§ The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (Mr. Peter Brooke)
I beg to move,That the draft Northern Ireland (Emergency and Prevention of Terrorism Provisions) (Continuance) Order 1990, which was laid before this House on 26th February, be approved.Right hon. and hon. Members who have taken part in these debates in the past will notice that the order bears a somewhat different title from those of previous years. As in the past, this order continues in force for a further 12 months the temporary provisions of the Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Acts of 1978 and 1987. Without this order, the provisions would expire on 21 March.
This year, however, the order will likewise continue in force for a further period certain parts of the prevention of terrorism Act as they apply to Northern Ireland. The main body of the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act 1989 was the subject of a separate continuance order which the House debated last week, but, as some of the provisions are renewable as though they were part of the emergency provisions Acts, they are covered by the order.
I should like in a moment to say something about the level of terrorist activity against which today's debate is taking place, but, before doing so, it may help the House if I explain briefly what the provisions are that we are proposing to renew today and why we need them. In aiming, as we do, to create a just, peaceful and prosperous society in Northern Ireland, the chief aim of the Government's security policy is to end terrorism—from whichever side of the community it comes. Our first responsibility, therefore, is to ensure that the police and armed forces have the support and resources that they need to undertake their difficult and dangerous work on behalf of all people of Northern Ireland. That includes equipping them with the additional statutory powers that they require to deal effectively with the pestilence of terrorism in the Province by deterring and interdicting terrorist operations and, when terrorist crimes have been committed, by mounting in the courts successful prosecutions of terrorists.
§ Mr. Martin Flannery (Sheffield, Hillsborough)
I am a little confused. When the continuance of the prevention of terrorism Act was debated the other night, there was no indication that the measures would be welded together. Why is that—or is the right hon. Gentleman now telling us why?
§ Mr. Brooke
Obviously there is a degree of overlap between them. Certain specific aspects that relate to Northern Ireland have been dealt with. I shall refer to the record to see whether the hon. Gentleman is correct.
The Government also recognise that, to be fully successful, the actions of the police and Army against terrorism, and indeed the operation of the whole criminal justice system, need support from all sections of the community.
It is, therefore, the two emergency provisions Acts which between them provide those extra powers that the police and armed forces still need to stop and question arid to search for, and to seize, terrorist material. They create the category of proscribed organisations for Northern 31 Ireland, and also offences associated with terrorist activity. In addition, they provide the legal authority for the so-called Diplock courts, and establish a scheme for the regulation of the security guard industry in Northern Ireland. But, at the same time, the Acts also guarantee statutory rights for terrorist suspects to have someone informed of their arrest and whereabouts and to have access to legal advice
As for the Preyention of Terrorism Act, the order continues certain sections as they apply to Northern Ireland. Those include the provisions relating to terrorist funding and its investigation and also certain exclusively Northern Ireland provisions that allow the police and armed forces to impose restrictions during searches. They also set out arrangements relating to remission and sentencing of those convicted of scheduled offences, and to the licensing of explosives factories.
Those are the key provisions to which the order applies.
I now refer to the security background against which today's debate takes place. As the House will need no reminding, terrorism, both republican and loyalist, continues at a significant level, not only in Northern Ireland but in Great Britain and on the European mainland. Statistics indicate a welcome improvement in the security situation in Northern Ireland, but there is no consolation to be had in the loss of 62 lives last year or in the 800 or so injuries.
During 1989, nine members of the Royal Ulster Constabulary lost their lives in Northern Ireland, including the savage murder of Chief Superintendent Breen and Superintendent Buchanan in South Armagh, and of Superintendent Harris in Lisburn. Another senior police officer, Inspector Monteith, was murdered in Armagh earlier this year. There was also a bomb attack against the home of an assistant chief constable.
Fourteen members of the armed forces also died in 1989, including two members of the UDR. Three soldiers were killed in a massive bomb attack at Mayobridge in November and two more at the Derryard checkpoint in December in what must be one of the most vicious attacks of its kind during the period of the troubles.
The House will want to join me in paying an unreserved tribute to all members of the security forces, whether in the RUC or the RUC Reserve, the Regular Army or the Ulster Defence Regiment. They deserve the full support of all decent people for the firm stand that they have taken against terrorism and for the way in which they strive to bring peace and stability to Northern Ireland. Without their commitment, professionalism and courage, the levels of violence would have been immeasurably higher. Much of their work is unglamorous and routine, but they continue remorselessly to wear down terrorist organisations. There have been, for example, many important arrests and arms finds in recent months, and many terrorist attacks have been thwarted.
I commend the security forces for their speedy actions at Silverbridge only last month. I also pay tribute to the judiciary and the staff of the prison and court services who continue to do their duty in difficult circumstances. Incidents such as the planned breakout from the Crumlin road prison, which was disrupted only at an advanced stage, show that all of us concerned with defeating terrorism must remain on guard at all times.
32 Let me make it clear, unequivocally, that the eradication of terrorism, green or orange, remains the Government's top priority in Northern Ireland. There is no acceptable level of murder; we shall continue to work unreservedly for the defeat of terrorism with all the means at our disposal that are compatible with the letter and spirit of the rule of law. Let there be absolutely no doubt on this point: terrorism will never prevail. That is why the police and armed forces will continue to receive the full support of Her Majesty's Government for as long as it takes. We shall also continue to work actively for the political, economic and social progress in Northern Ireland that is necessary if their efforts are fully to succeed and lasting peace is to be won.
§ Mr. James Kilfedder (North Down)
People in Northern Ireland will take comfort from what the right hon. Gentleman said about the Government's determination to root out terrorism. When he had been in office for three months, people were dumbfounded and demoralised by his statement that the IRA could not be beaten. That is why it is right that the Secretary of State should emphasise the point that he made. The present spate of tit-for-tat murders causes great anxiety to Protestants and Catholics alike in Northern Ireland. I roundly condemn those murders. Does he agree that the murders emphasise the need for all law-abiding people, including politicians and the Dublin Government, to give full and unequivocal support to the forces of law and order in order to destroy the evils of terrorism? There can be no trimmers in the fight between good and evil.
§ Mr. Brooke
I am grateful for the hon. Member's intervention. What I said three months after coming to office was that it was difficult to envisage the defeat of terrorism by military means and, by definition, by military means alone and that the armed forces needed to be supported in the way that I described a moment ago. I entirely endorse what he said about the tit-for-tat series of murders. The more voices that are raised in this cause, the better.
We shall also continue to maintain and improve security co-operation with the Irish Government under the auspices of the Anglo-Irish Agreement. But if the efforts of the RUC and Army are to be fully effective, they must also command support across the community. I should, therefore, like to speak briefly about how they approach the duties that have been given to them under the law. None of us should underestimate how difficult their task is. It is hard and often dangerous work to police a divided society, but I have been impressed by the determination of both arms of the security forces to achieve the highest professional standards. They know that if the terrorist is to be isolated even further in the community, they must act, and be seen to act, fairly and impartially between the two communities, and to the highest professional standards. This is easy to say but a difficult target to reach. But I can assure the House that, together with the Chief Constable and the GOC, we shall continue to try to maintain and improve public confidence in the integrity and evenhandedness at all times of the security forces, as well as in their effectiveness.
It is against this background that we are considering the order today. Once again, I express our gratitude to Lord Colville for his report on the Acts. It is a short report this year because, as the House will know, he is now engaged 33 in a more substantial review of the legislation to consider what changes should be made to it when the current Acts expire in 1992. I have asked him to submit his report on that review by Easter. In due course we shall, thereafter, bring forward proposals. But many of the larger issues which he has traditionally considered in his annual report he will deal with instead in his other review.
So far as today's debate is concerned, Lord Colville's main recommendation is that all the powers currently in force should be continued for a further 12 months. The Government accept that recommendation, and the order will give effect to it. It remains our policy to drop as soon as possible any powers that are no longer justified by the exigencies of the situation, and right hon. and hon. Members will recall that, last year, three minor sections of the Acts were allowed to lapse and that it had been our intention, on Lord Colville's recommendation, to allow a further section to lapse this year. This was section 13 of the 1978 Act which provides a police power of arrest. For the reason given in Lord Colville's latest report, however, that provision must clearly be retained for the time being.
Lord Colville also returned again this year to the idea of video recording terrorist interviews by the police. As my predecessor said last year, there are substantial arguments against such a course, but we shall examine the proposal again carefully and fairly once we receive Lord Colville's recommendations following his further review.
The House knows that progress on security matters does not stand alone, as I said a moment ago in response to the hon. Member for North Down (Mr. Kilfedder). Government policy embraces other vital aspects of the situation in Northern Ireland, such as economic development and political progress. It is therefore right in a debate on security matters to remind the House of the important role that they play in undermining terrorism and improving the position of the ordinary citizen in Northern Ireland.
Local exercise of political power on an agreed basis could help to bring terrorism to an end. It would demonstrate that constitutional politics can bring results in the form of a widely acceptable accommodation between the two parts of the community in Northern Ireland—something which terrorism, from either side of the community, can never do. It would marginalise extremists on both sides of the community and provide a firm basis for tackling Northern Ireland's community divisions.
It is the Government's hope and view that the present climate of political realism offers more hope of constructive political dialogue than for some time. My speech in Bangor on 9 January attempted to summarise my reading of the situation, and pointed out that I believed that there was some common ground between the parties that would allow them to engage in political dialogue. Politicians on all sides in Northern Ireland and senior voices in the Irish Government have contributed to the general mood of cautious optimism.
At present, the situation is fragile and delicate—it would be foolish to pretend otherwise—but with good will, flexibility and imagination on all sides, I do not see why the possibilities should not begin to be translated into probabilities.
§ Mr. Ken Maginnis (Fermanagh and South Tyrone)
Does the Secretary of State like myself and my colleagues, regret the judgment of the Supreme Court in Dublin in the 34 past fortnight, where it has been established beyond all doubt that the Irish Republic now has a legal claim—in its terms—against the territory of Northern Ireland? Does the Secretary of State realise that that gives great comfort and solace to the IRA, which has been saying that for many years? Will he assure us that he will do what he can to ensure that articles 2 and 3 of the Irish constitution are amended as soon as possible?
§ Mr. Brooke
I have never thought that it was the most productive of courses for politicians to be in judgment upon judges and their judgments but, of course, I acknowledge what the hon. Gentleman has said about the judgment given in the Supreme Court in Dublin last week. The hon. Gentleman and I have had the opportunity of discussing that and there is some variance between us on the exact interpretation of what occurred last week. However, I have no doubt that we shall continue to have further exchanges.
§ Rev. Ian Paisley (Antrim, North)
Does the right hon. Gentleman not know that the Unionist people were told by the Government that the Anglo-Irish Agreement had put beyond doubt the fact that the status of Northern Ireland was now recognised and that there would be no change in that status until the majority of the people of Northern Ireland agreed with it? Does the right hon. Gentleman know that when the Unionists pointed out as forcefully as they could that the Government had to sign two agreements to please the Government of southern Ireland, they were laughed at? However, the Supreme Court is now saying to the Secretary of State, "You should not be in Northern Ireland. Your Government are illegitimate. It is the bounden and legal duty of Dublin to get you out of Northern Ireland and to use the Anglo-Irish Agreement to get you out."
§ Mr. Brooke
The hon. Gentleman may think that what happened in the Irish Supreme Court last week ended the right of my right hon. and hon. Friends to sit in government in Northern Ireland, but in practical and de facto terms, that is an unusual judgment. I acknowledge that since 1937 there has been on the statute book and in the Irish constitution the claim to which he and the hon. Member for Fermanagh and South Tyrone (Mr. Maginnis) referred. The hon. Gentleman will know that there is an equal claim on the statute book of this land. There is no question, de facto, about who provides the Government of Northern Ireland. Furthermore, under article 1 of the Anglo-Irish Agreement, the Government of the Republic of Ireland have confirmed that that status will change only by a vote of the majority in Northern Ireland.
§ Mr. Peter Robinson (Belfast, East)
Does the Secretary of State recognise that today people in Northern Ireland will expect from the Dispatch Box in the clearest, most unequivocal terms a statement from him showing that he repudiates that arrogant claim, whether de facto or otherwise, and intends to do something to remove it from the constitution of the Irish Republic?
§ Mr. Brooke
It is beyond the capacity of anybody who stands at this Dispatch Box to change the constitution of the Republic of Ireland. That does not fall within our powers. I am delighted to join the hon. Gentleman in re-acknowledging the present status of Northern Ireland and its place on the statute book of the United Kingdom.
§ Mr. John D. Taylor (Strangford)
Does the Secretary of State recall his predecessor's statement the day after the Anglo-Irish Agreement was signed on 15 November 1985 that article 1 confirmed that the Republic of Ireland accepted the status of Northern Ireland within the United Kingdom? Following last week's judgment in Dublin, will the Secretary of State repeat word for word what his predecessor said in presenting the Anglo-Irish Agreement to the House?
§ Mr. Brooke
I confirm that the status of Northern Ireland within the United Kingdom remains exactly as it was in 1937, subject to subsequent changes in our own statutes.
§ Mr. Brooke
Before the hon. Member for Fermanagh and South Tyrone gets agitated, I remind him that Acts passed since 1937 have confirmed that on our statute book. Article 1 of the Anglo-Irish Agreement simply stated that the decision about the future status of Northern Ireland would be taken—this was endorsed by the Government of the Republic—by a majority of the people living in Northern Ireland. I can think of no readier acknowledgement by the Government of the Republic than that.
§ Mr. John D. Taylor
I am afraid that the Secretary of State does not grasp my point. I am talking not about the future status of Northern Ireland, nor about the attitude of the Dublin Government towards the future status of Northern Ireland, but about the present status of Northern Ireland, which in United Kingdom terms is exactly the same today as it was in 1985, subject to the introduction of the Anglo-Irish Agreement. In 1985 the right hon. Gentleman's predecessor won the approval of the House against our opposition for the Anglo-Irish Agreement on the basis that the Dublin Government recognised the status of Northern Ireland within the United Kingdom. Last week's judgment wholly rejects that presentation by his predecessor. The right hon. Gentleman can no longer repeat word for word what his predecessor said in presenting the agreement to the people of the United Kingdom.
§ Mr. Brooke
The right hon. Gentlaman knows that there is, in de jure terms, a claim from both jurisdictions. In practical terms Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom, sustained by the statute book of the United Kingdom. In article 1 of the Anglo-Irish Agreement we now have, in addition, an endorsement by the Government of the Republic that that status will change only on a majority vote in Northern Ireland. If that does not constitute a recognition of the continuing position of Northern Ireland within the United Kingdom, I do not know what does.
§ Mr. Ian Gow (Eastbourne)
Does my right hon. Friend recall that the wording of the Sunningdale agreement on the status of Northern Ireland was precisely and in every respect in accordance with the wording used in article 1? Therefore, my right hon. Friend is unintentionally misleading the House when he says that the Government of the Irish Republic acknowledged, for the first time, in article 1 of the 1985 agreement that the status of Northern Ireland could not be changed save with the consent of the majority of the people of Northern Ireland.
§ Mr. Brooke
Were I, on the advice of my hon. Friend the Member for Eastbourne (Mr. Gow), misleading the House, I would certainly apologise. My hon. Friend's question in no way militates against my observation since the questions addressed to me were in relation to the Anglo-Irish Agreement and to which I replied that article 1 confirmed that it would be the majority view in Northern Ireland that would decide the matter.
§ Mr. Brooke
I have been generous in responding, and I must get on.
Terrorism continues at a high level and remains the dominant social problem in Northern Ireland. It is the Government's wish to create a better, more prosperous future in which the people of Northern Ireland can freely make decisions about their own future, without coercion and the threat of violence. Eradicating terrorism of all kinds will, therefore, remain the central theme of our policy as long as is necessary. To this end, the courts, the police and armed forces must continue to have at their disposal all the legal resources they need. I therefore unreservedly commend the order to the House.
§ Mr. Kevin McNamara (Kingston upon Hull, North)
At the outset, on behalf of my colleagues, I express our sympathy to all those who have lost relatives or seen their relatives injured in the past year as a result of the troubles. I also pass on our sympathy to the injured. I want to mention specifically those who have been savagely gunned down in the past week, Sergeant Thomas Alexander Jameson of the Ulster Defence Regiment, Mr. Sam Marshall and Mr. Eamon Quinn, who was savagely gunned down in front of his wife. They have our prayers and their relatives and families have our sympathies.
We should also like to pay tribute to the members of the security forces who, in their day-to-day conduct, are responsible for ensuring that life progresses normally for the majority of people in the Province. Upon them, more than upon politicians and policy makers, depends the people's acceptance of the rule of law. Their day-to-day contact with the community depends, more than anyone else's, upon the community's acceptance of their role—defending that community. We give an awesome authority to the ordinary squaddie and policeman on the beat.
Today we are debating the renewal of the emergency abnormal powers. As the Secretary of State has said, we are indebted to Lord Colville for his assistance and careful and meticulous examination of the workings of the emergency provisions legislation. Whether we accept his conclusions or not—often the Government do not, as illustrated today—we are grateful to him for taking us through the legal minefield of the different pieces of legislation with which we must deal. He makes his report against a background of continuing terrorism and counter-terrorism in Northern Ireland.
In the introduction to his report this year Lord Colville stated that it was a "short report" because he was embarking this month on his "enhanced review" of the Northern Ireland Emergency Provisions Act 1987. Nevertheless, within his review, he has given us much food for thought. The Labour party has already submitted its proposals to Lord Colville for his enhanced review. We 37 expect that, when his report is published, the Government will give us time to have a full discussion of it before they embark on any of their own proposals for dealing with and changing the Act.
Despite the fact that we regarded Lord Colville's terms of reference as rather narrow, the Labour party's evidence was based upon two principles—first, that no power should remain on the statute book unless the case for its present existence is clearly established, and, secondly, that there is a need to consider the operation of the Act and to take into account its interrelationship with the rest of the criminal law in Northern Ireland—both emergency and ordinary laws.
Nevertheless, despite Lord Colville's recommendations that the measure should stand, section 12—the provision for internment without trial—in our opinion is both repugnant and redundant. While it remains on the statute book it is a constant reminder of the greatest political error made by any Government in the handling of the present emergency and it is a constant reminder to one section of the community of what may eventually be used against them yet again. It must go.
In last year's review of the operation of the Act Lord Colville stated in paragraph 1.5:The battle for the hearts and minds should be the paramount preoccupation of those who exercise emergency powers.That is the background against which we must judge the operation of the powers at the present time. Sadly, a number of events over the past year have raised the question of the competence of the way in which the law is administered and therefore of the future of the battle for hearts and minds. They include the McKerr judgment in the House of Lords last week, the Stevens inquiry, the role of the Ulster Defence Regiment and the primacy of policing in the campaign against terrorists.
In the McKerr case, the House of Lords ruled last week that the power of Northern Ireland coroners to compel persons to give evidence at an inquest into a death, where the person is suspected of causing the death, or has been charged with those likely to be charged with an offence relating to the death, is a rule which regulates the practice and procedure at an inquest and was validly made. That was an important decision based, as Lord Goff said, on procedural law and not on substantive law. It overturned a very closely reasoned and important judgment of the Court of Appeal in Northern Ireland.
The House of Lords decision is now the law, but we must consider its effects. No member of the security forces can now be compelled or examined under oath at a coroner's inquest if he or she has been involved or is suspected of being involved in the killing of a terrorist, a suspected terrorist or an innocent person. The reasons for their decision and the actions that they took in the killings cannot be examined.
The brother of one of my constituents was killed at Loughall. The dead man was an innocent person; he happened to arrive on the scene with his brother—they were the Hughes brothers—who was gravely injured. Their legal representatives cannot interrogate members of the security forces about the circumstances leading to the death of Mr. Hughes as a result of the House of Lords' decision.
At the coroner's inquest into the shootings and killings of three men outside a bookmakers earlier this year, one of whom who was allegedly unarmed and was shot 38 unwarned, sitting in the front of the car, the people who killed him cannot be asked about their motives. That means that the security forces are being protected to the extent that they are no longer merely civilians in uniform.
We now have three standards at coroners' inquests. First, in Northern Ireland we have the limitations placed upon inquests now, and the fact that the police can vet jurors, which is a return to the old provisions of the special powers act with a vengeance. Secondly, there is the type of coroner's inquest that we had in Gibraltar, with all its limitations, behind which the Government seek to hide to prevent further inquiries into what happened there. Thirdly, there is the coroner's inquest that we have on this island, where no such inhibitions and restrictions exist upon people being questioned and asked to account for their actions under oath.
The decision in the House of Lords was a sad day for British justice. To argue that Northern Ireland coroners exercise their powers of inquisition in such a manner as to give protection to citizens who might otherwie be impelled to give evidence and so to be exposed to embarrassment in circumstances where they may be subject to criminal proceedings by invoking the privilege of self-incrimination is little consolation to the relatives of my constituents. There is also little consolation in the matter of embarrassment. As The Independent said in its leader comment the day after the decision,Experience teaches that when a judiciary construes the law so narrowly as to seem to be intent on saving functionaries of the state from the embarrassment of being questioned by citizens, it risks losing citizens' respect".As a general proposition, that would be accepted as important in any society, but in a divided society such as Northern Ireland it is of the utmost importance. This is a decision that we shall live to regret. The opportunity to lay to rest the shoot-to-kill policy which the Court of Appeal in Northern Ireland had given—a policy which the Government had continuously tried to cover up for reasons of state—has been lost because of the decision in the House of Lords.
The Independent drew attention to another issue:Perhaps their Lordships see the idea that law should have a policy as a strange and alien notion. Certainly they seem indifferent to the broad issue of policy in this case: whether the judiciary will effectively challenge the executive's reluctance to permit effective scrutiny of its conduct in matters which are of the gravest importance to both human rights and constitutional principle.That is a question of supreme importance, and in the divided society of Northern Ireland, in which both sides are concerned about the role of the security forces and about the policy directions that they are given, it is an issue which must be resolved.
There is also the issue of the background to the Stevens inquiry. When Mr. Stevens was appointed to head the inquiry into possible security leaks in the security forces to members of loyalist paramilitary organisations, there was considerable hope that a man of such distinction as a policeman in this country would be able to root out what had long been part of folklore in Northern Ireland—the connection between the UDR and members of the paramilitary loyalist forces.
No one was suggesting that the connection applied to every member of the UDR, a body of brave and dedicated men and women who have suffered a great deal at the hands of terrorism, as we sadly witnessed again this week. They have taken over many of the roles from the Army in the fight against terrorism. The role of the UDR is itself a 39 matter of controversy, but no one must underestimate the courage that many of its members have shown when carrying out their role.
We understand that the Stevens inquiry is likely to be wound up at the end of this week, and I should be grateful if the Minister would confirm that. We also understand that the report will shortly be sent to the Chief Constable, which means that the circumstances of the murder of Mr. Sam Marshall will not be examined by Mr. Stevens, even though the original statement by the RUC that his bail arrangements were public knowledge were later withdrawn. Who told the paramilitaries?
Mr. Stevens will also not be able to inquire into the discovery of large quantities of intelligence documents in east Belfast last week in a house usually occupied by a member of the UDR who has gone missing. These matters are only peripheral to the problems of the allegations about unhappiness with the UDR high command, of the disagreements with the RUC, and of the resulting strange developments in which Mr. Terry Loughlin, the respected assistant editor of the Irish News, refused to co-operate further with the Stevens inquiry, following the story of the RUC inner circle, because of statements issued by the RUC press office before he had given his full witness statement to the Stevens inquiry.
Perhaps most important of all is the issue of the chief witness, Brian Nelson, who has been used by the Stevens inquiry. The statement last week in the case of Mr. Gordon Mahafy, the lead story on Northern Ireland BBC news, is of considerable importance. He was charged with the wrongful possession of documents relating to IRA and INLA suspects. Defence counsel said that Brian Nelson had been helping the Stevens inquiry with its inquiries and that he had been a Government agent for several years, having infiltrated the UDR as an agent provocateur. If that allegation is correct and if Mr. Nelson was acting as a double agent, working both for the UDA and for some branch of the security forces—perhaps the RUC—questions arise about his role as chief intelligence officer for the UDA. What operations, if any, were set up as a result of information that he supplied? Did he know of them? Did he partake in any of them? What information about any of them did he give to his handlers and what was their response to any such information? What credence can be placed upon his evidence if any of those cases come to court?
Finally, there is the allegation of Mr. Colin Hall—who is charged with making an RUC uniform available to the UFF—that he was struck by one of the members of the Stevens inquiry team, so the RUC is being investigated by the Stevens inquiry, which is now being investigated by the RUC.
The problems of the Stevens inquiry are highlighted by the story in The Guardian today, which states:A paramilitary fraud ring has been uncovered operating inside a large army base in Northern Ireland, creaming off nearly £500,000 from under the noses of the security forces.Paramilitary loyalist groups, believed to belong to the Ulster Defence Association and its offshoot the Ulster Volunteer Force, are said to be involved.
I can understand why the Ministry of Defence wanted to cover up that information in the evidence that was sent to the Public Accounts Committee. However, it is not only a problem for the anti-racketerring unit of the RUC 40 because it means that, for years, paramilitaries have had access to buildings inside the camp at Ballykelly. They could obtain security information and details about IRA suspects and gain access to maps and plans of the buildings on the camp from the PSA office inside the fence. That is a serious matter, as it impinges on the nature of the Stevens inquiry. In addition, the UDR—which is recruited locally—has many facilities at Ballykelly.
I should be obliged if the Minister would tell us whether any papers on this matter have been sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions. Are any past or present members of the security forces involved in these matters? Did they come under the scrutiny of the Stevens inquiry? Were any of the UDR members who were arrested or questioned by the Stevens inquiry team ever stationed at Ballykelly? Despite what the Under-Secretary said in Committee on the Bill to privatise the Property Services Agency—it is responsible for work on MOD establishments in Northern Ireland—will he and his right hon. Friend now insist that Northern Ireland be left outside the scope of that Bill, whether or not it relates to MOD establishments? Evidence was given to the Committee by my hon. Friend the Member for South Down (Mr. McGrady), supplemented by my hon. Friend the Member for Hammersmith (Mr. Soley), about how paramilitary frauds work. It is essential that no public work be used as a means to channel funds to paramilitary forces on either side.
There has been considerable controversy about the work of the UDR. I have already said that it is the role of the security forces on the street that will inspire confidence in this legislation. That will come about not through speeches in this place or the amount of support that we give them, but from their day-to-day contact with members of the public.
I fail to understand why it remains impossible for Ministers to give the precise numbers of UDR patrols accompanied by the RUC. Why cannot they be logged, statistics taken and figures published? It is a simple matter and we could then understand the scale of the problem that the RUC and the UDR face in carrying out the undertaking of the first Anglo-Irish Agreement that, wherever possible, Army and UDR patrols would be accompanied by a member of the RUC.
§ Mr. Barry Porter
The hon. Gentleman has been speaking for about 16 minutes and has not once mentioned the Provisional IRA. Will he ever get round to that?
§ Mr. McNamara
I sometimes think that the hon. Gentleman gives too much credence to the Provisional IRA. I would rather spend our time looking at the workings of the Act and its relevance to the law-abiding people in Northern Ireland. If I may use the style of the Prime Minister, at the start of our speech we voiced our support for the security forces and saluted them for their bravery. I should have thought that in a democratic assembly it is not necessary to go into what paramilitary and terrorist organisations are doing. It is enough to say that we roundly condemn them. That was implicit in all that I said in my speech which looks at problems involving terrorists from both sides.
We were discussing one of the ways to try to defeat the paramilitaries, including the Provisional IRA, from both sides. One of the methods of doing that is to inspire confidence in the security forces. Another is to try to ensure that when possible the RUC will accompany other 41 members of the security forces on their patrols. That would demonstrate the primacy of the RUC in all policing matters in Northern Ireland, thereby cutting the ground from under the feet of those who seek to find excuses to support paramilitaries. This is a simple matter and can be done quite easily. The week before last the Minister of State was quick to tell me at Question Time that all Army and UDR patrols are tasked by the RUC. Therefore, he should be able to tell us the number of patrols that are tasked and whether the plain clothes patrol that killed three men outside a bookmakers in Belfast earlier this year was tasked by the RUC.
I have outlined the background against which we are discussing this legislation. It must be evident that we are dealing with an abnormal situation and need abnormal legislation. The question that we must answer is how we approach the legislation and the inference that can be drawn from the legislation that the House proposes. This is emergency abnormal legislation and it is right to discuss it, as we do, every year. We believe that the normal practice should be to assume jury trial as normal and Diplock courts as abnormal. For that reason it is important that there should be contracting in of scheduled offences rather than contracting out. We should look carefully again at some of the rules about the admissibility of evidence and confessions.
I should like to pursue some of the matters to which Lord Colville referred in his short report. The first matter is the use of force in murder cases, and the second is the use of closed-circuit television in detention centres. In 1989 Lord Colville gave his opinion on the matter of the use of lethal force in murder cases and a House of Lords Select Committee recommended action on this point. As the noble Lord says, White Paper Cm. 965 does not disclose whether there is any intention on the part of the Government to act on this proposal. This is not merely a matter for cases involving the security forces, although it is of the utmost importance to them.
The Opposition believe with Lord Colville that the use of excessive force for self defence in the prevention of crime should be capable of amounting to manslaughter. The introduction of this new category would help the security forces in their actions and would also help the perception of the general public about the role of the security forces and their accountability.
Perhaps more important and more immediate, and arising from the experiment announced by the Home Secretary for the taking of tape recordings of evidence in PTA cases, is the proposal by the noble Lord that all interrogations in Northern Ireland at Castlereagh and Armagh should not merely be monitored but that a video record should be kept of them. Despite what the Secretary of State said, that makes eminent sense. I regret that he did not accept the urgency of what Lord Colville said and has again postponed a decision, apparently until 1992.
The argument against tape recordings of terrorist interrogations used to be that it might reveal intelligence sources. That is an interesting argument and might hold some water if it were not for the fact that, once a terrorist has been interrogated, he will almost certainly be heavily debriefed by his friends and will have noted the source of the evidence that the security forces are using. Therefore, that argument does not stand. Even if it did, it would be possible for transcripts to be treated in the way that they are treated in Select Committees where a meeting has been held in secret. Application for a transcript could be made 42 to the Committee or to a judge in chambers for part of the transcript which, in the opinion of the judge, would reveal delicate intelligence sources to be expunged—provided that that was not fundamental to the bringing of a case against a suspect. By his experiments in two places, the Home Secretary has said that this matter can now be adequately dealt with.
I accept that Lord Colville does not address this matter precisely in his report. However, in paragraphs 5.1 to 5.6 he deals with the keeping of video tapes of interrogations. Originally closed circuit television was used to keep watch in such matters, because it enabled matters of a disciplinary nature against the police or complaints by defendants to be dealt with. The objection was that brutalisation might take place when somebody was not watching the monitoring screen, or it could be alleged that brutality took place and that the person monitoring the scene turned a Nelson's eye to the television screen.
In the current Colin Hall case allegations have been made that a member of the Stevens inquiry beat or struck Mr. Hall. That is being investigated by the RUC. That matter could have been immediately cleared up one way or the other by a video recording. If the Home Secretary is prepared to have an experiment about transcripts of interrogations, surely the same could be done with video recordings. There could be both a video recording and a tape recording and we would be better able to ensure that the evidence coming before the court was accurate and not obtained under duress. That would also protect the police from unfair accusations.
It is sad and lamentable that nearly 20 years after the introduction of this temporary legislation we are once again debating it. We shall vote against the order, not because we do not accept that Northern Ireland is an abnormal part of our society in terms of law and order and must have special measures, but because we think that the Government have not responded to the recommendations made by the Labour party and by Lord Colville to improve the situation. They do not seem to be properly seized of the fact that it is not legislation alone that improves the situation but the administration of legislation, and confidence in it and in the impartial administration of justice. Those aims are essential and we do not think that the Government have gone far enough in seeking to achieve them.
§ Rev. Ian Paisley (Antrim, North)
Unlike the Front-Bench spokesman for the Labour party, the hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull, North (Mr. McNamara), and the Leader of the Opposition, I am concerned about the Irish Republican Army because the overwhelming number of killings and terrorist incidents are carried out by the so-called Provisional IRA. Statistics quoted by Unionists might be challenged, but I am sure that the hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull, North would not want to challenge the hon. Member for Foyle (Mr. Hume), the leader of the SDLP. In addressing his party conference the hon. Member for Foyle made it clear that in the troubles 44 per cent. of victims had been killed by the IRA and 18 per cent. by other Republican paramilitaries, making 62 per cent. of all killings.
Twenty-seven per cent. of the victims were killed by loyalists, 10 per cent. by the British Army, 2 per cent. by the RUC, and only 0.28 per cent. by the UDR. I always 43 wonder why such attacks are made on the UDR, when it is responsible for only 0.28 per cent. of the total number of killings in Northern Ireland. I shall return to that point.
Between 1981 and 1988, the number of terrorist incidents for which republicans were responsible totalled 3,739, while the figure for loyalists was 278. If one compares the two figures, it is obvious that the overwhelming number of incidents and killings were the responsibility of the IRA. I condemn killings from both sides, but they must all be put into perspective.
§ Mr. Flannery
Having condemned tit-for-tat killings, it would be very sad if the argumentation in this House also became tit for tat. Of the three killings that have just occurred in Northern Ireland, two appeared to be the work of loyalist paramilitary terrorists, and the other was apparently the work of the IRA. I agree profoundly with the hon. Member for Antrim, North (Rev. Ian Paisley) when he says that our struggle is against all killings. I hope that it does not emerge from this debate that that sentiment is not so true as it sounds in a single sentence.
§ Rev. Ian Paisley
I am sure that the hon. Member for Sheffield, Hillsborough (Mr. Flannery) will agree that I, as a Northern Ireland Member of Parliament, have a duty to speak for my constituents. The fear in Northern Ireland must first be measured by those responsible for the vast majority of killings. No right hon. or hon. Member condones any killing. No matter who uses the gun, such killings are to be condemned unequivocally. As the hon. Member for Hillsborough knows, that has always been my attitude. However, in view of the remarks of the hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull, North, I felt that I had to put down a marker at the beginning of the debate.
I want to deal first with the circumstances which have brought about the present deterioration in law and order in Northern Ireland. What lies at the heart of it, why does that problem exist, and why does it continue? I believe that at the root of the problem is the territorial claim made by the Republic of Ireland that it is the legitimate ruler of Northern Ireland. When an IRA man takes the gun, he can say, "I am engaged in a legitimate cause," and he can say it even more now that the Lord Chief Justice of the Republic of Ireland has said that the British Government have no legitimacy and that the Dublin Government have a legitimate duty to do everything in their power to oust the illegitimate British Government and to establish their own jurisdiction over the whole of Ireland.
The House must recognise that until that Berlin wall—which was built not by Unionists or by Ulster Protestants but by the Dublin authorities—is dismantled, there will not be peace in Ireland. That is at the heart of the matter.
When the Anglo-Irish Agreement was reached, it was argued, particularly by members of the Government Front Bench, with great eloquence and force, that a change had taken place and that, for once, the Government of the Republic of Ireland had become convinced that Northern Ireland must remain a part of the United Kingdom. We were told that the agreement set out in article 1 that the status of Northern Ireland was as a part of the United Kingdom. We pointed out at the time and subsequently that there is no mention in article 1 of the status of Northern Ireland as part of the United Kingdom. The 44 words "United Kingdom" do not even appear in that document. However, there is a reference to the status of Northern Ireland.
In the Assembly Committee which was established in Stormont to deal with the Anglo-Irish Agreement, presided over by the right hon. Member for Lagan Valley (Mr. Molyneaux), leader of the Ulster Unionists, the Labour Front Bench spokesman was asked whether he believed that the status of Northern Ireland would be changed by the agreement. He answered that of course it has been changed, because no other part of the United Kingdom holds a conference at which members of a foreign jurisdiction meet Government officials from the United Kingdom as equals and pledge to do everything to reach agreement and a consensus policy for a part of the United Kingdom's territory. That is what happened, so let no right hon. or hon. Member try to tell the House that the Anglo-Irish Agreement established the status of Northern Ireland as an integral part of the United Kingdom.
In the McGimpsey case, on appeal the McGimpsey brothers argued that article 1 of the Anglo-Irish Agreement amounted to an acknowledgement by the Republic that it was not entitled as of right to jurisdiction over Northern Ireland and that it therefore contravened articles 2 and 3 of the Irish constitution. That was a good legal point to argue, but the highest court in the land made it perfectly clear that there was nothing contrary to articles 2 and 3 of the Irish constitution, and that there was no recognition in the agreement that Northern Ireland was part of the United Kingdom—and its legitimate status was denied.
Every right hon. and hon. Member should be aware that the court went on to deal with the legitimacy of the United Kingdom Government in Northern Ireland and with the duty of the Dublin Government to seek to establish constitutionally its jurisdiction over the whole of Ireland. The Anglo-Irish Agreement can be used by the Dublin Government to proceed along a road that will lead to its attaining the ends of articles 2 and 3 of the Irish constitution. Down through the history of Northern Ireland, the question of the Republic's jurisdiction has arisen time and again. When it was certain that Northern Ireland would not in any way be betrayed and that its future lay firmly in the hands of its own elected leaders, articles 2 and 3 of the Irish constitution were practically meaningless, but they are no longer meaningless now that the British Government have provided a platform and supplied the machinery for the South to achieve the objectives of articles 2 and 3 of its constitution. That is why the Unionist people are so stirred.
§ Mr. Geoffrey Dickens (Littleborough and Saddleworth)
Does the hon. Gentleman agree that it seems that in the House of Commons there is no political will to give a total commitment to Northern Ireland? If we were debating Nicaragua or South Africa the Benches would be packed with Members displaying outrage, passion and indignation. But today we are debating the United Kingdom—our own country. The public do not understand why we are so passionate about remote countries but somehow cannot get to grips with the problems in our own nation. Does the hon. Gentleman agree with that sentiment?
§ Rev. Ian Paisley
I agree totally. It is what the Ulster Members have been saying all along. When the Stormont 45 Parliament was disbanded and the power-sharing Executive came into existence I was told by the then Prime Minister that the trouble was all over.
§ Rev. Ian Paisley
I am glad to see that the hon. Gentleman's colleague has a stick with which to deal with him.
When the power-sharing Executive came into existence the then Prime Minister said that the trouble was all over, that at last there would be peace.
In a speech in this House I said that previous events in Northern Ireland had been a picnic by comparison with the killings that would follow. How right that prophecy turned out to be—and the killings will go on and on until the Government have the guts to deal with the situation.
I am surprised that today the Secretary of State did not say, "I am a defender of Her Majesty's territories, and I say that the Dublin Government have no authority over part of the United Kingdom and no right to claim that they have such authority." The British Government have the power to say to the southern Government, "You must come into the 20th century and stop claiming territorial rights over a part of our territory." If the people of Northern Ireland want, in an election, to express the desire to become a part of the united Ireland, let them do so. As a democrat, I should have to accept that. I do not want it, but I should have to accept it. However, I know that the people of Northern Ireland do not want such an arrangement.
The Government will not even repeat the referendum exercise. They will not say to the people, "Let us have another vote on this issue." The SDLP does not want a vote on it. Nobody wants to put the matter to the test. Why? If there is such a willingness on the part of the people of Northern Ireland to go south—and even among Unionists there are some who seem attracted by the magnetism of the Republic—let us have a referendum. The Secretary of State has the authority to call one immediately. Let the people of Northern Ireland give their decision. We in this House know only too well what the outcome would be. No betting shop would offer odds.
The Government cannot ignore what happened in the Supreme Court of the Irish Republic. The British Government must get to grips with article 1 of their agreement with the Government of the Republic. That agreement is not what it was sold to this Parliament and to the people of Ulster as being. It contains no guarantee about the status of Northern Ireland as part of the United Kingdom.
§ Mr. Maginnis
Perhaps I may draw the hon. Gentleman's attention to the terms in which article I of the agreement was defined by senior counsel in the Supreme Court of the Republic. He said:Now, Mr. O'Flaherty"—Mr. O'Flaherty was the senior counsel representing the McGimpseys—referred to Article I, my Lord, headed 'The Status of Northern Ireland'. When one reads that Article, one looks at the status of Northern Ireland, it's not defined at all. It is carefully not defined, my Lord, carefully not defined.
§ Rev. Ian Paisley
The hon. Gentleman confirms exactly what I and, indeed, all Unionists have been saying. The finding of the Supreme Court comes as no surprise to any Unionist. In an article in The Times on Saturday, Conor 46 Cruise O'Brien said that the British Government would ignore that decision at their peril. If the British Government do ignore it, it will become an increasingly serious festering sore. I trust that the Secretary of State will have second thoughts. He has had second thoughts before, and I have congratulated him on that. I hope that, after this debate, he will realise that this is a matter that will not go away.
§ Rev. Martin Smyth (Belfast, South)
The hon. Gentleman has said that the Government sold the Anglo-Irish Agreement to Northern Ireland. Does he agree that we have not bought it, that we see it for the fraud that it is and have constantly rejected it?
§ Rev. Ian Paisley
I should have said that the Government had sold the agreement to this House. They certainly did not deceive the people of Northern Ireland—the agreement has not been sold to them. Ministers may go to North Antrim as often as they like and tell people there how wonderful the agreement is. They may do their best to get poor souls to join the new Tory party of Northern Ireland which, we are told, will show the people what Toryism can do for Northern Ireland. When one sees the closed hospitals, the long unemployment queues and the degradation in the Province, one realises that no Northern Ireland person in his senses would vote for the Tory party. That will be made clear at the next election. I would welcome an election tomorrow. I should make it clear that I am talking about present-day Toryism, not Conservatism.
§ Rev Ian Paisley
What was done for Harland and Wolff was what any Government would have done for the shipyard. The hon. Gentleman would have advocated similar action in his own area. However, I do not want to cross swords with the hon. Gentleman as I have other quarry to kill.
I come now to a matter which is causing great concern. I refer to the consistent conspiracy to blacken the Ulster Defence Regiment. We have seen this conspiracy evolve. The Stevens inquiry was not set up to deal with the leaking of information from the UDR to paramilitaries; it was set up to deal with the leaking of information from the RUC to paramilitaries. The Opposition spokesman did not mention that. But suddenly the whole inquiry changed. Documents that many of us had had for years—an Assembly colleague of mine produced page after page of photographs—were systematically leaked in the press.
Every morning one heard that a reporter from some paper had another document.
§ Rev William McCrea (Mid-Ulster)
Can my hon. Friend confirm that I made such a statement in the Assembly? Members of the RUC took me there and left me home but, to this day, have not asked me where I got the information.
§ Rev Ian Paisley
I can only say that those policemen must have been very lenient. When I mention in this House any matter on which the RUC seems to think I should not have information, a policeman comes to my door asking, "May we have the document to which you referred?" Indeed, on one occasion I had to appeal to a former 47 Speaker for protection of my right, as a Member of Parliament, to produce documents whose contents I thought that the public needed to know.
There has been a conspiracy. The "Panorama" programme had one aim—to discredit the whole Ulster Defence Regiment. If members of the UDR are doing things that are wrong, they must be made amenable to the law. Members of British regiments—I refer to "British regiments" not because the UDR is not one but because it is a term that the House knows—on this side of the water have done dastardly deeds, but I have never heard any hon. Member say that a whole regiment should be disbanded, even though some of those deeds were gruesome indeed. Of course, such a regiment should not be disbanded. If a man goes wrong and is dealt with, his regiment should not suffer—others should not be guilty by association.
"Panorama" said that the UDR trained 40,000 Protestants to use a gun. When the UDR was first formed, 20 per cent. of its members were Roman Catholics. The programme did not say that since a fifth of the total membership at one time were Roman Catholics the Government also trained so many thousand Roman Catholics to use a gun. Where does it end? Those men were not trained to use a gun for unlawful purposes; they were members of the Army and were given their training as such. They were not trained as Protestants or as Roman Catholics; they were trained as members of a British regiment.
At the end of the programme, the commentator said that the UDR had been brought into existence to solve the problem but that now it was part of the problem. The gallant members of the UDR take their lives into their hands. On Sunday, I was at a UDR funeral. As I delivered a message in my capacity as leader of the Free Presbyterian church, I looked down and saw one of my members sitting with her three young children, and I thought about people saying, "Your husband was part of the problem." That man took his life into his hands on two counts—first, as a sergeant in the UDR and, secondly, in working for a builder who helped to carry out contracts for the security forces. Statements that that man is part of the problem are deeply resented by the people of Northern Ireland.
The situation has become intolerable, especially for those of us who have to pay the British Broadcasting Corporation and then have that programme shown on our screens. I put our views to Lord Barnett, a former Member. I have been told that a book has been produced containing more than 300 names and that every UDR man has a copy. But that book does not exist. I rang up Mr. Stevens and asked whether he had the book and whether he had seen the man who compiled the "Panorama" programme and taken the book from him. Mr. Stevens said that he could not answer me but had to put me on to the inquiry officer. He said that he was not putting me off and that I could state my case.
Five minutes later, the officer spoke to me and said that he had visited the man who made the programme and asked about the book. I asked whether the adviser had seized it, and he said no and asked whether I knew why. I said, "Of course I know why"—a parliamentarian never asks a question to which he does not know the answer, and it would be foolish to do so. I said that it was a bogus book 48 and the adviser said, "That is right—I have no authority to confiscate a book that is bogus." The book was waved before millions of people who watched that programme. We are told that every UDR man has a copy of that list of suspected IRA men and that it is given to other men to kill those suspects. The House must face up to this serious matter.
The Secretary of State knows that I am not one to defend him, but I do not believe that any responsible BBC producer should go to the Secretary of State, take nearly an hour of his time, go to the head of the UDR and take an hour of his time and then go straight to Dublin, play the programme to the foreign secretary of another country and ask him to have the last word on it. That is not fair to this country or to the UDR. The UDR does not deserve such treatment.
Until the House faces up to that matter, we shall not come to grips with it. Why does the IRA want to get rid of the UDR? It is because the UDR stands as a bastion against the IRA and all the citizens of Northern Ireland in the areas in which it operates. If members of the UDR did something that they should not have done, they should be dealt with like anyone else, but the whole regiment should not be maligned as it has been. Other matters have been raised which cause concern in the hearts of everyone. All of us want civil and religious liberty. We are all dedicated to that. The two matters that I have raised lie at the foundation of this debate.
§ Mr. Ken Maginnis (Fermanagh and South Tyrone)
Last year, the hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull, North (Mr. McNamara) began his speech by saying that we were debating the order in the shadow of the gunman. Sadly, we do so again this year. My party offers its sincere sympathy to the families of all the victims of the past week and year. There is nothing—whether membership of the UDR, the fact that a person's work takes him into security bases, the chance that causes one person to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, or even membership of an illegal organisation—that can justify murder. That, too, is the unequivocal position of the Ulster Unionist party. Hence we as legislators have a responsibility to those in whom we vest authority to protect our community from such terrorism and to ensure that we provide the means by which people can carry out their tasks within the law. That is our first priority. All other considerations must remain secondary.
Lord Colville recognises this and my party supports his recommendation that the emergency provisions powers must remain in place for the immediate future. I continue to be disappointed, not at the official Opposition's desire to see an early return to normality in Northern Ireland, but by the strange thesis that the hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull, North continues to promote to the effect that continuance of the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act 1984 and the Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Act 1978 constitutes a suspension of human rights. The hon. Gentleman will surely agree with me that the greatest infringement of human rights is that perpetrated by the paramilitaries when, acting as judge, jury and executioner, they carry out assassinations in the most arbitrary manner. It is in the nature of our 49 society that even the basest of killers is entitled to his rights under the law, but that right must never be enhanced at the expense of the innocent victims or of our security forces.
Unlike the hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull, North, who appears to concentrate almost exclusively on what he regards as the deficiencies of our security forces—deficiencies which I do not experience on the ground—I intend to deal with the victims of terrorism and with the innocent community trying to get on with their lives in Northern Ireland.
The hon. Member for Antrim, North (Rev. Ian Paisley) referred to the television reporter, John Ware, and to the disgraceful one-sided and biased programme that he produced for "Panorama". When John Ware first came to the Province, he came to see me. He stated unequivocally and unashamedly that he was there to follow up the Stevens inquiry and to expose the UDR, in so far as he alleged it was involved in the leaking of information to paramilitary organisations. He had his mind made up. I gave him an hour of my time and he recorded three or four cassettes containing what I had had to tell him about the UDR. As right hon. and hon. Members know, I speak with some personal experience, having served with the regiment for 11 years. After all that, I was horrified by what he said as he turned round to leave my home. I said, "I hope that you will be objective in your treatment of what I have said, although obviously you can't carry all that you have recorded." His reply was, "Well, we'll try—but you're not going to like it." Those were John Ware's exact words and they can scarcely enhance his reputation as an objective journalist. But why should we criticise John Ware when the hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull, North concentrated almost entirely on diminishing the security forces? There was no objectivity in what he said and no acknowledgment of the plight of the people whom I represent or of those represented by the Ulster Democratic Unionist party.
I have used the terms "emergency powers" in referring to the order. Like many hon. Members, I suspect, I find it no easy task to differentiate that which falls within the compass of the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act 1984 and that which comes within the scope of the Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Act 1978. Nor has the Police and Criminal Evidence Order (Northern Ireland) 1988 made it any easier for the layman to identify the relevant legislation. That is why the Ulster Unionists feel that it is time to rationalise the legislation. When Lord Colville brings forward his major report, the emergency provisions Act should be allowed to lapse and a number of its provisions should then be incorporated in the prevention of terrorism Act, which should then cease to be temporary.
In its document "Emergency Laws Now", which has been presented to Lord Colville for consideration, the Ulster Unionist party makes a number of recommendations which are worth mentioning at this stage. Part I of the emergency provisions Act 1978, as amended by the Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Act 1987—the provisions relating to scheduled offences, and the court, the mode of trial and the evidence in scheduled offence cases—should be inserted into the prevention of terrorism Act. The Lord Chancellor could be given a power, by order requiring parliamentary approval, to bring that part of the Act into operation for any defined area for a defined period. In addition, the Lord Chancellor could direct that that part should apply to a particular case. There is little 50 doubt that such a provision would be beneficial in cases such as that of the Birmingham Six because, irrespective of one's overall opinion of the matter, the view is widely held that, in the wake of such an atrocity, there must be less than an even chance of being able to find a completely impartial jury.
Part II of the emergency provisions Act 1978 and part II of the 1987 Act, dealing with arrest, search, detention and the conditions of detention, are largely supplementary to the powers in part III of the prevention of terrorism Act and could easily be integrated in that part.
The provision in part III of the 1978 Act which deals with proscription and public order matters could be consolidated with those in the prevention of terrorism Act. For the first time in years, we could then produce a uniform list of proscribed organisations. The public order provisions would surely be better included in existing public order legislation.
The length of time for which accused persons are held in custody before being brought to trial is often criticised, although it is more likely to arise from the unavailability of a particular defence counsel chosen by the accused than from undue delay in the court's timetable. But the power to make regulations governing the time limits for proceedings in scheduled offence cases should still be retained as a safeguard. The present classification of scheduled offences and their mode of trial—before a single judge—should also be retained. There is no evidence that the Diplock courts, as they are called, have caused problems—the pressure for change has had more to do with political propaganda than with justice. The allegations concerning the Birmingham Six and others bear that out because, as the House will recall, those cases were brought before a jury.
Again, it is merely political gesturing to call for three-judge courts, as it has yet to be proved that there is a need based on the furtherance of justice. Cases going to appeal—proportionally, there are few that do—go before three judges. The practical difficulty of providing three-judge courts for all Diplock cases would result in an unacceptable backlog in the court system. Even if it were desirable to increase the number of judges, we should still have to ask whether justice is better served by having our most experienced legal brains on the Bench or below the Bench. I think that there is a happy medium. As judges must he appointed from the ranks of senior counsel, it is perhaps better justice to ensure that the accused has a reasonable choice of good and experienced defence counsel.
When we debated the prevention of terrorism Act a few days ago, I was somewhat saddened by the fact that there was so little acknowledgment of the suffering of the community. Too much sympathy was expressed then, as it has been today, for those who perpetrate violence against the community. It is perhaps because the legislation that we are debating is designed to constrain those with evil intent that we tend to forget the victims and consider the legislation purely in terms of how it relates to the evil men in the community.
Is there real evidence that the emergency powers legislation is counter-productive, as the hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull, North has alleged, or that it is unnecessary in as much as it fails to accomplish what it sets out to achieve? I believe that without the emergency provisions legislation and the prevention of terrorism legislation we would be tying the hands of our security 51 forces. The legislation does not give and never has given our security forces a free reign, but without it they would not be able to deal with the problems that we face from international and local terrorism.
We constantly hear the number of people detained for questioning being compared with the number of people actually charged with terrorist offences. Indeed, that point was raised by an Opposition Member in the debate on terrorism a few days ago. I, too, am bothered that there is such a differential between the number questioned and the number charged—not because I believe that the wrong people are being detained for questioning, but because too many terrorists are beating the system.
In my constituency at the moment, a well-known terrorist who has been associated with the Provisional IRA for a long time can still organise murder and get away with it. He is known to have arranged the attack which was to have been made against my wife and myself on 11 January this year. Here I acknowledge the bravery and efficiency of the RUC, whose good work on that occasion frustrated the terrorists and probably saved my life and that of my wife. Sadly, a lorry driver—a constituent of my hon. Friend the Member for Londonderry, East (Mr. Ross)—who was murdered within half a mile of that incident on Thursday last—was not so fortunate. He was murdered at the behest of the same villain. I should be happy to ensure that the Secretary of State knows the name of the person to whom I am referring, but I have no doubt that he already knows the name of that arch-villain and conspirator in the murder of my constituents and those of my hon. Friend the Member for Londonderry, East.
§ Mr. Flannery
What the hon. Gentleman has just said must alarm us all deeply. He has said that he knows that that person is guilty. It would seem to be an ordinary thing in these extraordinary circumstances that if one knew that evidence should be put before the proper authorities who would take the proper steps. That surely should be done instead of simply saying that someone is guilty and leaving it at that. Instead of the name being given to the Secretary of State—I do not object to that—it should be given to the proper police authorities.
§ Mr. Maginnis
I cannot believe that the hon. Gentleman is so naive as to believe that the police and the community at large do not already know the identity of that person. Unfortunately, the problem over the past 20 years has been that it is not possible to deal with terrorists effectively and completely within the normal civil law. There is a great difficulty because witnesses are intimidated and fear pervades the community, especially the community in which that individual lives. No one is willing to come forward and give evidence because it would make the provider of that evidence the next target. We have faced that problem for so many years and the House has shown itself unable or unwilling to grapple with it.
I wish now to consider Executive detention, or internment as it is known. My party is disturbed that Lord Colville, for whom we have considerable regard, may be considering the ending of that provision. While we acknowledge that no Government have had the courage to implement such a measure, even on the most selective basis, we are convinced that it should remain an option.
52 We are convinced that Governments should continu-ally face this challenge: are they more concerned with the terrorists or with the victims of terrorism? It is morally wrong that a terrorist such as the man to whom I have referred should be able to continue to thumb his nose at the law of the land and to organise—and at times participate in—the continuation of the murders which so diminish our community. The greater good of the community should not be sacrificed on the altar of political expediency. Where is the justice in that?
The Government have a responsibility to protect the hundreds of thousands of innocent people in Northern Ireland on both sides of the community against the few hundred active terrorists from both sides of the community. I make no distinction, nor do I wish to argue the rights or wrongs of any side. However, it is possible to do more to assist the security forces and to help those who, at terrible cost, have stood for so long and so steadfastly as a bastion between us and the terrorists. The introduction of identity cards is one of the simplest ways in which, without having to seek any derogation from a European body, we could make the task of our police a little easier.
Earlier, the hon. Member for Antrim, North referred to the Stevens inquiry and to the attack on the UDR. Having served for more than 11 years with that regiment and having commanded men within it, I can state that I never experienced a complaint against any man under my command, let alone a complaint that was upheld. Therefore, the derogatory terms that the hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull, North all too often employs were a personal insult to me as well as to the many good and honest men who have served the country well and truly over many years, many of whom—including many of my best friends—have lost their lives serving the community and standing between the terrorists and ordinary people.
We accepted that the Stevens inquiry was necessary, because we were told that that was the case, and we certainly wanted leaks to be cleared up, but we did not expect such dangerous naivety when 28 members of the regiment were swooped on early one Sunday morning and taken in for questioning—and that was after certain sound and sensible voices had persuaded the inquiry that it should not opt for almost 100. That was the original intention. To what extent was Stevens acting on sound information?
§ Rev. Ian Paisley
Is it not a fact that there have been dreadful repercussions for those men, who had to be released almost immediately because they were completely innocent? They have had to leave their districts and their families. They have been attacked and intimidated. A cloud of darkness, which should not be put upon them, has been put on them by that action.
§ Mr. Maginnis
The hon. Gentleman is absolutely correct. The majority of those men were released almost immediately, after having had their homes surrounded and being taken off like common criminals. There is no excuse for endangering not just those men but their families. Many of them have had to move house. Right hon. and hon. Members know that one cannot do that at a profit. They are young men with families who need every last shilling. They have to move away from family support. If 53 their wives went out to work, the children could stay with aunts, uncles or grandparents, but that family support has been wiped out.
Irrespective of how efficient the Stevens inquiry turns out to be, and irrespective of its report, I shall always be left with a hitter taste in my mouth because innocent people have been victimised for the sake of political expediency. Some have been charged with the most ridiculous offences—such as having two extra rounds of ammunition for a personal protection weapon. If somebody came to my home, I could not guarantee that I would not have two extra rounds of ammunition for my personal protection weapon. There is no danger that those extra rounds, any more than the rounds that I legally possess, will fall into the hands of anyone who wishes to commit a crime against any member of the community. It is sad fact that one bungling by the Stevens team has meant that anything good which might emanate from the inquiry will be undermined or overshadowed by the repercussions of what happened on that Sunday morning.
Any legislation is only as good as the means of enforcing it. The continuing high rate of deaths and injuries is unacceptable to many hon. Members, but it is heartbreaking for those who have to endure it daily. Therefore, I urge hon. Members, especially those who wish to vote against the order, to examine their motives and to ask themselves what hope there is for democracy if we do not meet our obligations to the innocent members of the community. Nothing enshrined in the order should give offence to any right-thinking person, either here or on the streets of Northern Ireland. If, for some reason that I fail to understand, some hon. Members at present consider that they cannot vote for the order, I hope that in the interests of those who may still become the victims of terrorism they will not vote against it.
I look forward to the time when we have a single piece of legislation to deal with the problem of terrorism, and I commend such a course to Lord Colville. My colleagues in the Ulster Unionist party and I hope that all such legislation will soon become unnecessary. In the meantime, my party supports the order.
§ Mr. Julian Amery (Brighton, Pavilion)
The reasoned argument of the hon. Member for Fermanagh and South Tyrone (Mr. Maginnis) and the more vibrant eloquence of his reverend friend the hon. Member for Antrim, North (Rev. Ian Paisley) deserve a better congregation. So does the subject of the debate. It is a disgrace that our Benches should be so empty as we return to this grim subject.
Of course, I shall support the Government tonight, but it will be with a sense of growing frustration. We have now had to renew the order for nearly 20 years without seeing any daylight at the end of the tunnel. The statistics on death and wounded oscillate from year to year, rather like a malaria fever chart, but there is still no sign of any cure.
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State paid the security forces a well-deserved tribute in which most hon. Members joined wholeheartedly. They have done and are still doing a fantastic job. But it looks as though they will continue to need to do it. My right hon. Friend was right to say that we are against terrorism in any form, either orange or green. It is the duty of hon. Members to uphold the law and it is my right hon. Friend's duty to enforce it. At the same time, given that hon. Members mould 54 opinion, we must make a distinction between different kinds of terrorism. I say that after careful thought. We must remember that the increase in loyalist terrorism is a reflection of the Government's failure to defeat the IRA. We must in our hearts, although not in law, make a distinction between those who fight to overthrow the Queen's Government and those who, though wrongly, take up arms to fight against those who are trying to overthrow that Government. We must have that point in mind when forming opinion, if not in the administration of the law.
The speech by the hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull, North (Mr. McNamara) shocked me more than I had expected. It was an attempt to indict the security forces, to drive a wedge between the UDR and the RUC, and to attack the security forces in every possible way. There was no attempt to balance his speech, which is understandable perhaps, bearing in mind present circumstances, by reference to the Libyan connection with the IRA, to mention only one matter. The hon. Gentleman's speech will have given comfort to the IRA and those who sympathise with it. It left me with the feeling that, if public opinion polls are right and there is to be a Labour Government, it will be a very sad day when the hon. Gentleman is Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.
§ Mr. McNamara
My future position is not in my gift but in that of my right hon. Friend the Leader of the Opposition. Is the right hon. Gentleman saying that one should not be anxious that the forces of law and order in Northern Ireland should be seen to uphold the law impartially on the occasions when members of either community fall from grace? I have already paid tribute to the heroism and gallantry of the armed forces, as the right hon. Gentleman would have heard in my speech. Is he saying that such matters should not be of concern to us all and be examined by the House and the elected representatives of the nation?
§ Mr. Amery
The hon. Gentleman is sufficiently experienced in politics to know that there are ways of saying things and ways of not saying them. I shall read his words carefully, but it was my impression that his words would bring comfort to the IRA more than they will enable the House to form an objective judgment on the matters that he discussed.
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State was reported some weeks ago as saying that we could not expect to win the war against the IRA by military means. I thought at the time that those words were not the happiest that he could have used, but I see his argument. Successive Governments, both Conservative and Labour, have sought political solutions. My God, we have tried hard enough. The dissolution of Stormont was a political step. It did not bring us much good. Sunningdale was a political step. It failed lamentably. The Prior assembly was, as some of us predicted, a complete failure. Now we have the Anglo-Irish Agreement.
I sympathise with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State. He ducked somewhat the questions put to him on the Dublin Supreme Court interpretation of the agreement. It leaves me with the feeling that we have bought a dud chip. We need some clarification. I do not see 55 how we can reconcile the judgment of the Supreme Court with the interpretation that we place on article 1 of the Agreement.
So far all our political initiatives over a long period have failed. Yet one which has been consistently suggested by many of my right hon. and hon. Friends and with some support from the Ulster Unionist party has always been brushed aside. It is the simple expedient that, instead of dealing with Ulster matters by Order in Council—which makes them virtually undiscussable—the House should treat legislation in much the same way as Scottish legislation by some Committees. I would leave it to my right hon. and learned Friend the deputy Prime Minister to devise the best way of doing so.
Another political initiative would be a return to relatively ordinary local government in the Province. We are told that if that happened there would be discrimination on a great scale. I do not know if it has ever been tried. The Secretary of State would have sufficient powers to suspend a local authority if there were discrimination. Of course, there is no great danger here. Any such move would be seen as abandoning the attempt to return to devolved government. But every attempt to return to devolved government has proved a fiasco. How long can we continue attempting to do something that apparently cannot be done? Would my right hon. Friend be right to attempt it?
It is only if my right hon. Friend adopts the course of a return to ordinary local government that he will give the necessary signal to both communities that there is no question of this Government, or any Government that we would support, moving towards a union of the North and South. We would then say in a clear and categorical way that we stand for the union of the kingdom. That is not yet understood or appreciated. After the judment of the Supreme Court in Dublin, it is hard to believe.
My right hon. Friend is the fourth or fifth Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. He has opted for an attempt to create devolved government. Let there be a time limit in his mind when this experiment should be abandoned. We really cannot go on like this.
§ Mr. Menzies Campbell (Fife, North-East)
I shall say only a few words about the order because several hon. Members wish to speak, not least Northern Irish Members. It will be a matter of regret to me, if the order is passed, that the principles of our system of justice will not be universal throughout the United Kingdom. Notwithstanding that regret, I shall vote for the order and I shall advise my hon. and right hon. Friends to do likewise. I shall give them that advice and vote in that way because I believe that the circumstances in Northern Ireland justify that course of action. I shall vote for the order with a sense of reservation and regret—reservation that universality is not possible, and regret that there appears to be no immediate prospect of its coming to pass.
It is right that we should have to renew these provisions every year. Every year it is incumbent on us to ask ourselves whether they are really necessary. When I ask myself that question at this juncture, I have little difficulty in answering in the affirmative. It is clear that normality, as we understand it on the mainland of the United 56 Kingdom, is still absent from Northern Ireland. None of us could have been other than affected by the moving way in which the Northern Ireland Members who have already spoken described their personal experiences and the sense of grief which they, and, of course, the communities that they represent, experience, sometimes almost daily. Perhaps that is what makes these powers, which in other circumstances might seem draconian, justified at this time.
I hope that the House will accept that we should not seek to maintain these powers for a moment longer than they appear to be justified. They represent a serious incursion into the rights that citizens of the United Kingdom should normally expect. We should tolerate them grudgingly. We should never embrace them enthusiastically. We should work to withdraw them at the earliest date possible. Nor should we assume that the system of justice which the powers embrace cannot be improved or changed.
I suggest to the Secretary of State that the powers that the order confers are at least worthy of reconsideration in four separate aspects. In doing that I am aware that I may be adopting a position which is contradictory to that of the hon. Member for Fermanagh and South Tyrone (Mr. Maginnis).
For example, internment is a procedure which, although rarely, indeed currently never, used, remains a source of great political inflammation. If we believe that the rule of law is gradually being imposed, albeit in difficult circumstances, to maintain the possibility of internment is to embrace a policy of desperation. Internment can never be a long-term solution. It is only of short-term value. It is our duty carefully to consider whether that procedure will in the long term most speedily bring about a solution to the problems in Northern Ireland, which the vast majority of people in the country, and, indeed, in the House, wish to be brought about.
I come now to what are called the Diplock courts. As one who has practised at the Bar for more than 20 years, I have come to realise that there is no such thing as judicial infallibility. In the Diplock courts, a single judge has to determine not only questions of law but sometimes difficult questions of credibility—who is to be believed and who is not be be believed. In that regard, I cannot but think that a court of three is much more likely to be able to reach an informed judgment than a court of one. I believe that there should now be some acceptance of the view that trial by jury should be the norm and that it should not be taken away unless causes of why that should be so can be shown.
I come to the topic of the periods of remand in custody with the benefit—if it may be so described—of the Scottish experience. For almost 100 years we have had the 110-day rule, which means that any trial against a person who has been remanded in custody must be commenced within 110 days of the remand. As I have said, that has operated in Scotland for about 100 years—and with great success. It has provided a protection for the accused, and has been a means of ensuring that prosecution is effected swiftly and efficiently. Although I understand that to suggest that it can be introduced simply by inserting a clause into some legislation would be facile, I urge the Government to give serious consideration to a form of such a rule that would reduce extended periods of remand in custody.
I turn finally to the video-taping of interviews. My professional experience, in which I have both prosecuted and defended people charged with serious crimes, 57 although never with crimes of terrorism, leads me to the view that often the only available peg on which a defence can hang something is to challenge the propriety of what took place in a closed room in the presence only of policemen, whose record is in their notebooks, which are frequently made up after the event. I have seen people acquitted who should never have been acquitted simply because the mere fact of a suspicion about the events that took place while they were in the exclusive custody of the police was enough to raise a reasonable doubt in the minds of the jury. Therefore, such a contemporary record is as much for the protection of the police—and for the efficient carrying out of prosecutions—as it is for the protection of the accused person.
Working with the powers that the order contains and confirms, I believe that improvement is still possible. Indeed, it is desirable if confidence in the legal system of Northern Ireland is to be enhanced. Confidence in that system will be the best assistance towards a return to the life of normality which the Province previously enjoyed and which we, in the mainland, take for granted.
§ 6.2 pm
§ Mr. Ian Gow (Eastbourne)
I welcome the speech made by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State. Every right hon. and hon. Member who sits on this side of the House will vote in favour of the order.
Reluctantly, I agree with the conclusion of my right hon. Friend the Member for Brighton, Pavilion (Mr. Amery) about the speech of the shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, the hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull, North (Mr. McNamara). Everybody knows that the hon. Gentleman would wish to give no aid or comfort to those who believe in terror, but I reluctantly share my right hon. Friend's judgment that the hon. Gentleman's speech will give aid and comfort to the IRA. I shall have no hesitation in voting for the order.
I turn to an aspect of the debate that was outlined by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State. He said that the most important single factor in prolonging terrorism in Northern Ireland was uncertainty about Northern Ireland's constitutional future. I believe that to be the case. Everybody knows that the official policy of Her Majesty's Opposition is that there should be a united island of Ireland—united by consent. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State claims to believe in the union, but I want to explain to him why it is perceived in Northern Ireland—and not in Northern Ireland alone—that there is some equivocation about his position and that of Her Majesty's Government.
The judgment in the Supreme Court of the Republic of Ireland last week has done nothing to diminish the doubts that are felt about the commitment of Her Majesty's Government to the Union. On 5 November 1985 Her Majesty's Government entered into an agreement with the Government of the Irish Republic. The Irish Republic is the only country that lays claim to part of the territory of the United Kingdom. That claim is made in the most solemn form possible—in articles 2 and 3 of the written constitution of the Republic. Thus, by virtue of the agreement of 15 November 1985, Her Majesty's Government conferred a place of special privilege upon the only country with a constitution that lays claim to part of Her Majesty's dominions.
58 May I give an analogy? No analogy is perfect, and I do not claim that this one is. Let us suppose that Germany laid claim to the two French departements of Alsace and Lorraine. Let us suppose that among the German-speaking people of Alsace and Lorraine were some who wished to be severed from the French republic and joined with Germany. Let us suppose that, over the years, terrorists had come from Germany into Alsace and Lorraine, murdered French people living there, and then returned to Germany. Let us suppose further that the people of Alsace and Lorraine had believed that the German police were not always as enthusiastic as they might be in seeking to apprehend those who had come into France, murdered and returned to Germany. Would it be conceivable that in those circumstances the French Government would confer a place of special privilege upon Germany, giving Germany the right to put forward views and proposals about how those two French departements were to be governed? Would it not be even more inconceivable that such an arrangement would be made between France and Germany if the German constitution laid claim to two French departements?
For those who believe in the Union, the idea—and the Government's decision—to make a treaty with the Irish Republic when the Irish Republic was failing to withdraw articles 2 and 3 of its constitution was inconceivable to many Unionists. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State knows full well what happened. He knows that the then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary, saw that danger and asked the Irish negotiators, "Would you please remove articles 2 and 3 of your constitution?" My right hon. Friend then said, "If you, the Irish, were to do that, you would make it easier for me to sell this agreement to the Unionists." As my right hon. Friend knows, the Dail cannot alter the constitution; that can be done only by referendum. The Irish Government said, "We are willing to ask our people, by referendum, to remove articles 2 and 3, but upon one condition—that we should have a Minister resident in Belfast." That was too much, even for my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary.
We are put in this further difficulty by last week's decision of the Supreme Court, but there is a way in which my right hon. Friend can get out of it. Would it be possible for Ministers in the Northern Ireland Office to be every bit as unequivocal about the Union as Ministers who serve in the Scottish and Welsh Offices who adopt a different tone and language? My right hon. Friend and his predecessors have said again and again from the Treasury Bench and outside this place that Northern Ireland will remain part of Her Majesty's dominions unless and until a majority of its people decide otherwise.
That is not the language used by either the Secretary of State for Wales or the Secretary of State for Scotland. That is not what they say. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales, shortly to leave the Welsh Office, and my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland speak at by-elections. Whenever we have a by-election in Wales or Scotland, the most natural thing in the world is for the Secretary of State to speak in support of the Conservative candidate. Mercifully that which we have failed to do in Northern Ireland, my right hon. Friend and even other Ministers will shortly have to do. [Laughter".] My hon. Friends laugh. Certainly they will.
§ Mr. John D. Taylor
I have a simple question: how could a Secretary of State for Northern Ireland campaign for a Conservative candidate in East Belfast when the Conservative association there wants integration and the Secretary of State says that he is against it?
§ Mr. Gow
The Conservative associations in Northern Ireland are anticipating a forthcoming change in Government policy. [Laughter.] However surprising it may be to the right hon. Gentleman, many of Her Majesty's Ministers have been willing to come to Eastbourne to speak in my support, although I am in respectful disagreement with the present policies being pursued by Northern Ireland Ministers. It is mercifully possible for there to be a Conservative candidate at a by-election who does not agree with official Conservative policy on every matter. If anybody doubts the truth of that, I remind them that my right hon. Friends the Members for Chesham and Amersham (Sir I. Gilmour) and for Old Bexley and Sidcup (Mr. Heath) were Conservative candidates at the general election. I do not wish to be diverted, so I shall return to my main theme.
The present Treasury Bench line is to say that Northern Ireland will remain part of Her Majesty's dominions unless and until a majority of its people decide otherwise. I want my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State to say, "I believe in the Union. I will do all in my power to maintain and strengthen it. I will continue to argue against all people who wish to diminish or dilute the Union." As a Scotsman speaking about Scotland, even I would say that if at the end of the day the people of Scotland over time and by a large, or even not-so-large, majority wished to sever themselves from this kingdom, the Queen could have no unwilling subjects. I beg my right hon. Friend to think about that aspect of the matter.
§ Rev. Ian Paisley
Will the hon. Gentleman carry the argument further? The people in Northern Ireland have not been given the right to decide a change in their status. Their status was changed under the Anglo-Irish Agreement, but they were given no opportunity through a referendum to say aye or no to that agreement.
§ Mr. Gow
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State believes that the status of the people of Northern Ireland was not changed by the agreement of 15 November 1985. I believe that their status was changed. Furthermore, I believe that we cannot govern successfully one part of the kingdom differently from the rest, save with the consent of a majority of the people who are to be governed differently. That consent to be governed differently is unobtainable from the people of Northern Ireland.
We can send a signal to friend and foe alike by following the recommendation made by my right hon. Friend the Member for Pavilion. It is nearly 11 years since Airey Neave was assassinated. With his death the policy which he had fashioned and to which he had secured the agreement of the shadow Cabinet died also. Airey Neave was shadow Secretary of State from 12 February 1975 to his assassination on 30 March 1979—for more than four years. As the right hon. Member for Lagan Valley (Mr. Molyneaux) will confirm, he worked closely with the right hon. Gentleman. It was with his assent that the words that appeared in the 1979 Conservative manifesto appeared.
60 We have not attempted to govern Northern Ireland as closely as may be to the way in which the rest of the kingdom is governed. The longer we continue to govern it differently, the easier it will be perceived to be to prise Northern Ireland from the United Kingdom. There are differences among Unionists about whether we should have a devolved assembly, or what I call administrative devolution, which means conferring modest additional powers on the 26 district councils and establishing some sort of regional or county council. I say that although I have an increasing will to diminish the number of tiers of local government, but I let that pass.
We should follow the policy which Airey Neave fashioned after so much toil and study. We should give a much more ringing commitment to the Union. We most certainly should say to nationalists in Northern Ireland that we respect their position and shall protect it. We shall give them, provided that they are constitutional nationalists, precisely that equality of treatment under the law that we give to nationalists in Wales and Scotland. We shall protect all of their legitimate interests under a just law and do all in our power to eliminate such discrimination as there may be against those who hold nationalist convictions. However, it is deeply divisive to give to the Government of a foreign power, notably the Government of the only foreign power that lays claim to the territory of Northern Ireland, the task of representing nationalists in dealings with Her Majesty's Ministers. Nationalists should be represented by the four nationalist Members who have been elected, three of whom have taken their seats in this House. It is deeply divisive to say that the Irish Republic shall have the task of representing nationalists.
This debate has given the House, although too few hon. Members, an opportunity to look not only at the important issue of the emergency powers but at ways in which through political change and a change of political language we may be able to bring to the Province the peace, stability and reconciliation which all decent men are striving to attain.
§ Mr. James Molyneaux (Lagan Valley)
As always, I am delighted to follow the hon. Member for Eastbourne (Mr. Gow). On behalf of my right hon. and hon. Friends and, I suspect, my hon. Friends who sit on the Conservative Benches, I am delighted to be able to express our appreciation of the hon. Gentleman's deep understanding of the problems with which we have to contend. I do not believe that it is disrespectful to add the following comment—would to God many other Members of this honourable House had the same depth of understanding.
In common with the hon. Member for Eastbourne, I well remember the determination of the late Airey Neave to introduce to Northern Ireland something which might not have given everyone all that they wanted but which would at least have been a beginning in a practical sense. He was determined to press on with that. I have previously quoted words spoken the day before he was murdered which left me in no doubt as to his determination to carry out what until that time had been the approved policy of the Conservative shadow Cabinet. It is a sad reflection that his successors who took over as the ministerial team in the Northern Ireland Office under the new Government were told bluntly, "Sorry—we cannot do that because of commitments entered into". For a variety of reasons that 61 is a sobering thought. I know that I carry the right hon. Member for Brighton, Pavilion (Mr. Amery) on this because he has seen the seamier side of politics and knows how improper influences can be brought to bear.
The hon. Member for Eastbourne provided us with some encouragement by reminding us that his right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has power to put forward proposals from his side of the table at the Anglo-Irish Conference. It is not a common occurrence, but presumably it can be done. The contracting parties, the Secretary of State and his co-chairman, Mr. Collins, are pledged to make determined efforts to reach agreement on any proposal put forward. The Secretary of State should oblige his hon. Friend the Member for Eastbourne, and all of us, by putting forward a reasonable proposal in the light of the judgment of the Supreme Court, simply suggesting that Dublin Ministers set about removing the offending articles 2 and 3 from their constitution. Having done that, the Secretary of State could sit back and watch as Mr. Collins made determined efforts from his side of the table to reach agreement on that reasonable proposal. I am sure that we would not be disappointed.
Our failure as a nation to eradicate terrorism is due to our unwillingness to recognise terrorism as a long-term challenge. The present Foreign Secretary, when Home Secretary. said in March 1989 referring to the IRA:They are just professional killers … No political solution will cope with that. They just have to be extirpated.Irish terrorism can claim to be the pioneer of murder for political ends. The present 20-year campaign is rather more sophisticated than its predecessors. I derive no pleasure from repeating the warning that I gave to the House in my maiden speech in 1971, when I explained that Northern Ireland was then seeing the first demonstration of urban guerrilla warfare in western Europe. That demonstration was followed by repeat performances in most western nations but, somehow or other, those nations developed the technique to snuff out their indigenous terror gangs—partly through single-minded determination on the part of the Governments concerned and partly through a courageous refusal to make concessions to the aims of terrorists. Unfortunately, the aims of terrorists are usually shared by others who would not stoop to use terrorism otherwise.
United Kingdom Governments have, unfortunately, all too often taken the opposite course. By steadily giving ground to terrorists and their rescue brigades—an important part of the conundrum—they have prolonged the agony and have helped to cause the deaths of no fewer than 2,800 citizens of Northern Ireland and members of the Army serving there. The tragedy is that the Government know the error of their ways because their own Foreign Secretary told them that no political solution could cope, and that the terrorists had to be extirpated. What pressure, what malign influence, holds the Government back from doing what at last one of their number knows to be their duty?
The key to success in the battle against terrorism is the denial of the expectation of victory. Even the most dedicated idealist will be reluctant to sacrifice his life for a lost cause. Republican hopes of success had all but faded by the late 1970s. Some Opposition Members will understand very well what I am talking about—the degree of stability established by the late 1970s. From 1979 and throughout the 1980s, however, a constant stream of flawed initiatives rekindled hopes in the breasts of 62 terrorists, as the right hon. Member for Pavilion reminded us. The fluid situation developed by such pot-stirring experiments encouraged terrorists on both sides to believe that there was something in it for them.
It is true that the IRA condemned the Anglo-Irish Agreement because it did not go far enough—it said that it was only a half-way house. We also said that, only it was the other way round. Though it was a half-way house, it provided a terrific boost to the IRA, particularly in the light of the words of Her Majesty's Government at the signing ceremony at Hillsborough in 1985. Those were terrible words:We entered into this agreement because we were not prepared to tolerate a situation of continuing violence.On other occasions I have illustrated how those words were decoded—an Enigma device was not needed—in the brigade headquarters of the IRA. Those words could mean only one thing to the IRA, "Aha—here we have a Government who have reached the end of their tether; they have said that they are not prepared to tolerate continuing violence, so let us murder another 100 citizens and get it all instead of just a half-way house".
Again, the IRA was quick enough to spot that the Anglo-Irish Agreement side-stepped the de jure position of Northern Ireland. In the aftermath of the signing of the agreement we did our best, as did the hon. Member for Eastbourne, to enlighten fellow right hon. and hon. Members, but on that occasion they were blinded—I give them that excuse, although they have not made it—by glossy labels saying "Peace", "Stability" and "Reconciliation". Who in his right mind would want to vote against that? We knew, of course, that the words were not real.
Today the Secretary of State has said honestly that he is faced with two conflicting de jure claims. The draftsmen of the Anglo-Irish Agreement realised that all too well and cleverly side-stepped the issue. They invented article 1 of the agreement, which is said to respect the rights of the majority, after a fashion. The judgment of the Irish Supreme Court, however, demolished article 1 because it says that a claim to a united island of Ireland is what it calls a "constitutional imperative"—so imperative that every Dublin representative, be he a member of the Government, of the Dail or a member of the Dublin delegation attending the inter-parliamentary body which has just been established, is bound by it to achieve the reintegration of the national territory of the whole island not, this time, qualified by the wordswish of a majority … in Northern Ireland.It is an overriding demand and requirement, which binds him in honour to achieve that at all costs—regardless, but not necessarily in physical defiance, of the democratically-expressed wishes of the majority of people living in Northern Ireland.
Some 20 years ago, the United Kingdom started to export a type of terrorism to Europe. My hon. Friend the Member for Fermanagh and South Tyrone (Mr. Maginnis) and other hon. Members have expressed the hope in the debate that the day will come when the powers that we are considering will no longer be required. To a certain extent, I share that hope, but I fear that international terrorism may continue to exist in one form or another for decades.
We have all watched with a degree of admiration the vast demonstrations in eastern Europe which have brought such dramatic changes and have had some 63 dramatic successes, but we should be fooling ourselves if we thought that it would stop there. Democracy will merely transfer power from one element to another in those eastern European countries. Admittedly, it will transfer power through some form of democratic process, although that might be imperfect to begin with, but in every eastern European country a tiny element of the population—perhaps 4 or 5 per cent.—will flatly refuse to accept the majority democratic rule. They will not have forgotten the lesson of how easy it is to exploit what has become known in eastern Europe as "people power".
The tendency to exploit grievances has been all too apparent in this country, even in the past week. I do not make the mistake, as some people do, of tarring the Labour party with the same brush—they probably regret as much as the rest of us the fact that a ruthless minority, determined to get their own way, to subvert democracy in the House and in this island, are exploiting certain grievances that we need not discuss today. Unfortunately, the House may still need to provide a model of how democracy can be defended in eastern European countries. We shall have to give an example of how a country can be "made safe for democracy." We need a standard, permanent, simple and unified code of security regulations, which I hope would be vetted and scrutinised by a rather better system than our annual debate in the House, as sometimes that annual debate is not particularly helpful.
§ Mr. Peter Robinson (Belfast, East)
It is almost 11 years since I was first elected to the House. During that time the nation has had many crises and there have been emergencies of many kinds. I think that other hon. Members who have lived through the experience of those emergencies know that usually there is a sense of urgency among hon. Members throughout the House.
I think that it was the hon. Member for Littleborough and Saddleworth (Mr. Dickens) who came in for the best part of a minute to tell us how few people were in the Chamber and then absented himself for the remainder of the debate. He said that there should be a passion and a feeling of indignation about the emergency that we are dealing with. Having been through the other emergencies, I do not feel the same sense of urgency, passion or indignation in the House today that there has been on other occasions and which there should be on this occasion.
Are the people of the Falklands more important to the House than the people of Northern Ireland? More people have died in Northern Ireland as a result of terrorism than were killed during the Falklands crisis, and yet the House does not show the same urgency and does not accord to Northern Ireland the importance that it should.
Instead of meeting to consider emergency legislation, we just go through what has become a ritual. I think that this ritual is different in one respect from some of the others over the past 13 years, because of the absence of the late Harold McCusker. He contributed fully and passionately to the debates. As a representative of a border constituency, he knew only too well the destructive power of the Provisonal IRA, and he knew of the need for emergency measures to be taken against it. Knowing the 64 circumstances that surrounded him, he left a message to his constituents to be read to them after his death. I think we should listen to his words in the House and take warning from them:I shall carry to my grave with ignominy the sense of the injustice that I have done my constituents down the years—when, in their darkest hours, I exhorted them to put their trust in the British House of Commons which one day would honour its fundamental obligations to them to treat them as equal British citizens.Mr. McCusker had been confident, as I was confident during my early years in politics, that our constituents could be content that the watchful eye and the strong arm of Britain would be looking over them. He and I felt secure in the knowledge that they would protect Northern Ireland against injustice and wrong.
In all my years in politics, the sense of impatience that I felt and my confidence that one day the British Government would come to put right all of those wrongs—both in the constitutional relationship and in the security relationship—have given way to a feeling of impotence. I do not see a desire to defeat terrorism in any of the actions of the Government. The emergency provisions legislation simply marks time. It is a reaction to terrorists, not a vigorous pursuit of terrorism.
Almost 3,000 people have been butchered in Northern Ireland as a result of terrorism. Those killings have not discriminated against people because of religion, sex, or social strata. Because Northern Ireland is such a small community, everyone has felt the impact.
More than 30,000 people have been maimed or mutilated in Northern Ireland as a result of terrorism. Billions of pounds have been lost through subversion. However, all the advice we get is to be calm and cool headed—almost compliant—when we deal with these issues. Our security forces are left to operate against a wartime situation under peacetime conditions.
I join hon. Members who have criticised the Opposition spokesman, the hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull, North (Mr. McNamara), for his contribution to the debate. Despite the kind words for the security forces—and there were some—the burden of the speech was critical of the security forces. Would that the hon. Gentleman had spent time criticising the Provisional IRA. Coming from someone with his background, that would have been helpful, and it might have had some influence on people who might support the Provisional IRA. Instead, the weight of his time and effort was spent putting down the security forces.
That does not just happen only here. Hon. Members have referred to the Stevens inquiry. Its whole emphasis has been directed away from its original purpose, which was to look into the divulging of certain information arising from a police station at Dunmurry, towards putting the spotlight on the UDR. That has a political purpose—to undermine the regiment. The "Panorama" programme played its full part; so, too, did John Ware, whose reputation I give nothing for, having had experience of him in the past. That was exactly the sort of programme that I would expect from that sort of person.
The UDR is in every way in the front line of the battle against terrorism in Northern Ireland. It is the chief target of the IRA, because its members know the terrorists and the terrain in which they operate. The Ulster Defence Regiment is owed a deep debt of gratitude by the people of Northern Ireland and of the United Kingdom. Its soldiers have acted with fortitude and courage. More than 65 220 of them—serving soldiers and former members—have been killed as a result of terrorism. Unlike other regiments in the British Army, members of the UDR do not face death only when on patrol or on operations. Because they live in the community they face death coming out of work, or leaving or going to recreational activities—even after they leave the regiment.
I want to issue a word of warning about any future change in this legislation. I know from having spoken to Lord Colville that considerable pressure—from the Labour party and from the SDLP and others in Northern Ireland—has been brought to bear on him to wipe off the statute book the part of the emergency legislation that deals with internment. It can be argued that it has not been used for many years, that this Government lack the political will to use it and that there is no likelihood that it will be used, so it is redundant. I opposed internment when it was introduced, and I have since been justified in my opposition, but I must say that it is a weapon that should be available to Government should they find that nothing else is working in the battle against terrorism. I have heard it argued that if internment became necessary we could legislate for it. That is nonsense: at the first whiff of a rumour that legislation needed to be passed in the House to introduce internment there would be a flight across the border and beyond. As soon as internment is removed from the legislation it will be removed for all time as an effective weapon in the battle against terrorism. On no account should the Government accept any recommendation that this vital element in their hold over the terrorists should be removed from the statute book.
The security situation does not affect merely the lives and limbs of those who live in Northern Ireland and of those who come to the Province as part of the security forces. It also affects the value of life there, not only socially and economically, but constitutionally. In my years in politics I have observed how much major decisions are influenced by circumstances rather than principles, especially by security circumstances. Was it not the Prime Minister who said, after signing the Anglo-Irish Agreement, that she simply could not allow the violence to continue? That was a clear signal that the security circumstances had prompted her political action. The Anglo-Irish Agreement is a product of violence. I ask the Government, when dealing with security and constitutional matters, to do what is right, not what is expedient.
§ The Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office (Mr. John Cope)
This has been an interesting, good and wide-ranging debate. It has ranged over matters that lie outside the order and over matters that have come up since it was laid—including the House of Lords ruling on inquests, and the judgment of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Ireland. There has also been quite a lot of discussion—I do not complain about it—of matters that affect Lord Colville's long-term review and the long-term re-enactment of the legislation, which we shall have to deal with in primary legislation in due course. I shall try to deal with these issues as best I can, and I shall also have to refer to the order itself.
It is a matter of profound regret to us all that again we have to renew these powers, but it is essential that we do 66 so to fight terrorism and to try to minimise the loss of life and property and the suffering in Northern Ireland. which have continued for so long.
The debate has been held against the sombre background of the three apparently sectarian murders in less than a week since the order was put on the Order Paper. Nothing could better demonstrate why the police and Army need emergency powers to deal with such evils, but there have been plenty of other evil murders in the past year, too. It is because the Government are determined that terrorism—loyalist, republican or any other sort—should be fought and extirpated from Northern Ireland that we must renew these powers. Anyone who knows the realities of life in Northern Ireland knows just how necessary they have proved to be in the fight.
This is why I found the Labour party's decision to vote against the order regrettable. To some extent, I agree with the criticism voiced by various hon. Members of the tone of the speech made by the hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull, North (Mr. McNamara). I do not accuse the hon. Gentleman of this, but his speech had some of the flavour of speeches made by those who say that there are only a few misguided individuals who are offended by the constitutional difficulties in the legislation, and that if only someone would explain matters to them and treat them nicely they would shut up and go away. It is not like that. We face a determined and sophisticated criminal conspiracy—it is longstanding and well organised—to impose the political will of the terrorists on the people of Northern Ireland by violence, terror or murder.
The ordinary law may be sufficient on its own to deal with individual criminals or small gangs of the sort with which we are familiar on this side of the water, but it does not provide the police and Army with the full statutory armament that they need if their work in protecting the whole community from the menace of terrorist gangsters is to succeed and the rule of law is to prevail. That is why the powers are necessary, and why it is necessary to have the powers to stop and search vehicles, to mount checkpoints and to stop and question people. These powers have led to the recovery of terrorists' equipment and they have also, as we saw last summer—especially during August—deterred their operations.
We all wish that we did not need these powers, but we do need them—and all the other powers in the order.
Much has been said about confidence. We all recognise the tremendous importance of everyone having confidence in the security forces, but it is not a one-sided affair. Everyone must have confidence that the security forces are fair and impartial and that anyone in the forces who acts outside the law will be made amenable to the law. There are people in all organisations—we know that there are some in the security forces—who occasionally break the law. They must be and should be made amenable to the law, and they are. If any Catholic or nationalist——
§ Sir Michael McNair-Wilson (Newbury)
Does my hon. Friend think that the remark of Gerry Collins, the Foreign Minister of the Republic, that the Ulster Defence Regiment as presently constituted has no role to play was helpful in building up confidence in the UDR among the minority community in the North?
§ Mr. Cope
My answer to that question will become clear in what I say later.
67 If any Catholic or any nationalist doubts the fairness and impartiality of the security forces in the way that they treat terrorism, they should examine the figures. The hon. Member for Antrim, North (Rev. Ian Paisley) referred to the figures on terrorism given in the past by the hon. Member for Foyle (Mr. Hume). One can judge the effectiveness of the security forces from the number of arrests. That is not a novel point as it has been made many times. The effect of the security forces against loyalist terrorists is greater than their effectiveness against nationalist terrorists. That demonstrates their fairness and impartiality more strongly than anything that I could say. However, there is another side to confidence. Both Unionists and nationalists must be confident that the security forces can protect them from the terrorist gangsters of the Provisional Irish Republican Army and other paramilitary extremists and terrorists. The Government will not—I say this especially to the hon. and learned Member for Fife, North-East (Mr. Campbell) who spoke for the Liberal Democrats—retain those powers any longer than they are needed. That is not our intention, but my goodness they are needed now, as the hon. and learned Gentleman recognised. Together with the Chief Constable of Northern Ireland and the General Officer Commanding, we will do our best to ensure that those powers are implemented sensitively and with the least inconvenience to the overwhelming innocent majority in Northern Ireland, from whichever community they come. Those powers are undoubtedly effective—although not 100 per cent.—and essential in helping us to deal with the problems of terrorism. The Diplock courts have enabled high standards of justice to be maintained in the Province. In his previous report, Lord Colville reminded us that the intimidation of jurors remains a big problem. That is one example of the special problems of Northern Ireland. The intimidation of witnesses is also of the greatest importance. The McGimpsey judgment by the Supreme Court of the Irish Republic was also mentioned and we have begun to examine that judgment carefully.
The Anglo-Irish Agreement is binding on the Republic of Ireland. Under it, whatever the wording of the Irish constitution, or whatever was said in the recent judgment, the Irish are committed to the agreement, including article 1. The essential point remains that both Governments accept that the future of Northern Ireland will depend on the consent of the majority. Of course, it is true that the judgment confirms that the Irish constitution lays claim to Northern Ireland, just as the British constitution and law lay claim to judge Northern Ireland. International law also makes the same claim, because that is de facto the position and the Irish have agreed that that will continue to be the position unless there is a majority for change in the future.
I cannot match the rotundity of the phrases used by my hon. Friend the Member for Eastbourne (Mr. Gow), who is an expert in those matters. We hope and we believe that the Union will continue and I trust that that will reassure my hon. Friend. After all, we are a Unionist party as well as a Conservative party. There is no change in the position that article 1 records the formal acceptance by both Governments that the status of Northern Ireland will not be changed on the same basis.
§ Rev. William McCrea
Before the Minister leaves the point of reassuring the people of Northern Ireland, can he 68 tell me how, as the elected representative for Mid-Ulster, I can reassure my people about the safety of their lives? From the beginning of the year, my constituency has suffered more than any other constituency in the entire Province and the United Kingdom. My constituency is rampant with IRA terrorism. How can it be right that in a security debate, when we are discussing the lives of our people, the hon. Member for Mid-Ulster cannot say a word? Yesterday we buried a constituent, who was a member of my congregation and of the UDR. What should I tell the widow and the three orphans who have been left without a father? How is it that the hon. Member for the constituency that has suffered more than any other in the Province cannot make a contribution to the debate? It is disgusting and says a great deal about what the people of Ulster and my constituents are suffering.
§ Mr. Cope
The management of debates is no longer in my hands, although it once was. I am glad that I could at least give the hon. Gentleman the opportunity to make that point. However, I must rush on as I must finish at 7 pm.
The hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull, North referred to the inquest judgment. It is not merely a question whether a policeman or a Government might be embarrassed by the giving of evidence. It is not embarrassment in the usual sense of the word. The policeman concerned had already been charged with and acquitted of murder. It is not the case that the inquest judgment applies only to security force members; it applies evenly across the board. In England and Wales no one can be compelled——
§ Rev. William McCrea
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. Could you help me and my constituents to understand something? There used to be a full day to debate these matters of life and death for the people of Northern Ireland under the emergency provisions. Why did the Government decide some days ago to reduce the debate to three hours and end the discussions at 7 o'clock? As I have already said, since the beginning of the year my constituents have been slaughtered and the stations in my constituency blown to bits, yet I am told today, as the elected representative of the people who are suffering more than any others, that this debate must stop at 7 o'clock and that I must remain silent. My constituents have been silenced by the IRA and now I am silenced by the House. I object to that.
§ Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Harold Walker)
I understand the hon. Gentleman's concern, but it is not a matter for the Chair. The House decided by a resolution on 2 March that the debate would conclude at 7 o'clock. I am afraid that I cannot help the hon. Gentleman.
§ Mr. Cope
I shall have to resort to letters to answer some of the questions that have been raised during the debate, and I apologise for that. Since we have taken on our responsibilities, my right hon. Friend and I have spent much time visiting the Royal Ulster Constabulary, the UDR and prisons throughout the Province.
The UDR was subjected to an unbalanced attack by the "Panorama" programme. That has been referred to a great deal and I will not expand on it now. The UDR is a very fine and increasingly professional regiment. As is acknowledged on all sides, its members are exceptionally brave day in and day out, not only at their work in the 69 UDR but often at their work elsewhere and, of course, in their homes. The same applies to the Royal Ulster Constabulary and to many people in the Province.
The main message that we should send to the terrorists tonight, as on other occasions, must be that their struggle is futile. They are not getting anywhere with all their violence. I say to terrorists on both sides that those who think that they can achieve their apparent political aims by terrorism are wrong. The past 20 years, among other things, have proved them wrong. The main reason for the struggle being futile is that neither the Government nor the House will give way to terrorism, not only in Northern Ireland but elsewhere. What we are——
§ It being Seven o'clock, MR. DEPUTY SPEAKER put the Question, pursuant to order [2 March]:
§ The House divided: Ayes 224, Noes 130.71
|Division No. 112]||[7. pm|
|Adley, Robert||Devlin, Tim|
|Alexander, Richard||Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James|
|Alison, Rt Hon Michael||Dover, Den|
|Allason, Rupert||Dunn, Bob|
|Amery, Rt Hon Julian||Durant, Tony|
|Amess, David||Dykes, Hugh|
|Amos, Alan||Eggar, Tim|
|Arbuthnot, James||Emery, Sir Peter|
|Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham)||Evans, David (Welwyn Hatf'd)|
|Arnold, Tom (Hazel Grove)||Evennett, David|
|Aspinwall, Jack||Fallon, Michael|
|Atkins, Robert||Favell, Tony|
|Baker, Nicholas (Dorset N)||Fenner, Dame Peggy|
|Baldry, Tony||Fishburn, John Dudley|
|Barnes, Mrs Rosie (Greenwich)||Fookes, Dame Janet|
|Batiste, Spencer||Forsyth, Michael (Stirling)|
|Beaumont-Dark, Anthony||Forsythe, Clifford (Antrim S)|
|Beggs, Roy||Fowler, Rt Hon Sir Norman|
|Bennett, Nicholas (Pembroke)||Fox, Sir Marcus|
|Bevan, David Gilroy||Franks, Cecil|
|Blaker, Rt Hon Sir Peter||Freeman, Roger|
|Boscawen, Hon Robert||French, Douglas|
|Boswell, Tim||Gale, Roger|
|Bottomley, Peter||Gardiner, George|
|Bottomley, Mrs Virginia||Garel-Jones, Tristan|
|Bowden, Gerald (Dulwich)||Gill, Christopher|
|Bowis, John||Glyn, Sir Alan|
|Brandon-Bravo, Martin||Goodhart, Sir Philip|
|Brazier, Julian||Goodlad, Alastair|
|Bright, Graham||Goodson-Wickes, Dr Charles|
|Brooke, Rt Hon Peter||Gow, Ian|
|Brown, Michael (Brigg & Cl't's)||Greenway, Harry (Ealing N)|
|Bruce, Ian (Dorset South)||Greenway, John (Ryedale)|
|Buck, Sir Antony||Gregory, Conal|
|Burns, Simon||Griffiths, Peter (Portsmouth N)|
|Butler, Chris||Grist, Ian|
|Campbell, Menzies (Fife NE)||Ground, Patrick|
|Carlile, Alex (Mont'g)||Hague, William|
|Carlisle, John, (Luton N)||Hamilton, Neil (Tatton)|
|Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln)||Hanley, Jeremy|
|Carrington, Matthew||Hannam, John|
|Cartwright, John||Hargreaves, A. (B'ham H'll Gr')|
|Channon, Rt Hon Paul||Hargreaves, Ken (Hyndburn)|
|Chapman, Sydney||Harris, David|
|Chope, Christopher||Hawkins, Christopher|
|Clark, Sir W. (Croydon S)||Hayes, Jerry|
|Clarke, Rt Hon K. (Rushcliffe)||Hayhoe, Rt Hon Sir Barney|
|Colvin, Michael||Hicks, Robert (Cornwall SE)|
|Coombs, Anthony (Wyre F'rest)||Higgins, Rt Hon Terence L.|
|Coombs, Simon (Swindon)||Hind, Kenneth|
|Cope, Rt Hon John||Hordern, Sir Peter|
|Couchman, James||Howarth, Alan (Strat'd-on-A)|
|Cran, James||Howell, Ralph (North Norfolk)|
|Davis, David (Boothferry)||Hughes, Robert G. (Harrow W)|
|Day, Stephen||Hunt, Sir John (Ravensbourne)|
|Hunter, Andrew||Roe, Mrs Marion|
|Irvine, Michael||Ross, William (Londonderry E)|
|Jack, Michael||Rossi, Sir Hugh|
|Janman, Tim||Rost, Peter|
|Johnson Smith, Sir Geoffrey||Sackville, Hon Tom|
|Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N)||Shaw, Sir Michael (Scarb')|
|Jones, Robert B (Herts W)||Shephard, Mrs G. (Norfolk SW)|
|Jopling, Rt Hon Michael||Shepherd, Colin (Hereford)|
|Key, Robert||Shersby, Michael|
|Kilfedder, James||Sims, Roger|
|Knapman, Roger||Skeet, Sir Trevor|
|Knight, Greg (Derby North)||Smith, Sir Dudley (Warwick)|
|Lawrence, Ivan||Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield)|
|Lee, John (Pendle)||Smyth, Rev Martin (Belfast S)|
|Leigh, Edward (Gainsbor'gh)||Speed, Keith|
|Lennox-Boyd, Hon Mark||Speller, Tony|
|Lester, Jim (Broxtowe)||Spicer, Michael (S Worcs)|
|Lightbown, David||Squire, Robin|
|Lloyd, Peter (Fareham)||Stanley, Rt Hon Sir John|
|McCrea, Rev William||Steel, Rt Hon Sir David|
|McLoughlin, Patrick||Stern, Michael|
|McNair-Wilson, Sir Michael||Stevens, Lewis|
|Maginnis, Ken||Stradling Thomas, Sir John|
|Maples, John||Sumberg, David|
|Martin, David (Portsmouth S)||Summerson, Hugo|
|Mawhinney, Dr Brian||Taylor, Ian (Esher)|
|Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin||Taylor, Rt Hon J. D. (S'ford)|
|Meyer, Sir Anthony||Taylor, Matthew (Truro)|
|Mills, Iain||Taylor, Teddy (S'end E)|
|Miscampbell, Norman||Thatcher, Rt Hon Margaret|
|Mitchell, Sir David||Thompson, D. (Calder Valley)|
|Moate, Roger||Thompson, Patrick (Norwich N)|
|Molyneaux, Rt Hon James||Thurnham, Peter|
|Montgomery, Sir Fergus||Townsend, Cyril D. (B'heath)|
|Morris, M (N'hampton S)||Tracey, Richard|
|Moss, Malcolm||Trippier, David|
|Moynihan, Hon Colin||Twinn, Dr Ian|
|Mudd, David||Vaughan, Sir Gerard|
|Neubert, Michael||Waddington, Rt Hon David|
|Newton, Rt Hon Tony||Walker, A. Cecil (Belfast N)|
|Nicholls, Patrick||Walker, Bill (T'side North)|
|Nicholson, David (Taunton)||Wallace, James|
|Nicholson, Emma (Devon West)||Waller, Gary|
|Onslow, Rt Hon Cranley||Wardle, Charles (Bexhill)|
|Paice, James||Watts, John|
|Paisley, Rev Ian||Wheeler, Sir John|
|Patnick, Irvine||Widdecombe, Ann|
|Pawsey, James||Wiggin, Jerry|
|Peacock, Mrs Elizabeth||Wilkinson, John|
|Porter, Barry (Wirral S)||Winterton, Mrs Ann|
|Porter, David (Waveney)||Winterton, Nicholas|
|Portillo, Michael||Wolfson, Mark|
|Price, Sir David||Wood, Timothy|
|Raffan, Keith||Yeo, Tim|
|Raison, Rt Hon Timothy||Young, Sir George (Acton)|
|Renton, Rt Hon Tim||Tellers for the Ayes:|
|Ridsdale, Sir Julian||Mr. John M. Taylor and Mr. Stephen Dorrell.|
|Robinson, Peter (Belfast E)|
|Allen, Graham||Buchan, Norman|
|Anderson, Donald||Buckley, George J.|
|Archer, Rt Hon Peter||Caborn, Richard|
|Armstrong, Hilary||Callaghan, Jim|
|Banks, Tony (Newham NW)||Campbell, Ron (Blyth Valley)|
|Barnes, Harry (Derbyshire NE)||Campbell-Savours, D. N.|
|Barron, Kevin||Clark, Dr David (S Shields)|
|Beckett, Margaret||Clarke, Tom (Monklands W)|
|Benn, Rt Hon Tony||Clay, Bob|
|Bennett, A. F. (D'nt'n & R'dish)||Clelland, David|
|Bermingham, Gerald||Clwyd, Mrs Ann|
|Bidwell, Sydney||Cohen, Harry|
|Blair, Tony||Corbett, Robin|
|Blunkett, David||Cousins, Jim|
|Boateng, Paul||Cox, Tom|
|Boyes, Roland||Cryer, Bob|
|Bray, Dr Jeremy||Cummings, John|
|Brown, Gordon (D'mline E)||Cunningham, Dr John|
|Brown, Nicholas (Newcastle E)||Dixon, Don|
|Dobson, Frank||Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)|
|Doran, Frank||Martlew, Eric|
|Duffy, A. E. P.||Maxton, John|
|Dunnachie, Jimmy||Michael, Alun|
|Eadie, Alexander||Michie, Bill (Sheffield Heeley)|
|Eastham, Ken||Morgan, Rhodri|
|Evans, John (St Helens N)||Morley, Elliot|
|Fatchett, Derek||Morris, Rt Hon A. (W'shawe)|
|Fields, Terry (L'pool B G'n)||Mowlam, Marjorie|
|Fisher, Mark||Mullin, Chris|
|Flannery, Martin||Murphy, Paul|
|Flynn, Paul||O'Brien, William|
|Foster, Derek||Patchett, Terry|
|Foulkes, George||Pendry, Tom|
|Fraser, John||Pike, Peter L.|
|Galloway, George||Powell, Ray (Ogmore)|
|Garrett, Ted (Wallsend)||Primarolo, Dawn|
|George, Bruce||Quin, Ms Joyce|
|Godman, Dr Norman A.||Radice, Giles|
|Gordon, Mildred||Redmond, Martin|
|Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)||Reid, Dr John|
|Hardy, Peter||Richardson, Jo|
|Haynes, Frank||Robertson, George|
|Hinchliffe, David||Rogers, Allan|
|Howarth, George (Knowsley N)||Ross, Ernie (Dundee W)|
|Howells, Dr. Kim (Pontypridd)||Ruddock, Joan|
|Hughes, John (Coventry NE)||Sheerman, Barry|
|Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N)||Short, Clare|
|Jones, Barry (Alyn & Deeside)||Skinner, Dennis|
|Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald||Smith, Andrew (Oxford E)|
|Lamond, James||Smith, C. (Isl'ton & F'bury)|
|Leadbitter, Ted||Smith, Rt Hon J. (Monk'ds E)|
|Leighton, Ron||Soley, Clive|
|Lestor, Joan (Eccles)||Spearing, Nigel|
|Livingstone, Ken||Stott, Roger|
|Lloyd, Tony (Stretford)||Thompson, Jack (Wansbeck)|
|Lofthouse, Geoffrey||Walley, Joan|
|Loyden, Eddie||Wareing, Robert N.|
|McAllion, John||Watson, Mike (Glasgow, C)|
|McCartney, Ian||Williams, Rt Hon Alan|
|McFall, John||Williams, Alan W. (Carm'then)|
|McGrady, Eddie||Winnick, David|
|McKelvey, William||Wise, Mrs Audrey|
|McLeish, Henry||Worthington, Tony|
|McWilliam, John||Tellers for the Noes:|
|Madden, Max||Mrs. Llin Golding and Mr. Allen McKay.|
|Mahon, Mrs Alice|
§ Question accordingly agreed to.
That the draft Northern Ireland (Emergency and Prevention of Terrorism Provisions) (Continuance) Order 1990, which was laid before this House on 26th February, be approved.