HL Deb 30 January 1996 vol 568 cc1359-61

6.25 p.m.

Earl Russell rose to move to resolve, That this House calls on Her Majesty's Government, following the implementation of the Social Security (Persons From Abroad) Miscellaneous Amendments Regulations 1996 (S.I. 1996 No. 30), to ensure that asylum seekers pursuing appeals have visible legal means of support pending the conclusion of their appeals.

The noble Earl said: My Lords, I promised the Minister not to take more than two minutes. When I listened to him I was reminded of a remark by Sydney Smith: "I wish I were as sure of anything as Tom Macaulay is of everything".

The Minister relied heavily on the idea of the bogus asylum seeker. But these regulations make no attempt whatever to distinguish between the bogus and the genuine. They sweep them all up together and penalise the lot. They put the Minister in the position of Sherlock Holmes's Inspector Athelney Jones, who, wishing to find a murderer in the house, arrested the whole household. Holmes finally remarked, "I see, Inspector, you have one genuine fish in your large haul".

The noble Lord, Lord Brabazon of Tara, challenged us in regard to treatment of bogus claims. That is a matter for individual examination, and improving individual examination is the only way to do it. Anything done by the regulations in relation to bogus claims is entirely wide of the question. The regulations are not relevant to that argument.

The Minister said that the right of appeal remained intact. So, in a formal sense, it does. But if one cannot live, if one cannot have an address, if one cannot eat and one cannot have papers served upon one, one's right of appeal is rendered nugatory.

The Minister wanted to withdraw an incentive to put forward unfounded appeals. But that argument applies against the whole of our criminal justice system. The argument does too much. I offered the Minister a sporting challenge to show what will happen to the people who are refused benefit. He most unsportingly ducked it. The Minister made a point in relation to the people whose appeals fail. But those people may legally be deported; they are not in the position of those people who can neither go nor stay. The Minister said that they come to enjoy our freedoms, not our benefits. I believe that our right to benefit is one of our freedoms. I beg to move.

6.27 p.m.

On Question, Whether the said Motion shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 126; Not-Contents, 175.

Division No. 1
Acton, L. Kinloss, Ly.
Addington, L. Kirkwood, L.
Airedale, L. Lester of Herne Hill, L.
Ashley of Stoke, L. Lincoln, Bp.
Attlee, E. Listowel, E.
Avebury, L. Lockwood, B.
Bancroft, L. Longford, E.
Barnett, L. Lovell-Davis, L.
Beaumont of Whitley, L. Macaulay of Bragar, L.
Berkeley, L. McGregor of Durris, L.
Birk, B. McIntosh of Haringey, L.
Blackstone, B. Mackie of Benshie, L.
Blease, L. McNair, L.
Borrie, L. McNally, L.
Brentford, V. Mallalieu, B.
Bridges, L. Mar, C.
Broadbridge, L. Masham of Ilton, B.
Carmichael of Kelvingrove, L. Mason of Barnsley, L.
Carter, L. Mayhew, L.
Castle of Blackburn, B. Merlyn-Rees, L.
Chelmsford, Bp. Meston, L.
Cledwyn of Penrhos, L. Milner of Leeds, L.
Clinton-Davis, L. Monkswell, L.
Cocks of Hartcliffe, L. Moore of Wolvercote, L.
David, B. Morris of Castle Morris, L.
Dean of Beswick, L. Murray of Epping Forest, L.
Dean of Thornton-le-Fylde, B. Nathan, L.
Desai, L. Nicol, B.
Diamond, L. Ogmore, L.
Donaldson of Kingsbridge, L. Palmer, L.
Dormand of Easington, L. Peston, L.
Dubs, L. Prys-Davies, L.
Elis-Thomas, L. Rea, L.
Ezra, L. Redesdale, L.
Falkender, B. Richard, L.
Farrington of Ribbleton, B. Ripon, Bp.
Freyberg, L. Robson of Kiddington, B.
Gallacher, L. Rochester, L.
Geraint, L. Runciman of Doxford, V.
Gladwin of Clee, L. Russell, E. [Teller.]
Glenamara, L. Sainsbury, L.
Graham of Edmonton, L. [Teller.] St. John of Bletso, L.
Gregson, L. Sandwich, E.
Grey, E. Seear, B.
Hamwee, B. Sefton of Garston, L.
Harris of Greenwich, L. Serota, B.
Haskel, L. Shepherd, L.
Hayman, B. Strabolgi, L.
Healey, L. Taylor of Gryfe, L.
Henderson of Brompton, L. Thurso, V.
Hilton of Eggardon, B. Tope, L.
Hollis of Heigharn, B. Tordoff, L.
Howell, L. Turner of Camden, B.
Howie of Troon, L. Varley, L.
Hughes, L. Wallace of Saltaire, L.
Hutchinson of Lullington. L. Walpole, L.
Hylton, L. Wedderburn of Charlton. L.
Irvine of Lairg, L. Whaddon, L.
Jay of Paddington, B. White, B.
Jeger, B. Wigoder, L.
Jenkins of Hillhead. L. Williams of Crosby, B.
Jenkins of Putney. L. Williams of Elvel, L.
Kilbracken, L. Winston. L.
Aberdare, L. Harris of High Cross, L.
Abinger, L. Harrowby, E.
Addison, V. Hayhoe, L.
Ailsa, M. Henley, L.
Allenby of Megiddo, V. Holderness, L.
Archer of Weston-Super-Mare, L. HolmPatrick, L.
Astor of Hever, L. Hooper, B.
Banbury of Southam, L. Hothfield, L.
Barber, L. Howe, E.
Barber of Tewkesbury, L. Hylton-Foster, B.
Belhaven and Stenton, L. Inglewood, L.
Belstead, L. Jenkin of Roding, L.
Blaker, L. Johnston of Rockport, L.
Blatch, B. Kimball, L.
Boardman, L. King of Wartnaby, L.
Boyd-Carpenter, L. Kingsland, L.
Brabazon of Tara, L. Lauderdale, E.
Braine of Wheatley, L. Lawrence, L.
Bridgeman, V. Leigh, L.
Brigstocke, B. Lindsay, E.
Brougham and Vaux, L Lindsey and Abingdon, E.
Bruntisfield, L. Liverpool, E.
Butterworth, L. Long, V.
Cadman, L. Lucas, L
Caithness, E. Lucas of Chilworth, L.
Campbell of Alloway, L Lyell, L.
Campbell of Croy, L McColl of Dulwich, L.
Carnegy of Lour, B. McConnell, L.
Carnock, L. Mackay of Ardbrecknish, L.
Carr of Hadley, L. Mackay of Clashfern, L. [Lord Chancellor.]
Chelmsford, V.
Chesham, L. [Teller.] Mackay of Drumadoon, L
Clanwilliam, E. Macleod of Borve, B.
Clark of Kempston, L. Mancroft, L.
Cochrane of Cults, L. Marlesford, L.
Colwyn, L. Massereene and Ferrard, V.
Courtown, E. Merrivale, L.
Cox, B. Mersey, V.
Craigmyle, L. Middleton, L.
Cranbome, V. [Lord Privy Seal.] Miller of Hendon, B.
Crathome, L Milverton, L.
Cross, V. Monk Bretton, L.
Cumberlege, B. Mottistone, L.
Darcy (de Knayth), B. Mountevans, L.
Dean of Harptree, L. Mowbray and Stourton, L.
Denton of Wakefield, B. Munster, E.
Derwent, L. Murton of Lindisfame, L.
Devonport, V. Newall, L.
Dixon-Smith, L. Northesk, E.
Downshire, M. O'Cathain, B.
Dundonald, E. Oliver of Aylmerton, L.
Dunrossil, V. Onslow, E.
Eden of Winton, L. Orkney, E.
Ellenborough, L. Orr-Ewing, L.
Elles, B. Oxfuird, V.
Elliott of Morpeth, L. Park of Monmouth, B.
Eme, E. Pearson of Rannoch, L.
Ferrers, E. Pender, L.
Fraser of Carmyllie, L. Peyton of Yeovil, L.
Gainford, L. Phillimore, L
Gainsborough, E Pike, B.
Geddes, L. Rankeillour, L.
Gisborough, L. Rawlings, B.
Goschen, V. Reay, L.
Gray of Contin, L. Rennell, L
Greenway, L. Renton, L.
Griffiths of Fforestfach, L. Romney, E.
Giimston of Westbury, L. Saint Albans, D.
Haig, E. Saint Oswald, L.
Hailsham of Saint Marylebone, L. Seccombe, B.
Harding of Petherton, L. Selborne, E.
Hardwicke, E. Shannon, E.
Harlech, L. Shaw of Northstead, L
Harmar-Nicholls, L. Sherfield, L.
Harmsworth, L. Skelmersdale, L.
Stockton, E. Tugendhat, L.
Stodart of Leaston, L. Ullswater, V.
Strathcarron, L. Vivian, L.
Strathclyde, L. [Teller.] Wakeham, L.
Strathcona and Mount Royal, L. Waverley, V.
Sudeley, L. Westbury, L.
Swinfen, L. Wharton, B.
Tebbit, L. Whitelaw, V.
Teynham, L. Wilberforce, L.
Thomas of Gwydir, L. Wolfson, L.
Torrington, V. Wynford, L.
Trefgame, L. Young, B.
Trumpington, B. Zouche of Haryngworth. L.

Resolved in the negative, and Motion disagreed to accordingly.