HC Deb 15 July 1996 vol 281 cc803-29

(". For paragraph 5 of Schedule 2 to the Asylum and Immigration Appeals Act 1993 ("the 1993 Act") there shall be substituted the following paragraph— 5.—(1) This paragraph applies to an appeal by a person on any of the grounds mentioned in subsections (1) to (4) of section 8 of this Act if the Secretary of State has certified that, in his opinion, the person's claim on the ground that it would be contrary to the United Kingdom's obligations under the Convention for him to be removed from, or be required to leave, the United Kingdom is one to which—

  1. (a) sub-paragraph (2), (3) or (4) below applies; and
  2. (b) sub-paragraph (5) below does not apply.
(2) This sub-paragraph applies to a claim if the country or territory to which the appellant is to be sent is designated in an order made by the Secretary of State by statutory instrument as a country or territory in which it appears to him that there is in general no serious risk of persecution. (3) This sub-paragraph applies to a claim if, on his arrival in the United Kingdom, the appellant was required by an immigration officer to produce a valid passport and either—
  1. (a) he failed to produce a passport without giving a reasonable explanation for his failure to do so; or
  2. (b) he produced a passport which was not in fact valid and failed to inform the officer of that fact.
(4) This sub-paragraph applies to a claim if—
  1. (a) it does not show a fear of persecution by reason of the appellant's race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion;
  2. (b) it shows a fear of such persecution, but the fear is manifestly unfounded or the circumstances which gave rise to the fear no longer subsist;
  3. (c) it is made at any time after the appellant—
    1. (i) has been refused leave to enter under the 1971 Act,
    2. (ii) has been recommended for deportation by a court empowered by that Act to do so,
    3. (iii) has been notified of the Secretary of State's decision to make a deportation order against him by virtue of section 3(5) of that Act, or
    4. (iv) has been notified of his liability to removal under paragraph 9 of Schedule 2 to that Act;
  4. (d) it is manifestly fraudulent, or any of the evidence adduced in its support is manifestly false; or
  5. (e) it is frivolous or vexatious.
(5) This sub-paragraph applies to a claim if the evidence adduced in its support establishes a reasonable likelihood that the appellant has been tortured in the country or territory to which he is to be sent. (6) Rules of procedure under section 22 of the 1971 Act may make special provision in relation to appeals to which this paragraph applies. (7) If on an appeal to which this paragraph applies the special adjudicator agrees that the claim is one to which—
  1. (a) sub-paragraph (2), (3) or (4) above applies; and
  2. (b) sub-paragraph (5) above does not apply,
section 20(1) of that Act shall not confer on the appellant any right to appeal to the Immigration Appeal Tribunal. (8) The first order under this paragraph shall not be made unless a draft of the order has been laid before and approved by a resolution of each House of Parliament. (9) A statutory instrument containing a subsequent order under this paragraph shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament. (10) In this paragraph— `immigration officer' means an immigration officer appointed for the purposes of the 1971 Act; `passport', in relation to an appellant, means a passport with photograph or some other document satisfactorily establishing his identity and nationality or citizenship."")

Read a Second time.

4.40 pm
Mr. Jack Straw (Blackburn)

I beg to move amendment (d) to the Lords amendment, in sub-paragraph (5), after 'claim', insert `(a)'.

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Sir Geoffrey Lofthouse)

With this, it will be convenient to take amendments (e), (f) and (b) and Lords amendment No. 35.

Mr. Straw

The amendments relate to the procedure in respect of the so-called white list of designated allegedly safe countries and the exclusion from the list's operation of applicants who can show reasonable evidence that they have been the victims of serious torture.

We have fundamental objections to the principle and practice of the so-called white list of safe countries—and would not operate it in government—because, under the 1951 United Nations convention on refugees, it is required that each application should be considered on its merits, yet the so-called white list permits the Secretary of State to designate countries in which it appears to him that, in general, there is no serious risk of persecution. The result is that all applications that arise from citizens or residents of designated countries will summarily be refused by the Secretary of State in a peremptory way.

The Minister of State, Home Office (Miss Ann Widdecombe)


. Straw

Well, there must be some purpose to the white list. If the Minister will just contain herself, I shall explain that the list will place a further onus of proof firmly on the applicant. If an applicant from a white list country will be dealt with no differently from an applicant from a non-white list country, the list will serve no purpose. The white list exists to put applicants from designated countries at a disadvantage.

The hon. Member for Aldershot (Sir J. Critchley), for reasons we all understand, is not in his place, but in a letter published in The Times today, he states that the Bill will affect the genuine refugee as well as bogus refugees. The hon. Gentleman adds: It is of course impossible to distinguish the genuine from the fraudulent until a case has been thoroughly examined. We share the hon. Gentleman's apprehension about the way in which that and many other provisions of the Bill will operate, in discriminating against genuine asylum seekers or individuals who would, if their applications were properly examined, be given exceptional leave to remain.

Mr. Michael Fabricant (Mid-Staffordshire)

Does the hon. Gentleman agree that the white list could also speed up the process for certain immigrants? If the hon. Gentleman would like a fast track for all immigrants, will he commit the shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer to the cost of additional immigration staff?

Mr. Straw

The white list system will speed up the process, but indiscriminately. Its purpose is to provide a fast track. In principle, the Government are saying that applicants from designated countries will not have a case. The Home Secretary has declared that in general, there is no risk of persecution—under the 1951 convention definitions—in white list countries. Therefore, a double burden of proof will be placed on applicants originating from those countries.

As to the lion. Gentleman's point on the need to increase and improve efficiency, if a Labour Government do as badly administratively in dealing with asylum applications as the present Government have done, we shall have failed. I remind the hon. Gentleman that in 1993, he voted in favour of the Asylum and Immigration Appeals Bill, while we voted against, on the basis of the promise made by the then Home Secretary—and notwithstanding the fact that he anticipated that the number of applicants would increase—that applications would be dealt with in three months. They are taking about 18 months.

Miss Widdecombe

Does not the hon. Gentleman accept that even applicants from countries on the designated list will have their cases considered on their merits? Is there not an analogy to be drawn with the present situation, in which a small number of applicants even from most designated countries still manage to satisfy us of genuine need each year? Is the hon. Gentleman aware that I assured the Standing Committee, of which he was not a member—I mean that as an observation, not a criticism—that there would be cases where it might be appropriate to remove applicants from the fast-track procedure and would do so?

Mr. Straw

I accept that the Minister believes that applications from individuals even from white list countries will be dealt with on their merits, but there is a logical inconsistency in the hon. Lady's case. Unless the white list ensures a more summary procedure, in which white list applicants will have fewer rights of scrutiny of their cases, it will serve no purpose.

Under examination in the House, the white list proposals fell apart—even more so in the other place, which is why Lords amendment No. 1 is before the House.

Mr. David Alton (Liverpool, Mossley Hill)

I strongly endorse the hon. Gentleman's points. Is he aware that when the Committee considered some of the countries that are to appear on the designated list, Labour Members and others pointed out that the list would have a doubly undesirable effect? Tyrants and despots the world over would hope to see their countries included on the so-called white list and use that for propaganda purposes, to pretend that everything was well from a human rights point of view.

Mr. Straw

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for raising that point.

It was nicely ironic that in the other place the Minister of State, Lady Blatch, spoke about the independent evidence that would be available to Ministers and on which they would base their country assessments. Lady Blatch talked about the Carter Centre, Amnesty International and the US State Department. Would that the British Government had taken notice of the State Department's practice.

In the 1980s, the US faced a more difficult situation on asylum than confronts our country today, yet decided not to follow a white list procedure. One of the State Department's senior officials recently told me of the three reasons for that decision—all of them applicable to the UK. One is that they feared that the inclusion or exclusion of a country from the white list would generate considerable additional litigation in the US courts. That is, of course, almost certainly what would happen in this country. This area of the law is already very complicated and judicial review quite often has to occur because other powers of appeal are inadequate.

Secondly, to pick up directly on the point made by the hon. Member for Liverpool, Mossley Hill (Mr. Alton), the US State Department decided not to go down the road of a white list because of the adverse diplomatic consequences that it feared in respect of countries that were put on the list and then subsequently omitted. It also believed that, perversely, the omission of a country from the list in the first place would encourage asylum seekers to make applications.

The white list began, as we were led to believe, as a great long list. I understand that, now, only seven countries are likely to be designated: India, Pakistan, Ghana, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Poland and Romania. From general knowledge about those countries, one realises that, in almost every one, it is arguable whether there is no general risk of persecution under the convention definitions in respect of either the whole territory or all the communities.

India, for example, for which I have great affection, in which I have spent some time and from which I have many constituents, has achieved a remarkable amount as one of the major democracies of Asia. Although I fully accept that, generally, there is no risk of persecution, the argument cannot run in respect of some of the people in Kashmir, where the most severe difficulties remain.

Miss Emma Nicholson (Torridge and West Devon)

Despite both his and my affection for India, does the hon. Gentleman not agree that were Mr. Rushdie to return there, there might be some fear of persecution? It is right that every case should be considered on its merits, irrespective of the country to which the person might be returning.

Mr. Straw

It depends to which part of the country Mr. Rushdie went, which, in a sense, makes my point and the hon. Lady's. Of course, each case must be considered on its merits.

Pakistan, sadly, has not had the same continuous democratic tradition as India. It is now operating under democratic institutions, but remains very fragile. In the Karachi area, there is a high degree of communal violence, not to say in some instances quite serious political violence. Indeed, it is in the living memory of everyone in the House that Governments in that country, under General Zia for example, routinely tortured political opponents, including, most notoriously but by no means exclusively, the former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the father of the present Prime Minister.

To pick up the point made by the hon. Member for Mossley Hill again, if Pakistan were on the white list and there was a change of regime, it would doubly complicate diplomatic questions to the Foreign Office and the high commission in Pakistan on whether and in what circumstances the country was to be removed from the white list. That would make it much more difficult for us to apply pressure on that country for a restoration of democratic political institutions.

Mr. Max Madden (Bradford, West)

Before my hon. Friend leaves the subject of Pakistan, will he comment on the continuing persecution faced by the religious Ahmadi community? Will he also press the Home Office to produce the home country assessment reports to which he referred? We are still waiting for such reports on India and Pakistan. When on earth will we get them, so that we may see the assessment that the Government are making of human rights in India and Pakistan?

Mr. Straw

The alleged persecution of that community highlights the fact that a country may, generally speaking, respect human rights, but particular communities in it might be the subject of intense persecution. The Government's blanket approach and their attempts to whitewash a country will obscure that issue, which was raised by my hon. Friends the Members for Bradford, West (Mr. Madden) and for Newcastle upon Tyne, North (Mr. Henderson) in Committee.

My hon. Friend the Member for Bradford, West asks when we are likely to get the country assessments. The Minister is better qualified than me to answer that. I can say only that, when the matter was debated in the other place on 23 April, Baroness Blatch said repeatedly that the country assessments would be made available before any affirmative resolution came before the House and the other place asking for approval of the countries on the white list. That leads me directly to amendment (f).

Under pressure in the other place, the Government agreed that the initial list of countries on the white list should be the subject of the affirmative procedure, so that the House would have an opportunity to debate the inclusion of those countries in the list before the list was, as it were, set in concrete. Bizarrely, the Government refused to allow the same procedure to apply when countries that were not on the original list were added to it. That is completely inconsistent, and our amendment would set that right, while allowing Ministers to drop a country from the list when there has been a shift away from democratic institutions, without the immediate necessity to come back to the House.

On Report, in a debate initiated by the hon. Member for Mossley Hill, Ministers agreed that torture, even if it fell outside the 1951 convention, was a good ground on which exceptional leave to remain in this country should be given. The Under-Secretary gave various undertakings to that effect when the matter was debated earlier this year. Again, under pressure in the other place, Ministers finally agreed that the acceptance that torture outside the 1951 convention should be a ground for exclusion from the operation of the white list should be in the Bill, and it now appears in paragraph 5(5) of amendment No. 1.

Our amendment seeks to supplement that provision by providing that, if the person making the application claims to fear persecution in a country or territory where the United Nations committee against torture or the UN special rapporteur on torture has published documentary evidence of extensive practice of torture of the type or in the circumstances referred to in the claim, that person should be exempted from the white list fast-track procedure. I hope that our amendment finds favour with Ministers.

Miss Widdecombe

indicated dissent.

Mr. Straw

The Minister shakes her head, which, in India, of course, means an acceptance of the point. I hope that she has learnt that from visits to that country.

The amendment represents an important supplementary addition to what Ministers say is their concern as much as ours to ensure protection of victims from torture. It is drafted carefully and comes into play only when documentary evidence shows extensive practice of torture of the type and in the circumstances referred to in the claim.

As we have heard and know, India is proposed to be on the white list, yet I have the report of the Commission on Human Rights by the rapporteur on torture relating to India, especially Kashmir, with which my hon. Friend the Member for Newcastle upon Tyne, North has kindly provided me. The rapporteur quite fairly details the allegations of torture that have been received and the Indian Government's response. The report states: The Special Rapporteur transmitted 50 individual cases and received replies to 43 of these cases. The document reveals substantial evidence of torture in Kashmir. I cannot say whether that evidence is wholly corroborated or substantiated. Sadly, neither can the special rapporteur because, according to the report, He continues to believe … that the situation remains such that a visit to the country would be desirable and he regrets that the Government has not yet deemed it appropriate or opportune to invite him.

Mr. Piara S. Khabra (Ealing, Southall)

Does my hon. Friend accept that the Indian Government have set up a human rights commission that has greater powers to investigate cases of torture? In my opinion, that represents an advance in the protection of human rights in India, particularly in Kashmir.

5 pm

Mr. Straw

I accept that the Indian Government, certainly under Narasihma Rao, have made some moves towards ensuring that allegations of torture in Kashmir are properly investigated. As a good friend of India, when I met Narasihma Rao four years ago, I said that the Indian Government's reputation had been damaged by their refusal to allow outsiders, including the United Nations rapporteur, to visit that country.

Ms Liz Lynne (Rochdale)

Does the hon. Gentleman agree that, because of the terrible human rights record in Indian Kashmir, India should not be on the white list? If he were Home Secretary, would India be on that white list?

Mr. Straw

This is not a reproach, but merely an observation. Had the hon. Lady been here at the start of my speech, she would have heard me say that no country would be on the white list. Let me make it absolutely clear that we do not accept the principle of a white list. We believe that it would be far more trouble than it was worth in practical terms. We also consider it unprincipled and we shall not operate it. Meanwhile, our amendment would moderate its effect.

Today is the last day for the House to debate the Bill. It is the worst, least justified measure before Parliament this Session. It comes only two years after the Asylum and Immigration Appeals Act 1993, in respect of which the former Minister, the hon. Member for Bexhill and Battle (Mr. Wardle) said: It is important to make sure that the Asylum Act, which has only been in place for two years, works before we rush through a future piece of legislation. However, Ministers have sought to rush through the legislation without effective scrutiny in a Special Standing Committee, as we proposed.

We all know the real motive behind the Bill, because the cat was let out of the bag in September 1995 by Mr. Andrew Lansley, former head of research at Conservative central office and now a Conservative candidate for a Cambridge constituency. He said: Immigration, an issue we raised successfully in 1992 and again in the 1994 European election campaign, played particularly well in the tabloids and has more potential to hurt. That is the motive behind the Bill. Everything that has occurred since has confirmed Mr. Lansley's chilling admission that the measure is about the use of the race card. I am pleased to say, however, that at least the British people have seen through the moral barrenness and practical vacuity of the measure, and the Government have not achieved the political support that they intended.

Mrs. Ann Winterton (Congleton)

I shall detain the House only briefly, but I should like to speak to amendment (h), in my name and those of hon. Members on both sides of the House.

The amendment seeks to clarify the position with regard to involuntary abortion and sterilisation. There was a very good and thorough debate in another place on Report, on art amendment moved by my noble Friend Lord Ashbourne, and many who spoke in that debate felt that amending the definition of torture was a more appropriate way of protecting the victims of enforced abortion.

During her speech on Report in another place, the Minister of State, my noble Friend Baroness Blatch, in an attempt to say that the Chinese Government did not support coercion, quoted the country reports on human rights practices for 1995. Those reports are submitted annually by the US State Department to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House of Representatives Committee on International Relations. What my noble Friend did not say is clear from a letter sent last year to the House of Representatives Appropriation Committee by a distinguished expert on China, Mr. Stephen W. Mosher, stating: the Government"— of China— blames instances of coercion on 'overzealous local officials' and asserts that such officials are punished as soon as their crimes are detected. None of the above claims are true … none of the provincial family planning regulations adopted since 1979 warns against coercion or specifies penalties for guilty officials. No case of an official being punished for using coercion has ever been cited in the media, although many cases of officials being punished for failing to meet their targets or quotas have appeared. Family planning workers are judged by their party superiors solely on the basis of how well they succeed in holding down the birth rate … All other considerations—including questions of coercion—are secondary. My office recently received a letter from Maggie Wynne, director of the House pro-life caucus, to whom I pay tribute for her dedicated work. She tells me that in 1992 the People's Republic of China passed a law that laid down: A man may not divorce a woman who is required by law to terminate her pregnancy for at least six months. No requirement could be so heartless. What happens if the woman refuses to have an abortion? On that, the law is silent. I presume that the man can then divorce her—if so, then so much for equality.

Civilisations can be judged by how they treat women, children, old people and strangers. Vulnerable people bring out the kindness and the cruelty in every society. One such cruelty is enforced abortion.

I was gratified to read the comments of my noble Friend the Minister of State, who said that the Government would not remove a pregnant woman in circumstances where there was a likelihood that she would be subject to enforced abortion, until after the birth of the child. What would happen after the child was born? Would that woman then be deported? If so, she would face a great many dangers. If she were deported to China, she would be charged—and most likely convicted—with having an illegal child. She would then be forcibly sterilised and fined three or four times the annual wage in China. If she were unable to pay, her house would be demolished.

My noble Friend Baroness Blatch is honourable in her intentions, and I had no doubt whatever as to her sincerity when she said in another place that she would never return a pregnant woman. Unfortunately, future Ministers may not be as sympathetic; that is why I feel it so necessary that the amendment should be included in the Bill as a safeguard.

Miss Widdecombe

I am grateful to my hon. Friend, who has raised an extremely important issue. She knows that I respect her amendment, although I am unable to accept it. Let me put her mind at rest on the point that she has just raised.

When considering whether to return anybody, of course we would consider the predicament that such an individual would then face. If the danger were limited purely to forcible abortion—and that was the only danger—there would be no impediment to returning the woman after the birth of her child. But if she were to face further dangers of the sort outlined by my hon. Friend, that would create a different set of merits under which the case would be considered. We would not return someone to those dangers.

Mrs. Winterton

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for those reassurances. The only problem is that many reassurances given to the House in the past have not been kept. That is why I had hoped that the Government—who are opposed to enforced abortion—would accept this minor clarifying amendment. It rather disappoints me to hear that my hon. Friend will not do so.

Mr. Alton

I warmly agree with the hon. Member for Congleton (Mrs. Winterton), to whom I wish to make two points. First, a woman who presented herself to the Beijing embassy could say that she wanted to seek asylum in the United Kingdom by virtue of her second pregnancy, as she was facing an enforced abortion. In that case, the issue should not arise of whether she would be returned after the birth of her child. But would she be admitted to this country as an asylum seeker at that stage because of her pregnancy? Secondly, what are the implications for all the women in Hong Kong, which will return to communist Chinese rule a year from now?

Mrs. Winterton

The hon. Gentleman raises two extremely valid points, and I am sure that the House will have taken note of them. There is no doubt that practices in China and Hong Kong—when it rejoins mainland China—will not necessarily be ones that we would consider right and proper, and we shall have no jurisdiction over them whatever.

The House may be interested to know that the matter of enforced abortion was considered recently by the European Parliament—hardly a Conservative institution. An amendment to the budget was passed at a plenary session on 24 May this year to ensure that Community assistance shall not be granted to any country … which permits or encourages coerced abortion, forced sterilisation or infanticide as a means of controlling population growth".

Miss Emma Nicholson

I fully support everything that the hon. Lady is saying. Will she expand her remarks to include the dreadful horror of genital mutilation that women face in some countries, forcing them to seek asylum? What are her comments on that?

Mrs. Winterton

I am delighted that—for once during our time in the House—the hon. Lady seems to be on the same side as me. That is quite unusual, and I absolutely agree with her remarks.

It was raised in another place that anyone who might have an abortion voluntarily in another country could then complain here that she was forced to have that abortion. I share that concern. However, there is no evidence that denying asylum to people whose claims are based on enforced abortion will be of any use in preventing false claims. The applicant must prove her claim, so she would have to show that she really did have the abortion against her will. People willing to lie to obtain asylum will simply switch to another story. The solution to credibility problems is careful case-by-case adjudication, not wholesale denial.

Measures to prevent abuse of refugee programmes must distinguish between toughness and meanness. Britons must bear it in mind that the national attributes of which we are justly proud—liberty, decency and fairness—are not free goods. One of the costs that they impose is that we may not return people—even inconvenient people—to dangerous places for subjection to unspeakable acts.

In conclusion, I had hoped that my hon. Friend the Minister would accept this clarifying amendment, although I know that that will not happen. If she had accepted it, there would have been no ambiguity, and the House would have sent out a clear message that enforced abortion is rightly regarded as torture. But I hope that the House will, in due course, have an opportunity to express its opinion on what I believe to be one of the gravest human rights violations imaginable.

Mr. Alton

The amendments fall into three separate categories. Amendments (d) and (e) deal with torture, amendment (f) deals with the designated list, and amendment (b), which was ably spoken to by the hon. Member for Congleton (Mrs. Winterton), deals with a specific kind of torture that can be inflicted on a citizen.

I should like to begin by associating myself with the remarks of the hon. Member for Blackburn (Mr. Straw). I entirely agree with his comments about the designated list; I made similar comments in Committee and on Report. I gave the Committee examples such as Romania, which has been included on the designated list, where abuses of civil, political and religious liberties continue to this day. The danger of including countries on a designated list is that it provides propaganda for the people who run those countries—they are able to claim that their human rights regimes are up to western and civilised standards when that is not the case.

5.15 pm

In many countries—the hon. Member for Blackburn mentioned India—regional variations must be taken into account. What may be the wish of a Government nationally may not be what happens on the ground in some states and provinces, and a designated list cannot take that into account. That is why I will recommend that my right hon. and hon. Friends support the amendments as they apply to the designated list.

On torture, the hon. Member for Blackburn was good enough to mention the all-party amendment that I tabled on Report. I should like to pay tribute here to the Minister of State and her colleagues in another place for going some way to answer some of my points. I recognise that some movement has been made, and I am grateful. The Minister will know that, in another place, the Duke of Norfolk argued succinctly and eloquently about the need to put the word "torture" in the Bill. In a way, that has been attempted between the Bill's consideration in the House of Lords and its return to the Commons.

Amendment (b) aims to clarify what we mean by torture. One area in which there is insufficient clarification is the violation of women's rights. My hon. Friend the Member for Torridge and West Devon (Miss Nicholson) mentioned the mutilation of women as an example, and the hon. Member for Congleton stated what can happen to Chinese women who have more than one child.

I thought it mildly ironic that, last year, some 35,000 women gathered in Beijing to talk about women's rights. In what seemed to me to be almost the ultimate act of political correctness, motions were passed on everything under the sun, including guaranteeing sexual satisfaction to women the world over. Quite who will police these arrangements and what the penalties will be if satisfaction is not achieved I know not, but the women at the conference did not seem to notice the absence of the Chinese women who, clay in, day out, have their human rights violated.

The one-child policy makes China the only country in the world where it is illegal to have a brother or a sister. The implications for next year, not for some faraway country of which we know little, but for the women of Hong Kong, should be glaringly obvious to hon. Members. A friend of mine from Hong Kong told me recently that he thought it unsurprising that many of the women in families of his acquaintance were currently pregnant; they are seeking to avoid the draconian laws that will apply when Hong Kong reverts to Chinese rule.

We cannot claim to have no interest in this issue. Last year, the Government gave £8.5 million to the United Nations Fund for Population Activities, UNFPA, and £7.5 million to the International Planned Parenthood Federation, IPPF. That money was in turn channelled through the Chinese Population Association. A total of £100 million of British taxpayers' money in the past decade alone has aided, abetted and underwritten forced abortion, forcible sterilisation and the forcible fitting of IUDs, and it has been going on for more than 20 years.

There is not just sterilisation and abortion, but infanticide. Since the passing of legislation in China last year, handicapped and disabled babies have been left out to die, merely because of their disabilities, with the force of Chinese law. Surely that will be seen by historians as one of the most shameful episodes of human rights violation and abuse since the eugenics and genocide of the 1930s and 1940s.

Some hon. Members will have seen the film "The Dying Rooms" broadcast on Channel 4 in June 1995. Early this year, a return to the dying rooms was broadcast. Those broadcasts have had a profound effect on many people who simply did not believe that such things were going on in China, and I pay tribute to the brave journalists who made them. On 31 July, Anita Roddick, Paul McCartney, Elton John and Juliet Stevenson are launching a campaign called, "The Dying Rooms—Time for Action", which in their words will outline the circumstances of hundreds of thousands of baby girls who are left to die in China each year". At the height of the mass sterilisation campaign in the 1970s, the UNFPA gave China the first ever United Nations population award for its success in curbing population. The UNFPA provided training for central Government officials responsible for the policy; it provided computer systems to monitor the effectiveness of the programmes in reaching their targets; and it funded the building of two factories that have made China self-sufficient in IUD production. Some 41 per cent. of Chinese women have IUDs inserted, often against their will. They can do little about it. X-ray machines are used to ensure that they do not have them removed.

The UNFPA is a United Nations agency. The United Nations purports to guarantee the right to freely found a family and decide on the number and spacing of the children. In direct contradiction of that guarantee, the communist Chinese Minister for Family Planning, Mr. Qian Zinzhong has said: The size of the family is far too important to be left to the couple. Births are a matter for state planning. The Chinese one-child policy marks it out, uniquely, as a country in which it is illegal to have a brother or sister, where little girls are eliminated in favour of their brothers and where eugenics laws like those favoured by the eugenicists who founded the IPPF now permit the killing of disabled children. The IPPF, with its historic links with eugenicists such as Huxley, Stopes, Sangster and Galton, should never be used as an instrument for utilising British funds.

In 1995, reports from Feng Jia Zhuang and Long Tian Gou—two Catholic areas of China—reveal a combination of religious repression and political coercion. The slogan promoted by the state governments in those two regions is: It is better to have more graves than one more child. The local authorities repeatedly raid people's homes, confiscate families' property, round up the people and beat those who escape into nearby fields. Forced abortions have been performed on women in their last weeks of pregnancy, and women have been forcibly sterilised against their will. Monstrous fines—bigger than an annual income—are imposed on couples who do not comply. One villager had his legs so badly broken that he nearly died and, while concerned relatives inquired about him, they were arrested, abused and forced to pay a huge fine. Another villager unsuccessfully tried to sell his two children in an effort to have his wife freed from gaol.

Far from condemning such practices, the executive director of the UNFPA, Nafis Sadik, said: China has every reason to feel proud and pleased with its remarkable achievements in its family planning policy and control of its population growth over the past ten years. Now China could offer its experiences and special experts to other countries. When I put that quotation to Baroness Chalker, she said that she did not believe that Sadik had ever said it. I pointed out that the quotation was taken from briefing material that had been provided by her Department.

In a report entitled "Women in China: Imprisoned and abused for dissent", Amnesty International, the views of which would be different from mine on the broad sweep of pro-life questions, said: Amnesty International takes no position on the official birth control policy in China, but it is concerned about the human rights violations which result from it, many of which affect women in particular. It is concerned at reports that forced abortion and sterilisation have been carried out by or at the instigation of people acting in an official capacity, such as family planning officials, against women who are detained, restricted or forcibly taken from their homes to have the operations. Amnesty International considers that in these circumstances such actions amount to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of detainees or restricted persons by Government officials. The amendments give us a rare chance to focus on this major human rights question, which political correctness usually ensures does not dare speak its name. Ours is an advanced nation, but in the domestic and international arena we frequently promote policies that are uncivilised and inhumane. On the ground of choice, we sanction the daily killing of 600 unborn children in this country, we permit destructive experiments on human embryos and, on 1 August, we will cull thousands of human embryos, frozen and held in suspended animation having lost their parents. An unborn child may be killed in Britain up to and even during birth because it is disabled, and the terminally ill or chronically infirm are killed by court order. Women in China are abused and their children are killed and we foot the bill. Advanced we may be, but civilised hardly.

This evening, we have the chance to step back from the culture of death and assert civilised values. The first Division will be on torture in general. I hope that right hon. and hon. Members will then vote for the amendment tabled by the hon. Member for Congleton, which commands all-party support and should be incorporated in the Bill.

Dr. Norman A. Godman (Greenock and Port Glasgow)

I promise to be brief in the hope that, among other things, that will please the Chief Whip.

I support the amendment. I am only sorry that it does not incorporate the so-called ritual of female genital mutilation, which vile practice is inflicted on many millions of women each year. I recently asked the Home Office and the Foreign Office what succour they give those countries whose Governments allow such rituals to continue. Would the Minister treat with sympathy an application for asylum by a woman fleeing one of those countries to escape that so-called ritual?

In New York recently, a young woman from Togo sought asylum in the United States on those grounds. She was promptly handcuffed and fettered and put in a New York prison for women. Fortunately, she has been rescued from incarceration and a New York family is looking after her. She was encouraged to flee by her elder sisters, who had suffered that torture. I have heard of other women who have undergone that dreadful practice urging their younger sisters to flee to the west to avoid the torture.

Miss Emma Nicholson

The hon. Member for Congleton (Mrs. Winterton) raised that case. I am sure that the hon. Gentleman will be pleased to learn that the lady concerned has received settlement. I hope that, as the hon. Gentleman and my hon. Friend the Member for Liverpool, Mossley Hill (Mr. Alton) suggest, entry clearance officers in our embassies and high commissions will consider such cases favourably.

Dr. Godman

In fairness to the Government, the Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the right hon. Member for Richmond and Barnes (Mr. Hanley), told me that his Department was working to provide aid to health education programmes in countries whose Governments are making genuine attempts to reduce, if not eliminate, the practice. I know that I will get an answer from the Minister if I can get her attention—she is blethering away to the hon. Member for Chelmsford (Mr. Burns). This is an important issue. If a woman seeks asylum in Britain on such grounds, she should be given it.

5.30 pm
Sir Patrick Cormack (South Staffordshire)

I signed amendment (b) because it seemed to me that I was merely signing a statement of the obvious: 'torture' includes the inflicting of involuntary abortion or involuntary sterilisation, and the phrase 'has been tortured' shall be construed accordingly. For the life of me, I cannot understand how anyone can dissent from such a simple statement of the obvious. I cannot believe that my hon. Friend the Minister will do anything other than accept it. It would not particularly strengthen the Bill, and it certainly cannot weaken it. It would make it clear beyond any doubt that we believe that such barbarous practices are among the worst methods of inflicting torture on a human being.

Miss Widdecombe

I ask the House to resist amendments (d), (e), (f) and (b) and to accept Lords amendments Nos. 1 and 35. Lords amendment No. 1 does three things. It rewrites clause 1 to make it easier to understand; it puts torture on the face of the Bill; and it makes the initial designation order affirmative rather than negative. I take the mood of the House to be that there is no serious dispute with those proposals and I shall therefore concentrate on replying to the other amendments rather than on expanding on their lordships' amendments.

Under amendments (d) and (e), asylum applicants would be excluded from the accelerated appeal procedure if their country of origin is reported by certain UN bodies to have an extensive practice of torture. Let me say right away that I entirely share the House's concern about giving adequate protection to victims of torture. I state categorically that if anyone were to establish that he or she were in danger of torture, that person would have clear grounds for asylum. That has always been the Government's position and that remains our position. The question is whether this additional exemption is helpful. I believe that it is not because the Bill tries to establish the general principle that the individual must make a claim based on that individual's circumstances.

I have already said in response to the hon. Member for Blackburn (Mr. Straw) that there is no intention whatever in the accelerated procedure of failing to consider applications on their merits. There is no intention whatever of depriving people of the opportunity to establish a claim based on torture or on any other valid ground for asylum. The amendments would lead to separate exemption for applicants who, by definition, were unable to establish a claim of torture, notwithstanding their country's poor record. I cannot discern a convincing argument for the proposition that an asylum seeker who has not himself been tortured and whose claim, on individual consideration, is found to be manifestly unfounded or not to qualify for certification under one of the other headings in clause 1, should nevertheless be exempted from having his appeal accelerated.

Secondly, the argument in favour of the Lords amendment—that asylum seekers who have experienced torture in the past may be especially vulnerable and, in particular, may be suffering from traumatic effects that make it desirable to allow them more time to prepare their appeal—cannot be advanced in support of these amendments, which would exempt asylum seekers from having their appeal accelerated if they have not been tortured. Amendments (d) and (e) would mean that for certain nationalities, asylum appeals could not be accelerated even if it became apparent after proper individual consideration that they were manifestly unfounded. The amendments would significantly and unjustifiably restrict the availability of the accelerated appeal procedure. They would greatly reduce the impact of clause I as a deterrent against abuse of appeals and as a means of enabling such appeals to be processed more quickly.

Mr. Doug Henderson (Newcastle upon Tyne, North)

Does the Minister accept that she is mistaken in her reading of our amendment? Amendment (e) relates to cases where applicants claim political asylum because of torture. Its last line refers to the extensive practice of torture of the type and in the circumstances which are referred to in the claim. It therefore relates only to cases where the applicant says that he is afraid of torture in that specific circumstance or area.

Miss Widdecombe

No. If the hon. Gentleman had been listening, he would know that I was not talking about areas or particular religious groups. I said that simply because a country had an established record of torture, an individual whose claim was manifestly unfounded, and who could be shown neither to have been tortured nor reasonably to fear torture, would nevertheless under the amendments be exempt.

Mr. Henderson


Miss Widdecombe

If the hon. Gentleman will forgive me, I want turn to the amendment that occupied most of the debate. It was tabled by my hon. Friend the Member for Congleton (Mrs. Winterton) and ably supported by the hon. Member for Liverpool, Mossley Hill (Mr. Alton), who, in respect of such issues, I often refer to as my hon. Friend. On this occasion, I deeply regret that I cannot accept the amendment as it stands. There are several reasons for that.

First, there is the use of term "involuntary" rather than "forcible". "Involuntary" can cover a wide range of circumstances from, at one end of the spectrum, forcible abortion or sterilisation, which in all circumstances are repugnant and cruel and would indeed constitute torture, to cases where a woman undergoes an abortion because of pressure from her partner or family but not necessarily from the state. That, I am afraid, is the definition of "involuntary". I am sorry to have to tell the hon. Member for Mossley Hill that that is too wide. He will know that if that word were used in the Bill, it would have to be interpreted in that fashion. For those reasons, I cannot accept it.

Mr. Alton

Surely the hon. Lady accepts that, whether the term used is "forcible" or "involuntary", it amounts to the same act of cruelty both to the woman and to her unborn child. Whether the pressure comes from the state, partner or individual, such action has not been from personal choice. It amounts to the same thing.

Miss Widdecombe

The hon. Gentleman is not thinking clearly.

Mr. Madden

The remedy for the defect to which the Minister pointed lies in her hands. Will she table an amendment in another place that uses the term "forcible"? That would meet her objections and the concerns of hon. Members. It would immediately answer the fears of many women, not least those from China.

Miss Widdecombe

Had that been the only objection, I might well have considered that course of action, but as I said in my introductory remarks, there are several reasons why I cannot accept the amendment. However, I stress that both personally and as a Minister I utterly accept that forcible abortion, sterilisation, genital mutilation and allied practices would almost always constitute torture. In fact, they would probably always constitute torture. There is no doubt in my mind that anyone making a case to us on those grounds would have an extremely good case for asylum.

So, in rejecting the amendment, I am not rejecting the argument. I assure my hon. Friend the Member for South Staffordshire (Sir P. Cormack), the hon. Member for Mossley Hill and the hon. Member for Bradford, West (Mr. Madden) that it would be our intention to move in the spirit of the amendment, even if we cannot accept it.

Mrs. Ann Winterton

My hon. Friend will understand that there are deep concerns on this issue on both sides of the House. She will also understand that guarantees have been given at the Dispatch Box on previous occasions which have not in practice been fulfilled later on and that one has become slightly cynical about what Governments of both parties do later on. Can she help us in any way whatever other than by giving her personal assurance as Minister now? Can she go further and do what the hon. Member for Bradford, West (Mr. Madden) suggested? If not, will she receive an all-party delegation to discuss how to take the issue further? It will not go away and the Government will have to act. Would it not be better to act now when she is in a position to do something in a very simple way?

Miss Widdecombe

I share entirely my hon. Friend's concerns and, indeed, those expressed by Opposition Members about this issue. If there is any way forward which can give greater assurances than those which I have pledged at the Dispatch Box tonight, and if there is any way in which we can sensibly and coherently take forward the issues that she has raised, I shall be delighted to consider it, if not under the aegis of the Bill, in some other way.

I will always accept delegations, whether all-party or anything else, that want to talk to me on matters of this level of importance.

Sir Patrick Cormack

I accept that there is something in my hon. Friend's point about the difference between "forcible" and "involuntary". Is she prepared to issue not guidance but clear instructions to those who adjudicate on these matters that anyone who has suffered in that way should be construed to be a victim of torture?

Miss Widdecombe

I have no difficulty whatever in issuing guidance. I am afraid that it would have to be guidance, but it would be clear guidance on that subject. Despite my hon. Friend's fears and anxieties, it is not our practice to turn away people in that circumstance. We certainly have no intention of making it our practice. I have already said to my hon. Friend the Member for Congleton that if I can in some way give force to my assurances, I shall certainly do so.

Mr. Alton

Although no one doubts the Minister's personal position in this regard, does she not understand that this is the only legislative opportunity open to the House and that at the fag end of the proceedings on the Bill it would be better to accept the amendment tonight and allow it to be changed in the other place when it goes back before we rise for the summer than to reject it this evening? Many of us want to press the amendment to a vote in any circumstances. In accepting the amendment, the Minister would at least allow words to be changed, if that is what needs to be done, in the other place.

Will the Minister answer the point that I made earlier about what happens if a woman presents herself to the embassy in Beijing and says that under the one-child policy she is about to be forced to have an abortion? Would our officials there grant her political asylum?

5.45 pm
Miss Widdecombe

Before I answer those points, I shall give way to my hon. Friend the Member for Gainsborough and Horncastle (Mr. Leigh). I shall try to answer both interventions together.

Mr. Edward Leigh (Gainsborough and Horncastle)

Do I understand my hon. Friend correctly? Is she saying that there is general agreement that torture obviously includes enforced abortion by the state? Will she consult her colleagues and parliamentary draftsmen to find out whether there is any way in which, if not here tonight but in another place, we can ensure that the wish of the House is given effect when the Bill becomes an Act of Parliament?

Miss Widdecombe

My hon. Friend was correct in the first half of his question. We would regard enforced abortion as torture, as we would enforced mutilation or sterilisation. I can undertake to put the guidance in instructions to caseworkers and to make that guidance available to the House, if that helps my hon. Friend.

Miss Emma Nicholson

Will the Minister give way?

Dr. Godman

Will the Minister give way?

Miss Widdecombe

I am anxious to answer all the points, but I am continually interrupted when answering one point by someone wanting to make another. For the sake of good order, I should like to answer the points that have been made as fully as I can and then give way, if hon. Members will contain their impatience.

In response to the second point made by my hon. Friend the Member for Gainsborough and Horncastle, if the only objection were the use of the word "involuntary", there might have been a way forward. However, there are other objections, which I shall come to.

In response to the hon. Member for Mossley Hill, if someone presents at an embassy, we will take into account two things. The first is the merits of the case. I think that I have said already that we would consider such reasons to make a meritorious case. However, where people present at embassies rather than on arrival in Britain, we would also consider ties with the United Kingdom and reasons for preferring it to other countries. I cannot give a blanket welcome to absolutely everyone who presents at an embassy with that particular case, but I can say that the merits of that case will have established themselves. As the hon. Gentleman well knows, when people present at embassies abroad, there are other issues to be considered. I could not possibly say that every Chinese woman who presented herself at an embassy abroad would automatically be accepted. The hon. Gentleman can work that one out for himself.

I have tried throughout the debate to assure the House that anyone who comes here and makes a case on the ground of enforced abortion would be considered to have a claim for political asylum. I give way, because I promised and I have not forgotten, to the hon. Members for Greenock and Port Glasgow (Dr. Godman) and for Torridge and West Devon (Miss Nicholson).

Dr. Godman

Does the hon. Lady's ministerial sympathy extend to women seeking to avoid genital mutilation? Does she regard that form of mutilation as torture?

Miss Widdecombe


Miss Emma Nicholson

Will the Minister please explain to the House how her authority will extend over the Foreign Office; how her authority will be so great that it will ring down the decades more strongly than the words that we seek to include in the Bill? It is extremely difficult for all Opposition Members and, I suspect, for most Conservative Members, to take her personal assurance in the way in which she wishes us to take it. It just cannot be true.

Miss Widdecombe

I am sorry that the hon. Lady will not accept my assurances. I have already said that the matter will go into guidance and that I will make that guidance available.

I give way to the hon. Member for Walthamstow (Mr. Gerrard). This will have to be the last intervention before I move on.

Mr. Neil Gerrard (Walthamstow)

The Minister has made an important point in suggesting that if someone went to an embassy and asked to be granted asylum, the embassy would consider the merits of the case and ties with the United Kingdom. That is a much wider point than the question about someone who turns up at the embassy in Beijing suggesting that she may be about to have an enforced abortion. This could affect many people in many countries. Precisely how many people have so far been able to turn up at an embassy and make that case? I have come across cases of people who have ties with the United Kingdom who go to an embassy and ask for a visa on the ground that they wish to ask for asylum. There is never the slightest chance of their being granted admission.

Miss Widdecombe

Neither ties to the United Kingdom on their own nor merits on their own would be sufficient when applicants present from abroad, but I cannot be more specific. I have indulged in a clear question-and-answer session on that point and I wish to move on. I reiterate my sympathy with those who have tabled the amendment, but we cannot accept it.

Furthermore, we have another objection, because we cannot sensibly seek to legislate for each of the different ways in which people may be mistreated or persecuted. There is no logical end to that path and that approach would lead to unwieldy and unmanageable statutes. Special cases make, as we all know, bad legislation and that is why we believe that the right approach is to continue to use the general principles set out in the 1952 United Nations convention. I have assured the House how we would treat applications based on forcible abortion, forcible sterilisation and forcible mutilation and I therefore urge the House to accept Lords amendments Nos. 1 and 35.

Amendment (d) to the Lords amendment negatived.

Amendment proposed to the Lords amendment: (e), in line 46, at end insert `; or (b) if the person making it claims to fear persecution in a country of territory where the United Nations Committee against Torture or the United Nations Special Rapporteur on torture has published documentary evidence showing an extensive practice of torture of the type and in the circumstances which are referred to in the claim.'.—[Mr. Straw.]

Question put, That the amendment to the Lords amendment be made:—

The House divided: Ayes 259, Noes 300.

Division No. 197] [5.51 pm
Abbott, Ms Diane Clark, Dr David (South Shields)
Adams, Mrs Irene Clarke, Tom (Monklands W)
Ainger, Nick Clelland, David
Ainsworth, Robert (Cov'try NE) Clwyd, Mrs Ann
Allen, Graham Coffey, Ann
Alton, David Cohen, Harry
Anderson, Donald (Swansea E) Cook, Frank (Stockton N)
Anderson, Ms Janet (Ros'dale) Cook, Robin (Livingston)
Armstrong, Hilary Corbett, Robin
Ashdown, Rt Hon Paddy Corbyn, Jeremy
Ashton, Joe Corston, Jean
Austin-Walker, John Cousins, Jim
Banks, Tony (Newham NW) Cox, Tom
Barnes, Harry Cunningham, Jim (Covy SE)
Battle, John Cunningham, Roseanna
Bayley, Hugh Dafis, Cynog
Beckett, Rt Hon Margaret Dalyell, Tam
Beith, Rt Hon A J Darling, Alistair
Bell, Stuart Davidson, Ian
Benn, Rt Hon Tony Davies, Chris (L'Boro & S'worth)
Bennett, Andrew F Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli)
Benton, Joe Davies, Ron (Caerphilly)
Bermingham, Gerald Davis, Terry (B'ham, H'dge H'l)
Berry, Roger Denham, John
Betts, Clive Dewar, Donald
Blair, Rt Hon Tony Dixon, Don
Blunkett, David Dobson, Frank
Boateng, Paul Donohoe, Brian H
Bradley, Keith Dowd, Jim
Bray, Dr Jeremy Dunwoody, Mrs Gwyneth
Brown, Gordon (Dunfermline E) Eagle, Ms Angela
Brown, N (N'c'tle upon Tyne E) Eastham, Ken
Bruce, Malcolm (Gordon) Etherington, Bill
Byers, Stephen Evans, John (St Helens N)
Caborn, Richard Ewing, Mrs Margaret
Callaghan, Jim Fatchett, Derek
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge) Faulds, Andrew
Campbell, Menzies (Fife NE) Field, Frank (Birkenhead)
Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V) Fisher, Mark
Campbell-Savours, D N Flynn, Paul
Cann, Jamie Foster, Rt Hon Derek
Chidgey, David Foster, Don (Bath)
Chisholm, Malcolm Foulkes, George
Church, Judith Fyfe, Maria
Clapnam, Michael Galbraith, Sam
Galloway, George McMaster, Gordon
Gapes, Mike McNamara, Kevin
Garrett, John MacShane, Denis
George, Bruce McWilliam, John
Gerrard, Neil Madden, Max
Gilbert, Rt Hon Dr John Maddock, Diana
Godman, Dr Norman A Mahon, Alice
Godsiff, Roger Mandelson, Peter
Golding, Mrs Llin Marek, Dr John
Gordon, Mildred Marshall, David (Shettleston)
Graham, Thomas Martin, Michael J (Springburn)
Grant, Bernie (Tottenham) Martlew, Eric
Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S) Maxton, John
Griffiths, Win (Bridgend) Meacher, Michael
Grocott, Bruce Meale, Alan
Gunnell, John Michael, Alun
Hain, Peter Michie, Bill (Sheffield Heeley)
Hall, Mike Michie, Mrs Ray (Argyll & Bute)
Hanson, David Mitchell, Austin (Gt Grimsby)
Hardy, Peter Moonie, Dr Lewis
Harman, Ms Harriet Morgan, Rhodri
Hattersley, Rt Hon Roy Morris Rt Hon Alfred (Wy'nshawe)
Henderson, Doug Morris, Estelle (B'ham Yardley)
Heppell, John Morris, Rt Hon John (Aberavon)
Hill, Keith (Streatham) Mowlam, Marjorie
Hinchliffe, David Mudie, George
Hoey, Kate Murphy, Paul
Hogg, Norman (Cumbernauld) Nicholson, Emma (Devon West)
Home Robertson, John Oakes, Rt Hon Gordon
Hood, Jimmy O'Brien, Mike (N W'kshire)
Hoon, Geoffrey Olner, Bill
Howarth, George (Knowsley North) Orme, Rt Hon Stanley
Howells, Dr Kim (Pontypridd) Parry, Robert
Hoyle, Doug Pearson, Ian
Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N) Pickthall, Colin
Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N) Pike, Peter L
Hughes, Roy (Newport E) Pope, Greg
Hughes, Simon (Southwark) Powell, Sir Ray (Ogmore)
Hutton, John Prentice, Bridget (Lew'm E)
lllsley, Eric Prentice, Gordon (Pendle)
Ingram, Adam Prescott, Rt Hon John
Jackson, Glenda (H'stead) Primarolo, Dawn
Jackson, Helen (Shef'ld, H) Purchase, Ken
Jamieson, David Quin, Ms Joyce
Jenkins, Brian (SE Staff) Radice, Giles
Johnston, Sir Russell Raynsford, Nick
Jones, Barry (Alyn and D'side) Reid, Dr John
Jones, leuan Wyn (Ynys Môn) Rendel, David
Jones, Jon Owen (Cardiff C) Robertson, George (Hamilton)
Jones, Lynne (B'ham S O) Roche, Mrs Barbara
Jones, Martyn (Clwyd, SW) Rogers, Allan
Jones, Nigel (Cheltenham) Rooker, Jeff
Jowell, Tessa Rooney, Terry
Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald Ross, Ernie (Dundee W)
Keen, Alan Rowlands, Ted
Kennedy, Charles (Ross,C&S) Sedgemore, Brian
Kennedy, Jane (L'pool Br'dg'n) Sheerman, Barry
Khabra, Piara S Sheldon, Rt Hon Robert
kilfoyte, Peter Shore, Rt Hon Peter
kirkwood, Archy Short, Clare
Lestor, Joan (Eccles) Simpson, Alan
Lewis, Terry Skinner, Dennis
Liddell, Mrs Helen Smith, Andrew (Oxford E)
Livingstone, Ken Smith, Chris (Isl'ton S & F'sbury)
Lloyd, Tony (Stretford) Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)
Llwyd, Elfyn Soley, Clive
Loyden, Eddie Spearing, Nigel
Lynne, Ms Liz Squire, Rachel (Dunfermline W)
McAllion, John Steel, Rt Hon Sir David
McAvoy, Thomas Steinberg, Gerry
McCartney, Ian Stevenson, George
Macdonald, Calum Straw, Jack
McFall, John Taylor, Mrs Ann (Dewsbury)
McKelvey, William Taylor, Matthew (Truro)
Mackinlay, Andrew Tipping, Paddy
McLeish, Henry Trickett, Jon
Turner, Dennis Wilson, Brian
Vaz, Keith Winnick, David
Walker, Rt Hon Sir Harold Wise, Audrey
Walley, Joan Wray, Jimmy
Wareing, Robert N Wright, Dr Tony
Watson, Mike Young, David (Bolton SE)
Wicks, Malcolm
Wigley, Dafydd Tellers for the Ayes:
Williams, Rt Hon Alan (Sw'n W) Mr. John Cummings and Mr. Eric Clarke.
Williams, Alan W (Carmarthen)
Ainsworth, Peter (East Surrey) Davies, Quentin (Stamford)
Aitken, Rt Hon Jonathan Davis, David (Boothferry)
Alison, Rt Hon Michael (Selby) Day, Stephen
Allason, Rupert (Torbay) Deva, Nirj Joseph
Amess, David Devlin, Tim
Arbuthnot, James Dorrell, Rt Hon Stephen
Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham) Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James
Arnold, Sir Thomas (Hazel Grv) Dover, Den
Ashby, David Duncan, Alan
Aspinwall, Jack Duncan Smith, Iain
Atkins, Rt Hon Robert Dunn, Bob
Atkinson, Peter (Hexham) Durant, Sir Anthony
Baker, Nicholas (North Dorset) Eggar, Rt Hon Tim
Baldry, Tony Elletson, Harold
Banks, Matthew (Southport) Emery, Rt Hon Sir Peter
Banks, Robert (Harrogate) Evans, David (Welwyn Hatfield)
Bates, Michael Evans, Jonathan (Brecon)
Batiste, Spencer Evans, Nigel (Ribble Valley)
Bellingham, Henry Evans, Roger (Monmouth)
Bendall, Vivian Evennett, David
Beresford, Sir Paul Faber, David
Biffen, Rt Hon John Fabricant, Michael
Body, Sir Richard Fenner, Dame Peggy
Bonsor, Sir Nicholas Field, Barry (Isle of Wight)
Booth, Hartley Fishbum, Dudley
Boswell, Tim Forman, Nigel
Bottomley, Peter (Eltham) Forsyth, Rt Hon Michael (Stirling)
Bottomley, Rt Hon Virginia Forth, Eric
Bowden, Sir Andrew Fox, Rt Hon Sir Marcus (Shipley)
Bowis, John Freeman, Rt Hon Roger
Boyson, Rt Hon Sir Rhodes French, Douglas
Brandreth, Gyles Fry, Sir Peter
Brazier, Julian Gale, Roger
Bright, Sir Graham Gallie, Phil
Brooke, Rt Hon Peter Gardiner, Sir George
Brown, M (Brigg & Cl'thorpes) Garnier, Edward
Browning, Mrs Angela Gill, Christopher
Bruce, Ian (South Dorset) Gillan, Cheryl
Budgen, Nicholas Goodlad, Rt Hon Alastair
Burns, Simon Goodson-Wickes, Dr Charles
Burt, Alistair Gorman, Mrs Teresa
Butcher, John Gorst, Sir John
Butler, Peter Grant Sir A (SW Cambs)
Butterfill, John Greenway, Harry (Ealing N)
Carlisle, John (Luton North) Greenway, John (Ryedale)
Carlisle, Sir Kenneth (Lincoln) Griffiths, Peter (Portsmouth, N)
Carrington, Matthew Grylls, Sir Michael
Carttiss, Michael Gummer, Rt Hon John Selwyn
Cash, William Hague, Rt Hon William
Channon, Rt Hon Paul Hamilton, Rt Hon Sir Archibald
Chapman, Sir Sydney Hamilton, Neil (Tatton)
Clappison, James Hampson, Dr Keith
Clarke, Rt Hon Kenneth (Ru'clif) Hannam, Sir John
Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey Hargreaves, Andrew
Coe, Sebastian Haselhurst, Sir Alan
Colvin, Michael Hawkins, Nick
Congdon, David Hawksley, Warren
Coombs, Simon (Swindon) Hayes, Jerry
Cope, Rt Hon Sir John Heald, Oliver
Cormack, Sir Patrick Heath, Rt Hon Sir Edward
Couchman, James Heathcoat-Amory, Rt Hon David
Cran, James Hendry, Charles
Currie, Mrs Edwina (S D'by'ire) Heseltine, Rt Hon Michael
Curry, David (Skipton & Ripon) Hicks, Sir Robert
Higgins, Rt Hon Sir Terence Paice, James
Hill, Sr James (Southampton Test) Patnick, Sir Irvine
Hogg, Rt Hon Douglas (G'tham) Patten, Rt Hon John
Horam, John Pattie, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey
Hordem, Rt Hon Sir Peter Pawsey, James
Howard, Rt Hon Michael Peacock, Mrs Elizabeth
Howell, Rt Hon David (G'dford) Pickles, Eric
Howell, Sir Ralph (N Norfolk) Porter, Barry (Wirral S)
Hughes, Robert G (Harrow W) Potter, David (Waveney)
Hunt, Rt Hon David (Wirral W) Portillo, Rt Hon Michael
Hunt, Sir John (Ravensboume) Powell, William (Corby)
Hunter, Andrew Rathbone, Tim
Hurd, Rt Hon Douglas Redwood, Rt Hon John
Jack, Michael Renton, Rt Hon Tim
Jackson, Robert (Wantage) Richards, Rod
Jenkin, Bernard Riddck, Graham
Jessel, Toby Robathan, Andrew
Johnson-Smith, Sir Geoffrey Roberts, Rt Hon Sir Wyn
Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N) Robertson, Raymond (Ab'd'n S)
Jones, Robert B (W Hertfdshr) Robinson, Mark (Somerton)
Jopling, Rt Hon Michael Roe, Mrs Marion (Broxbourne)
Kellett-Bowman, Dame Elaine Ross, William (E Londonderry)
King, Rt Hon Tom Rowe, Andrew (Mid Kent)
Kirkhope, Timothy Rumbold, Rt Hon Dame Angela
Knapman, Roger Ryder, Rt Hon Richard
Knight, Mrs Angela (Erewash) Sackville, Tom
Knight, Rt Hon Greg (Derby N) Sainsbury, Rt Hon Sr Timothy
Knight, Dame Jill (Bir'm E'sf'n) Scott, Rt Hon Sir Nicholas
Knox, Sir David Shaw, David (Dover)
Kynoch, George (Kincardine) Shephard, Rt Hon Gillian
Lait, Mrs Jacqui Shepherd, Sr Colin (Hereford)
Lamont, Rt Hon Norman Shepherd, Richard (Aldridge)
Lang, Rt Hon Ian Sims, Sir Roger
Lawrence, Sir Ivan Skeet, Sir Trevor
Legg, Barry Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield)
Leigh, Edward Smyth, The Reverend Martin
Lennox-Boyd, Sir Mark Soames, Nicholas
Lidington, David Speed, Sir Keith
Lilley, Rt Hon Peter Spencer, Sir Derek
Lloyd, Rt Hon Sir Peter (Fareham) Spicer, Sir James (W Dorset)
Lord, Michael Spicer, Sr Michael (S Worcs)
Lyell, Rt Hon Sir Nicholas Spink, Dr Robert
MacGregor, Rt Hon John Spring, Richard
MacKay, Andrew Sproat, Iain
Maclean, Rt Hon David Squire, Robin (Hornchurch)
McLoughlin, Patrick Stanley, Rt Hon Sir John
McNair-Wilson, Sir Patrick Steen, Anthony
Madel, Sir David Stephen, Michael
Maitland, Lady Olga Stern, Michael
Major, Rt Hon John Stewart, Allan
Malone, Gerald Streeter, Gary
Mans, Keith Sumberg, David
Marland, Paul Sweeney, Walter
Marlow, Tony Sykes, John
Marshall, John (Hendon S) Tapsell, Sir Peter
Marshall, Sir Michael (Arundel) Taylor, Ian (Esher)
Martin, David (Portsmouth S) Taylor, Rt Hon John D (Strgfd)
Mawhinney, Rt Hon Dr Brian Taylor, John M (Solihull)
Mellor, Rt Hon David Taylor, Sir Teddy (Southend, E)
Merchant, Piers Temple-Morris, Peter
Mills, Iain Thomason, Roy
Mitchell, Andrew (Gedling) Thompson, Sir Donald (C'er V)
Mitchell, Sir David (NW Hants) Thompson, Patrick (Norwich N)
Moate, Sir Roger Thornton, Sir Malcolm
Molyneaux, Rt Hon Sir James Townend, John (Bridlington)
Monro, Rt Hon Sir Hector Townsend, Cyril D (Bexl'yh'th)
Montgomery, Sir Fergus Tracey, Richard
Moss, Malcolm Tredinnick, David
Nelson, Anthony Trend, Michael
Neubert, Sir Michael Trotter, Neville
Newton, Rt Hon Tony Twinn, Dr Ian
Nicholson, David (Taunton) Vaughan, Sir Gerard
Norris, Steve Viggers, Peter
Oppenheim, Phillip Waldegrave, Rt Hon William
Ottaway, Richard Walden, George
Page, Richard Walker, Bill (N Tayside)
Waller, Gary Willetts, David
Ward, John Wilshire, David
Wardle, Charles (Bexhill) Winterton, Mrs Ann (Congleton)
Waterson, Nigel Winterton, Nicholas (Macc'fld)
Watts, John Wolfson, Mark
Wells, Bowen Wood, Timothy
Wheeler, Rt Hon Sir John Yeo, Tim
Whitney, Ray Young, Rt Hon Sir George
Whittingdale, John
Widdecombe, Ann Tellers for the Noes:
Wiggin, Sir Jerry Mr. Derek Conway and Dr. Liam Fox.
Wilkinson, John

Question accordingly negatived.

Amendment proposed to the Lords amendment: (b), in line 67, at end add —

'"torture" includes the inflicting of involuntary abortion or involuntary sterilisation, and the phrase "has been tortured" shall be construed accordingly.'.— [Mr. Alton.]

Question put, That the amendment to the Lords amendment be made:—

The House divided: Ayes 266, Noes 290.

Division No. 198] [6.06 pm
Abbott, Ms Diane Clarke, Tom (Monklands W)
Adams, Mrs Irene Clelland, David
Ainger, Nick Clwyd, Mrs Ann
Ainsworth, Robert (Cov'try NE) Coffey, Ann
Allen, Graham Cohen, Harry
Anderson, Donald (Swansea E) Cook, Frank (Stockton N)
Anderson, Ms Janet (Ros'dale) Cook, Robin (Livingston)
Armstrong, Hilary Corbett, Robin
Ashdown, Rt Hon Paddy Corbyn, Jeremy
Ashton, Joe Corston, Jean
Austin-Walker, John Cousins, Jim
Banks, Tony (Newham NW) Cox, Tom
Barnes, Harry Cummings, John
Battle, John Cunningham, Jim (Covy SE)
Bayley, Hugh Cunningham, Roseanna
Beckett, Rt Hon Margaret Dafis, Cynog
Beith, Rt Hon A J Dalyell, Tam
Bell, Stuart Darling, Alistair
Benn, Rt Hon Tony Davidson, Ian
Bennett, Andrew F Davies, Chris (L'Boro & S'worth)
Benton, Joe Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli)
Bermingham, Gerald Davies, Ron (Caerphilly)
Berry, Roger Davis, Terry (B'ham, H'dge H'l)
Betts, Clive Denham, John
Blair, Rt Hon Tony Dewar, Donald
Blunkett, David Dixon, Don
Boateng, Paul Dobson, Frank
Bradley, Keith Donohoe, Brian H
Bray, Dr Jeremy Dowd, Jim
Brown, Gordon (Dunfermline E) Dunwoody, Mrs Gwyneth
Brown, N (N'c'tle upon Tyne E) Eagle, Ms Angela
Bruce, Malcolm (Gordon) Eastham, Ken
Byers, Stephen Etherington, Bill
Caborn, Richard Evans, John (St Helens N)
Callaghan, Jim Ewing, Mrs Margaret
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge) Fatchett, Derek
Campbell, Menzies (Fife NE) Faulds, Andrew
Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V) Field, Frank (Birkenhead)
Campbell-Savours, D N Fisher, Mark
Cann, Jamie Flynn, Paul
Chidgey, David Foster, Rt Hon Derek
Chisholm, Malcolm Foster, Don (Bath)
Church, Judith Foulkes, George
Clapham, Michael Fraser, John
Clark, Dr David (South Shields) Fyfe, Maria
Clarke, Eric (Midbthian) Galbratth, Sam
Galloway, George McNamara, Kevin
Gapes, Mike MacShane, Denis
Garrett, John McWilliam, John
George, Bruce Madden, Max
Gerrard, Neil Maddock, Diana
Gilbert, Rt Hon Dr John Maginnis, Ken
Godman, Dr Norman A Mahon, Alice
Godsiff, Roger Mandelson, Peter
Golding, Mrs Llin Marek, Dr John
Gordon, Mildred Marshall, David (Shettleston)
Graham, Thomas Martin, Michael J (Springbum)
Grant, Bernie (Tottenham) Martlew, Eric
Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S) Maxton, John
Griffiths, Win (Bridgend) Meacher, Michael
Grocott, Bruce Meale, Alan
Gunnell, John Michael, Alun
Hain, Peter Michie, Bill (Sheffield Heeley)
Hall, Mike Michie, Mrs Ray (Argyll & Bute)
Hanson, David Mitchell, Austin (Gt Grimsby)
Hardy, Peter Molyneaux, Rt Hon Sir James
Harman, Ms Harriet Moonie, Dr Lewis
Hattersley, Rt Hon Roy Morgan, Rhodri
Henderson, Doug Morris, Rt Hon Alfred (Wy'nshawe)
Heppell, John Morris, Estelle (B'ham Yardley)
Hill, Keith (Streatham) Morris, Rt Hon John (Aberavon)
Hinchlrtfe, David Mowlam, Marjorie
Hoey, Kate Mudie, George
Hogg, Norman (Cumbernauld) Murphy, Paul
Home Robertson, John Nicholson, Emma (Devon West)
Hood, Jimmy Oakes, Rt Hon Gordon
Hoon, Geoffrey O'Brien, William (Normanton)
Howarth, George (Knowsley North) Olner, Bill
Howells, Dr Kim (Pontypridd) O'Neill, Martin
Hoyie, Doug Orme, Rt Hon Stanley
Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N) Parry, Robert
Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N) Pearson, Ian
Hughes, Roy (Newport E) Pickthall, Colin
Hughes, Simon (Southwark) Pike, Peter L
Hutton, John Pope, Greg
lllsley, Eric Powell, Sir Ray (Ogmore)
Ingram, Adam Prentice, Bridget (Lew'm E)
Jackson, Glenda (H'stead) Prentice, Gordon (Pendle)
Jackson, Helen (Shefld, H) Prescott, Rt Hon John
Jamieson, David Primarob, Dawn
Jenkins, Brian (SE Staff) Purchase, Ken
Johnston, Sir Russell Quin, Ms Joyce
Jones, Barry (Alyn and D'side) Radtoe, Giles
Jones, leuan Wyn (Ynys Môn) Raynsford, Nick
Jones, Jon Owen (Cardiff C) Reid, Dr John
Jones, Lynne (B'ham S O) Rendel, David
Jones, Martyn (Clwyd, SW) Robertson, George (Hamilton)
Jones, Nigel (Cheltenham) Roche, Mrs Barbara
Jowell, Tessa Rogers, Allan
Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald Rooker, Jeff
Keen, Alan Rooney, Terry
Kennedy, Charles (Ross,C&S) Ross, Ernie (Dundee W)
Kennedy, Jane (L'pool Br'dg'n) Ross, William (E Londonderry)
Khabra, Piara S Rowlands, Ted
Kilfoyte, Peter Sedgemore, Brian
Kirkwood, Archy Sheerman, Barry
Lester, Sir James (Broxtowe) Sheldon, Rt Hon Robert
Lewis, Terry Shore, Rt Hon Peter
Liddell, Mrs Helen Short, Clare
Livingstone, Ken Simpson, Alan
Lloyd, Tony (Stretford) Skinner, Dennis
Llwyd, Elfyn Smith, Andrew (Oxford E)
Loyden, Eddie Smith, Chris (Isl'ton S & Fsbury)
McAllion, John Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)
McAvoy, Thomas Smyth, The Reverend Martin
McCartney, Ian Soley, Clive
MacdonakJ, Calum Spearing, Nigel
McFall, John Squire, Rachel (Dunfermline W)
McKelvey, William Steel, Rt Hon Sir David
Mackinlay, Andrew Steinberg, Gerry
McLeish, Henry Stevenson, George
McMaster, Gordon Straw, Jack
Taylor, Mrs Ann (Dewsbury) Wigley, Dafydd
Taylor, Rt Hon John D (Strgfd) Williams, Rt Hon Alan (Sw'n W)
Taylor, Matthew (Truro) Williams, Alan W (Carmarthen)
Tipping, Paddy Wilson, Brian
Trickett, Jon Winnick, David
Turner, Dennis Wise, Audrey
Tyler, Paul Wray, Jimmy
Vaz, Keith Wright, Dr Tony
Walker, Rt Hon Sir Harold Young, David (Bolton SE)
Walley, Joan
Wareing, Robert N Tellers for the Ayes:
Watson, Mike Ms Liz Lynne and Mr. David Alton.
Wicks, Malcolm
Ainsworth, Peter (East Surrey) Curry, David (Skipton & Ripon)
Aitken, Rt Hon Jonathan Davies, Quentin (Stamford)
Alison, Rt Hon Michael (Selby) Davis, David (Boothferry)
Allason, Rupert (Torbay) Day, Stephen
Amess, David Deva, Nirj Joseph
Arbuthnot, James Devlin, Tim
Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham) Dorrell, Rt Hon Stephen
Arnold, Sir Thomas (Hazel Grv) Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James
Ashby, David Dover, Den
Aspinwall, Jack Duncan, Alan
Atkins, Rt Hon Robert Duncan Smith, Iain
Atkinson, Peter (Hexham) Dunn, Bob
Baker, Nicholas (North Dorset) Durant, Sir Anthony
Baldry, Tony Dykes, Hugh
Banks, Matthew (Southport) Eggar, Rt Hon Tim
Banks, Robert (Harrogate) Elletson, Harold
Bates, Michael Emery, Rt Hon Sir Peter
Batiste, Spencer Evans, David (Welwyn Hatfield)
Bellingham, Henry Evans, Jonathan (Brecon)
Beresfond, Sir Paul Evans, Nigel (Ribble Valley)
Biffen, Rt Hon John Evans, Roger (Monmouth)
Body, Sir Richard Evennett, David
Bonsor, Sir Nicholas Faber, David
Booth, Hartley Fabricant, Michael
Boswell, Tim Fenner, Dame Peggy
Bottomley, Peter (Eltham) Field, Barry (Isle of Wight)
Bottomley, Rt Hon Virginia Fishburn, Dudley
Bowden, Sir Andrew Forman, Nigel
Bowis, John Forsyth, Rt Hon Michael (Stirling)
Boyson, Rt Hon Sir Rhodes Forth, Eric
Brandreth, Gyles Fox, Fit Hon Sir Marcus (Shipley)
Brazier, Julian Freeman, Rt Hon Roger
Bright, Sir Graham French, Douglas
Brooke, Rt Hon Peter Fry, Sir Peter
Brown, M (Brigg & Cl'thorpes) Gale, Roger
Browning, Mrs Angela Gallie, Phil
Bruce, Ian (South Dorset) Gardiner, Sir George
Budgen, Nicholas Garnier, Edward
Burns, Simon Gill, Christopher
Burt, Alistair Gillan, Cheryl
Butcher, John Goodlad, Rt Hon Alastair
Butler, Peter Goodson-Wickes, Dr Chartes
Butterfill, John Gorman, Mrs Teresa
Carlisle, John (Luton North) Gorst, Sir John
Carlisle, Sir Kenneth (Lincoln) Grant Sir A (SW Cambs)
Carrington, Matthew Greenway, Harry (Ealing N)
Cash, William Greenway, John (Ryedale)
Channon, Rt Hon Paul Griffiths, Peter (Portsmouth, N)
Chapman, Sir Sydney Grylls, Sir Michael
Clappison, James Gummer, Rt Hon John Selwyn
Clarke, Rt Hon Kenneth (Ru'clif) Hague, Rt Hon William
Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey Hamilton, Fit Hon Sir Archibald
Coe, Sebastian Hamilton, Neil (Tatton)
Colvin, Michael Hampson, Dr Keith
Congdon, David Hannam, Sir John
Coombs, Anthony (Wyre For'st) Hargreaves, Andrew
Coombs, Simon (Swindon) Haselhurst, Sir Alan
Cope, Rt Hon Sir John Hawkins, Nick
Couchman, James Hawksley, Warren
Cran, James Hayes, Jerry
Currie, Mrs Edwina (S D'by'ire) Heald, Oliver
Heath, Rt Hon Sir Edward Oppenheim, Phillip
Heathcoat-Amory, Rt Hon David Ottaway, Richard
Hendry, Charles Page, Richard
Heseltine, Rt Hon Michael Paice, James
Hicks, Sir Robert Patnick, Sir Irvine
Higgins, Rt Hon Sir Terence Patten, Rt Hon John
Hill, Sir James (Southampton Test) Pattie, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey
Hogg, Rt Hon Douglas (G'tham) Pawsey, James
Horam, John Peacock, Mrs Elizabeth
Hordern, Rt Hon Sir Peter Pickles, Eric
Howard, Rt Hon Michael Porter, Barry (Wirral S)
Howell, Rt Hon David (G'dford) Porter, David (Waveney)
Howell, Sir Ralph (N Norfolk) Portillo, Rt Hon Michael
Hughes, Robert G (Harrow W) Powell, William (Corby)
Hunt Rt Hon David (Wirral W) Rathbone, Tim
Hunt Sir John (Ravensbourne) Redwood, Rt Hon John
Hunter, Andrew Renton, Rt Hon Tim
Hurd, Rt Hon Douglas Richards, Rod
Jack, Michael Riddick, Graham
Jackson, Robert (Wantage) Robathan, Andrew
Jenkin, Bernard Roberts, Rt Hon Sir Wyn
Jessel, Toby Robertson, Raymond (Ab'd'n S)
Johnson Smith, Sir Geoffrey Robinson, Mark (Somerton)
Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N) Roe, Mrs Marion (Broxbourne)
Jones, Robert B (W Hertfdshr) Rowe, Andrew (Mid Kent)
Jopling, Rt Hon Michael Rumbold, Rt Hon Dame Angela
Kellett-Bowman, Dame Elaine Ryder, Rt Hon Richard
King, Rt Hon Tom Sackville, Tom
Kirkhope, Timothy Sainsbury, Rt Hon Sir Timothy
Knapman, Roger Scott, Rt Hon Sir Nicholas
Knight Mrs Angela (Erewash) Shaw, David (Dover)
Knight Rt Hon Greg (Derby N) Shephard, Rt Hon Gillian
Knight Dame Jill (Bir'm E'st'n) Shepherd, Sir Colin (Hereford)
Knox, Sir David Shepherd, Richard (Aldridge)
Kynoch, George Sims, Sir Roger
Lait, Mrs Jacqui Skeet, Sir Trevor
Lamont, Rt Hon Norman Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield)
Lang, Rt Hon Ian Soames, Nicholas
Lawrence, Sir Ivan Speed, Sir Keith
Legg, Barry Spencer, Sir Derek
Lennox-Boyd, Sir Mark Spicer, Sir James (W Dorset)
Lidington, David Spfcer, Sir Michael (S Worcs)
Lilley, Rt Hon Peter Spink, Dr Robert
Lloyd, Rt Hon Sir Peter (Fareham) Spring, Richard
Lord, Michael Sproat Iain
Lyell, Rt Hon Sir Nicholas Squire, Robin (Hornchurch)
MacGregor, Rt Hon John Stanley, Rt Hon Sir John
MacKay, Andrew Steen, Anthony
Maclean, Rt Hon David Stephen, Michael
McLoughlin, Patrick Stern, Michael
McNair-Wilson, Sir Patrick Stewart, Allan
Madel, Sir David Streeter, Gary
Maitland, Lady Olga Sweeney, Walter
Matone, Gerald Sykes, John
Mans, Keith Tapsell, Sir Peter
Marland, Paul Taylor, Ian (Esher)
Marlow, Tony Taylor, John M (Solihull)
Marshall, John (Hendon S) Taylor, Sir Teddy (Southend, E)
Marshall, Sir Michael (Arundel) Temple-Morris, Peter
Martin, David (Portsmouth S) Thomason, Roy
Mawhinney, Rt Hon Dr Brian Thompson, Sir Donald (C'er V)
Mellor, Rt Hon David Thompson, Patrick (Norwich N)
Merchant Piers Thornton, Sir Malcolm
Mills, Iain Townend, John (Bridlington)
Mitchell, Andrew (Gedling) Townsend, Cyril D (Bexl'yh'th)
Mitchell, Sir David (NW Hants) Tracey, Richard
Moate, Sir Roger Tredinnick, David
Monro, Rt Hon Sir Hector Trend, Michael
Moss, Malcolm Trotter, Neville
Needham, Rt Hon Richard Twinn, Dr Ian
Nelson, Anthony Vaughan, Sir Gerard
Neubert, Sir Michael Viggers, Peter
Newton, Rt Hon Tony Waldegrave, Rt Hon William
Nicholls, Patrick Walden, George
Nicholson, David (Taunton) Walker, Bill (N Tayside)
Norris, Steve Waller, Gary
Wardle, Charles Willetts, David
Waterson, Nigel Wilshire, David
Watts, John Wolfson, Mark
Wells, Bowen Wood, Timothy
Wheeler, Rt Hon Sir John Yeo, Tim
Whitney, Ray Young, Rt Hon Sir George
Whittingdale, John
Widdecombe, Ann Tellers for the Noes:
Wiggin, Sir Jerry Mr. Derek Conway and Dr. Liam Fox.
Wilkinson, John

Question accordingly negatived.

Lords amendment agreed to.

Madam Deputy Speaker (Dame Janet Fookes)

We move to Lords amendment No. 2, with which is grouped Lords amendments Nos. 3 and 6.

Miss Widdecombe

I beg to move formally, That this House doth agree with the Lords in amendments Nos. 2 and 3, and I beg to move formally, That this House doth disagree with the Lords in amendment No. 6; and I move amendment (a) in lieu.

Lords amendments Nos. 2 and 3 agreed to.

Mr. Peter Bottomley (Eltham)

On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. I understand that we have approved Lords amendments Nos. 2 and 3. May I clarify the procedure? My hon. Friend the Minister has moved formally that we disagree with Lords amendment No. 6, but will we still have an opportunity to debate it?

Madam Deputy Speaker

I think that the answer is no.

Mr. Bottomley

Further to that point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. If Lords amendment No. 6 is the one that grants asylum seekers three days in which to apply—

Hon. Members

No, it is not.

Madam Deputy Speaker

I think that the hon. Gentleman may be interested in a later amendment.

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