will remain—concerns the best way to defeat terrorism and the obligations of a free Parliament in a democratic society. I am delighted that he put on record the fact that that is the nature of our disagreement, thus repudiating a Conservative research department brief—"AH(88)37 enquiries to Steven Brindle"—which was prepared for the debate and which made a quite different point.
I shall attempt to match the right hon. Gentleman's tone of logic and reason by saying, categorically, that in a free society it is wrong in principle to detain a suspect for seven days without charge and that it is wrong in a democracy to oblige a man or a woman, through the use of exclusion orders, to live in parts of the country 216 stipulated by the Government. The application of both those measures is justified by those who advocate them, as they were justified by the Home Secretary today, as an undesirable but necessary encroachment on our liberties. To describe such powers as undesirable is grossly to understate the proper objections to such denials of our traditional freedom. To describe them as necessary misunderstands the way—and it is the only way—in which the war against terrorists and terrorism can be won.
§ Mr. Derek Conway (Shrewsbury and Atcham)
I do not want to raise the heat of the debate so early in our proceedings, but can the right hon. Gentleman explain why twice as many people were detained under the legislation during the five years of the Government of whom he was a member than have been detained while the Conservative Government have been in office?
§ Mr. Hattersley
I shall attempt to reach out across the Floor and conduct the debate in the way in which I believe that it should be conducted. I accept that I was a member of the Cabinet that supported the continuation of the prevention of terrorism legislation. If I so choose, I could construct arguments to show that matters were different then from now. However, that is not the point that I wish to make tonight. I believe that my Government were mistaken at that time, but the fact that we were wrong then is no justification for being wrong now. There are occasions when it is sensible for politicians to say that what we did 10 years ago was wrong based on present evidence. Indeed, I said just that about an immigration matter dating back to 1967, and I say it about this Bill. If we feel able to say that, we are more likely to have a rational debate than if we were required to defend everything that we have done in the past.
I could mention special considerations not about terrorism in general, but as it is associated with Northern Ireland. It was to defeat the Northern Ireland terrorists that the measures were introduced and have been continued. They are punitive after 13 years of application—and that is the difference—and are no longer intended to meet a brief emergency, but to be an accumulative and permanent part of our legislation. Their present effect is the reverse of the original intention. At that time no one said that the purpose was to defeat terrorism in the way that it is now described by the Home Secretary. The measures were designed to convince the British people that the Government of the day were acting robustly in response to the appalling Birmingham bombings. They were also designed—and this was said publicly—to protect the Irish population living in the United Kingdom against a potential backlash. Now, they are said to have a crucial part to play in the war against terrorism.
The war against terrorism will be won only by the wholehearted support of the law-abiding population, including and especially the law-abiding population in Northern Ireland. Both seven-day detention and exclusion orders alienate and antagonise men and women whose assistance we need. If the Bill becomes law, it will impede rather than assist the defeat of terrorism and the suppression of terror that we all seek.
§ Mr. Robert Maclennan (Caithness and Sutherland)
I was a junior member of the Government in which the right hon. Gentleman served. He does less than justice to the motives of that Government who brought forward the legislation in response to the Birmingham bombings by 217 suggesting that it was simply to demonstrate an attitude of robustness to the troubles. He underrates the understanding of that Government that the measures, in themselves, would have a material effect on preventing terrorism—a view that was upheld two years later.
§ Mr. Hattersley
As I said, these matters were not whispered about in the Corridors that the hon. Gentleman and I habituated at that time—they were fully aired in debate. I am not putting words into people's mouths, imagining what they said to me, or interpreting what might have been their motives. The Government's views were made clear in debate and I am not in any way describing them as discreditable. They had to meet the position at the time, but the passage of time has changed the position.
The measures that the Home Secretary proposes to make permanent are likely to alienate the very men and women whom we need to support us. They will make the right hon. Gentleman's task harder. We are prepared to support those measures that appear to have a practical application and to be consistent with the rules of a free society. Therefore, in Committee we will support clause 9 which makes it an offence to solicit, receive, or accept contributions of money or other property intended to finance or support terrorism. There are some legitimate concerns even about that clause. The libertarians are concerned about the way in which the powers will be used. In some circumstances, the onus of proof will be upon the suspect. If he is to be acquitted, he will have to demonstrate that the money or property under investigation was not intended to finance terrorism.
I do not minimise the danger of requiring a suspect, innocent under the law, to prove innocence. I regret that this is the second time since the general election that it has been necessary—and I deliberately use that phrase—to switch the onus of proof so that innocent men and women are required to demonstrate that they have committed no offence. I believe, as I believed when the House debated the provisions to prohibit the carrying of offensive weapons, that when the need is desperate, desperate measures are justified to meet it. The power to prosecute those who financially assist terrorism and the matching power under clause 13 to confiscate funds used for terrorist purposes possess an advantage not enjoyed by other parts of the Bill. It will have a practical and positive effect and is consistent with the rule of law. We shall, therefore, support it.
On the other hand, part II, which deals with the power to make exclusion orders, will have quite the opposite effect. It is for that reason, almost as much as for the denial of the basic liberties which it involves, that we shall oppose it. A good deal has been heard about Lord Colville. The Home Secretary mentioned him today, and no doubt we shall hear more as the debate continues. I join the Home Secretary in expressing thanks for the meticulous work that has been carried out; but it is, I fear, Lord Colville's fate to be quoted and most admired when his conclusions coincide with those of the people who quote him. Lord Colville, let us not forget, recommended the abolition of exclusion orders. Sir Cyril Philips, who also examined prevention of terrorism legislation at the Home Secretary's request, made the same recommendation, and the Attorney-General in the Government who introduced the 218 orders described them as "tantamount to internal exile". An examination of Lord Colville's statistics on this subject shows how accurate that description is.
A majority of the men and women excluded from Great Britain have been convicted of no offence. They are innocent under the law, yet they are exiled to Northern Ireland or to Ireland. We do not know—we are not told and we are told that we cannot know—the reason for their exclusion, but we are told that the right to appeal to the Secretary of State's advisers should reassure us that exclusions, in Lord Colville's words,are only enforced when they are absolutely essential".Will the Minister who replies give us even a hint of the criteria by which it is judged absolutely necessary to exclude men or women from this country? Such criteria must involve the inability to prosecute these men and women for offences or proposed offences under the law. I understand, for instance, that members of an Irish folk dance society were prevented from making a reciprocal visit to Wales by the application of exclusion powers. A dozen jokes immediately come to mind, but I fear that the joke is on Great Britain as the IRA asks its rhetorical questions about British respect for Ireland, Irish men and the rule of law as it is applied to them.
It is equally true that many members of the majority community in Northern Ireland find exclusion orders offensive. The idea that terrorists can be excluded from the mainland of the United Kingdom and be required to live in the six counties of the north is wholly inconsistent with the idea that Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom and should be treated like other parts of it. There is much resentment at the idea of Northern Ireland being used as a repository for terrorists, who are left free to walk the streets of Belfast and Derry but not to walk the streets of Birmingham or Derby.
I admit at once that the resentment caused in the majority community is nothing compared with that felt by innocent Irish men and women who, because of part IV, clause 16, risk being treated like suspects if they visit Britain. The system on which port controls are based—cards filled in by a proportion of randomly selected passengers—is interpreted by many Irish passengers as a sign that general suspicion hangs over the whole country. All hon. Members who represent large numbers of Irish constituents know how their relatives feel about the checks to which they are subjected. They think that the checks are carried out merely because of their Irish origins and accents. I do not claim that their resentment drives them into the arms of the IRA—they are far too honest and sensible for that—but it erodes the feeling of wholehearted support for the rule of law which is essential if the war against terrorism is to be won.
Our complaint against the exclusion orders is based on the same principle as our complaint against detention: coercive powers are applied to men and women who have been convicted of no offence. The common response—I was going to say the weak-minded response—to this complaint is that because of the nature of terrorism in general and Northern Ireland terrorism in particular normal judicial conviction is often impossible. Translated into honest English, that amounts to the assertion that in some situations policemen and politicians must be allowed to override the rule of law, the necessity for evidence, the obligation to convince a jury, the duty to persuade a judge of the propriety of the proceedings and the discipline of justifying all those actions in public. With detention orders 219 —part IV—all those aspects of proper judicial process are missing, and that is not acceptable to the Opposition. We have argued against it for seven years and now our opposition, at least to the length of detention, has been echoed by democratic world opinion as represented by the European convention on human rights to which this country is a party.
§ Mr. Hurd
I do not want the right hon. Gentleman to go down a wrong path. It is not the length of detention that is the matter between us and the court—in many European countries people are detained for much longer than seven days. The question is whether there should be recourse to judicial proceedings.
§ Mr. Hattersley
I am referring to the length of detention under this process without charge and trial. I shall continue to describe such detention as the result of Executive, not judicial, action; and the length of detention as well as its method is crucial.
The Home Secretary's response to the decision by the European Court of Human Rights was wholly unsatisfactory. The Government have been found guilty by a court whose powers they endorse and whose jurisdiction they accept. It is the Government's clear duty to accept the ruling and abandon the practice of imposing detention without charge or trial. I do not want to heighten the temperature of the debate, but I must say that the Government's refusal immediately to accept the ruling of the court shows their true relationship with the rule of law, both national and international. From the sinking of the Belgrano to the police raid on the BBC's Scottish studios the Government have shown that they support the rule of law when it is convenient for them to do so.
The Home Secretary should have made an announcement about the Government's intentions today—whatever they may be. His failure to do so naturally and inevitably raises the fear that the Government intend, once the debate is over and the Irish extradition treaty is out of the way, to apply for a derogation on the wholly spurious ground, that the IRA is a threat to national security throughout the United Kingdom—the only terms on which a derogation is possible.
To claim that the IRA is a threat to national security throughout the United Kingdom is to elevate it so far beyond its real importance that that provides it with a victory in itself. Were the Home Secretary to have recourse to that alternative, the IRA's greatest victory would be won in the propaganda war. I can offer the right hon. Gentleman the headline now: "Britain defies human rights court". That message would reverberate throughout Northern Ireland and the republican clubs of North America.
The Home Secretary has told us that he will announce the Government's response to the European Court's ruling before the Bill's Committee stage is over. He said that he wanted proper time to give appropriate judicial consideration to what is a difficult problem. Exactly the same argument was used to me in Dublin a week ago, when I was pressing for the early extradition of Mr. Ryan. Leaving that aside, it is wholly unacceptable, and should be unacceptable to the House, to be told that we shall be given the Government's view on how they will, or might, amend the crucial aspect of the Bill before the Committee stage is over. The Government's intention must be announced before the Committee begins, and it must be 220 announced to the House. I trust that if they refuse to make such an announcement the Chair will protect us against such a clear abuse.
I have tried as best I can to advance the pragmatic arguments against the Government's proposals, which will alienate the support that we need and provide our enemies with a propaganda victory. These pragmatic arguments against the Government's intentions are overwhelming. But the argument in principle is equally irresistible. The extent of the offence against our traditional liberties can be demonstrated simply by stating last year's figures. In 1987. 184 men and women were detained in Great Britain under the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act 1984 and 17 were charged with committing an offence either under that Act or under other legislation. Some of those charged might have been acquitted, but at least 104 were innocent under the law. However, they were held in custody by Executive authority.
In Northern Ireland during the same period 1,479 men and women were detained and only 343 were charged with any offence. That means that throughout the United Kingdom 1,663 men and women against whom no charge could be laid, let alone sustained, were detained in custody by Executive action. It is not altogether surprising that Lord Colville reported:I have been told that there are worrying indications in the level of charges brought as a proportion of detentions made under the Act.Whoever expressed the worries, I fear that it was not the Government because when they were arraigned before the European Court they attempted to justify holding a suspect without charge for up to seven days on the most spurious ground imaginable. The Government's case submitted to the European Court is the most disturbing of all the possible answers. I shall read from the Government's submission which they are reported to have made to the court to justify prolonged detention not endorsed by courts. They insisted that they could not make the necessary evidence available and said, "If it is produced,"—that is, the evidence—there is a strong risk of compromising the source of information—perhaps even with fatal consequences. If it is not produced, there is an equally real risk that terrorists will go free notwithstanding the existence of evidence against them.In simple language, that means that, despite the lack of evidence to warrant a formal charge, politicians and policemen believing a detainee to be guilty can hold him in the hope of drumming up enough information to make a formal charge possible.
§ Mr. Hattersley
If there is reasonable suspicion a person can be taken to court. That is the case that we are struggling to make. Our case is that if it is possible to take a man or woman to court, that should be done. If it is not possible, it is the beginning of a most dangerous slippery slope for politicians and policemen to say, "We may not be able to convict them under the normal process but because we know that they are guilty we shall take special measures."
§ Mr. Ken Maginnis (Fermanagh and South Tyrone)
Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman would weigh what he says against the facts. I shall give him an example. The people who exploded the bomb on the Ballygawley road that killed eight of our young soldiers and injured many 221 more had been brought in for questioning again and again because high-grade intelligence had shown that they were guilty of terrorist offences. Unfortunately—or perhaps fortunately for the cause of justice—the courts require greater proof than simple high-grade intelligence. The right hon. Gentleman will remember that the people to whom I refer were, within a short time of the bus bombing, killed by troops as they carried out another act of terrorism. He must weigh the detention of suspected terrorists against the vast number of people—2,800—who have died in Northern Ireland during the present troubles.
§ Mr. Hattersley
Of course I appreciate that and I hope that the hon. Gentleman will give me credit for doing so. I do. not minimise the strength and passion of the hon. Gentleman's question and I shall answer him in two ways.
§ Mr. Hattersley
The hon. Member for Lancashire, West (Mr. Hind) may not have heard the intervention by the hon. Member for Fermanagh and South Tyrone (Mr. Maginnis) and I propose to answer that first. My first point—and I hope that the hon. Member for Fermanagh and South Tyrone will not regard me as unacceptably idealistic in making it—is about my opposition to and terror of the concept of high-grade intelligence being used to say that a man or woman is guilty. If it is not information that can convict in a free, open and democratic court, it should not be used outside such a court. I understand the pressures to accept such a system, but if we begin to accept it we shall begin to accept a view of justice and democracy that should be unacceptable despite the price that has to be paid.
My second point is a pragmatic one. I am aware, as hon. Members must be aware, that to defeat for ever terrorism and terrorists—which is our mutual objective—we must have the overwhelming support of the majority of the law-abiding minority population in Northern Ireland. Acting outside the judicial system by saying that security reports may convict a person even though the courts could not and that he will be detained or excluded makes success over terrorism further away than it would be were we able to carry the whole majority population with us.
I have heard many questions about British justice and the way that it is applied in Northern Ireland. Like the hon. Member for Fermanagh and South Tyrone, I have done my best to say what I believe, that British justice is fair and even-handed and that normally, with the inevitable human exceptions, does what is right and proper. However, we have to create that impression in sceptical minds and the idea of convicting people without using the courts is one of the ways in which we will undermine confidence in British law. That confidence is essential to the defeat of terrorism and without it terrorism will not be defeated.
§ Mr. Hattersley
I shall not give way, not least because other hon. Members want to speak.
Less than 22 per cent. of men and women held in detention by Executive action are charged and taken to court. That demonstrates a gross infringement of the 222 liberties of Britain. More important, there is a profound and fundamental danger in policemen and politicians acting as though they know that a man or woman is guilty even though the guilt cannot be proved in court. Without proof acceptable under the law, men and women are innocent and must be treated accordingly, but under this legislation they may be kept in prison for up to seven days. Paragraph 36 of Lord Colville's report says:The reasons adduced by the police for an extension"—from the original 48 hours to perhaps seven days—included a few alibi enquiries, some requests for an identity parade and a substantial number of forensic investigations.Those things in themselves are not arguments for using special power. All those procedures are features of the normal system of criminal justice. Lord Colville also said that "broadly" application for detentionwas based on suspicion of involvement in a particular crime".That is what normally results in prosecution under the criminal law. I shall give a non-contentious example that I gave when we last debated this. I am open to convincing that it is my ignorance that makes me incapable of understanding it, but I do not understand why the persons convicted of the attempted murder of the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland could not have been prosecuted under our normal criminal law. People loitering in private gardens with no reason or purpose for being there are arrested every day, held in custody and their cases pursued.
Dr. Maire O'Shea, an elderly psychologist in my constituency, was arrested under the Act, charged and acquitted. Nobody who looked at the charge sheet could doubt for a moment that she could have been prosecuted in the normal way. Perhaps the Minister who replies to the debate will explain exactly the point that was made by the Home Secretary. He told us about a policeman shot at close range and a suspect held under the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act and eventually convicted.
§ Mr. Hattersley
Yes, held for seven days.
What happens in the United Kingdom if a policeman is shot at close range, not by a member of the IRA but by a bank robber? The idea that it is necessary to have special powers to convict a man who shoots a policeman does not bear close analysis. But, in the spirit of rational debate which the Home Secretary urged us to follow, I am open to conviction when the Minister replies.
There are other explanations of why the processes of normal justice are unnecessarily bypassed in detention cases. One certainly applied to the case of Dr. Maire O'Shea. Detention under the Prevention of Terrorism Act was the easy way to facilitate her arrest and to begin prosecution. But another reason, which many people fear is why detention without subsequent prosecution is so widespread, is far more sinister. Detention without normal access to a solicitor or the full use of custody sheets is a way of obtaining information from innocent men and women who may have a passing, peripheral, innocent association with terrorism. That is an intolerable use of the powers.
On detention, the Government seem to believe that one safeguard should satisfy us. That is the need to obtain the Secretary of State's fiat if detention is to be extended beyond 48 hours. I mean no disrespect to the Home 223 Secretary or to the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when I say that they are wholly unsuited to the task. It is not the job of a politician to decide, on Executive authority, that a man or a woman who has not been before the courts can be held in detention for a further five days. If the job must be done at all, it is a job for the judges.
Under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act, special rules apply to terrorist suspects. They can be held for 48 rather than 36 hours without access to a solicitor. Yesterday The Guardian argued that the law should he amended to allow terrorist suspects to be held, as now, for 48 hours on the authority of the police alone and that judicial agreement should be required for their further detention after that time.
I do not advocate that as the solution to the Home Secretary's dilemma. I believe that the European Court ruling should be accepted in toto. But if the right hon. Gentleman will not go that far, what is the possible objection to the judicial review that The Guardian suggested yesterday? Some people fear that it will involve the judiciary in Executive decisions. That argument is wholly wrong. Judges would be brought in to protect us from Ministers usurping the judges' proper role. I assume that no one believes that a judge sitting in camera would run to the IRA with the evidence that the police provided to justify the extra five days' detention. The only conclusion that can sensibly be drawn is that the Government want to detain men and women for that extra period on evidence and on a basis of which the judiciary would not approve. That is wrong in principle and is unlikely to help in the war against terrorism.
If we are to defeat terrorism, as every Member of the House wants, we must never be seen to adopt tactics or policies that provide terrorists with the opportunity to claim, here or abroad, that the democratic processes are denied to them and that violence has become their only avenue of expression.
At the time of the atrocity in Enniskillen, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland said with great courage that to oppose the reintroduction of internment, which many Conservative Members demanded then—[HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."] They say, "Hear, hear." That confirms my point.
§ Mr. Jeremy Hanley (Richmond and Barnes)
It was Labour Members who said that. The right hon. Gentleman is deaf as well as daft.
§ Mr. Hattersley
The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland said with great courage that the reintroduction of internment without trial would act as a recruiting sergeant for the IRA. The Opposition agreed with and supported him. We believe that the Bill will have the same effect. That is why we shall vote tonight for the reasoned amendment, which if passed would deny the Bill a Second Reading. That is why, if the Bill is not drastically altered in Committee, we shall vote against it on Third Reading.
§ Rev. Ian Paisley (Antrim, North)
I wish that the position in Northern Ireland could be described as normal. The Opposition spokesman, the right hon. Member for Birmingham, Sparkbrook (Mr. Hattersley), has been dealing with normal circumstances, but they are far from normal in Northern Ireland.
224 I give two simple illustrations, and I wonder how hon. Members would feel if this happened in their constituencies. Last Saturday week, my telephone rang at 12.30 am. A distraught parent was on the other end of the phone saying, "We have been burned out for the second time. The shed in our farmyard, which contains about 1,000 tonnes of potatoes, has been put to the torch. We telephoned the Antrim police at 7 o'clock when it happened. At half-past 11 the sergeant telephoned us and said that he could not come out until the morning. When the police arrived in the morning, they said that they were unable to enter our area without Army backing, so if anything happened during the hours of darkness they could give us no protection." That was not on the border; it was not in Crossmaglen; it was two miles from Belfast airport. It is not normal that people can be burned out, yet the police can do nothing for them in the hours of darkness.
The second example is the tragedy on the Ballygawley-Omagh road. I was in the area last week. The road is again closed to police and Army vehicles. It was closed six months before the tragedy, and it is closed again. It is practically a no-go area for the police, but it is an all-go area for the IRA. That is not normal. In abnormal circumstances, unpleasant things must be done that ordinary people do not like and that I personally do not like, but they are necessary to defend lives and to look after people's safety.
During the three to four years before 1985, the graph of violence in Northern Ireland was going down. There was less violence, less murder and less terrorist activity. Then in 1985 the Anglo-Irish Agreement was signed and immediately there was an upward spiral in violence.
Replying to yesterday evening's debate, the hon. Member for Leicester, South (Mr. Marshall) said:In a democracy, political change must come as a consequence of discussion and through the ballot box."—[Official Report, 5 December 1988; Vol. 143, c. 101.]The Anglo-Irish Agreement did not come about as a result of discussion amongst the people of Northern Ireland; nor did it come through the ballot box. From the day that it was signed, the upward spiral recommenced.
Let us consider the tragic figures. In 1985 there were 54 killings. This year, until 6 December, there have been 91. The figure has almost doubled. In 1985 the RUC lost 14 members. This year it has lost four. In 1985 the RUCR lost nine members. It has lost two members this year. In 1985 two members of the British Army were killed. This year 21 have been killed. In 1985 four members of the UDR were killed, this year 11. In 1985, 25 members of the general public were killed, and so far this year 53 have died. We have now been warned by the Chief Constable of the RUC that there will be horrific murders and IRA violence up to Christmas. We do not know what lies ahead for the people of Northern Ireland.
I want to present some figures to the House tonight which will be of much interest to Opposition Members because they were not prepared by a Unionist. They were put before the SDLP annual conference by that party's leader, the hon. Member for Foyle (Mr. Hume), who is not in the Chamber at the moment. I will quote from a typescript of the speech that he made to his party. No one can say that these are Unionist prepared statistics to put a gloss on the situation. The statistics were given by the leader of the SDLP. Around this place I find people who 225 seem to think that the UDR is concerned with shooting and killing Roman Catholics and that the RUC is engaged consistently in an anti-Roman Catholic campaign.
The leader of the SDLP said, when he addressed his party conference on 26 November:Up till last Saturday 2,705 people have died in the 20-year period of the current troubles … who killed all these people?His answer was:The statistics are devastating. 44 per cent. were killed by the provisional IRA and 18 per cent. by their fellow travelling 'republican' paramilitaries.That makes 62 per cent. killed by the IRA and their fellow travellers.27 per cent. were killed by Loyalists. 10 per cent. were killed by the British Army. 2 per cent. were killed by the RUC and 0.28 per cent. by the UDR. In short people describing themselves as Irish republicans have killed 6 times as many human beings as the British army, 30 times as many as the RUC and 250 times as many as the UDR. And wait. One of their main claims"—referring to the IRA—is that they are the defenders of the Catholic community. Of the 1,194 members of the Catholic community who died, 46 per cent. were killed by Loyalist paramilitaries, 37 per cent. by people describing themselves as republicans and 17 per cent. by the security forces. And in the last 10 years since 1 January 1978, of the 306 members of the Catholic community who have lost their lives, 112 have been killed by people describing themselves as republicans … In the last 20 years republicans have killed more than twice as many Catholics as the security forces and in the last 10 years have killed more than the Loyalists.Those are the facts as the hon. Member for Foyle sees them and as he presented them to his party conference. That puts a different slant upon what is propagated in this country about the position in Northern Ireland.
As I consider those figures, I am bound to ask why there is such agitation to get the UDR and the RUC off the roads of Ulster when their term of killing is nothing compared with the other people mentioned by the hon. Member for Foyle in his representation to his party conference.
§ Rev. Ian Paisley
No, I will not give way because I wish to be brief and the hour is late. No doubt the hon. Lady will be able to make her point as effectively as she usually does.
Those are the facts as seen by us. I have referred to personal happenings in my constituency and to the representations made by the leader of the SDLP. What can we do in that situation? We must remember that we have to show that there is a will in the Government and in this House to deal effectively and adequately with the problem. I will not argue the case for the great deterrent of hanging. I am convinced that capital crimes of this nature should receive capital punishment, and I have argued that in this House before.
I will not dwell on the question of Executive detention. However, I was amazed that the right hon. Member for Sparkbrook claimed that the Home Secretary, or a Cabinet Minister, does not have the right or knowledge to detain people executively. During the war the Home Secretary had the sole right to detain. Executive detention is a weapon in the armoury of any democratic Government, and it is used by democratic Governments in emergencies.
226 We also hear much in this House about the Irish Republic. It would be interesting for the House to know that the same kind of law—seven days detention—is on the Irish Republic's statute book. The Government of the Irish Republic will also have to have a derogation or they will have to drop their legislation. That fact has not been announced by Mr. Haughey. He has not made a declaration about what he is going to do.
In 1976, during a state of emergency—which still exists—declared by the Dail, legislation on detention was passed. When it was no longer used after 12 months, section 2 gave the Irish Government authority to bring in that detention up to seven days. The Irish Republic has the same law on its statute book as we have on ours, a law which some people try to tell us will antagonise the South of Ireland and those who support the South of Ireland. The Irish Republic has such a law on its own statute book, so it should clean up its own house before telling this House how it should act.
We read in the papers that there is uproar from the South of Ireland about the fact that remission will be cut. One fifth of terrorist prisoners released in 1984 have committed a further scheduled offence within two years. If people return to crime within two years of being released as a result of a 50 per cent. cut in their prison sentence, they deserve to have to serve out the rest of that sentence when they are apprehended after committing another criminal offence. The figures also show that one quarter of non-terrorist prisoners committed a scheduled offence within two years of release. The deterrent and the punishment must fit the crime.
The situation in Northern Ireland is serious and horrific. I spoke to an hon. Member from Northern Ireland today and he said, "Ian, do you worry when the phone rings?" I said, "Of course I do." He said, "That's how I feel because I don't know what the news will be." Therefore, I believe that the Bill can help.
I know that it is an infringement of civil liberties to take away a person's liberty for seven days. However, if a person is innocent of a crime, and if he can stand up to four days of interrogation, he can stand up to seven days or 14 days of interrogation.
§ Rev. Ian Paisley
I know a little about the matter because I live in Northern Ireland and I know about it from both sides of the community.
I have always supported the police, but that does not mean that I support actions by police officers that are contrary to the law. If people are detained for seven days, their rights should be defended when they are being interrogated. Nobody should be abused, cursed or threatened and family matters that are immaterial to the interrogation should not be introduced. Let me give an illustration.
A young man was detained recently. His father had hanged himself, so there was tragedy at home. The police officer who interrogated him said, "You'll be at the end of the rope like your father." Such language should not be used in interrogation. The Minister should consider such incidents carefully. I am glad that we have an independent police complaints board and I have taken the case that I have just mentioned, and many others, to it. Some members of the divisional mobile support unit in Northern Ireland need to realise that they cannot treat people in that 227 disgraceful way even though they have been lawfully arrested and detained in detention centres. Such abuses must cease.
I shall lend my support to the principle of the Bill. I trust that the House will acknowledge the reasons why we are discussing these matters. The sooner that the Anglo-Irish Agreement is put on ice, the sooner that it ceases to be implemented, and the sooner that the constitutional parties of Northern Ireland get round the table, the better it will be for everyone concerned. There will be no way forward until the constitutional parties discuss Northern Ireland together in such a way that we can find an agreement that will supersede the Anglo-Irish Agreement, which is flawed and has failed. We must bring constitutional and political hope to the people of Northern Ireland. That is my plea to the House tonight.
§ Mr. Ken Maginnis (Fermanagh and South Tyrone)
The Bill is based on the review of the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act 1984 that was carried out by Lord Colville between April and November 1987. He was able to undertake that review in the light of the experience that he had acquired when he reviewed the operation of the Act in 1986. Therefore, the noble Lord is not unfamiliar with the Act when he tells us:I fully believe that there is a continuing need for special legislation against terrorism".Those of us who have been privileged to make submissions to Lord Colville have been impressed by his deep understanding of the needs of our nation, threatened as it is by both home-grown and international terrorism.
Yet we are equally aware of Lord Colville's anxiety to ensure that we, as a nation, do not become hedged in by harsh and rigorous law, which would in itself become oppressive. No one who loves and values freedom and democracy would wish to see any legislation on the statute book that would diminish or devalue those ideals.
But we live in a world where the shadow of the great and ugly wars of yesteryear has been superseded by the mean but equally ugly spectre of terrorist violence. Some people—I admit to being one of them—believe that today's widespread terrorism, which pervades virtually every corner of the globe, constitutes the third world war. Although I share Lord Colville's convictions, I cannot claim to do so on the basis either of academic study or of professional training in legal matters. I share his convictions because of 20 years of practical experience of having lived cheek by jowl with the reality of terrorism and having been obliged, both as a soldier and as a politician, to witness—often at first hand—the tragedy and suffering that have been inflicted on thousands of citizens of the United Kingdom by ruthless and brutal assassins.
It is right that the House should examine carefully the provisions in the Bill. However, it should do so with the conviction that only by ensuring and maintaining the democratic integrity of our whole community can it hope to promote the civil rights of individual citizens. The United Kingdom is facing political and economic terrorism, such as that carried on by the IRA, so we all have a responsibility to differentiate between the immediate luxury of philosophical libertarianism and the long-term benefits of belonging to a properly free and fearless society.
The Bill is particularly important in so far as it is a major piece of legislation that addresses the threat of Irish 228 Republican terrorism without the Government of the Irish Republic having the right to influence its form and format as they have done with exclusively Northern Ireland legislation.
Unfortunately, the folly of the Anglo-Irish Agreement has meant that, for example, the Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Act 1978 has become a political football. The Irish Republic exercises the authority given to it through the Anglo-Irish Conference to question, and more often than not dispute, any measure that might be considered to oppose the terrorism of the IRA. Sadly—I sincerely wish it was otherwise—the SDLP and the Irish Government have opposed as means to inhibit IRA violence the following measures: capital punishment; the proscription of Sinn Fein; selective internment; an anti-violence pledge for candidates for election; identity cards; the removal of the 50 per cent. automatic remission from prison sentences for terrorism; the banning of Sinn Fein from the airwaves; and the change in the matter of the right to silence.
§ Mr. Maginnis
In a moment.
The list is much longer. It could even include opposition to protective barriers outside vulnerable police stations such as the Strand road station in Londonderry and to look-out posts manned by the Army in south Armagh.
It is well known that I would not support all the measures that I have mentioned, but to reject them all out of hand surely verges on the malicious and could give considerable comfort to the terrorist.
§ Mr. Mallon
I thank the hon. Gentleman for giving way since he referred to my party specifically in his panegyric. Will he tell me exactly where he and the members of his party were when the public order legislation was going through the House? Will he have the good grace to tell us why they did not vote for that legislation? Just to keep the record straight, will he recognise the fact that I was the only Member of the House from Northern Ireland to vote for the legislation, in the face of our colleagues on the Labour Benches who voted against it? The hon. Gentleman should now have the good grace to put the record fully straight. He should also point out—as I will do later if I catch your eye, Mr. Deputy Speaker—that I welcome very much—I shall expand upon this—the part of the legislation dealing with racketeering. Indeed, I sought such a measure long before it was considered for legislation in the House.
§ Mr. Maginnis
We did not vote for the public order legislation because it was entirely different from the legislation that applied to Great Britain, but was in line with aspects of proposed legislation which was thrown out for Great Britain.
§ Mr. Maginnis
I am sorry, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I have answered the hon. Gentleman's point. [Interruption.] I hope that I have answered it fully. 229 I was talking about the attitude of the SDLP and the Irish Government to virtually every proposed measure that is designed to inhibit or prevent terrorism. This House has seen the obstructive attitude of the Government of the Irish Republic in the case of Father Ryan, a man who has acquired a reputation as an international terrorist. The House has seen the destructive attitude of that same Government in its campaign against the British court system, not only or indeed mainly in Northern Ireland, but here in Great Britain.
To put it bluntly, where there is doubt about international co-operation in the fight against terrorism—surely there are grave doubts—we must, as legislators, ensure that we meet our responsibility to the nation.
Bearing in mind your request for brief speeches, Mr. Deputy Speaker, I felt that on the Second Reading of this Bill it was appropriate to address the principle rather than the detail. That is not to imply that my party accepts the details because the opposite is the case, but it would take too long to deal with, for example, the Home Secretary's somewhat flawed and somewhat naive reasoning on the matter of terrorist funding and how it might be prevented or hindered.
Ulster Unionists will hope to table amendments to improve the effectiveness of the Bill as it progresses through its various stages. Indeed, we hope to have the opportunity to play a full part in the consideration of the Bill at each stage. Tonight we will, as we did last night on the Elected Authorities (Northern Ireland) Bill, vote for this Bill in principle.
§ 7.5 pm
§ Mr. Ivan Lawrence (Burton)
The right hon. Member for Birmingham, Sparkbrook (Mr. Hattersley) seemed very pleased with himself when he resumed his seat. He had made a speech against the Bill to please the half of his party that wants to see no anti-IRA measures passed, and a speech in support of some parts of the Bill to please those of his party who believe that terrorism has to be opposed by legislation and by a united approach across the Chamber. However, the British public will be thoroughly unimpressed by his performance. They will have heard with amazement his assertion, which I hope the media will cover tomorrow, that the IRA is not a threat to the British nation as a whole. The public will show what they think of that contemptible and mealy-mouthed performance at their first opportunity, which will be at Epping Forest and the Euro constituency of Hampshire, Central next Thursday.
On 8 March 1973 I was leaving court at the Old Bailey when a bomb went off outside the building, leaving a great deal of devastation. I arrived at the House of Commons one morning minutes after a bomb had blown out the north window in Westminster Hall and destroyed the secretaries' offices. In 1979 I left the Car Park minutes before Airey Neave was blown to pieces by a terrorist bomb. I was with the Israeli ambassador shortly before he attended a function at the Dorchester and had half his brain blown out and became, as he still is, a paralysed relic of his former self.
Many of us in this place have had the experience of our parliamentary and political friends being assassinated or of attempts being made on their lives by terrorists. Many 230 of us were living in London during the 1970s when bombs went off, killing and maiming hundreds of people in Hyde park; in the Green park Underground station; at Harrods; and at the Woolwich arsenal. There were also the bombings at Guildford and Birmingham. Those are some examples from just Britain alone.
In 1981, there were 3,618 terrorists incidents worldwide. By 1984 that figure had risen to 6,653, and the number continues to grow—
§ Mr. Lawrence
I shall give way when I have finished this.
In that year there were 3,324 bombings; 1,123 assassination attempts or assassinations; 1,341 arson or incendiary attacks. The murder, the maiming, the destruction and the misery goes on. There are 3,000 dead in Northern Ireland, including soldiers, policemen, civilians and women.
The terrorist threat continues. This year there has been the hijacking of the Kuwaiti Airlines jet; the foiled car bomb attack in Gibraltar; the cowardly murder of the British service man in the Netherlands. The bombs, the bullets and the destruction of the men of violence in Northern Ireland and elsewhere goes on and on.
§ Ms. Short
Obviously we agree that that is a catalogue of tragedy and we all want to bring it to an end and avoid it. However, the prevention of terrorism legislation has been on the statute book for most of the period that the hon. and learned Gentleman quoted, so it clearly is not preventing terrorism. That is our argument. Indeed, that legislation is likely to make some people more likely to support that kind of activity. That is our case. Of course, we all deplore the deaths.
§ Mr. Lawrence
We know that that is the hon. Lady's case and that several of her hon. Friends, who will vote against the Bill, have voted against such measures consistently when they have been introduced to the House. Indeed, they voted against such measures when they were introduced by the Labour Government in 1974 and 1976. We know that some people share that view, but the question is: what will end the murder and the maiming? Will cynical deals with terrorists by frightened Governments end it? Will weak Governments refusing to co-operate with information and action ever conquer terrorism? Will weak laws, half-heartedly enforced, achieve that end, or the wringing of hands, accompanied by weasel words? Will opposition to sensible Prevention of Terrorism Bills, showing that Britain is not united in its determination to root out this spreading virus, destroy terrorism? No. Only tough, determined, united, single-minded measures can possibly stop this terrible virus of international terrorism.
The first requisite is a Prevention of Terrorism Act that gives to the security forces the necessary powers to counter terrorism. We have such an Act, as the hon. Member for Birmingham, Ladywood (Ms. Short) said, though Labour opposes it and is pledged to repeal it. Because of that Act, the IRA bombing campaign of British resorts in June 1985 was thwarted. Because of that Act, 54 people who were detained for Irish terrorism and 18 people who were detained for international terrorism have been charged with offences such as possessing explosives or conspiring to endanger life. Fifty-three out of 77 of the cases that 231 came for trial in 1988 were found guilty, and these people were sentenced to more than five years' imprisonment under the legislation. How absurd it is to suggest that it has played no part in the control of terrorism.
What is needed is this power to proscribe terrorist organisations and to exclude from Great Britain, Northern Ireland or the United Kingdom, as a purely preventive measure, those who are suspected of involvement in terrorism. We need this power to arrest and detain for up to seven days and this power to control the movement of passengers in and out of the United Kingdom. The prevention of terrorism legislation has struck hard at the terrorists and has helped to make the United Kingdom a safer place, whatever the hon. Member for Ladywood may say.
All of those who are determined that the fight against terrorism ought to be strengthened, not weakened, will welcome the powers in the Bill. They will welcome the power that strikes at the heart of terrorism—the fund— raising—by confiscating the assets of terrorist organisations, stopping the laundering of their assets and requiring the forfeiture of terrorists' possessions. We welcome the wider power that is to he given to the police to apply to the courts for search warrants and orders requiring specific materials to be produced and the power to apply to the Secretary of State for warrants in Northern Ireland when the police have reason to suspect that certain offences are likely to be committed or are being committed. We welcome the changes in the remission arrangements that will do much to increase the element of deterrence.
So great is our concern, however, that civil liberties should be curtailed to the least possible degree that even here, in dealing with the abominable crimes of terrorism, we control the powers of the police by obliging detention for more than 48 hours to be reviewed, and we maintain parliamentary control by requiring the new Act to be debated and renewed in this place and the other place annually. As my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary concedes, there will have to be further amendment as a result of the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights against detention for interrogation for longer than four days.
The question must be asked: why do the police need more than four days? The answer can be simply given: because forensic testing these days is a very detailed process that requires a great deal of diligent care, because alibis sometimes need to be checked thoroughly—and that takes days—and because other people are sometimes arrested and new information is brought that has to be used in the process of interrogation.
The facts are that over 80 per cent. of those who were detained in 1988 for terrorist offences were either released or charged within five days and that, of the other 20 per cent., half were charged with serious offences, 16 were charged with murder and eight with attempted murder. The police simply must have all the powers that they need and the time to exercise those powers, or terrorism will not be defeated.
The next question is what the Government should do about it. My guess is that most people in this country would say, "What on earth is a court of foreign judges, brought up under a very different legal system and without the United Kingdom's terrible experience of unremitting terrorism, doing telling us what we may or may not do, particularly since we always give terrorists a fairer trial than terrorists ever give their victims?" But the 232 Government will not take that over-simplistic stand. They will want—and they will be supported by most hon. Members—to keep us within the restrictions of the European convention on human rights, if at all possible—which, of course, it is.
That leaves two options. First, we could derogate from the ruling of the court on the ground that the powers are needed because of the threat posed by terrorism to the life of the nation. Secondly, we could compromise by rejecting the ruling, but we could meet the spirit behind it by requiring a judicial element—a High Court or circuit judge, or a magistrate, or a tribunal of judges—to consider any police applications to extend the interrogation time beyond four days.
Derogation is, in my view, the least acceptable of those alternatives. When we derogate, although we act within the system, we make no concession to the civil liberties of the suspect, who might be innocent. We reject the ruling out of hand, although we do it politely within the terms of the convention. It would be more acceptable to many of us to require a judicial element—a judge, if there is no problem of availability, or a stipendiary magistrate, if that is more practicable. But what is needed is that the public should have confidence that injustice is not being done by the procedures. I think that a judicial element would meet that requirement.
There is the problem that defence challenges to police requests might bring out into the open highly sensitive material. That is a possibility. As always, the police will have to decide whether it is important enough to the success of their application to speak of such material. lf, however, such hearings were in camera, as are applications for bail before a judge in chambers, there is less likelihood that such statements would get into the public arena. It is only a week since the ruling. The Government will need, and the House will support their request for, time to consider these matters.
That is the first requisite in dealing with terrorism—a Prevention of Terrorism Act.
The second requisite for a tough and effective campaign against terrorism is international co-operation over information, intelligence and action. The Government have taken the lead in Europe in such co-operation. Quiet, good work has been done through the Terrorism, Radicalism, Violence, International Committee of the European Countries—the Trevi group—and by anti-terrorist police and army units, such as the SAS, the GSG 9, Holland's marines and Spain's anti-terrorist group. The Government have improved international co-operation further by reforming the law of extradition, thereby satisfying the European convention on extradition which has served Europe well for 30 years. Are we not entitled to expect similar international co-operation from our friends and allies in this fight against terrorism?
We were all shocked and hurt by the cowardly behaviour of our friends, the Belgians. The arrest had been made in accordance with the Belgian laws. Belgium had sought our co-operation in asking for extradition. When appealed against to the courts, the extradition was upheld. When there was a further appeal to the court of appeal in Belgium it was upheld. The Belgian Government overruled the decision of the Belgian courts. The Belgian Government decided not to tell us—as they had undertaken to do 24 hours before they took action—what they were doing so that we could not try to stop it. They 233 just did what was necessary to get the problem off their plate, which is as near an act of cowardice as I have ever seen any Government perform.
We are all staggered by the reaction of the southern Irish Government over Patrick Ryan. They may need time to examine the evidence for extradition. Nobody doubts that. However, they needed no time to back our warrant for his arrest. Can they be surprised if many people in Britain are asking today whether the southern Irish Government's heart is in the fight against IRA terrorism?
The third requisite for the effective containment of terrorism is the maintenance of border controls—the minimum necessary to reach as close as possible the unified Community market, targeted for 31 December 1992, and its concomitant, the free movement of peoples and goods, but the maximum possible to contain terrorism, as well as drugs trafficking and other serious crimes. My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister is absolutely right. We want to strengthen the European Community in its freedoms but certainly not at the expense of the security of the United Kingdom.
The fourth requisite is the determination of a united people in the United Kingdom to share in the responsibility of fighting terrorism. We all share that duty—every citizen and every organisation. It is wholly contrary to that obligation for any broadcasting authority to refuse to supply to the police film of atrocities in west Belfast or anywhere else. It is wholly contrary to that obligation for the IBA to allow film about the shooting of the three IRA terrorists in Gibraltar to be shown before the inquest has been held. It is contrary to that responsibility for mischief-making film makers to take statements from people who will not sign them and then to use them on television. It is most certainly contrary to the principle of joint responsibility for the Opposition to be less than totally united with the Government as they always used to be on matters of terrorist legislation.
As my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State so effectively said, for all the murder, maiming, misery, heartbreak and human agony, the IRA is no closer to its aim of a united Ireland, nor will it ever be if the Government—with British people of all political parties resolutely behind them—stand strong in their total rejection of the inhumanity of the terrorist, wherever he may appear in our realm.
§ Mr. Peter Archer (Warley, West)
That contribution was unworthy of the hon. and learned Member for Burton (Mr. Lawrence) for whom, as he knows, I have great respect. He was not the only hon. Member in the House who knew and respected the Israeli ambassador. Many of us have known well other victims of terrorism and we do not minimise the tragedy. No one doubts the concern or sincerity of the hon. Members for Antrim, North (Rev. Ian Paisley) and for Fermanagh and South Tyrone (Mr. Maginnis). However, I wonder whether any of the previous three speakers listened to the contributions from either of the two Front Bench spokesmen.
This debate is not about whether to take a firm stand against terrorism, whether to protect the people of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from political violence, or whether to bring paramilitaries to justice; it is about how 234 best to obtain those goals. We must not permit terrorists to destroy—either by their own hands or by manoeuvring the Government into doing it for them—the freedom under the law which the people of these islands regard as their heritage. If they achieve that, they will have succeeded in their principal objective.
There may be general agreement in the House over some of what the Government are doing in the Bill. Sometimes it is necessary to give to the police powers which are not shared by other citizens. Sometimes it is necessary to impose inconvenience on our citizens in the interests of security. Sometimes it will be necessary to sentence convicted offenders to long terms of imprisonment. No doubt it will sometimes be necessary to intercept funds that would otherwise find their way to the paramilitaries. So far as I know, none of that is in dispute in the Chamber, although I have no authority to speak for my right hon. and hon. Friends.
But equally, the Government must be aware of two traps, both of which were mentioned by my right hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Sparkbrook (Mr. Hattersley). They must beware of doing something simply in order to give the appearance of activity and to deceive the public into believing that something is being done. When young Albert's ma announced, "Somebody's got to be summonsed" she was voicing the anguish and frustration that people feel when they believe that someone, somewhere, should be doing something dramatic about a tragic situation, yet they cannot be specific about what would remedy or even improve it. It is misleading and cruel for a Government to respond by appearing to be doing something which will not solve the problem, or worse, which may be counter-productive.
We do not prevent terrorism simply by passing an Act of Parliament and calling it the Prevention of Terrorism Act. Secondly, we have to beware of doing something, which, because it is seen to be unfair, will lose the sympathy of decent, law-abiding people and transfer that sympathy to the very people to whom we are trying to deny support—[Interruption.] If the hon. and learned Member for Burton wishes to intervene, I will gladly give way to him. This is intended to be a serious debate. All of us may be wiser over a period of years because so much blood has flowed under the bridges.
Those who try to understand the psychology of terrorism do not always agree, although they probably accept that there is no one single diagnosis or one single remedy. However, they all believe that potential recruits are not deterred from violence by the clang of the prison gates. All prison can do is to keep those who are properly convicted where their power to commit acts of terrorism is restricted. But that depends on whether we are convicting the right people.
We know that the most important single factor in influencing a young Catholic in Divis or Bogside or a young Sikh in Southall who is deciding whether to join the men and women of violence is not speeches made by politicans in the House or editorials in newspapers but the opinion of their peer groups—young people of the same age group in the same area, whose assumptions are similar to their own and whose opinions they value. If they believe that the law is unfair and discriminating, they will influence one another to resist law and order. If they can be persuaded that the law and the authorities are trying to 235 be fair and that someone is trying to listen to what they say, they will look for ways of airing their grievances within the system.
The Opposition believe that there are unjust provisions in the Bill, which for that reason are likely to be counter-productive. The time to look at those provisions is in Committee, but I shall give two examples, both of which were mentioned by my right hon. Friend the Member for Sparkbrook. The exclusion powers in part II of the Bill are seen as discriminating in two ways. First, it is frequently people with Irish connections and Irish accents who are almost automatically on the receiving end, and, secondly, the powers are used to confine people to Northern Ireland. So someone who is thought to have terrorist connections must not be allowed to walk the streets of London or Birmingham, even if his family lives there, but it is perfectly acceptable for him to walk the streets of Belfast.
In addition to being discriminating, it is unfair in operation. The subjects are not told why the order is made. There is no public hearing where it can be challenged and no appeal to an independent arbitrator. There is just a pointless and usually frustrating interview with a Government-appointed adviser.
There is no evidence that the most minimal contribution to protecting anyone from terrorism arises from those powers. No one could accuse Lord Jellicoe, Sir Cyril Philips or Lord Colville of being soft on terrorism. The Government use their recommendations in support of the legislation. Yet they have all expressed reservations as to the value of retaining the exclusion power and Lord Colville has twice recommended that it should be excluded from the Bill. The Government do not seem to have grasped the fact that the value of being able to rely upon the recommendations of a distinguished reviewer is totally lost if it is seen that they use them not as guidance but selectively, as backing for the Government's preconceived conclusions.
The second example is the power of detention in clause 14, to which the hon. and learned Member for Burton referred and which was condemned by the European Court of Human Rights in the Brogan case. If that power were not in the Bill, the Government would have to rely on the powers of detention in the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, which does not seem particularly worrying because it is their own creation, and presumably was considered by the Home Office under the present Government to be adequate to the requirements of the police. If it is said that the PACE powers do not extend to all the situations contemplated in clause 14, they could table an amendment saying that the PACE powers should extend to clause 14. I am not saying that I approve of all the PACE powers but they are not the subject of debate tonight.
It is now clear that, once again, the United Kingdom, which used to boast to the world about its tolerance, its rule of law and its respect for freedom, has fallen foul of the European convention on human rights. According to the Prime Minister, and, as I understood it, according to the Home Secretary tonight, the Government are considering not only what to do about it, but whether to conform with it. I hope that I did not misunderstand the Home Secretary or do him any injustice, but I thought that that was the burden of what he said. If I am wrong, I welcome being corrected by the Minister when he replies to the debate.
236 Considering whether to conform with our international obligations which have been accepted by successive Governments because everyone knows that the European convention on human rights represented the consensus of the whole of western Europe as to the minimum standards which a citizen is entitled to expect from his Government and their legislation—
§ Mr. Maclennan
Does the right hon. and learned Gentleman recall that the Government of which he was an ornament as a Law Officer derogated from the European convention on human rights in 1978 on the introduction of the Emergency Provisions (Northern Ireland) Act concerning detention?
§ Mr. Archer
Derogation is one thing, and it is a possible course that is now open to the Government. We should be clear that derogation, as I understand it, entails declaring that the paramilitary organisations have endangered the life of the nation. Those are the words of article 5. If the Government say that the paramilitaries have endangered the life of the nation, I suspect that that accolade would occasion some rejoicing among the paramilitary organisations, particularly when the Government are saying that month by month they are failing and becoming less effective. So I do not think that derogation would be an issue on this occasion.
How dare the Government say that they are considering whether to comply with a legal regime which, as far as I am aware, occasions no difficulties to any other police force or Government in Europe. How can the Prime Minister preach about the rule of law or respect for the law and then announce that the Government are considering whether to bring British law into accord with the international convention accepted by all our neighbours?
Finally, the Bill is claimed to be a temporary provision, but will it no longer be looked at afresh over periods of five years? It will be reviewed every year, but we all know what that means. It means an hour and a half s debate at 11.30 on a Thursday night. I know that some of us will want to say something about that in Committee, but I bear in mind the injunction of Mr. Speaker and I know that other hon. Members wish to speak.
I say again to the hon. and learned Member for Burton—I do not think that he is totally impervious to argument, and it may be that on reflection he will want to think again—that any hon. Member who seeks to represent our concerns as being soft on terrorism has either failed to understand what we are saying, or simply is looking for a stick to beat a political drum. He will be doing no service to the rule of law or to the people of Britain. To question how best to preserve the safety of our citizens and to maintain the rule of law is a serious matter, as the Home Secretary said. It requires analysis and not slogans, and it deserves better than to be trivialised by the Prime Minister, and the arguments should be addressed properly in the House.
§ Mr. James Kilfedder (North Down)
I always listen to the right hon. and learned Member for Warley, West (Mr. Archer) with respect. I have known him for many years, but I have to disagree with his observations tonight. I have reservations about the exclusion orders, but in my opinion they are necessary in the fight against terrorism. I put human life before human restriction. 237 The right hon. and learned Gentleman condemned exclusion orders as discriminating against the Irish. As someone who was born outside Great Britain, I think that no country in the world is as tolerant as the United Kingdom, and particularly the English people. I do not think that any other country would take in tens of thousands of citizens of the Irish Republic who are glad to come and live here and who are welcome. The Irish do not feel discriminated against. If they did, they certainly would not come to this country, and we must bear that in mind in considering the Bill.
The reduction in remission from one half to one third for prisoners who have been charged with scheduled offences and sentenced to five years or more is welcome to the vast majority of people in Northern Ireland. My Unionist colleagues and I have been pressing for such a change for many years. Our only complaint is that it has taken so long. That is our criticism of all the measures in the Bill. Why have we had to wait for 20 years for the forfeiture of money and property to be used in terrorist campaigns? The IRA depends on money to maintain its carnage in Northern Ireland, the United Kingdom and on the continent. The Home Secretary estimated that the annual income of the IRA is £3 million to £4 million. Every effort must be made to make sure that that money is not available to the men of terror.
The present IRA campaign of terror has lasted for 20 years, three times longer than the duration of the last war when we had restrictions on the rights and liberties of citizens, and, as has been pointed out, there was internment of people on the order of the Home Secretary. During the past 20 years, 2,800 innocent men, women and children have been slaughtered by vicious terrorists. The IRA has slaughtered people in Northern Ireland, in Britain and on the continent. After every atrocity there is a torrent of words condemning the IRA on all sides, and from the Irish Republic there are words of condemnation and sympathy to relatives of the victims. However, whenever the security forces shoot a terrorist, or whenever a terrorist is tried and convicted, there is an immediate outcry.
Many people in Northern Ireland are as perplexed as I am at the contradictory attitude which seems hypocritical in that the forces of law and order are meant to defeat Irish Republican terrorists but not to harm or convict them. In fiction, it may be possible to do that, but we are dealing with the world as it is, with all its harsh realities. The shadow Home Secretary, the right hon. Member for Birmingham, Sparkbrook (Mr. Hattersley), waxed strong about the resentment of citizens of the Irish Republic who werelikely to have their support for law and order eroded".
It seems that the right hon. Gentleman was not aware that citizens of the Irish Republic are also liable to arrest and detention for seven days on reasonable suspicion. Like many other measures, that measure was introduced in the Irish Republic to deal with the threat of the IRA. It is only right and proper that we should be able to introduce measures of that kind without criticism of the Government and talk about discrimination against citizens of the Irish Republic.
The IRA wins every propaganda campaign that it mounts. It is highly successful and highly sophisticated. It has the help of many people in Ireland, the United 238 Kingdom, America and elsewhere, who, for their own personal prejudices, are only too glad directly or indirectly to further the cause of the IRA.
The IRA is engaged in a bloody campaign of sectarian slaughter in Northern Ireland. The past 20 years have been punctuated by the most horrendous outrages committed in cold blood. Yet, throughout the world, there is the belief that Britain is holding down Northern Ireland by sheer brute force, against the wishes of the vast majority of the people there. There is the appalling belief that IRA members are freedom fighters who are defending a helpless Roman Catholic population against the terrorist attacks of the Protestant community. As hon. Members know, that is untrue. At his party conference, the leader of the SDP stated that the IRA has killed more of its own Roman Catholic compatriots than have been killed by members of the security forces.
As one newspaper suggested recently, the United Kingdom Government must spend an equal amount of money on trying to win the propaganda battle. It will be an uphill struggle, especially when those who are involved in television and radio broadcasting are doing everything possible to get around the ban on interviewing the spokesmen of the men of terror.
I hope and pray that political progress will be made in Northern Ireland and that constitutional politicians will get together and devise a system that is acceptable to the decent people of Ulster. Of course, constitutional progress will not bring an end to terrorism in Northern Ireland. Evil men are waxing fat on the profits of their evil deeds. We can destroy terrorists only by tough measures—measures that we would adopt only in a time of war. No matter what anybody may say, the IRA is waging a war against the decent people of this country. We should respond in kind. We must be tough. We must be resolute. We must be determined.
I hope that the measures will be implemented by the Government and that more will be introduced so that the Government can show that they are determined to destroy the IRA, not in another 10 or 20 years but as soon as possible. These measures may help towards that end, and I pray to God that they will do so.
§ Mr. Seamus Mallon (Newry and Armagh)
It is regrettable that, over the past few weeks, a certain atavism has grown up in Ireland and here in relation to justice and security matters. The Secretary of State was wise to ensure that that atavism does not raise its ugly head tonight. Unfortunately, in some cases it has done so.
One point crops up again and again. I do not like wearing my heart—other than my political heart—on my sleeve, but accusations were made against me personally and against my party, and we should nail them. I represent the constituency of Newry and Armagh, and I am proud to do so. It was christened "bandit country" by a former Labour Secretary of State. It is a difficult area. We do not keep going a political organisation that is committed to non-violence to constitutional politics without having to fight hard against people who demonstrate the same atavism that the House has witnessed tonight.
I know what it is to have to fight my way out of a polling station in the dark. I know what it is to have to take my workers to a polling station, when men with guns stand outside to prevent people voting. I know what it is to visit 239 my election agent and find him dead on his doorstep, with his four-year-old daughter sitting beside him. I know what it is to sit in my house and hear and see the mob outside trying to burn it.
Let nobody in this House or anywhere else believe that, when we talk about beating violence, we are soft on terrorism or have any sympathy with it. We see it at the coal face. When I say "we", I mean all hon. Members from the North of Ireland—Unionists and Nationalists alike.
The Secretary of State referred to the death and funeral of Mr. Barney Lavery. For over 30 years, he was a close friend of mine. I knew his little granddaughter well, too. I was at that funeral, as was, to his credit, the hon. Member for Fermanagh and South Tyrone (Mr. Maginnis). It would have taken tears from a stone. Let nobody here imagine that, when we talk about suffering and terrorism and violence, we do not know it from all sides.
The Secretary of State referred to what I said previously in the House about using the law as a weapon to defeat terrorism. Maybe he should have finished the quote. I said that it was a weapon not to defeat terrorism but an instrument to create justice. I stand by that view. I stand by that view also in relation to this legislation, as I have done in relation to other pieces of legislation that we have considered recently. and I do so for one reason. I ask the House to think about it in rational terms. There are two ways of regarding the legislation. One is the negative way, saying that it will defeat terrorism; and the other is the positive way, asking whether it will create peace. There is a clear distinction.
An important point is at stake. Surely everyone's aim is to create peace in Ireland—a peace that will last; a peace that will not poison relationships every week of the year; a peace that will not bring poisoned relationships into inter-governmental squabbles such as the one that we saw last week, the one that we have seen brought into Europe, and the one that we have seen poisoning the relationship between people who live happily together on this island and in Ireland, and between two Governments who have the right to live without embarrassment and without such a poisoned relationship on an almost daily basis. Without that peace, the defeat of terrorism will not be successful.
The Prime Minister rightly coined a phrase when she talked about the oxygen of publicity for terrorism. I make the point with all the sincerity at my command that, at present, the IRA, or Sinn Fein, does not need to look for publicity, because the House is giving it to it on a weekly basis. Those organisations were mentioned 168 times in yesterday's short debate. We all belong to political parties. If we were getting that type of cheap, free publicity, would we have to worry about what happens outside the House? Over the past four weeks the newspapers, the television screens and the legislation have given that oxygen of publicity to the very same people from whom everyone wants to take that oxygen.
There is the oxygen of abnormality. I commend to everybody concerned about the problem a most accurate article by Simon Jenkins in The Sunday Times last week in which he addressed that point. The habitat of the terrorist is the abnormal situation. He thrives in it and gets recruits and sympathy from it. Normality, where people go to work and lead normal lives, is the one thing that urban and rural terrorists cannot live with. They thrive on the abnormality that we have seen created in the North of Ireland. It is a tactic that they use successfully because we give it to them. A Sinn Fein political spokesman said: 240We thrive with repression, but we cannot live with reform.He knows from where he gets his recruits and support. But what do we do? We provide abnormal courts and abnormal laws, such as those on the emergency provisions, the prevention of terrorism, the freedom of the press, the right to silence and, as of yesterday, elected authorities. On and on we go. That is the context in which terrorism thrives. Surely the Government must consider the oxygen of abnormality sooner rather than later.
Over the past few weeks this country and the Irish Government have developed an abnormal international profile because of a running sore. That sore has run not for one, two or three weeks, but for almost 800 years. I suggest with all the sincerity at my command that if a fundamental problem lasts that long, surely to heaven we all have the ingenuity and vision to start to see where the answer is, instead of putting the rubber stamp on abnormality each week as it goes by.
Under this legislation 656 people were detained and released without charge between April and September 1988. Surely that must raise questions, one of which must be: is this legislation being used not on "reasonable" suspicion or even suspicion, but to trawl for intelligence and information? I believe that it is. Two weeks ago in Newry, at 6 am, a schoolboy of 18 was taken in on foot for questioning about a little civil disturbance. Before he left the police station he was taken into a room by two people who questioned him about his neighbours and asked him to join Sinn Fein so that he could provide information. He was told that his call number was Roger, and Roger rang that night. That is how the legislation is being used. Like the hon. Member for Antrim, North (Rev. Ian Paisley), I have made an official complaint about that. I have been making official complaints for 20 years and not sustained one, and I do not have great confidence that I shall ever sustain one. However incompetent I may be, I do not see how I can get them all wrong. I ask the Minister to look into that because that is an example of what is happening.
I have one point to make on the European Court decision in the interests of this country and the standards of justice to which the hon. Member for North Down (Mr. Kilfedder) referred. It is not an a la carte Europe where we can take what we like and leave what we do not like. If we subscribe to the European convention on human rights, we have a duty to listen carefully and to do what is required with good grace. We should not be dragged screaming and kicking so that once again the bedrock of justice in this country is questioned publicly and the country is embarrassed internationally.
There is the oxygen of duplicity. I cannot think of a better word so forgive me for using it. I have spent many years, as have members of my party and Church leaders in the North of Ireland, asking this and other Governments to introduce legislation on racketeering. We told them what was going on and asked why there was no legislation. Irony of irony, it was introduced as a result of good investigative journalism by Roger Cook—the type of investigative journalism which will be prevented by legislation introduced a few weeks ago. Why did successive Governments not introduce such legislation? There are two reasons. First, it did not suit this Government's propaganda. For them it was good that people should believe that all the money comes from the United States. Secondly—the Loyalist paramilitary experience in Northern Ireland points to this—where there is 241 racketeering on such a scale, one has a constant entry into the intelligence of an organisation. Let us not be self-righteous about this or feel that something great is being done. We asked for this many moons ago and it is coming now because of a brilliant piece of investigative journalism.
There is duplicity about the way in which racketeering has been presented. What about the racketeering of the official IRA? It is believed that £6 million a year is laundered through banks in Newry. I have been told that there is no official IRA now, yet at the end of the summer I found myself at a conference sitting with the political head of the same organisation, discussing how racketeering could be tackled. What will be done about that? What will be done about UDA racketeering? We have seen what is happening on the streets of Belfast. These are the problems that we are bringing to the Government and there is agreement that we have long asked for action.
I have experience at first hand. Four years ago a young builder gave me all the details of his case. The police did not want to know because they did not have the power to do anything and the Government did not want to know because they were not going to deal with the matter at that time. That young man is now out of business and has had to come to the mainland to work on a building site. That is what we mean when we talk about the oxygen of duplicity.
There is the oxygen of grievance, whether real or imaginary. One of the awful aspects of this legislation is that Irish people feel aggrieved by it. People coming through the ports are stopped and questioned. Lorry drivers are held for three days at Dover and their loads go bad. If one speaks with an Irish accent, especially if one is young, wears denims and has long hair, one is a suspected terrorist. That builds up a sense of grievance which showed itself this past week in the awful atavism that we have seen in Ireland. That frightens me as much as the atavism that I have seen from some Conservative Members. That caters for the lowest common denominator—something that borders almost on racialism in the two countries where we should be living as peaceful people, sharing our neighbourhood in a positive and constructive way, not as is happening at present.
That oxygen of grievance is to be found in those young people who are affected by the removal of 50 per cent. of remission. We are not comparing like with like when we say that we are simply seeking to bring Northern Ireland into line with the Republic of Ireland or Britain. Here and in the Republic of Ireland parole is available after one third of a sentence has been served. That is not so in the North of Ireland. People are not sentenced by Diplock courts here; they are in the North of Ireland. They are not sentenced generally under emergency legislation here, but they are in Northern Ireland. Those grievances build up. As someone once said, that turns Nationalists and Republicans into terrorists. We live with the results of that.
§ Mr. Cash
He has not mentioned it, but the question is whether that is what he is driving at. How does the hon. 242 Gentleman reconcile what he is saying with the grievance that would be present if the views of the majority of the people of Northern Ireland were to be overridden by the sort of arguments that he is putting forward?
§ Mr. Mallon
I cannot fathom the rationale behind that question. I wish that I could, because I know of the hon. Gentelman's interest in the Irish situation. May we discuss the matter outside the Chamber, because I do not understand his question sufficiently to answer it? I am not sure whether anybody else understands it either.
Finally, there is the oxygen of emotion, and that is a cogent factor in the type of problems that the Minister knows we have to deal with on a daily basis. That emotion can substantially carry people away. Exclusion is central to that emotion. We are to have internal exile in the days of glasnost and perestroika. The world is opening up as this type of legislation closes us in. Is there not something ironic about that? Unionists and Nationalists alike find it offensive.
The Government will never defeat terrorism, because they cannot. They have to go down the road of derogation which will damage the Government and the country more than it will damage terrorism. I make that as a serious point. I am in no way supporting terrorism; I am simply making the point that terrorism will not be defeated by such an approach or by this type of legislation. What will defeat terrorism, or, to put it in a more positive way, create real and lasting peace in Ireland is when there is consensus among Irish people on the island of Ireland. Then we shall see terrorism defeated so quickly that we shall wonder what we have been doing for the past 20 years.
§ 8.3 pm
§ Mr. Tony Baldry (Banbury)
No hon. Member will doubt the personal integrity and courage of the hon. Member for Newry and Armagh (Mr. Mallon). However, it is slightly sad that, although he told us what he does not like in the Bill and what he does not like about what the Government are doing, apart from his latter comments, he told us nothing about what he and his party would wish the Government to do. It is sad that Opposition Members are always saying no—no to the Elected Authorities (Northern Ireland) Bill, no to the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Bill, no, in due course, I have no doubt, to the Northern Irish equal opportunities legislation. There is very little that they say yes to in Northern Ireland. They say very little about how they would seek to combat terrorism. It is all very negative. They do no more than knock copy.
Let me briefly comment upon why the Bill is necessary. Hon. Members have asked whether other powers for arrest and detention are available. The right hon. and learned Member for Warley, West (Mr. Archer) suggested that those powers are available under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act. But Lord Colville's report shows clearly that the ordinary powers in the Police and Criminal Evidence Act are not adequate to prevent acts of terrorism because they can be activated only when an offence has been or is being committed. For the victims, it is too late if the police cannot take action until a bomb has gone off. Therefore, the police need a pre-emptive power to arrest on reasonable suspicion at the preparatory stage of terrorist crimes.
Nor is it sufficient to say that in such instances the police should arrest on suspicion of conspiracy to murder 243 or to cause explosions and matters of that kind. The police frequently do not have sufficient evidence to prove an agreement with another person or persons to commit an offence, as the law requires.
§ Mr. Baldry
I shall not give way. Many hon. Members, including the hon. Lady, have been waiting patiently to speak.
The police frequently do not have sufficient evidence to prove an agreement with another person or persons to commit an offence as the law requires, but they may have grounds for reasonable suspicion that a person is preparing to carry out an act of terrorism.
It is suggested that it is wrong to lock up a person for a period without access to a solicitor or without being able to notify his family of his whereabouts. A balance has to be struck bearing in mind the seriousness of the potential offence. Clearly people in police detention have the right to have someone informed of their whereabouts and to consult a solicitor. But it is essential that the police, on the authority of a senior officer, should in certain circumstances be able to delay the exercise of those rights for up to 48 hours. There are undoubtedly cases where, if it becomes known that a person has been arrested, the police could have difficulty in preventing an act of terrorism or would be seriously hampered in investigating terrorist crimes and arresting other suspects.
Lord Colville is right to say that a suspect's right to notify his family of his whereabouts and to have access to a solicitor should not be delayed a moment longer than is necessary and that the detained person should throughout be kept informed of his rights and the authority for their deferral if they are deferred. In that context it is important to realise that schedule 3 gives effect to Lord Colville's recommendation that the regime for detainees under the Prevention of Terrorism Act should be brought closer to that of people detained under other police powers.
The Bill includes new safeguards because throughout the review officer has to consider whether the reason for delay remains valid, at all times seeking to do the best to strike a difficult balance between the rights of the person detained and the rights of the community to be protected from terrorist offences.
It is vital to recognise that the Bill is essentially pre-emptive. It is designed to prevent acts of terrorism because its powers are often exercised while terrorist crimes are still in preparation. In some cases, preparation will not have gone far enough for a charge to be brought. We must recognise, too, that in some cases the information on which the determination was based may be too sensitive to bring before a court. However, the detention will clearly have been justified in preventing the terrorists' operation going any further. Let us be clear, as Lord Colville said in his review of the operation of the Act in 1986. Criticism of the Act based on the number of charges, which result from the operation of the detention powers, is misconceived and flawed, because it misses the central point that this Act's powers are pre-emptive in attempting to prevent terrorism. After all, it is the Prevention of Terrorism Bill, and, by definition, powers must be exercised in advance of the terrorist act, which is its entire purpose. That may mean that the preparation has not gone far enough for sustainable evidence to be available for substantive charges.
244 When considering statistics of charges for offences under the legislation—we have heard something about this—it is misleading to say that, simply because only a few charges are brought under it, this legislation is defective. The Act creates very few offences and they are generally ancillary, such as making a contribution to terrorism or withholding information about terrorist acts.
This legislation is about preventing terrorist offences from taking place. If a terrorist offence has taken place or it can be proved that it would have taken place, those crimes—such as murder or explosion offences—will be prosecuted under other legislation. There is an adequate body of substantive criminal law. This Bill is about measures to prevent terrorist offences from ever taking place. There must be a reasonable suspicion of involvement in terrorism for a detention to take place. There should not be any shadow of a sustainable suggestion that the police are using their powers improperly. Indeed, we have not heard any such suggestion.
In the recent case which was referred to the European Court of Human Rights, it was accepted that the arrests were proper. Lord Colville concluded that the allegations of abuse of this legislation were not justified. In any event, the Bill contains new powers for review of detention during the first 48 hours, similar to the tried and tested procedures contained in the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984. If a suspect feels that the police have it wrong, there is the statutory police complaints procedure, both in the United Kingdom and in Northern Ireland, under which any complaints of alleged ill-treatment are thoroughly investigated. It is interesting to note that in all the thoroughly investigated cases mentioned in the 1988 Amnesty International report no evidence has yet been found of any justification for those complaints.
When one puts this legislation in the balance and considers what it is seeking to achieve, one sees that it is the Prevention of Terrorism Bill and, as such, when one analyses what it is doing, as against the ills and evil which it seeks to combat, I believe that it is a sound and balanced piece of legislation which the House should swiftly pull on the statute book.
§ Mr. Robert Maclennan (Caithness and Sutherland)
The continuance of organised international terrorism has shown no sign of abating. Many instances have occurred in the United Kingdom in recent years which show That there can be no loosening of the necessary measures of protection required to safeguard the British public. Terrorist groups associated with Northern Ireland continue to show a capability to inflict murder and mayhem in the Province and in Great Britain. The casualties have certainly fallen from the highest levels of the early 1970s, but the threat and the actuality of outrage is ever present. It is against that background that Parliament again reviews these exceptional measures.
The provisions of the Bill are for the most part not new. However, they are exceptional in their treatment of those suspected of involvement in terrorist activity. The powers of detention and exclusion, especially, are not those which would be considered appropriate in other circumstances. It is, therefore, right that their effectiveness and acceptability should be under constant review both by Parliament and independently. I am glad that the Government have 245 decided not to accept the recommendation of Lord Colville in his review of the 1984 Act that the core controls provided by the legislation should no longer be subject to annual renewal by Parliament. Lord Colville argued that the temporary nature of the controls fuelled what he calledthe unnecessary controversy that surrounds them",making it more difficult to provide proper facilities at the ports and airports.
The controversy that surrounds these measures is not unnecessary. It is a continuing and healthy reminder that the measures are exceptional and cannot be taken for granted. This debate has shown that these issues are still alive—and so they should be.
Internal banishment—that is what the power of exclusion provides for—is a power that we would not wish permanently to associate with the criminal legal system of the United Kingdom. That is why the Government are right to have provided—designed to replace the existing statute—that this Bill should expire under the provisions of clause 26 on 22 March 1990, and be renewable only if Parliament so decides by an affirmative resolution on an annual basis. This arrrangement is a reversion of the provisions of the 1976 Act and seems preferable in that it does not assume the necessity for the legislation to continue for a five-year period, even though that may be more likely than not.
Lord Colville called for annual reviews. I believe that it is proper that Parliament should pronounce on the outcome of those. I am glad that it has been agreed that Lord Colville will continue his role of providing Parliament with an annual report—which I hope will continue to be a thorough one—on the effective operation of the Act.
Lord Colville's review was the third major examination of the workings of this legislation since its inception, and I believe that it was of great value. I am glad, however, that not all of its recommendations were accepted. The right hon. and learned Member for Warley, West (Mr. Archer) suggested that, because the Government had departed from the recommendations, they were calling in question the value of them. I say to him that to accept the recommendations without cavil or question would be to deny Parliament and the Government any part in the review process, which is patently absurd.
The Home Secretary was right to retain the offence of withholding information, which might be of assistance in preventing the commission by another person of an act of terrorism in Northern Ireland or in securing the apprehension, prosecution or conviction of another person in relation to such an act, notwithstanding Lord Colville's view that it should go.
The new special search provisions for use in a great emergency appear to be of potential value in making effective the new measures to deal with financial assistance for acts of terrorism. I am glad that the Bill contains these measures, because there is no doubt that the huge financial resources that have been available to the terrorist organisations have sustained them as effectively as the outside intervention of other Governments. Many of these resources are traceable and I hope that these provisions will enjoy universal support.
246 The Colville report did not go deeply into the proposals contained in part III of the Bill, but they appear to follow fairly closely in principle and in operation those already introduced in the Drug Trafficking Offences Act 1986.
Undoubtedly, the most controversial departure from the Colville recommendations is the Home Secretary's decision to retain the provisions relating to exclusion in part II of the Bill. The exclusion power is the most draconian contained in the legislation. Lord Colville reports the firm view of the Scottish and English Associaton of Chief Police Officers and all senior police officers to whom he spoke, who believe that it is essential to retain the exclusion powers. They believe that, without that power, effective surveillance of Irish terrorists could not be maintained. The right hon. and learned Member for Warley, West believes that that evidence is lacking, but I believe that it has been provided by the police officers—there can be no more authoritative evidence than that.
In an earlier part of his report Lord Colville made the general observation that the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act 1984is basically a deterrent, something very hard to prove or disprove.I believe that that observation is right. I believe that the exclusion provisions, although the most exceptional and unattractive provisions of the 1984 Act, are the most difficult to dispense with. Therefore, I cannot take issue with the Home Secretary's judgment about their necessity at this stage.
It has been satisfactory that the provisions of the 1984 Act have, hitherto, not been held to be inconsistent with the European convention on human rights. It is intrinsically important that, even in the extremely dangerous circumstances of Northern Ireland, this country has striven to adhere to the standards set for the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms in that convention. It has been a shield against charges of inhumanity and it has helped to sustain our cause in other countries. Therefore, the decision of the European Court on Human Rights on the Brogan case is one to which the Government must respond with great care.
The Democrats urge upon the Government the overwhelmingly strong case for seeking to reconcile the detention procedures with the requirements of article 5(3) of the convention that an arrested or detained personbe brought promptly before a judge.
If the Government seek, instead, to derogate from the convention under article 15, following the example of the Labour Government in 1978, they risk bringing this necessary legislation into obloquy. It will also greatly increase our difficulties in sustaining support abroad. I believe that the Government should provide arrangements to bring those arrested or detained under the provisions of the Act before a judge. In an earlier speech the hon. and learned Member for Burton (Mr. Lawrence) made a number of suggestions as to how that might best be done. I hope that those parts of his speech will be closely considered by the Government before the Minister makes a statement in the House about the judgment of the European Court. I agree with the right hon. Member for Birmingham, Sparkbrook (Mr. Hattersley) that that statement should be made in this House before this Bill goes into Committee, but, unlike the right hon. Gentleman, I do not believe that it would have been reasonable to expect the Government to come up with a practical response to the judgment of the European Court 247 before this debate. There is no doubt that many practical considerations must be borne in mind, but the principle of seeking to adhere to the operation of the convention should not be in any doubt.
The hon. Member for Newry and Armagh (Mr. Mallon) made one of the most powerful speeches of this debate. He speaks with personal experience of the horrors of terrorism in Northern Ireland, which few in the House can share. For that we thank God. He asks us to judge this Bill by considering whether it will create peace or whether it will defeat terrorism, but those are the wrong questions. The Bill, of itself, cannot do either.
The provisions of the Bill may assist to remove the sense of powerlessness that many in Northern Ireland feel against the ever-present threat to life, limb, happiness, family unity, safe travel and the security normally enjoyed by others in the realm.
The Bill may—it is impossible to demonstrate—make it easier to prevent the commission of acts that, were we to rely upon the normal provisions of the law, would be carried out. Then, it would be too late to do anything but offer our sympathies in this House to those who have suffered and have been bereaved. Because the Bill seeks to ward off such atrocities and because law enforcement officers believe that it will have a material role in achieving that aim, we accept its unattractive provisions, which we can regard only as temporary.
Parliament must review the provisions annually and reconsider their effectiveness and the manner in which they are carried out. Given the provisions in the Bill, the Democrats accept the Government's view that it is a necessary part of their armoury to defeat terrorism in this country.
§ Mr. Andrew Hunter (Basingstoke)
I shall be brief, Mr. Deputy Speaker, as other hon. Members wish to catch your eye.
I applaud and endorse the sentiments expressed by my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Burton (Mr. Lawrence), not least because he drew the House's attention to the remarkable and disgraceful remarks of the right hon. Member for Birmingham, Sparkbrook (Mr. Hattersley) who said that the IRA does not constitute a threat to our national security. I hope that those words receive due attention and condemnation.
§ Ms. Short
That point has already been made by a number of Conservative Back Benchers. The hon. Gentleman does not understand that, to derogate from the convention, we must tell the world that the security of the United Kingdom is endangered by the IRA. That gives the IRA more status than my right hon. Friend and many of his hon. Friends believe is due to it. That is my right hon. Friend's argument.
§ Mr. Hunter
I am well aware that that is the right hon. Gentleman's argument, but I entirely reject it. The hon. Lady's intervention has given me the opportunity to do so once again.
The hon. Member for Newry and Armagh (Mr. Mallon) said that the Government can never defeat terrorism, but I agree with the comments that the hon. Member for Caithness and Sutherland (Mr. Maclennan) made about that. I believe that the hon. Member for Newry and Armagh has missed the essential point—that 248 this measure is not the sum total of the campaign against the IRA. It is one particular, important measure. Past anti-terrorism legislation has played a significant part in controlling the curse of terrorism.
I believe that the Bill should be greatly welcomed. It is another stage in the intensification of the process against terrorism that started with the Prevention of Terrorism Act 1974, and continued with the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act 1984.
We have listened to counter arguments from Opposition Members. I am inclined to give credence to their former colleague Lord Mason, who was recorded in The Times as saying:There is no telling how many lives the legislation has saved.It is right and proper that the provisions of the 1984 Act should be re-enacted.
We note Lord Colville's apprehension about part I of the Bill, which deals with proscribed organisations, but the Government rightly accepted his conclusion that it would be wrong to deproscribe.
Lord Colville rejected the proposal for exclusion orders under part II, as did Sir Cyril Philips in an earlier appraisal of existing legislation. That was not the conclusion of Lord Jellicoe when he reviewed the legislation in 1983. He said that exclusion orders hadmaterially contributed to public safety in the United Kingdom.
I was intrigued by the argument of the right hon. and learned Member for Warley, West (Mr. Archer) against exclusion orders, because without them surely there would be a greater flow of international terrorists into Britain. I was bewildered by my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary's reply to Lord Colville on that point. He wrote:The power to exclude someone from all or part of the United Kingdom is one of the most important powers in the prevention of terrorism legislation…I believe it is right only to employ this power in cases where I am sure that excluding a person will prevent acts of terrorism.My right hon. Friend's letter is ambiguous. I understand that paragraph to mean that he is referring only to terrorists connected with Northern Ireland and that he is not thinking of applying it generally to terrorists of other countries. Perhaps that point could be clarified in Committee.
The hon. Member for Newry and Armagh gave credit for part III—which deals with financial assistance for terrorism—to a journalist. There can be only an indirect connection because the recommendation first came from the Hodgson committee and it was also included in Lord Colville's report. It is basically the application of the powers in the Drug Trafficking Offences Act 1986 to terrorism and terrorist organisations.
Part IV, which deals with arrest, detention and control of entry, tackles a delicate and serious problem. However, when dealing with the exceptional circumstances of terrorism, exceptional powers must be taken. Although we note and respect the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights, arguably it has overlooked the human right of the individual to look to the state for protection against terrorism.
I support virtually everything in the Bill, but I have one misgiving—the Bill's response to the increasing phenomenon of international terrorism. International co-operation exists between the anarchist and Communist cells in Europe. The Red Brigade, the Red Army Faction, 249 Action Direct, INLA, the CCC in Belgium and the IRA meet, conspire and co-operate; they use the same weaponry and armaments.
I have taken advice about the relevant clauses of the Bill and I understand that they do not preclude terrorists from other countries meeting in the United Kingdom to plot to carry out an act of terrorism in another country or to encourage others to do so—provided that they do not commit an act of terrorism or any triable offence in the United Kingdom. If that is correct, there is a serious loophole in the legislation that would allow the United Kingdom to be used as a base for the planning of terrorism in other countries by foreign terrorists.
That loophole could also be used by another form of international terrorism—the liberation movements, many of which have the backing of the Soviet Union and are a manifestation and an adjunct of Soviet policy. When those liberation movements commit acts of terrorism they cease to be liberation movements and instead become terrorist organisations. Some of them have offices in London. It is questionable whether the Bill gives the Government the power to prevent acts of terrorism being planned in this country by so-called liberation movements.
I welcome the Bill, although I have my doubts about whether it sufficiently tackles the phenomenon of international terrorism. I hope that some of the matters that I have raised will be discussed in greater detail in Committee.
§ Ms. Clare Short (Birmingham, Ladywood)
We have experienced the working of the Prevention of Terrorism Act since 1974, and it does not prevent terrorism. It has led to the arrest and detention of literally thousands of people who subsequently have not been charged with any offence. Since 1977, 4,358 people have been detained, of whom 3,701 have not been charged with any offence. The details of the minority who were charged show them to have been charged with offences for which they could have been arrested and charged under other legislation.
The very existence of the legislation and the way in which Irish people are harassed under it and the fear that when they travel to Ireland they might be stopped and detained causes an enormous sense of injustice, alienation and anger. I seriously believe that it enlarges the sense of grievance that the system is unfair and that there is some justification for paramilitary activity. It broadens the group of those willing to advance those arguments. There is a sense of injustice and alienation under the system.
As I have said previously in the Chamber, I was working in the Home Office when the first Bill was introduced. Indeed, on the night that it was first debated I sat in the Civil Service Box under the Gallery. The last time I said that, Hansard deleted it from the report of my speech. I should be grateful if it would leave it in this time. I do not understand why we should not refer to the fact that civil servants sit in the Box under the Gallery.
I remember that night well, because it followed the Birmingham pub bombings. I well remember those, too, because I was in Birmingham that weekend and one of the pubs bombed was used regularly by one of my brothers. When the radio reported the bombings we thought that he had been blown to bits. There was tragedy for others, but 250 luck for us because that did not happen to my brother. I well remember the way that the atmosphere in Birmingham turned and Irish people were blamed and attacked. As was said by my hon. Friend the Member for Sunderland, South (Mr. Mullin), who wrote a book about the miscarriage of justice for the Birmingham Six, it was the worst mass murder in British history.
The sense of anger both in this House and in the country led to an enormous demand for the restoration of capital punishment. The then Home Office Ministers feared that mood and a Bill was cobbled together, at short notice and in a short time, to appease that mood. I sat in the Box that night next to the man who had cobbled it together and we talked about it. He said that he had slung in as many ideas as he could come up with. That is the true origin of the legislation. The reasons for wanting to appease the mood and the reasons for the anger about the Birmingham pub bombings are understandable. Brian Walden, at that time the hon. Member for Birmingham, Ladywood, was asked by Home Office Ministers to make a fervent speech against capital punishment in that debate, as his speeches in this place were so famous. He made a fine speech that night, and in that case, too, the speech was set up, such was the degree of fear. That was the Bill's origin; that was why the Labour Government put it together. It was drafted at enormous speed to appease justified anger and to buy off a demand for the return of capital punishment.
Then the legislation started to operate and we started to learn about its operation. Year after year the statistics came in showing hundreds of arrests—but no charges. The Labour party was big enough to learn from that and to realise that the Act was malfunctioning, was unnecessary and was generating injustice and a sense of injustice. My party was big enough to admit that the Act had failed and should be repealed. The Labour party is entitled to be proud of that. It is not honourable to go on doing something wrong merely because it was done before. That is dishonourable for any party or political person.
Conservative Members say that if the prevention of terrorism legislation were not in place things that we do not know about would have happened and more terrorism would have taken place. That is what they assert: we can never know it. The horrible path down which that leads is the erosion of more and more civil liberties and the use of the emotions that people feel against terrorism to justify a continuing invasion of those liberties.
I remember going to Turkey in 1983. There, members of trade unions and other political activists, such as people in the peace movement, had been arrested and beaten up in police stations. Confessions had been beaten out of them. I remember the sense of grievance and injustice in that society; and it is to those things that this sort of argument points. These arguments are dangerous. Conservative Members—and the Home Secretary tonight —continually tell us that there would be more terrorism without this legislation. That is a circular argument of which there is no proof.
The paramilitary activity in Northern Ireland is a dreadful tragedy. I feel deeply about all the bombs and all the innocent people who are slaughtered because I feel strongly about the politics of Northern Ireland and the need for a peaceful settlement there. My father came from Northern Ireland and that was part of my route into politics. I believe that, especially now, the IRA's activities are absolutely counter-productive to achieving its declared 251 aim—the reunification of Ireland. Its members should stop their campaign, go for political activity and seek unity with the Unionist community in Northern Ireland—because all the people who live in Ireland must share. The IRA is wrong. I want a united Ireland because I want peace and justice in Ireland. But I also understand why mostly young men—and some young women—in Northern Ireland are willing to join paramilitary organisations. Their sense of grievance and injustice and their belief that Britain will not listen, so there is no political route to justice, makes them willing to engage in paramilitary violence.
This violence comes from both sides of the community. The figures quoted by the hon. Member for Antrim, North (Rev. Ian Paisley) showed that about 64 per cent. of the deaths are the responsibility of Republican organisations and 27 per cent. that of Loyalist paramilitary organisations. The hon. Gentleman would not allow me to intervene in his speech. I wanted to ask why he was willing to parade with members of Loyalist paramilitary organisations while denouncing violence. But it is all a tragedy that must be brought to an end.
When I was in Northern Ireland a couple of months ago I found that people who would count themselves as firm Republicans were criticising the tactics, strategies and activities of the IRA more severely than ever before. That gave me great hope. Anyone who follows these matters and reads the literature knows that a debate has been growing up within Sinn Fein. I am sure that it was hastened by the SDLP talks with Sinn Fein; I honour the SDLP for having gone into those talks to determine whether the violence could be brought to an end. This growing debate has concerned whether Sinn Fein should stop what it calls the offensive use of force. I desperately want that to be encouraged. I want people in Northern Ireland who feel aggrieved and who want a united Ireland to work politically for that aim and to believe that it is possible.
The sort of measures that the Government have brought in in recent months weaken the argument for political action. The broadcasting ban, the ending of the right to silence, and so on, make those who oppose political campaigning tell the others not to be silly, because the British Government will not allow them to be politically active. They will tell them to look at the new oath that must be taken and at all the other changes, concluding that the Brits understand only one thing: soldiers going home in coffins. That is a nasty argument, but it is the one used. Decent people put forward such arguments.
If we want to stop violence and terrorism, we have to try to understand why people engage in it. We must win people over to politics within which there is space for them to express their views fairly. Legislation such as this leads to all sorts of young people being picked up, interrogated and unjustly detained, and that makes them angry and willing to support, vote for and, in some cases, join and be active in paramilitary organisations.
The series of measures introduced in recent weeks by the Government is a package that has been cobbled together in the same way as was the Prevention of Terrorism Act 1974, which was brought forward to appease the public mood after the Birmingham pub bombings, after which the Prime Minister asked for political initiatives of any kind. It is highly likely that this package and the anger about it will lead to an escalation of violence in Northern Ireland. I fear and expect that 252 more people will die as a consequence of these measures. Most politicians rarely visit Northern Ireland and do not care a damn about the violence there—0as long as it is contained there. It is almost useful to be able to pontificate about terrorism and to denounce it. I regret to say that I sincerely believe that most politicians in the House do not care about Northern Ireland or about the dreadful fact that these measures are likely to lead to more violence there.
The Home Secretary, who is unlike most other members of the Government, gave a fair presentation of the case for his Bill this evening. But it is usual Tory tactics to try to smear the Labour party. Tory Members continually smear those of us who honestly believe that this sort of legislation is counter-productive; so does the nasty press, which supports them and is owned by their friends. The argument runs that if we are against a measure entitled "The Prevention of Terrorism Act" we must be in favour of terrorism. That is a lie, but Tories deliberately use it all the time for political ends. Given all that, I cannot and will not back off and lend my support to these indefensible and counter-productive measures which are likely to lead to an increase in terrorism and paramilitary violence. I am unlikely to be swayed by the threat of this sort of smear argument.
My right hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Sparkbrook (Mr. Hattersley) made a superb speech in which he put the case against the Bill extremely well. Indeed, his speech could not have been bettered, but I believe that my party's tactics tonight are extremely foolish and will send out a muddled message from the House about the Labour party's position on the prevention of terrorism. I, like others, am not in principle against action to take away the property of paramilitary organisations that has been improperly obtained. I am worried about the provisions in the Bill which say that someone has to prove that he did not come across property illicitly.
Not long ago a woman whose husband's shop went bust came to my advice bureau. Her husband had engaged in some drug selling and was arrested and imprisoned. The authorities threatened to take away her house in which she lived with her children. I am not in favour of that sort of thing. I am perfectly willing to look at the principle, but we must also look at the details. As my right hon. Friend the Member for Sparkbrook said, putting the onus of proof on the person whose property is to be confiscated is wrong.
The Labour party's decision on the Bill was caused by Tory smears and lies and I am afraid that the Labour party gave in to that. We should not give in on such serious matters because of smears and attacks made in the press, or we will end up going ever backwards and defending the indefensible. I deeply regret that my party gave in to that. I respect the speech made by my right hon. Friend the Member for Sparkbrook, but I shall vote against the Bill, as will many of my hon. Friends. The measure is counter-productive.
§ Rev. William McCrea (Mid-Ulster)
Before the hon. Lady finishes her speech, perhaps she could address her mind to a problem that I face. I walked behind a policeman's coffin the other day. The brother of that policeman's widow was murdered a few years ago as well. The hon. Lady has said much about her worries about persons being harassed. Will she tell the House and my constituents what she would deliver to the widow and the 253 orphans? Other hon. Members are trying to raise other matters, but I am asking a straightforward question and I am sure that I will get a straightforward answer.
§ Ms. Short
I apologise to hon. Members who are waiting to take part in the debate. If the hon. Member for Mid-Ulster (Rev. William McCrea) had been listening to my speech he would know my answer. Those deaths are tragedies and each one is a personal tragedy in whichever community it occurs. I desperately want to see peace for all the people of Northern Ireland. The Bill will escalate the violence and will not bring peace. That is my sincerely held view. As I say, I shall vote against Second Reading.
§ Mr. Kenneth Hind (Lancashire, West)
I admire the determination of the hon. Member for Birmingham, Ladywood (Ms. Short). We appreciate her point of view and her determination to put it forward, and we respect her conviction. However, like many of my hon. Friends, I disagree with what she said. She was correct to say that probably many people outside will interpret the stand taken by Labour Front-Bench Members as being the result of pressure from Conservatives. I would put it further. It is the result of public opinion and the real horrors of terrorism which, I accept, all hon. Members reject. The difference between the hon. Lady and many of her hon. Friends and Conservative Members is that we feel that we have to give the police the tools to deal with terrorism. That is why the Bill is necessary.
I am afraid that the Labour party shows a cavalier attitude to the safety of the British people and an inability ever to unite to formulate a coherent and strong anti-terrorist policy. Every Government must be prepared to have a policy to protect its citizens. Many Northern Ireland Members have spoken from the bottom of their hearts and have almost pleaded with the House to ensure that the security forces in Northern Ireland have the tools to do the job. We must give the police the powers that they need to fight terrorism. The fig leaf offered by the Opposition of partial agreement to the Bill is not enough.
We have to look at the nature of terrorism. The right hon. Member for Birmingham, Sparkbrook (Mr. Hattersley) advised us that we could use the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 to deal with detentions so that the police could inquire into terrorist activities. We are not dealing with ordinary crime. There is a fundamental difference between criminals who commit offences for personal gain and terrorists who commit acts of violence to perpetuate a cause. The terrorist is blind to reason or compassion and sees the gun and the bomb as his only way to overcome constitutional law and achieve his ends. The ordinary criminal is out for personal gain and, as I say, the difference between the two is fundamental.
We have to look at the people we are dealing with when we talk about interviewing terrorist suspects. Many terrorists, and especially those in the IRA, are trained in Northern Ireland and some of them have experience of camps in Syria and the Lebanon. They are trained by the PLO or by other Palestinian organisations. One of the fundamental parts of their training is the ability to resist interrogation by the security forces, police or military. We are dealing with an extraordinary type of person, and that requires extraordinary measures.
254 Opposition Front-Bench spokesmen are not listening. Perhaps if they did they might learn something. They advocate the use of the normal courts to deal with persons charged with terrorist offences. They say that we should forget the Diplock courts and that if we do not have the evidence we should not use the exclusion orders which are a fundamental part of the Bill. The Opposition forget, but I am sure that my friends from Northern Ireland will remind them, that in Northern Ireland witnesses will not come to court to give evidence in the way that witnesses do in the rest of the United Kingdom in the normal course of judicial proceedings. That is because of intimidation and the threats of violence towards the families of witnesses. We are not dealing with normal judicial proceedings, and that is why extraordinary measures have to be used. The Bill is one such measure.
My right hon. and hon. Friends who will take the Bill through Committee will have a major problem in dealing with the decision by the European Court of Human Rights. Before I deal with that, it is worth mentioning that in a way the decision of that court is typical of the problem facing the forces of law and order in dealing with terrorism in the United Kingdom. Four men applied for judgment, first by the European Commission and then by the European Court. Terence Brogan was suspected of killing two police officers. Dermot Coyle was responsible for bomb attacks, especially in Tyrone. William McFadden was suspected of murdering two soldiers. Michael Tracey was involved in several armed robbery offences.
The fifth man who went with them was called Charles English. His case was withdrawn fron the European Court after he was killed when a rifle-launched grenade exploded prematurely. The newspaper of the Republican movement described him as an active service volunteer in the Derry brigade with 21 years' experience. The problem for the forces of law and order was that witnesses would not come forward to give evidence in such cases.
My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary has two options. He could introduce judicial intervention to get round the problems posed by article 5(3), which sets out the need to get a suspect before a court as promptly as possible. My right hon. Friend should remember that, before the Police and Criminal Evidence Act, suspects being interviewed at length by the police were regularly taken before magistrates when requests for detention for further investigation were made. That procedure could be restored. My right hon. Friend will have my support if he introduces that or some alternative to derogation.
We should remember that the British Government have twice asked for derogation from decisions of the European Court of Human Rights. In 1971, the Conservative Government asked for a derogation on internment. In December 1978, the Labour Government asked for a derogation in relation to the powers that were included in the Suppression of Terrorism Act 1978. That Act would not have got through the House had it not been for the support of the Conservative Opposition, because 35 Labour Members voted against it. Tonight many Labour Members will vote against this Bill. Their opposition is nothing recent. It goes back over 10 years.
My right hon. Friend has no guidance from the European Commission or from the court. The Commission said that four days' detention without coming before a court is perfectly all right, but that five days is not. The case was taken to the full court. Although it agreed with the Commission, it gave no reasons for its 255 decision. So there is no guidance on how long the court believes a suspect may be held before being taken before a court. But my right hon. and hon. Friends will have my full support in dealing with the problems posed by article 5(3). We must provide protection for the British public.
The powers of exclusion have also attracted much opposition. I endorse the Home Secretary's views. If a prisoner deliberately tells the inmates of that prison, whether it be the Maze or anywhere else, that on his release he intends to bomb and kill, what are the forces of law and order expected to do? Should they ignore that? Are they supposed to allow him free access into the country so that he may form part of a cell, bury himself in a city here and slowly plan a bombing campaign?
Some hon. Members have said that no European country has similar legislation. In France, a convicted terrorist is required to reside in a special place for between two and 10 years. There is a similar restriction in Italy, with the added requirement of reporting to the police regularly. There is a great need for such protection. We should be able to know that terrorists, whether they be Libyans, Iranians, Iraqis or members of the IRA, can be excluded from Britain.
The fact that we need such a Bill is borne out by the events concerning my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, whose life was threatened by an IRA cell, by the 1981 bombing campaign in seaside resorts, which was foiled, by the Arab who tried to blow up an El Al jet at Heathrow airport and by the murders of WPC Yvonne Fletcher outside the Libyan embassy and the Israeli ambassador.
No one knows better than Conservative Members that extraordinary measures are needed to deal with an extraordinary problem. I am afraid that the official Opposition are offering nothing to the public tonight. We offer the police of this country the tools to combat terrorism. I have no doubt that my right hon. and hon. Friends are pursuing the right course in bringing the Bill before the House.
§ 9.4 pm
§ Mr. Martin Flannery (Sheffield, Hillsborough)
Time is short and I will try to restrict my remarks so that someone else may speak.
The prevention of terrorism legislation has been utterly useless. It has not prevented any terrorism. It has deepened the intensity of feeling in Ireland generally and in Northern Ireland in the minority community in particular. The legislation was born in the political climate of fear with a determination to wreak vengeance against someone.
I was in the Chamber that night when the first Prevention of Terrorism Bill was introduced. To its shame, the original Bill was a Labour Bill and it pandered to the hysteria at the time. Some Labour Members were completely against it. Indeed, one or two Labour Members from the midlands were physically frightened to oppose the legislation because they had to go back to their constituencies. They were afraid to vote against it although many of us wanted to do that.
Not only has this legislation failed to stem terrorism, it has increased it. Ordinary criminal law can handle those cases. It is well known in this place that the Government are now deeply committed to what the Labour Government realised was an error on their part. I share the 256 view expressed by my hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Ladywood (Ms. Short) about what is happening in the Labour party.
This appalling Bill is pregnant with injustice and vendetta. It first appeared in 1974 when, as I have said, many hon. Members were afraid to express their views about it, although some did. They were not simply afraid to do that in the party; they were afraid of the reaction in their constituencies. Some hon. Members were frightened about what their management committees might say—[Interruption.] It is rude to interrupt when I have only a few minutes to speak. I have argued against people like the hon. Member for Londonderry, East (Mr. Ross) for years because they are responsible for all this.
The lack of democracy in Northern Ireland spawned the IRA. The deadly enemy of terrorism is not security measures, although they are important. The deadly enemy is democracy. The lack of democracy in Northern Ireland was caused by people like the right hon. Member for Strangford (Mr. Taylor) and his colleagues and the hon. Member for Antrim, North (Rev. Ian Paisley) and his friends. They still want to return to that situation which spawned the IRA when they attacked the march against the lack of justice and democracy in Northern Ireland. Those people know that as well as I do. The powers of arrest and detention were described by the former right hon. Member for Glasgow, Hillhead, now Lord Jenkins, as draconian.
I want to give my view about what my party has just done. I am at a total loss to understand how anyone could table a reasoned amendment—God knows what an unreasoned amendment might be—which justifies not voting against the Bill. Reasoned amendments like that to the Elected Authorities (Northern Ireland) Bill yesterday and the one tonight should really cause us to vote against the Bill. I will be voting for the reasoned amendment, as I have done over the past 14 or 15 years, and I will vote against Second Reading because the Bill is draconian and causes terror and misery to many honest Irish people. That misery is caused by the people who want to go back to Stormont and the old policies which caused all the trouble.
§ Mr. Jeremy Hanley (Richmond and Barnes)
I am grateful to the hon. Member for Sheffield, Hillsborough (Mr. Flannery) and others who have spoken briefly. I know that there is great passion among many hon. Members and they could have spoken for longer
There is always great sadness in the House when we discuss matters similar to this. We remember atrocities, murders and mourning and we even remember murders at times of mourning, at funerals and on Remembrance day. Those of us who know Ulster—and it is a part of the world that I love—know how terrorism is a cancer that infects an otherwise beautiful country. It is a disease, but it surprises many people who visit Ulster that they do not find everywhere they look evidence of atrocities. However, they know, as we do, that those atrocities and the danger of terrorism is never far away. On top of death and destruction, the threat scares away investors and employers, reduces the already poor employment opportunities and decreases the ability of the country to recover economically.
Yet Opposition Members have said that the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act has failed 257 because terrorism continues. That is madness. That is the type of argument that seeks to ban preventive medicine because disease has not been fully conquered, or ridicules home security because burglaries are still perpetrated, or bans prisons because they do not eradicate crime completely.
Those whose madness stretches to their tragic and pointless suicides in the hunger strike or leads to their self-humiliation in the dirty protest cannot be stopped completely by anything. Their belief and passion are fuelled by actions against them and they believe that they are right. Those who are dedicated to their cause believe that they are right, but I do not include here those who exploit that cause through fraud, theft, protection rackets and the like for personal greed. Those who have that passion for their cause will, of course, react against this Bill and against anything that tries to stop them and keep them within the law. Is that a reason for us not to introduce such legislation?
Our democracy allows for disparate views. What distances these people, and why we must do all that we can to counter them, is that they do not accept democracy and will not wait for a majority view in Northern Ireland, which might unite North and South. They will murder and maim to exercise a warped demonstration of their power—the power of the gunman over the unarmed and of the bomber over the school child, grandfather or farmer. Is that the way to gain respect or to win men's minds?
At least the Bill is a genuine and decent attempt to try to prevent terrorism and has not been introduced by skulking in bushes or with the benefit of hundreds of yards of wire. It has been introduced not in a cowardly or secretive way but in the full glare of parliamentary publicity and in open debate. That is democracy at work and it is anathema to terrorists. I welcome the Bill and I accept that limitations on liberty, such as the exclusion order, have not been taken lightly. We consider infringements of human rights carefully, but I know that many hon. Members would rather consider the human rights of those who have been killed or maimed horribly in the streets, in shops, in pubs, discotheques and even in public places such as the London streets during Christmas shopping.
The Association of Chief Police Officers of England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the Association of Chief Police Officers (Scotland) and the great majority of senior police officers are said by Lord Colville to support the continued use of exclusion powers. Without exclusion powers, they would not have the physical resources to provide surveillance for all suspected Irish terrorists who might arrive. The retention of powers is regrettable, but essential.
The hon. Member for Birmingham, Ladywood (Ms. Short) talked about the inconvenience, anger and bitterness felt by those who are stopped when travelling, those who are searched and who feel fear. I was stopped and searched once, not long ago, and I felt fear. Yet I was on the side of the security forces. I can understand what people must feel if they harbour republican views in their hearts. But we are implementing this legislation not because we like it or out of a sense of strange or quirky 258 authoritarianism. We are implementing it because we have a responsibility for all the people of the United Kingdom, including the peaceful people in Ulster.
There was a streak of remarkable honesty in the speech made by the hon. Member for Ladywood. There was a most impressive speech from the hon. Member for Antrim, North (Rev. Ian Paisley)—one of the most impressive that I have heard from him. There was also a moving speech from the hon. Member for Newry and Armagh (Mr. Mallon). A debate of this sort is capable of lifting people to heights that we sometimes do not recognise.
This new Bill and its new powers will make a contribution towards peace and will at least stop us from apparent sterility in the battle against terrorism. I thoroughly approve of the financial assistance powers included in it. The onus of proof against those who are suspected of having collected money for terrorism is absolutely vital. It has been shown to work in the Drug Trafficking Offences Act 1986. When I served on the Select Committee on Home Affairs, I recommended the measure and I am pleased that it has been such a success. If such measures help to stop the money flowing in from Noraid—with its misguided loyalty from those of Irish origins who wallow in the nostalgia of an Ireland long past, and for whom the details of death are dulled by distance—and if we can manage to stop other collections for terrorist purposes, we will have made a contribution in this battle.
I end by saying that terrorists are not freedom fighters. They have, if they want, freedom to act within the law, as we all do. Terrorists are anti-freedom fighters. They are anti-democratic. I hope that the Bill will help to preserve the freedoms that we hold dear and that we wish to protect for all the people of the United Kingdom.
§ Mr. Bruce George (Walsall, South)
I am grateful to my hon. Friend the Member for Sheffield, Hillsborough (Mr. Flannery) and to the hon. Member for Richmond and Barnes (Mr. Hanley) for making much shorter speeches than they had planned, which has allowed me to be the last Back Bencher to have five minutes in which to make his speech, thus discarding nine tenths of the speech that I had intended to make.
As a west midlands Member, I can remember vividly the events of 21 November 1974—those horrendous events that precipitated the Prevention of Terrorism Act 1974. It is true that it was hastily conceived, but it was greatly demanded and supported. I feel no sense of guilt at having supported it.
However, having heard the debate and listened and read a great deal over the years, I feel that the Prevention of Terrorism Act has been nowhere near as central in the fight against terrorism or as positive as some Conservative Members have argued, nor, conversely, has it been as dangerous and superfluous as some of its critics have maintained. I have been reading carefully a book on the law and the prevention of terrorism by Clive Walker, which largely comes to the same conclusion.
Terrorism will increase, new groups will emerge and the fight against terrorism will become even more difficult in the future. Those who, in the dim and distant days of the early 1970s, hoped that the legislation would need to be merely temporary have had their naivety ruthlessly exposed. 259 We will never defeat terrorism. However successful we are in fighting it nationally and internationally, it will be with us for decades, or for as long as the human race exists. In our fight against terrorism it is vital that we pursue democratic means and maintain international co-operation, despite the many stresses. Whatever the criticism of Belgium, I do not think that any Prime Minister should receive such a public dressing down as Mr. Martens received. When Queen Victoria said of Gladstone,He addresses me as though I were a public meeting" perhaps she had a foretaste of things to come.
Despite the crises and pressures, we must co-operate internationally because that is the only way to minimise terrorism. That is why we should comply with the decision of the European Court of Human Rights. We cannot expect co-operation on some issues if we deny it on others. Other countries have complied. Spain had far more draconian laws regarding the powers of arrest than we have. Indeed, until last year it was possible to hold a suspect incommunicado for 10 days. That period is now five days, and the suspect must then appear before an examining magistrate. I believe that we should comply also.
I spoke today to Professor Paul Wilkinson, who is probably the leading academic expert on terrorism in this country. He takes a sane view on the problems of dealing with terrorism and suggested a way in which we might comply, which I hope will be considered carefully. He proposes a prevention of terrorism tribunal, with three senior judges who have great experience in dealing with terrorism. That would introduce a judicial element into the process. The tribunal could advise the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and the Home Secretary on reviewing legislation regarding the prevention of terrorism. It would provide a more regularised and systematic method of monitoring than we have at present. Above all, it would allow the police to go to the tribunal to request an increase in the number of days for which they could hold a suspect without formally charging him. That is possible, if the Home Secretary is prepared to be flexible.
I endorse those clauses that deal with the financing of terrorism. I had hoped that James Adams' book on the financing of terrorism would be reflected in the Bill. Some of these organisations are similar to multinational corporations. There is robbery, extortion, gambling, drinking, ripping off the state and setting up companies such as taxi firms and security firms. It is wrong to argue that Noraid and Gaddafi are the paymasters of the IRA. Infinitely more money is generated by the methods that I have mentioned.
The PLO is top of the league. Its assets are reputed to be in excess of $15 billion, with investments in property and impressive investment portfolios. It has property and farms and it is involved in all sorts of enterprises, which proves that the enterprise spirit has perhaps infected that organisation. We should hit them where it hurts. Clausewitz said that moneys are the sinews of war. If we use the experience of the USA and its experience in dealing with the mob and apply the techniques that are included in the Bill, despite its defects, we shall be more successful.
In his book James Adams said:As much effort should be devoted to tracing the sources of money—the bank accounts and the investments of terrorist organisations—as is spent on countering the bomber and the assassin.260 The old Chinese proverb,Kill one and frighten 10,000,is regrettably valid. The costs of terrorism are high, but the costs of not getting the fight against terrorism right are even higher.
§ Mr. Barry Sheerman (Huddersfield)
There can be few more important debates than the one we are conducting today. It has been a thoroughly good debate. I have learnt a great deal from it. The Bill penetrates to the heart of our constitution—how we conduct and maintain our democratic system in the face of threats, bombs and bullets, which are the methods of the terrorists, whom all hon. Members despise.
How, then, shall we be able to preserve our historic: and hard-won rights and freedoms while at the same time successfully confronting and overcoming those who would use violence as a political weapon? Many of these rights and liberties have become the hallmark of decent, civilised and democratic societies. They include the right to freedom from arbitrary arrest and from detention without trial, the right to freedom of speech and assembly and free political activities under the law—the freedom under the law, of which my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Warley, West (Mr. Archer) reminded the House.
These core freedoms and liberties of citizens are more important than any of the other matters that we discuss in this place. They are more vital than any of the other items in the Gracious Speech. Without them, we cease to be capable of controlling our political destiny. We shall be unable to speak freely, to organise ourselves politically or to advance our political arguments openly, and thereby persuade our people that we are worthy of their trust, hope and support.
In all democracies the threat to those core freedoms often comes from the direction of a restrictive executive power that believes that liberty means licence, that free expression breeds disorder and, above all, that individual rights and liberties can be sacrificed for some greater good—some desirable goal that the nation must achieve at whatever cost, whatever price. Too often such Governments promise that the loss of rights and liberties will be only for the short term, for emergency periods only, or just as an interim measure until the national goal has been achieved. The lessons of history teach us that for power-hungry executives "temporary" becomes "permanent" and that Governments rarely willingly give back to Parliaments and people what they have taken away. Normally those rights and liberties have to be campaigned for with the utmost vigour if they are ever to be genuinely restored to the people.
We on this side of the House view with dismay the Government's decision to give the prevention of terrorism provisions a permanent place on the statute book. That is clear from our reasoned amendment. First, it represents a further encroachment on the rights and liberties of all the people of our country. It is a further step down a tragic path to a less democratic and a less free society.
Secondly, we see it as the sign of a Government who have, perhaps inadvertently, given in to terrorism. I do not say that in a petty or particularly partisan fashion because, by and large, the debate has tried to steer away from that level. Former Governments, both Labour and Conservative, have introduced and perpetuated preventive 261 measures to counter terrorism because they genuinely believed that they were the correct and appropriate responses at that time.
Most of us still remember that ghastly night of the Birmingham pub bombings that my hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Ladywood (Ms. Short) described with such poignancy. We remember the outcry for action that was part of the aftermath and horror felt when so many innocent men and women were cruelly slain. Year after year we have seen similar cowardly attacks that have wrecked innocent lives.
As I have said, we can understand why some Governments acted in that way. However, time goes on and the world has changed in many respects since the draconian powers of the Prevention of Terrorism Act 1974 were passed through the House as a temporary measure. That was 14 years ago and surely it is now time for a proper re-evaluation.
The Opposition believe that the time is right for a dramatic change in the way in which we combat and defeat terrorism. The way in which the Government now orchestrate their policies is profoundly counter-productive. I do not doubt that the Home Secretary genuinely believes—as do many Conservative Members—that passing the Bill through the House will do something to prevent terrorism. The Opposition do not agree. Time has not stood still, and we have argued that our knowledge of and capacity to combat terrorism has improved dramatically over those 14 years.
At the time of the Birmingham pub bombings the police were relatively inexperienced compared to their proficiency today. It is now a very different ball game. Not only has the professionalism of the police and the armed forces in Northern Ireland improved, but criminal law has altered quite dramatically under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984. Those two factors alone are crucial in the case for ridding ourselves of the prevention of terrorism provisions.
Perhaps more significant than the practical differences is the fact that we have now learnt much more about the terrorist mind. Several hon. Members have referred to that. Most significantly, we have discovered that it is the repressive counter measures introduced by the Government and the reduction and curtailment of ordinary people's rights that the terrorist sees and celebrates as a sign of his success. The more repressive and draconian the measure and the legislative and Executive response, the better the terrorist likes it. That is the truth, and many hon. Members on both sides of the House will agree with that.
The hon. Member for North Down (Mr. Kilfedder) talked about wanting tough, resolute and determined measures. The Opposition want them too. However, we profoundly disagree about the way in which to achieve them. The oxygen of repressive legislation, not the oxygen of publicity, is what terrorists crave and that is what they get from the Government in increasingly large doses.
We believe that it is time to stop feeding the terrorist habit, to cut off the supply of oxygen and steadily to return to the relative normality of combating terrorism vigorously using the weapons available under the normal criminal law—not a special law for terrorists, but that which applies to every man and woman in the land. To do 262 so would be a far more effective way of fighting terrorism and it would simultaneously arrest the increasing pressures on the rights and liberties of our people. We would have two for the price of one. Those pressures apply not just to the rights directly affected by the powers granted under such Bills. The rights affected are not merely the direct rights in Northern Ireland. The restriction of the rights and freedoms of some of our people cannot be isolated and contained in one part of the United Kingdom.
Time and again restrictions have been introduced initially in Northern Ireland and then spread to the rest of the United Kingdom. The removal of the right to silence is a case in point. It was removed in the House almost by stealth at night a few weeks ago. A few days later the Home Secretary was reviewing and looking favourably on removing the right to silence in the rest of the United Kingdom. The right to trial by jury was replaced by the Diplock courts in Northern Ireland. We heard on the radio only this morning that it finds favour with the Home Secretary in certain cases in British courts.
Finally, the censorship of the media, so arrogantly imposed by the Government on Northern Ireland, has distinct parallels with the insidious developments in the media in the rest of the country. At times it would appear that Northern Ireland is used as a test bed for legislation that the Government hanker to apply more widely to the rest of the United Kingdom.
The Bill shows the Government at their very worst. It shows us a Government no longer able to think clearly about the problems they seek to confront, a Government reduced to what Simon Jenkins in The Sunday Times last Sunday described as:Blitzing the political agenda with an array of anti-IRA measures which seem wholly unjustified by any new public terror or threat thereof.Mr. Jenkins seems to understand, and the Government fail to comprehend, that so much of this activity may produce the opposite effects to those intended and desired. As Mr. Jenkins notes:One last push against terrorism may be a good slogan … but hurling more money and more laws at the IRA graces it with a mantle of aspiring tyranny which it ill-deserves.
We do not anticipate the Government changing their mind this evening. We do not anticipate a Pauline conversion. However, the Government have been given a very interesting opportunity. Before they use their majority to bludgeon the Bill through the House and through Committee, we appeal to them to seize the opportunity uniquely presented by two occurrences.
First, the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights gives them perfectly good justification for ditching a whole section of the Bill that the Opposition find so regrettable. The European Court of Human Rights has given the Home Secretary the opportunity to say, "We will obey and we will conform. We will not dodge, we will not fudge; we will change the British law." One section of the Bill would be removed and that would give us far greater respect and co-operation internationally.
The Home Secretary knows that such a sign of international co-operation in Europe will do a great deal to mend the fences that have been torn down by the behaviour of the Prime Minister recently. We will get far greater respect if we conform to the European Court. That would also restore the fundamental right of our people not to be put into detention without being charged. The Government have failed to comply with the recommendations of two—not just one—independent assessors of the 263 working of the former Acts. The Home Secretary was partial in his quotations from Lord Colville's strong recommendation. Lord Colville is not exactly a radical figure. He is a former Conservative Minister of State. On exclusion powers, he found on two occasions that the right thing to say wasI review my recommendation made in the annual report on the Act for 1986 that part II of the Act should not be renewed in 1988 or not replaced in the new Bill".The Home Secretary appears to be a liberal Home Secretary. In the salons and exclusive dining rooms of London he is regarded as one of the remaining civilised members of the Conservative Cabinet. But, for all the image that he may project, he is presiding over the whittling away of and damage to rights and civil rights in this country—the worst that has occurred under any Home Secretary this century.
If the Government bow to the judgment of the European Court on the requirement that anyone arrested on suspicion of terrorist acts must be taken promptly before a court, and if they bow to their own independent assessor, Lord Colville, on the iniquitous power to exclude United Kingdom citizens from certain parts of their own country—part of the United Kingdom—what point would there be in the Bill with the heart ripped out of it? We would be able to cover the other aspects of the Bill in a quite different way.
Opposition Members support powers to confiscate terrorist funds of those who are likely to provide help and sustenance to the IRA and other terrorist organisations, whether they be in Northern Ireland or anywhere else in the world. We want to look closely at the fine detail of how the Government intend to proceed, because there are some real difficulties in the way in which that can be carried out.
We also oppose the proposal to grant terrorists the very separate status that the Prime Minister has so many times said that she wishes to avoid giving members of the IRA, whether or not they are convicted members. We will oppose a separate status under a new system of remission on prison sentences. Such matters will be debated in Committee.
Having been closely involved in it, Mr. Speaker, you will know that we are in the last three weeks of our celebration of the Glorious Revolution of 1688.
§ Mr. Lawrence
Before the hon. Gentleman leaves the subject of the Glorious Revolution of 1688, will he give way?
§ Mr. Sheerman
I shall not give way.
We are in the last three weeks of the celebration of the Glorious Revolution of 1688, which produced the Bill of Rights. We must remember that that event was directed against the executive tyranny of James II. Surely in this tercentenary year we cannot repudiate our long-cherished rights of citizens against star chambers and autocratic Governments. We hear much from the Government about individual freedom. They talk of lifting Government restrictions on liberty. However, such talk is always limited to economic life. We owe it to those who, for 300 years, have been committed to individual freedom and rights in political life to be true to that heritage. We, the first nation to recognise the basic rights of citizens—men and women 264 —must not after 300 years repudiate those fundamental principles. Our reasoned amendment gives Conservative Members the opportunity to vote against the Bill and to join Opposition Members in the Lobby this evening.
§ The Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office (Mr. Ian Stewart)
I have pages and pages of detailed notes about many of the technical aspects of the Bill, but I assure the House that I do not propose to read through them.
None of us who has taken part in this debate has perhaps had as much time as we might have chosen, but at least that makes us concentrate on the essence of the question that the House is considering. If the hon. Member for Birmingham, Ladywood (Ms. Short) were present, I should like to say to her that neither my right hon. Friend nor 1 have made any smear about the Labour party supporting terrorism. Our criticism, which is entirely valid, as this debate has shown, is that, although we have spent another day on the whole question of the prevention of terrorism legislation, we have not heard from Labour Front-Bench or Back-Bench Members any serious arguments to counter the points made by my right hon. Friend today and all Ministers who have ever spoken on this legislation over the past 14 years about the need for special legislation to deal with the special circumstances caused by the campaign of terrorism in Northern Ireland and elsewhere.
Last night the Opposition acted in three different ways on the Elected Authorities (Northern Ireland) Bill. Some voted for a reasoned amendment, others voted against the Bill, and some abstained from voting on Second Reading. I have listened to almost everything said during this debate and it sounds as though much the same sort of performance will take place tonight. The reason is not that these matters have not been fully aired during our debates, but that Opposition Members seem to have been addressing the wrong question. They have argued that this or that part of the prevention of terrorism legislation has caused this or that difficulty in certain respects, but they have systematically failed to deploy any case against the overwhelming arguments in favour of having special provisions to deal with the unusual and unwelcome circumstances in Northern Ireland and of terrorism generally. I wish that that were not so and that we had a much more united House on this subject. To the world outside and to the men of violence, a much more unanimous approach would convey a stronger message, particularly as many Opposition Members supported legislation of this kind when they were in government.
It is no good the right hon. Member for Birmingham, Sparkbrook (Mr. Hattersley) or the hon. Member for Ladywood saying that the whole of the prevention of terrorism legislation was some sort of instantaneous response to the Birmingham pub bombing, that it was spatchcocked at the last minute and so, by implication, the Labour Government gave no serious thought to what it contained. Of course they did. They would not have re-enacted it in 1976 if they had not given serious thought to what it contained. Naturally some aspects of the original legislation may have been put together in a hurry, but I do not blame them for that. Under the pressure of public opinion and the practical need to do something to deal with the terrorist threat at that time they had to accept that legislation of an exceptional character had to be 265 introduced. They did that and they should be given credit for having done so. But after a year of so they reappraised the matter and brought forward a more considered Bill, which they tidied up, and that is the legislation that has been on the statute book in substantially similar terms ever since. They cannot get away from that.
§ Mr. Lawrence
Unfortunately, I could not be present throughout the debate. Did my hon. Friend, who has valiantly been here throughout, hear any Opposition Front-Bench spokesman pledge to repeal the legislation, because I think that they have undertaken to do so in their manifesto?
§ Mr. Stewart
I shall have to look in Hansard tomorrow to see whether any such passage appears in the speeches. The important point is not so much what the Opposition might do in office, but that, if they treat legislation in the way that they are treating this legislation, they will have no right ever to hold office again. It is an important test of a responsible Opposition that they should look at the central purpose of legislation before deciding to vote against it or to produce what is called a reasoned amendment.
The hon. Member for Newry and Armagh (Mr. Mallon) rehearsed in slightly different terms some comments that he has made from time to time about security measures not solving the problems of Northern Ireland. Of course, security measures alone will not solve the problems of Northern Ireland, but that is an entirely different argument from saying that we do not need security measures at all. If we were to abandon the sort of security measures that are represented by this legislation, there would be an immediate and uncontrollable situation which at present is substantially contained by the powers that are available to the Government.
I want to emphasise something that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland has said on a number of occasions: that our approach to the future of Northern Ireland and the situation there does not simply include security. Of course, security matters dominate the headlines. I am afraid that that is inevitable. But we should not overlook the fact that Northern Ireland's future depends on economic, social and political progress and on elected representatives taking a more direct part in Northern Ireland's political life. All those things we want to see, but to suggest that merely because security measures alone will not solve all those problems security measures by definition are not needed is a travesty.
The British people, and the people of Northern Ireland in particular, owe the security forces a tremendous debt of gratitude. Every day, members of the RUC and the UDR, in addition to the regular British armed forces, put their lives at risk to protect the community, and the threat against them does not end when they go off duty. They face constant danger, and we ask them to risk their lives on our behalf so that the cycle of violence may be broken.
I am sure that the House will join me in paying tribute to the brave men and women of the Northern Ireland security forces, especially those who have died or been injured in the course of their work or the duties that they perform.
The aim of the Bill is to give those to whom we entrust the rule of law in Northern Ireland the powers that they 266 need to defend society from the brutality of the terrorist. Nowhere is it more important for us to do that than in Northern Ireland.
We should not doubt the scale and nature of the terrorist threat. There have been substantial finds since the beginning of this year. The RUC has so far recovered 500 weapons, nearly 90,000 rounds of ammunition and more than 9,000 lb. of explosives. In the south, the Garda has found nearly 300 weapons, 140,000 rounds of ammunition and 1,100 lb. of explosives. I pay tribute to the work of the Garda Commissioner and his force, as well as to the RUC, for their success this year in seizing terrorist munitions. These are good finds, but the serious threat remains. That is why we need to review the prevention of terrorism provisions. They are not permanent, as has been suggested by some Opposition Members during this debate.
§ Mr. Stewart
I am short of time, so I shall not give way.
The provisions will be renewable in whole or in part each year and any part which is not renewed will then fall. The need for regular scrutiny has been accepted by my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary. There has recently been a major review by Lord Colville, which has been much quoted in this debate and has been of great value.
The effectiveness of such measures cannot be proved or disproved by statistics of either incidents or convictions. The hon. Member for Antrim, North (Rev. Ian Paisley) suggested that the Anglo-Irish Agreement had led to a significant increase in violence. If he wants to talk in statistics, I must tell him that in 1986, the year after the Anglo-Irish Agreement was signed, in Northern Ireland there were 61 deaths from terrorism and 172 explosions. In 1984, the year before the Anglo-Irish Agreement, there were 64 deaths from terrorism and 193 explosions—higher by about 10 per cent.
§ Mr. Stewart
I am quoting those figures only because I do not believe that the effectiveness of any measures or legislation—
§ Mr. Maginnis
If the hon. Gentleman wishes to quote statistics, will he listen to someone who knows those statistics off by heart? Does he realise that the year before the Anglo-Irish Agreement was not 1984, but 1985, and that there were 47 terrorist killings in that year? There had been a constant decrease in terrorist killings from 1981, when there were 101. In every year since the Anglo-Irish Agreement was signed, the death toll has risen—from 47 in 1985, to 59 in 1986. to 80 in 1987 and to 84 up to 15 November of this year. The hon. Gentleman should be accurate if he quotes statistics.
§ Mr. Stewart
I said that the statistics for deaths from terrorism and for explosions in 1986, which was the year after the Anglo-Irish Agreement was signed, were both lower than the figures for 1984, which was the year before the agreement was signed. I merely say that because it is a fact, and I believe that it shows that statistics cannot be used to demonstrate such trends. I say, too, that the exact number of incidents, convictions or explosions from year to year cannot in any sense represent the effectiveness of the prevention of terrorism legislation, because the most important, continuing factor in the level of terrorism is the capability and the determination of the terrorists together 267 with the level of resources acquired. We all know that in recent years the terrorists have received substantial supplies of arms and explosives from Libya and elsewhere, which is a major part of the threat faced by the security forces.
Remission is a new element in the Bill, which especially relates to Northern Ireland. Under the current arrangements, a person serving a fixed sentence in Northern Ireland for a terrorist offence would, as a matter of course, be released earlier than if he had committed the same offence and received the same sentence elsewhere in the United Kingdom. In the light of experience of reinvolvement, we do not believe that that should be allowed to continue. The changes in remission are being made against a background of increasing terrorist violence. We have found that a significant proportion of people released from prison on remission have become reinvolved. However, I emphasise that, unless they commit a new scheduled offence after release, none of the existing prison population and no one awaiting trial in Northern Ireland will be affected by the new provisions, because the one third remission and the new rules of reactivated remission will apply only for scheduled offences committed after the Bill is enacted. As I have heard suggestions to the contrary, I should also add that the changes will have no effect on prisoners held at the Secretary of State's pleasure or on lifers. They apply only to determinate sentences, and so they should.
The measures on finance that have been included in the Bill have been generally welcomed on both sides of the House. I am glad about that, because I believe that they have a particularly important part to play in cutting off resources to terrorists and so making it much more difficult for them to finance their campaigns of violence.
There will be new offences set out in the Bill and new powers of investigation. We have improved our machinery for co-ordinating the various agencies that are involved. Such measures have worked well in the case of drug trafficking, and I am glad that we are able to extend them to apply more widely to terrorism and violence.
Much of today's debate has focused on the question of exclusion. The right hon. Member for Sparkbrook asked about the criteria for exclusion. The Bill states that the Secretary of State must be satisfied that a personis or has been concerned in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorismor is attempting to enter the country with the intention of becoming so involved. I can tell the right hon. Gentleman and the House that my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary would not make an order unless he was convinced that the individual concerned had been actively involved in or preparing for terrorism, either because of conviction for terrorist offences or because of reliable intelligence.
A great deal of interest, of course, has also been expressed about detention. I should tell the right hon. Member for Sparkbrook that he confuses detention with trial. Detention is used as a preliminary to trial. People are not tried for offences under the prevention of terrorism legislation; they are detained with the intention of charges being made and brought forward under the ordinary criminal law. Throughout the debate the Labour party has failed to establish any means by which those who have been brought to justice as a result of the detention and arrest powers in the prevention of terrorism legislation could have been dealt with by using the ordinary process 268 of the law. The Labour party has simply not addressed itself to that question and therefore it is not surprising that it has not come up with a coherent attitude to the Bill.
During the 21 months from the beginning of last year until the end of September this year the statistics show that, of those detained for less than 48 hours, 17.5 per cent. were eventually charged; of those detained for more than four days, 35 per cent., or double the proportion, were charged. That is a measure of the practical value of such provisions in the fight against terrorism.
The question before the House is why the prevention of terrorism legislation is needed. We face a continuing large-scale campaign of systematically organised murder and violence. To do nothing to deal specifically with such crimes would be to neglect our duty to society. Whatever the Opposition may say about their intentions, the practical consequences of the Labour party's objections to the Bill would be to make a decisive shift away from the needs of the forces of law in favour of the men of violence.
Not to have the powers contained in the Bill would enlarge the opportunities for terrorists, increase the risks to members of the public as well as to the police and the Army, put more lives in jeopardy, hamper the efforts of the security forces to tackle terrorism and make it more difficult for the communities of Northern Ireland to achieve the necessary economic and political progress to grow out of the tensions and troubles that have beset them for so long.
For all those reasons I ask the House to give the Bill its overwhelming support.
§ Question put, That the amendment be made:—
§ The House divided: Ayes 199, Noes 311.271
|Division No. 9]||[9.59 pm|
|Abbott, Ms Diane||Corbett, Robin|
|Adams, Allen (Paisley N)||Corbyn, Jeremy|
|Allen, Graham||Cousins, Jim|
|Anderson, Donald||Crowther, Stan|
|Archer, Rt Hon Peter||Cryer, Bob|
|Armstrong, Hilary||Cummings, John|
|Ashley, Rt Hon Jack||Cunliffe, Lawrence|
|Ashton, Joe||Cunningham, Dr John|
|Banks, Tony (Newham NW)||Dalyell, Tam|
|Barnes, Harry (Derbyshire NE)||Darling, Alistair|
|Barron, Kevin||Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli)|
|Battle, John||Davies, Ron (Caerphilly)|
|Beckett, Margaret||Davis, Terry (B'ham Hodge H'l)|
|Benn, Rt Hon Tony||Dewar, Donald|
|Bennett, A. F. (D'nt'n & R'dish)||Dixon, Don|
|Bermingham, Gerald||Dobson, Frank|
|Bidwell, Sydney||Doran, Frank|
|Blair, Tony||Dunnachie, Jimmy|
|Boateng, Paul||Eadie, Alexander|
|Boyes, Roland||Eastham, Ken|
|Bradley, Keith||Evans, John (St Helens N)|
|Bray, Dr Jeremy||Ewing, Mrs Margaret (Moray)|
|Brown, Gordon (D'mline E)||Fatchett, Derek|
|Brown, Nicholas (Newcastle E)||Fisher, Mark|
|Brown, Ron (Edinburgh Leith)||Flannery, Martin|
|Buchan, Norman||Flynn, Paul|
|Buckley, George J.||Foot, Rt Hon Michael|
|Caborn, Richard||Foster, Derek|
|Callaghan, Jim||Foulkes, George|
|Campbell, Ron (Blyth Valley)||Fraser, John|
|Campbell-Savours, D. N.||Fyfe, Maria|
|Canavan, Dennis||Galbraith, Sam|
|Clark, Dr David (S Shields)||Galloway, George|
|Clarke, Tom (Monklands W)||Garrett, John (Norwich South)|
|Clay, Bob||George, Bruce|
|Clelland, David||Gilbert, Rt Hon Dr John|
|Clwyd, Mrs Ann||Godman, Dr Norman A.|
|Cohen, Harry||Golding, Mrs Llin|
|Gordon, Mildred||Morris, Rt Hon A. (W'shawe)|
|Graham, Thomas||Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon)|
|Grant, Bernie (Tottenham)||Mowlam, Marjorie|
|Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S)||Mullin, Chris|
|Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)||Murphy, Paul|
|Grocott, Bruce||Nellist, Dave|
|Hattersley, Rt Hon Roy||Oakes, Rt Hon Gordon|
|Healey, Rt Hon Denis||O'Brien, William|
|Heffer, Eric S.||O'Neill, Martin|
|Henderson, Doug||Orme, Rt Hon Stanley|
|Hinchliffe, David||Patchett, Terry|
|Hogg, N. (C'nauld & Kilsyth)||Pendry, Tom|
|Home Robertson, John||Pike, Peter L.|
|Hood, Jimmy||Powell, Ray (Ogmore)|
|Howarth, George (Knowsley N)||Prescott, John|
|Howell, Rt Hon D. (S'heath)||Primarolo, Dawn|
|Hoyle, Doug||Quin, Ms Joyce|
|Hughes, John (Coventry NE)||Radice, Giles|
|Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N)||Randall, Stuart|
|Hughes, Roy (Newport E)||Rees, Rt Hon Merlyn|
|Hughes, Sean (Knowsley S)||Reid, Dr John|
|Hughes, Simon (Southwark)||Richardson, Jo|
|Hume, John||Roberts, Allan (Bootle)|
|Illsley, Eric||Robinson, Geoffrey|
|Ingram, Adam||Rogers, Allan|
|Janner, Greville||Rooker, Jeff|
|John, Brynmor||Ross, Ernie (Dundee W)|
|Jones, Barry (Alyn & Deeside)||Salmond, Alex|
|Jones, Ieuan (Ynys Môn)||Sedgemore, Brian|
|Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S W)||Sheerman, Barry|
|Kinnock, Rt Hon Neil||Sheldon, Rt Hon Robert|
|Lamond, James||Shore, Rt Hon Peter|
|Leadbitter, Ted||Short, Clare|
|Lestor, Joan (Eccles)||Sillars, Jim|
|Lewis, Terry||Skinner, Dennis|
|Livingstone, Ken||Smith, C. (Isl'ton & F'bury)|
|Lloyd, Tony (Stretford)||Snape, Peter|
|Lofthouse, Geoffrey||Soley, Clive|
|Loyden, Eddie||Spearing, Nigel|
|McAllion, John||Steinberg, Gerry|
|McAvoy, Thomas||Stott, Roger|
|McCartney, Ian||Strang, Gavin|
|Macdonald, Calum A.||Straw, Jack|
|McFall, John||Taylor, Mrs Ann (Dewsbury)|
|McGrady, Eddie||Turner, Dennis|
|McKay, Allen (Barnsley West)||Vaz, Keith|
|McKelvey, William||Wall, Pat|
|McLeish, Henry||Walley, Joan|
|McNamara, Kevin||Wardell, Gareth (Gower)|
|McTaggart, Bob||Wareing, Robert N.|
|McWilliam, John||Welsh, Andrew (Angus E)|
|Madden, Max||Welsh, Michael (Doncaster N)|
|Mahon, Mrs Alice||Williams, Rt Hon Alan|
|Mallon, Seamus||Williams, Alan W. (Carm'then)|
|Marek, Dr John||Wilson, Brian|
|Marshall, David (Shettleston)||Winnick, David|
|Martin, Michael J. (Springburn)||Worthington, Tony|
|Martlew, Eric||Wray, Jimmy|
|Meale, Alan||Young, David (Bolton SE)|
|Michie, Bill (Sheffield Heeley)||Tellers for the Ayes:|
|Mitchell, Austin (G't Grimsby)||Mr. Frank Haynes and|
|Moonie, Dr Lewis||Mr. Frank Cook.|
|Adley, Robert||Barnes, Mrs Rosie (Greenwich)|
|Alexander, Richard||Batiste, Spencer|
|Alison, Rt Hon Michael||Beggs, Roy|
|Allason, Rupert||Bellingham, Henry|
|Amess, David||Bendall, Vivian|
|Amos, Alan||Bennett, Nicholas (Pembroke)|
|Arbuthnot, James||Benyon, W.|
|Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham)||Bevan, David Gilroy|
|Ashby, David||Blaker, Rt Hon Sir Peter|
|Atkins, Robert||Body, Sir Richard|
|Baker, Rt Hon K. (Mole valley)||Bonsor, Sir Nicholas|
|Baker, Nicholas (Dorset N)||Boscawen, Hon Robert|
|Baldry, Tony||Boswell, Tim|
|Banks, Robert (Harrogate)||Bottomley, Peter|
|Bottomley, Mrs Virginia||Grylls, Michael|
|Bowden, Gerald (Dulwich)||Gummer, Rt Hon John Selwyn|
|Bowis, John||Hampson, Dr Keith|
|Boyson, Rt Hon Dr Sir Rhodes||Hanley, Jeremy|
|Braine, Rt Hon Sir Bernard||Hannam, John|
|Brandon-Bravo, Martin||Hargreaves, Ken (Hyndburn)|
|Brazier, Julian||Harris, David|
|Bright, Graham||Haselhurst, Alan|
|Brittan, Rt Hon Leon||Hawkins, Christopher|
|Brown, Michael (Brigg & Cl't's)||Hayhoe, Rt Hon Sir Barney|
|Browne, John (Winchester)||Hayward, Robert|
|Bruce, Ian (Dorset South)||Heathcoat-Amory, David|
|Buck, Sir Antony||Heseltine, Rt Hon Michael|
|Budgen, Nicholas||Hicks, Robert (Cornwall SE)|
|Burt, Alistair||Higgins, Rt Hon Terence L.|
|Butcher, John||Hind, Kenneth|
|Butler, Chris||Hogg, Hon Douglas (Gr'th'm)|
|Butterfill, John||Holt, Richard|
|Campbell, Menzies (Fife NE)||Hordern, Sir Peter|
|Carlile, Alex (Mont'g)||Howard, Michael|
|Carlisle, John (Luton N)||Howarth, Alan (Strat'd-on-A)|
|Carrington, Matthew||Howarth, G. (Cannock & B'wd)|
|Carttiss, Michael||Howe, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey|
|Cartwright, John||Howell, Rt Hon David (G'dford)|
|Cash, William||Hughes, Robert G. (Harrow W)|
|Chalker, Rt Hon Mrs Lynda||Hunt, David (Wirral W)|
|Chapman, Sydney||Hunter, Andrew|
|Chope, Christopher||Hurd, Rt Hon Douglas|
|Churchill, Mr||Irvine, Michael|
|Clark, Dr Michael (Rochford)||Irving, Charles|
|Clark, Sir W. (Croydon S)||Jack, Michael|
|Conway, Derek||Janman, Tim|
|Coombs, Anthony (Wyre F'rest)||Jones, Robert B (Herts W)|
|Coombs, Simon (Swindon)||Jopling, Rt Hon Michael|
|Cope, Rt Hon John||Kennedy, Charles|
|Cormack, Patrick||Key, Robert|
|Couchman, James||Kilfedder, James|
|Cran, James||King, Roger (B'ham N'thfield)|
|Critchely, Julian||Kirkhope, Timothy|
|Currie, Mrs Edwina||Kirkwood, Archy|
|Curry, David||Knapman, Roger|
|Davies, Q (Stamf'd & Spald'g)||Knight, Greg (Derby North)|
|Davis, David (Boothferry)||Knight, Dame Jill (Edgbaston)|
|Devlin, Tim||Knowles, Michael|
|Dickens, Geoffrey||Knox, David|
|Dicks, Terry||Lamont, Rt Hon Norman|
|Dorrell, Stephen||Lang, Ian|
|Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James||Latham, Michael|
|Dover, Den||Lawrence, Ivan|
|Dunn, Bob||Leigh, Edward (Gainsbor'gh)|
|Durant, Tony||Lennox-Boyd, Hon Mark|
|Dykes, Hugh||Lightbown, David|
|Emery, Sir Peter||Lilley, Peter|
|Evennett, David||Livsey, Richard|
|Fallon, Michael||Lloyd, Sir Ian (Havant)|
|Favell, Tony||Lloyd, Peter (Fareham)|
|Fearn, Ronald||Lord, Michael|
|Field, Barry (Isle of Wight)||Luce, Rt Hon Richard|
|Fookes, Miss Janet||Lyell, Sir Nicholas|
|Forman, Nigel||McCrea, Rev William|
|Forsyth, Michael (Stirling)||McCrindle, Robert|
|Forsythe, Clifford (Antrim S)||Macfarlane, Sir Neil|
|Fox, Sir Marcus||Mackay, Andrew (E Berkshire)|
|Franks, Cecil||Maclennan, Robert|
|Gardiner, George||McLoughlin, Patrick|
|Garel-Jones, Tristan||McNair-Wilson, Sir Michael|
|Gill, Christoper||McNair-Wilson, P.New Forest)|
|Gilmour, Rt Hon Sir Ian||Madel, David|
|Glyn, Dr Alan||Maginnis, Ken|
|Goodhart, Sir Philip||Malins, Humfrey|
|Goodson-Wickes, Dr Charles||Mans, Keith|
|Gorman, Mrs Teresa||Maples, John|
|Gower, Sir Raymond||Marshall, John (Hendon S)|
|Grant, Sir Anthony (CambsSW)||Marshall, Michael (Arundel)|
|Greenway, Harry (Ealing N)||Martin, David (Portsmouth S)|
|Greenway, John (Ryedale)||Mates, Michael|
|Gregory, Conal||Maude, Hon Francis|
|Grist, Ian||Mawhinney, Dr Brain|
|Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin||Speller, Tony|
|Mayhew, Rt Hon Sir Patrick||Spicer, Sir Jim (Dorset W)|
|Mellor, David||Spicer, Michael (S Worcs)|
|Meyer, Sir Anthony||Squire, Robin|
|Michie, Mrs Ray (Arg'l & Bute)||Stanbrook, Ivor|
|Miller, Sir Hal||Stanley, Rt Hon Sir John|
|Mills, Iain||Steel, Rt Hon David|
|Miscampbell, Norman||Steen, Anthony|
|Mitchell, Andrew (Gedling)||Stern, Michael|
|Mitchell, Sir David||Stevens, Lewis|
|Molyneaux Rt Hon James||Stewart, Andy (Sherwood)|
|Monro, Sir Hector||Stewart, Ian (Hertfordshire N)|
|Morrison, Sir Charles||Stradling Thomas, sir John|
|Morrison, Rt Hon P (Chester)||Sumberg, David|
|Moss, Malcolm||Summerson, Hugo|
|Moynihan, Hon Colin||Tapsell, Sir Peter|
|Mudd, David||Taylor, Ian (Esher)|
|Neale, Gerrard||Taylor, John M (Solihull)|
|Needham, Richard||Taylor, Matthew (Truro)|
|Nelson, Anthony||Taylor, Teddy (S'end E)|
|Neubert, Michael||Tebbit, Rt Hon Norman|
|Nicholls, Patrick||Temple-Morris, Peter|
|Nicholson, David (Taunton)||Thatcher, Rt Hon Margaret|
|Nicholson, Emma (Devon West)||Thompson, D. (Calder Valley)|
|Onslow, Rt Hon Cranley||Thompson, Patrick (Norwich N)|
|Oppenheim, Phillip||Thorne, Neil|
|Owen, Rt Hon Dr David||Thornton, Malcolm|
|Page, Richard||Thurnham, Peter|
|Paice, James||Townend, John (Bridlington)|
|Paisley, Rev Ian||Townsend, Cyril D. (B'heath)|
|Patnick, Irvine||Tracey, Richard|
|Patten, John (Oxford W)||Tredinnick, David|
|Pattie, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey||Trippier, David|
|Porter, David (Waveney)||Trotter, Neville|
|Portillo, Michael||Twinn, Dr Ian|
|Powell, William (Corby)||Vaughan, Sir Gerard|
|Price, Sir David||Waddington, Rt Hon David|
|Raffan, Keith||Wakeham, Rt Hon John|
|Raison, Rt Hon Timothy||Walden, George|
|Redwood, John||Walker, Bill (T'side North)|
|Renton, Tim||Wallace, James|
|Rhodes James, Robert||Waller, Gary|
|Riddick, Graham||Walters, Sir Dennis|
|Ridley, Rt Hon Nicholas||Ward, John|
|Ridsdale, Sir Julian||Wardle, Charles (Bexhill)|
|Roberts, Wyn (Conwy)||Warren, Kenneth|
|Robinson, Peter (Belfast E)||Watts, John|
|Ross, William (Londonderry E)||Wells, Bowen|
|Rost, Peter||Wheeler, John|
|Rowe, Andrew||Whitney, Ray|
|Ryder, Richard||Widdecombe, Ann|
|Sackville, Hon Tom||Wiggin, Jerry|
|Sayeed, Jonathan||Wilshire, David|
|Scott, Nicholas||Winterton, Mrs Ann|
|Shaw, David (Dover)||Wolfson, Mark|
|Shaw, Sir Giles (Pudsey)||Wood, Timothy|
|Shaw, Sir Michael (Scarb')||Woodcock, Mike|
|Shephard, Mrs G. (Norfolk SW)||Yeo, Tim|
|Shepherd, Colin (Hereford)||Young, Sir George (Acton)|
|Skeet, Sir Trevor||Teller for the Noes:|
|Smith, Sir Cyril (Rochdale)||Mr. Kenneth Carlisle and|
|Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield)||Mr. David Maclean.|
|Soames, Hon Nicholas|
§ Question accordingly negatived.
§ Main Question put fothwith, Pursuant to Standing Order No.60 (Amendment on Second or Third Reading):—
§ The House divided: Ayes 305, Noes 45.274
|Division No. 10]||[10.14 pm|
|Adley, Robert||Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham)|
|Alexander, Richard||Ashby, David|
|Alison, Rt Hon Michael||Atkins, Robert|
|Allason, Rupert||Baker, Rt Hon K. (Mole Valley)|
|Amess, David||Baker, Nicholas (Dorset N)|
|Amos, Alan||Baldry, Tony|
|Arbuthnot, James||Banks, Robert (Harrogate)|
|Barnes, Mrs Rosie (Greenwich)||Garel-Jones, Tristan|
|Batiste, Spencer||Gill, Christopher|
|Beaumont-Dark, Anthony||Glyn, Dr Alan|
|Beggs, Roy||Goodhart, Sir Philip|
|Bellingham, Henry||Goodson-Wickes, Dr Charles|
|Bendall, Vivian||Gorman, Mrs Teresa|
|Bennett, Nicholas (Pembroke)||Gower, Sir Raymond|
|Benyon, W.||Grant, Sir Anthony (CambsSW)|
|Bevan, David Gilroy||Greenway, Harry (Ealing N)|
|Blaker, Rt Hon Sir Peter||Greenway, John (Ryedale)|
|Body, Sir Richard||Gregory, Conal|
|Bonsor, Sir Nicholas||Grist, Ian|
|Boscawen, Hon Robert||Grylls, Michael|
|Boswell, Tim||Gummer, Rt Hon John Selwyn|
|Bottomley, Peter||Hampson, Dr Keith|
|Bottomley, Mrs Virginia||Hanley, Jeremy|
|Bowden, Gerald (Dulwich)||Hannam, John|
|Bowis, John||Hargreaves, Ken (Hyndburn)|
|Boyson, Rt Hon Dr Sir Rhodes||Harris, David|
|Braine, Rt Hon Sir Bernard||Haselhurst, Alan|
|Brandon-Bravo, Martin||Hawkins, Christopher|
|Brazier, Julian||Hayhoe, Rt Hon Sir Barney|
|Bright, Graham||Hayward, Robert|
|Brittan, Rt Hon Leon||Heathcoat-Amory, David|
|Brown, Michael (Brigg & Cl't's)||Heddle, John|
|Browne, John (Winchester)||Hicks, Robert (Cornwall SE)|
|Bruce, Ian (Dorset South)||Higgins, Rt Hon Terence L.|
|Bruce, Malcolm (Gordon)||Hind, Kenneth|
|Buck, Sir Antony||Hogg, Hon Douglas (Gr'th'm)|
|Budgen, Nicholas||Holt, Richard|
|Burt, Alistair||Hordern, Sir Peter|
|Butcher, John||Howard, Michael|
|Butler, Chris||Howarth, Alan (Strat'd-on-A)|
|Butterfill, John||Howarth, G. (Cannock & B'wd)|
|Campbell, Menzies (Fife NE)||Howe, Rt hon Sir Geoffrey|
|Carlile, Alex (Mont'g)||Hughes, Robert G. (Harrow W)|
|Carlisle, John, (Luton N)||Hunt, David (Wirral W)|
|Carrington, Matthew||Hunter, Andrew|
|Carttiss, Michael||Hurd, Rt Hon Douglas|
|Cartwright, John||Irvine, Michael|
|Cash, William||Irving, Charles|
|Chalker, Rt Hon Mrs Lynda||Jack, Michael|
|Chapman, Sydney||Jackson, Robert|
|Chope, Christopher||Janman, Tim|
|Churchill, Mr||Jones, Robert B (Herts W)|
|Clark, Dr Michael (Rochford)||Jopling, Rt Hon Michael|
|Clark, Sir W. (Croydon S)||Kennedy, Charles|
|Clarke, Rt Hon K. (Rushcliffe)||Key, Robert|
|Conway, Derek||Kilfedder, James|
|Coombs, Anthony (Wyre F'rest)||King, Roger (B'ham N'thfield)|
|Coombs, Simon (Swindon)||Kirkhope, Timothy|
|Cope, Rt Hon John||Kirkwood, Archy|
|Cormack, Patrick||Knapman, Roger|
|Couchman, James||Knight, Greg (Derby North)|
|Cran, James||Knight, Dame Jill (Edgbaston)|
|Currie, Mrs Edwina||Knowles, Michael|
|Curry, David||Knox, David|
|Davies, Q. (Stamf'd & Spald'g)||Lamont, Rt Hon Norman|
|Davis, David (Boothferry)||Lang, Ian|
|Devlin, Tim||Latham, Michael|
|Dickens, Geoffrey||Lawrence, Ivan|
|Dorrell, Stephen||Leigh, Edward (Gainsbor'gh)|
|Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James||Lennox-Boyd, Hon Mark|
|Dover, Den||Lightbown, David|
|Dunn, Bob||Lilley, Peter|
|Durant, Tony||Livsey, Richard|
|Dykes, Hugh||Lloyd, Sir Ian (Havant)|
|Emery, Sir Peter||Lloyd, Peter (Fareham)|
|Evennett, David||Lord, Michael|
|Fallon, Michael||Luce, Rt Hon Richard|
|Favell, Tony||Lyell, Sir Nicholas|
|Fearn, Ronald||McCrea, Rev William|
|Field, Barry (Isle of Wight)||McCrindle, Robert|
|Fookes, Miss Janet||McCusker, Harold|
|Forman, Nigel||Macfarlane, Sir Neil|
|Forsyth, Michael (Stirling)||MacKay, Andrew (E Berkshire)|
|Forsythe, Clifford (Antrim S)||Maclennan, Robert|
|Fox, Sir Marcus||McLouglin, Patrick|
|Franks, Cecil||McNair-Wilson, Sir Michael|
|Gardiner, George||McNair-Wilson, P. (New Forest)|
|Madel, David||Redwood, John|
|Maginnis, Ken||Renton, Tim|
|Malins, Humfrey||Rhodes James, Robert|
|Mans, Keith||Reddick, Graham|
|Maples, John||Ridley, Rt Hon Nicholas|
|Marshall, John (Hendon S)||Ridsdale, Sir Julian|
|Marshall, Michael (Arundel)||Roberts, Wyn (Conwy)|
|Martin, David (Portsmouth S)||Robinson, Geoffrey|
|Mates, Michael||Ross, William (Londonderry E)|
|Maude, Hon Francis||Rost, Peter|
|Mawhinney, Dr Brian||Rowe, Andrew|
|Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin||Ryder, Richard|
|Mayhew, Rt Hon Sir Patrick||Sackville, Hon Tom|
|Mellor, David||Sayeed, Jonathan|
|Meyer, Sir Anthony||Shaw, David (Dover)|
|Michie, Mrs Ray (Arg'l & Bute)||Shaw, Sir Giles (Pudsey)|
|Miller, Sir Hal||Shaw, Sir Michael (Scarb')|
|Mills, Iain||Shephard, Mrs G.(Norfolk SW)|
|Miscampbell, Norman||Shepherd, Colin (Hereford)|
|Mitchell, Andrew (Gedling)||Shersby, Michael|
|Mitchell, Sir David||Skeet, Sir Trevor|
|Molyneaux, Rt Hon James||Smith, Sir Cyril (Rochdale)|
|Monro, Sir Hector||Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield)|
|Morrison, Sir Charles||Soames, Hon Nicholas|
|Morrison, Rt Hon P (Chester)||Speller, Tony|
|Moss, Malcolm||Spicer, Sir Jim (Dorset W)|
|Moynihan, Hon Colin||Spicer, Michael (S Worcs)|
|Mudd, David||Squire, Robin|
|Neale, Gerrard||Stanbrook, Ivor|
|Needham, Richard||Stanley, Rt Hon Sir John|
|Nelson, Anthony||Steel, Rt Hon David|
|Neubert, Michael||Steen, Anthony|
|Nicholls, Patrick||Stern, Michael|
|Nicholson, David (Taunton)||Stevens, Lewis|
|Nicholson, Emma (Devon West)||Stewart, Andy (Sherwood)|
|Onslow, Rt Hon Cranley||Stewart, Ian (Hertfordshire N)|
|Oppenheim, Phillip||Stradling Thomas, Sir John|
|Owen, Rt Hon Dr David||Sumberg, David|
|Page, Richard||Summerson, Hugo|
|Paice, James||Tapsell, Sir Peter|
|Paisley, Rev Ian||Taylor, Ian (Esher)|
|Patnick, Irvine||Taylor, John M (Solihull)|
|Patten, John (Oxford W)||Taylor, Matthew (Truro)|
|Pattie, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey||Taylor, Teddy (S'end E)|
|Porter, David (Waveney)||Tebbit, Rt Hon Norman|
|Portillo, Michael||Temple-Morris, Peter|
|Powell, William (Corby)||Thatcher, Rt Hon Margaret|
|Price, Sir David||Thompson, D. (Calder Valley)|
|Raffan, Keith||Thompson, Patrick (Norwich N)|
|Raison, Rt Hon Timothy||Thorne, Neil|
|Thornton, Malcolm||Warren, Kenneth|
|Thurnham, Peter||Watts, John|
|Townend, John (Bridlington)||Wells, Bowen|
|Townsend, Cyril D. (B'heath)||Wheeler, John|
|Tracey, Richard||Whitney, Ray|
|Tredinnick, David||Widdecombe, Ann|
|Trippier, David||Wiggin, Jerry|
|Trotter, Neville||Winterton, Mrs Ann|
|Twinn, Dr Ian||Wolfson, Mark|
|Vaughan, Sir Gerard||Wood, Timothy|
|Waddington, Rt Hon David||Woodcock, Mike|
|Wakeham, Rt Hon John||Yeo, Tim|
|Walden, George||Young, Sir George (Acton)|
|Walker, Bill (T'side North)|
|Wallace, James||Teller for the Ayes:|
|Waller, Gary||Mr. Kenneth Carlisle and|
|Ward, John||Mr. David Maclean|
|Wardle, Charles (Bexhill)|
|Abbott, Ms Diane||Lamond, James|
|Banks, Tony (Newham NW)||Lewis, Terry|
|Barnes, Harry (Derbyshire NE)||Livingstone, Ken|
|Battle, John||McAllion, John|
|Benn, Rt Hon Tony||McCartney, Ian|
|Bennett, A. F. (D'nt'n & R'dish)||Madden, Max|
|Boateng, Paul||Mahon, Mrs Alice|
|Bradley, Keith||Mallon, Seamus|
|Brown, Ron (Edinburgh Leith)||Meale, Alan|
|Buchan, Norman||Michie, Bill (Sheffield Heeley)|
|Canavan, Dennis||Mullin, Chris|
|Clay, Bob||Nellist, Dave|
|Clwyd, Mrs Ann||Pike, Peter L.|
|Cohen, Harry||Primarolo, Dawn|
|Corbyn, Jeremy||Sedgemore, Brian|
|Cryer, Bob||Short, Clare|
|Davis, Terry (B'ham Hodge H'l)||Skinner, Dennis|
|Flannery, Martin||Wall, Pat|
|Galloway, George||Welsh, Michael (Doncaster N)|
|Gordon, Mildred||Wray, Jimmy|
|Grant, Bernie (Tottenham)|
|Heffer, Eric S.||Teller for the Noes:|
|Hoyle, Doug||Mr. Eddie McGrady and|
|Hughes, John (Coventry NE)||Mr. Eddie Loyden.|
§ Question accordingly agreed to.
§ Bill read a Second time, and committed to a Standing Committee pursuant to Standing Order No. 61 (Committal of Bills).