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Wandsworth Prison

3.31 pm

Mr. Roy Hattersley (Birmingham, Sparkbrook) (by private notice) : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the dispute at Wandsworth Prison.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. Douglas Hogg) : At 7.30 am yesterday about 100 uniformed staff at Her Majesty's prison Wandsworth went on strike. Fourteen uniformed staff worked normally. At about 9.30 am, under contingency plans, 60 staff in managerial grades from around the prison service were deployed in Wandsworth to maintain order and prison routines. There were inevitable delays and arrangements could not be made for prisoners to take exercise, but meals were served and visits took place normally.

This morning, at 7 o'clock, 197 police officers went into Wandsworth to assist the governor and to work alongside prison staff. During the normal working week many more staff are needed than for the Sunday routine. Although 34 uniformed prison staff are working normally today, peace and order could not have been maintained in the prison without the use of police officers.

Naturally these events led to heightened tension in the prison and there have been one or two incidents, but loyal prison staff and the police have managed to keep the prison running as near normally as possible.

Since last November prison officers at Wandsworth have been refusing to take a full number of prisoners. As a result, about 50 prisoners have had to be kept unnecessarily in police cells. Talks at national, regional and local levels have taken place over many months in an effort to resolve the dispute. The new working systems introduced yesterday are intended to make more effective use of staff resources and contain no unusual or threatening features. The action of the POA branch at Wandsworth in going on strike is completely unjustified. I call on the officers to go back to work under the governor's authority forthwith.

Mr. Hattersley : Will the Under-Secretary of State confirm that the action taken this morning by the new governor at Wandsworth prison has imperilled industrial relations throughout the prison service? Does he realise that his statement shows no recognition of the fact that the Prison Officers Association has now suspended the ballot on the fresh start agreement, acceptance of which it had previously recommended? How does he justify an action in a single prison that jeopardises the era of peace within the entire prison service which the Home Secretary claimed to be absolutely necessary for the service's success?

Secondly, will the Under-Secretary of State confirm, putting aside the bogus figures that he has already offered the House, that Wandsworth has an official complement of 1,259 prisoners, but that yesterday 1,505 prisoners were held there? Is not the insistence on 50 additional prisoners on top of the normal complement wholly unreasonable in terms of good management of the service?

Thirdly, what is the Minister's comment on the attitude of the Police Federation, which described the use of 197 of its members as a wholly disastrous decision by the Government, since its members are neither equipped nor prepared to act as prison officers?

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Finally, does the Under-Secretary recall that, in December, the Home Secretary boasted that prisoners were no longer being held in police cells in London? That fact held good for a single day- -the day on which he made the boast. Does that not provide the most vivid illustration of the causes of the crisis in the prison service? As is so often the case, the Home Secretary is more interested in the illusion of action than in genuine reform.

Mr. Hogg : As is usually the case, the remarks of the right hon. Member for Birmingham, Sparkbrook (Mr. Hattersley) have not added to his reputation.

The facts are as follows. In October last year, there was an agreement between the prison officers at Wandsworth and the Home Office whereby the Home Office agreed to a manpower review in return for the prison officers agreeing to admit 1,555 prisoners. The Home Office delivered its part of the bargain and the manpower team went in.

On 11 November 1988, the prison officers went back on their part of the deal and imposed the limit of 1,505 prisoners in the prison. The manpower review was delivered on 22 November, with the date of the implementation of the new shift being 15 January 1989. Thereafter, there were considerable negotiations. We put back the implementation date by two weeks to allow for further discussions.

On 26 January 1989, there was a further meeting at a senior level where we offered to put back the implementation of the new shift by a further two weeks in return for the prison officers agreeing to admit 1,555 prisoners-- as they had agreed to do in October. That proposal was not attractive to the prison officers and they therefore declined.

It is no good the right hon. Member for Sparkbrook grumbling about the number of people in police cells and then grumbling when we take action to reduce the pressure on police cells. That does him no credit.

Mr. John Wheeler (Westminster, North) : Does my hon. Friend agree that the problem in Wandsworth and elsewhere in the prison system has continued for some time, notwithstanding the fact that prison officers are extremely well paid and have excellent conditions of service? Will my hon. Friend continue with the policy of negotiation to find a solution? Nevertheless, does he agree that it will eventually be necessary to de- unionise a service of the Crown?

Mr. Hogg : We certainly intend to stand behind the governor in his attempts to ensure that Wandsworth prison operates as efficiently and effectively as possible. I am grateful to my hon. Friend for his support. I suspect that most prison officers in other prisons will be extremely unhappy about what is happening in Wandsworth, because they are doing exactly what we are asking the prison officers at Wandsworth to do--neither more nor less.

Mr. Robert Maclennan (Caithness and Sutherland) : Is the Under- Secretary aware that, although the crisis has arisen in part because of the Government's policy on prisons and the overcrowding there, the prison officers' action seems highly irresponsible and that it is quite unacceptable for prison officers to stand at the gates of a prison jeering at the police as they seek to maintain order in a prison where order is close to breaking down? Does he

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also agree that the pressure on the Prison Officers Association to take action from a handful of extremists in Wandsworth is also unacceptable? I hope that the Government will not accept the argument of the right hon. Member for Birmingham, Sparkbrook (Mr. Hattersley) that if the fresh start initiative is in peril it is entirely because of the Government.

Mr. Hogg : I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for his support. It is wrong that a disciplined, uniformed service of the Crown should behave in such a way. Prison officers throughout the country will be ashamed of what is happening in Wandsworth. I and, I suspect, other prison officers throughout the country call on the prison officers at Wandsworth to stop the dispute and to go back to work.

Mr. Robert G. Hughes (Harrow, West) : Will my hon. Friend congratulate the right hon. Member for Birmingham, Sparkbrook (Mr. Hattersley) on completely changing his policy once again? Will he confirm that the right hon. Gentleman was a member of the last Labour Government who brought in the troops to stop the firemen's strike, which makes his complaints about strike breaking sick and hypocritical?

Mr. Hogg : My hon. Friend makes his point extremely clearly. There is the further criticism that I have already made--it is no good the right hon. Member for Sparkbrook criticising us for the numbers held in police cells and complaining again when we take action to reduce the numbers. That ambivalent attitude is unworthy of him.

Mr. Merlyn Rees (Morley and Leeds, South) : Given the situation that has arisen--I understand the problems that arise in prisons--what is the best thing to do now to bring the two sides together and end the dispute other than telling people to give in?

Mr. Hogg : I am glad to be able to tell the House that tomorrow afternoon, at the request of members of the national executive council of the Prison Officers Association, there will be a meeting between them and senior management at the Home Office. However, the Home Office is standing firmly behind the governor in his determination to manage the prison effectively and efficiently. I call upon the officers at Wandsworth to stop the action, which is highly damaging to the prison and to their reputations.

Mr. Kenneth Hind (Lancashire, West) : Will my hon. Friend confirm that the action taken by the governor at Wandsworth has been taken only after protracted negotiations with the warders at Wandsworth? Will he also confirm that, at one stage, the implementation of the rota system was postponed for two weeks so that agreement could be reached between the prison officers and the governor of the prison?

Mr. Hogg : My hon. Friend is wholly right. The implementation date was originally fixed for 15 January but was postponed to allow for further discussion. At the end of last week, we made a further offer that, if the officers accepted 1,555 prisoners, which is what they agreed to in October, we would put back the implementation for a further two weeks. I am afraid that the prison officers felt unable to accept that generous suggestion.

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Mr. Eric S. Heffer (Liverpool, Walton) : The hon. Gentleman must know--if he does not, he should not be in his job--that this situation is not applicable just to Wandsworth and that overcrowding has been a problem in the prison service for many years for both prison officers and inmates. Is it not clear that we should look at the problem rather than call people names and suggest that they are stupid or silly because they have taken action?

The hon. Gentleman has helped the position somewhat by saying that the Home Office is prepared to meet the national executive of the Prison Officers Asociation, but why did he not say that from the beginning? The answer is to talk to the Prison Officers Association, not call people names. There are real problems in the service.

Mr. Hogg : It is a pity that the hon. Gentleman did not do his homework before getting to his feet. Yes, we do have a problem with overcrowding, which is precisely why we are creating 25,000 new places by the mid-1990s, as contrasted with 1979. That is a remarkable achievement. The hon. Gentleman's suggestion that the dispute at Wandsworth is common to the rest of the prison service is nonsense because what is happening at Wandsworth is peculiar to Wandsworth. The officers at Wandsworth are being asked to do no more than that which is being done by most of their colleagues in other prisons.

Mr. Robert Key (Salisbury) : No one doubts the skill and professionalism of the vast majority of prison warders, nor does anyone misunderstand the frustration of the police officers upon whose shoulders has fallen the task of looking after prisoners in police cells when they should never be there. Does my hon. Friend agree that, although it is time to talk and to listen, it is also time to be tough when it comes to coping with the tiny minority of warders who have held the rest of the prison service to ransom, which is inexcusable at a time when the Government are having some success in cutting crime rates?

Mr. Hogg : My hon. Friend is wholly right to imply that it is the business of a Government to back a governor who is doing his job properly and efficiently. We are in the business of doing that, and we propose to do just that.

Mr. Martin Flannery (Sheffield, Hillsborough) : It is sad that the mentality behind this problem is such that one hon. Member used the old- fashioned word "warders". In his eagerness to condemn my right hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Sparkbrook (Mr. Hattersley), the Minister will not admit that anything is wrong. he did not mention that there would be a meeting. There is a crisis in all our prisons, not just in Wandsworth. I am a member of the Select Committee on Education, Science and Arts. For nine years, that Committee has been releasing reports on prison education. Prison education has been cut to the bone and nothing is ever done about it, even though prisoners are asking for education facilities. The Conservative mentality does not want to solve the problem because it costs money to do so. The Government will not admit that prisons are overcrowded and that the crisis is endemic.

Mr. Hogg : The hon. Gentleman is reinforcing the point that I have made about him in the past--he does not know what he is talking about. The plain fact is that the prisons are not in crisis and things are much better than they were. I have already made the point that, by the mid-1990s, we will have created about 25,000 new places, which will

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substantially reduce overcrowding. We have introduced fresh start, which has enormously enhanced the position of prison officers. I am glad to say that we are working most effectively on enhancing regimes. Conditions in prison are substantially improving.

Mr. Tony Favell (Stockport) : Will my hon. Friend stand firm on the matter? To people such as myself who have made professional visits to gaols over the past 25 years, it is quite obvious that many officers are as bloody-minded as the people whom they guard and that their rigid working practices have made prisons more miserable than they need to be. Many inmates are kept in their cells 23 hours a day. They are kept behind closed doors because of the closed minds of those who guard them.

Mr. Hogg : My hon. Friend has robustly put his point. In October last year, prison officers at Wandsworth agreed to admit 1,555 prisoners. I wish that they would now do what they promised to do three or four months ago.

Mr. Dennis Skinner (Bolsover) : When Government representatives meet prison officers' trade union representatives over beer and sandwiches, whenever they meet, reverting to the question put by the hon. Member for Westminster, North (Mr. Wheeler), will the Minister tell them that there is no question of de-unionising those who work in the prisons and that there will be no GCHQ? If he does not do so, the situation will be even further inflamed.

Will the hon. Gentleman express the view that there is nothing wrong with people in a trade union fighting for better wages and conditions, especially when the number of people they have to look after has increased so rapidly during the past 10 years? A trade union is set up to protect that right. As a lawyer, the hon. Gentleman should know that, especially just now.

Mr. Hogg : I rather fancy that the meeting tomorrow afternoon will be primarily spent in going over the

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agreement that was made in October last year. I fancy also that the officials who meet the POA representatives will say, "Look, in October of last year, and in return for a manpower review which you have now had, you agreed to admit 1,555 prisoners. The time has come to deliver your part of the agreement."

Mr. Harry Greenway (Ealing, North) : Is it not true that important work and education programmes for prisoners have been disrupted by the dispute? In the discussions that my hon. Friend is about to have, will every effort be made to ensure that the promised work and education programmes for prisoners are delivered by prison officers and all others who are responsible?

Mr. Hogg : My hon. Friend's remarks are important, but it is even more important to get prison officers to deliver the agreement that they made last October.

Mr. Bruce Grocott (The Wrekin) : Is not the real crisis in our prisons the one that the Minister consistently refuses to address, which is that we imprison more people and for longer periods than any other country in western Europe? Is that not the root cause of the problem with the Prison Officers Association and others? If the Minister would address that matter, he could forget panics about prison building and endless industrial debates, and deal with the need for a lower prison population. It would be better for everyone if he were to do that.

Mr. Hogg : We are most certainly tackling the problem of overcrowding, in part by the building programme which I have outlined and in part by encouraging courts to seek non-custodial options. In these matters the hon. Gentleman would do well, as would his right hon. and hon. Friends, to assert that it would be right for prison officers to respect the instructions of the governor because prisons cannot be run unless governors' instructions are complied with.

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Points of Order

3.50 pm

Mr. Nigel Spearing (Newham, South) : On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. You will recall that during business questions on Thursday and subsequently on a point of order questions were asked about a statement on the London rail study. If the London rail study alone was published and the matter concerned a range of options, one could understand that it was not a statement of Government policy. However, two documents were published : "Transport in London" and a central London rail study. A third document called "Statement of Transport in London" was also published, section 6 of which deals with strategy and investment, so it is a statement of Government policy. It was not sent to hon. Members, at least not in the envelope that I received, although it was available in the Vote Office and the Library. When the Government make a decision to apply to you, Mr. Speaker, to make a statement of policy or when other ways in which the matter could be raised are considered, will you take into account in particular whether it is a statement of options only or a matter of policy? As I understand it, this was a matter of policy and perhaps the Government or other people were not aware of that choice at that time. All I am asking you to do, Mr. Speaker, is to look into the circumstances surrounding these decisions so that in future matters on London, which has more Members of Parliament than Scotland, are the subject of statements on the Floor of the House on the appropriate occasion.

Mr. Nicholas Bennett (Pembroke) : Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. The hon. Member for Newham, South (Mr. Spearing) has just asked about statements by Ministers. Labour Members are always complaining that Ministers do not make statements when they should do so. As the hon. Member for Livingston (Mr. Cook) has issued a White Paper on the National Health Service which he claims is Government policy, should he not be here to answer questions from us?

Mr. Edward Leigh (Gainsborough and Horncastle) : Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. In your quarter of a century of distinguished service in this House you must have witnessed many great occasions when this House became the focus of the nation's affairs. Indeed, when you became Speaker I suspected that you would want to preserve that tradition because democracy means little if we are not given the chance to hear first. Government proposes, this House disposes. Will you please protect not just Back Benchers, but this House from an Opposition who are so irresponsible that they handle--I use that word in its criminal sense-- stolen documents and prevent this House from becoming the first place to discuss such matters?

Mr. Tam Dalyell (Linlithgow) : On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. As one who has been concerned on many occasions with attempts at kidney legislation, I wonder whether you have received a request from the Secretary of State for Health to make a statement on legislation that

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may be urgently required in the light of the decision, much publicised by a journalist, about the commercial sale or otherwise of kidneys. Has the Secretary of State for Health given any sign that he proposes to make a statement on this matter to the House?

Mr. Speaker : I shall deal with all the points of order together. I missed the point last Thursday that the hon. Member for Newham, South (Mr. Spearing) was making. I think that it arises from the answer to a written question. I shall certainly bear in mind what he has said in so far as it is within my responsibility.

The other matters are patently not for me. [ Hon. Members-- : "Why not?"] I am not responsible for what hon. Members say in the House, provided that they are in order. Whether it is right to make use of documents which have been leaked is a serious matter, but it is not one for the Chair.

Mr. Dennis Skinner (Bolsover) : Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. You are on very safe ground in respect of that very narrow issue. All these leaks began during the Westland affair when Ministers were leaking documents to each other. You were wise enough on that occasion, Mr. Speaker, to keep your nose out. I do not know how the document reached my hon. Friend the Member for Livingston (Mr. Cook), but the chances are that the precedent was being followed and we will have to get that precedent in "Erskine May".

Mr. Speaker : The hon. Gentleman, as a chairman himself, has given me some good advice. I shall keep my nose out of it!



That the Report [26 January] from the Business Committee be now considered.-- [Mr. Wakeham.]

Report considered accordingly.

Question, That this House doth agree with the Committee in their resolution, put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 80 (Business Committee) and agreed to.

Following is the report of the Business Committee :


(1) the order in which proceedings on consideration are taken shall be new Clauses ; new Schedules ; Admendments to Clause No. 1, Schedule No. 1, Clauses Nos. 2 to 4, Schedule No. 2, Clauses Nos. 5 to 13, Schedule No. 4, Clause No. 14, Schedule No. 3, Clauses Nos. 15 and 16, Schedules Nos. 5 and 6, Clause No. 17, Schedule No. 7, Clauses Nos. 18 to 28 and Schedules Nos. 8 and 9 ;

(2) on the allotted day which, under the Order of 23 January, is to be given to the proceedings on consideration and Third Reading those proceedings shall, subject to the provisions of that Order, be brought to a conclusion at the time specified in the second column of the table set out below.


Proceedings                              |Time for conclusion                    



New Clauses, New Schedules,.                                                     

  and Amendments up to the end of Clause                                         

  No. 14                                 |7 pm                                   

Remaining Amendments                     |9 pm                                   

Third Reading                            |10 pm                                  

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Orders of the Day

Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Bill

[Allotted Day]

As amended (in the Standing Committee), considered .

Part II

Exclusion Orders

3.56 pm

Mr. Barry Sheerman (Huddersfield) : I beg to move amendment No. 27, in page 3, line 22, leave out Part II.

The Opposition believe that this amendment goes to the heart of the criticisms of the Bill which has been examined in great detail in Committee upstairs. There is nothing more repellent to Opposition Members, or to many people in Great Britain and Northern Ireland, than the exclusion order. The whole thrust of this amendment is to remove the exclusion power.

If we were to stop most people in the United Kingdom and asked them what the Government's exclusion power in this Bill means, they would not know. They could not give a very articulate response. It is only to be expected that the lay person would not know what an exclusion order meant because such an order falls on only a very small number of United Kingdom citizens. However, those citizens are affected in a quite amazing way.

Few people in this country realise that there is a power under the law of this land which means that a citizen can be excluded from Great Britain to Northern Ireland or from Northern Ireland to the mainland and, under the law, those people cannot discover the reasons or the evidence against them for the imposition of the order. Under that order, a citizen has no right of appeal and cannot question the order. It cannot be questioned in the courts ; it is all-embracing and cannot be challenged.

In these days of glasnost, we are witnessing changes in the Soviet Union which we all welcome. There are also real changes in attitude in the Soviet Union towards political prisoners and civil liberties. We hope that those changes will continue. However, the kind of power that the exclusion order represents is more familiar to eastern European countries. It is more like the medieval powers used by monarchs to exclude powerful barons who were a threat to the throne. The exclusion order is a formidable power to exclude and exile citizens of this country to one part of the country. We object very strongly to the order because it is probably the most disgraceful and villainous part of the Bill. It infringes all civil liberties and rights to live under the law for which British people fought over many generations. We are not the only ones who believe that exclusion orders are wicked and should be abolished ; a string of eminent authorities are in agreement with us. There is no doubt that this exclusion power was introduced by my party when it was in Government, but we say that, 14 years on from its introduction, it is high time that it was taken away. I say that because I am sure that the Government will say, "But you introduced it. This is a draconian power, but it is yours."

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Although the power, when introduced, may have been necessary at that time--the Birmingham pub bombings created a climate in which perhaps draconian measures could be understood--14 years on, the Labour party has learnt a great deal about the terrorist and his mind. We believe firmly and fundamentally that this power should not be used by any Government in a civilised society. We have changed our mind. It is a healthy sign when a party can change its mind because of changing circumstances.

It is not just the Labour party which has changed its mind. Eminent authorities have been asked by successive Governments to study the exclusion power and to assess the working of the Prevention of Terrorism Act. Given the number of exclusion orders, all the problems and a fair assessment of the overall working of the Bill, those independent reviewers- -I confess that they have not said, "Let us scrap the Prevention of Terrorism Act--have increasingly said that the Prevention of Terrorism Act does not need this section. Lord Jellicoe, in 1983, spoke ambivalently about this section and came down in favour of recommending keeping the exclusion order power, although he was not happy about it. Sir Cyril Phillips, in 1985, in an independent Government assessment, recommended that exclusion orders should go. Perhaps the most powerful and recent voice is that of Lord Colville. In both his assessments of the overall working of this legislation, he recommended that exclusion orders should no longer be part of the Prevention of Terrorism Act.

When one reads the Colville report and considers the hard work and detail put into it, one is impressed, even if one does not agree with every section of it. It was disclosed in Committee that, rather than having some vast bureaucracy helping Lord Colville in his investigation, he had a tiny staff. Lord Colville took the task of assessing the legislation seriously. The Opposition do not agree with some parts of his assessment, but there were many points with which we do agree. Even where we disagree, we believe that the assessment was fair, given the criteria on which he was asked to make it. Lord Colville pointed to a number of aspects introduced by the exclusion order. I should like to go through those aspects so that the House can be clear about how draconian this legislation is. First, exclusion orders deprive certain people of the right to move freely around the United Kingdom--in other words, to live where they please. That is why I have described it as a draconian power and one which runs against the civil liberties with which we are familiar. Whether this power affects only a small number of people is not the point at issue. What Conservative Members often do not understand is that when civil liberties need most to be defended is not in the crystal clear case of right or wrong, but in the marginal case. People who care deeply about civil liberties will take up a case not because they feel it is the best in the world, but because the essence of fighting for civil liberties is to take up a marginal case. If we consider the history of academic freedom and immigration law, we know that it has often been the marginal case that has been used as the test case to show where the parameters of civil liberties must be drawn. That applies to the broader conception of the exclusion power.

The exclusion power does not apply to a large number of people each year. Eighty-three orders were enforced in 1976 ; 99 in 1977 ; 150 in 1978 ; 196 in 1979 ; and 241 in 1980. In 1982, 248 orders were enforced, the most there have

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ever been. In the last period, it was down to 106 orders. The number of exclusion orders could be dismissed as affecting an insignificant number of citizens.

The case that we make, in Committee and today, is that it does not matter about the number. What is important is what the power does to civil liberties and individual rights. In Committee the power as it affects the citizen was described as almost Kafkaesque. I believe that what was meant by that expression was that it was intolerable. How redolent of a novel of Kafka is a situation in which a citizen cannot find out the charges against him, who has given information against him or why the decision has been made. He cannot challenge the decision in any court, but his or her life can be ruined by it. The Minister may say that it used to have no time limit, but it now has a limit of three years. We would say that three years in a career, in a job, in a marriage or in separation from one's family-- one's wife and one's children--is a long time. It can become a life sentence if the job is lost, the career ruined, the family split up or the marriage destroyed. Sadly, there have been cases in which that sequence of events has been recorded.

Exclusion orders represent an Executive power of such force that it belongs to an authoritarian regime and is unlike anything in the British tradition of parliamentary democracy. Hon. Members on both sides of the House have admitted that the Bill is draconian, but the orders represent the most draconian power to be exercised by the state. They are unacceptable to all true democrats and champions of civil liberty.

The Bill, as drafted, is similar to previous prevention of terrorism legislation. It is argued that, if the exclusion orders add to the propaganda effort of the Government, they can be excused. In other words, a certain number of people become subject to the exclusion orders to justify that power.

Mr. Nicholas Bennett (Pembroke) : I am listening carefully to what the hon. Gentleman has said, as I did in Committee. He appears to oppose exclusion orders on principle. Therefore, why did the Labour Government of 1974-79 include exclusion orders in the Prevention of Terrorism Act 1974 if the Labour party opposes them as a matter of principle?

Mr. Sheerman : I have already dealt fully with that matter. We have acknowledged that the introduction of the power, in very different circumstances from today and shortly after the Birmingham pub bombings, was understandable. That does not mean that, on mature reflection, we believe that we were right. We believe that we were wrong and thank goodness there are political parties in this country that are able to say that they do not have a divine right to believe that they are always correct. A good historian will understand why we got it wrong. The introduction of the power was wrong, and we regret it.

It appears that the existence of the exclusion power is the main reason why the British Government have not signed the fourth protocol to the European convention on human rights. Article 2(1) of the protocol states :

"Everyone lawfully within the territory of a State shall, within that territory, have the right to liberty of movement and freedom to choose his residence".

That the fourth protocol has not been signed by the Government is a sad comment on our country. If part II

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of the Bill was deleted, we could sign the protocol, which would bring us more into line with the thinking of our European neighbours.

Exclusion orders can divide families and make it difficult for people to get jobs. They also make it difficult for people to get away from former terrorist associates. We believe that there is nothing more effective than enabling those who have become enmeshed in the tentacles of terrorist organisations to make a clean break. However, exclusion orders do not make clean breaks possible. The restrictions are feasible only because of the existence of the Irish sea. If terrorism existed in Scotland, Wales or any other part of Great Britain, exclusion orders would be unworkable. To treat other parts of the United Kingdom as separate and distinct from Northern Ireland is an insult to its people. If they are a part of the United Kingdom, they should not be treated differently. Exclusion orders create a distinction, and that is unacceptable.

4.15 pm

Another fundamental objection to exclusion orders is that they cannot be used against a naturalised or British-born citizen from another country who becomes involved in terrorism in Britain. What an anomaly. We all know what happens when a terrorist is excluded to Ireland. It is not a fanciful notion to suggest that terrorists love repressive legislation. Terrorists like to see the Governments of the countries in which they are active bringin draconian legislation--the more draconian, the better. Terrorists use such legislation to justify their actions. To repeat what I said on Second Reading: the Prime Minister may say that terrorists need the oxygen of publicity--they may like it--but they also need the oxygen of repressive legislation.

If part II of the Bill was deleted, it would deliver a hammer blow to the terrorists. When a terrotist is excluded to Ireland, that event is always used by terrorist propaganda. I have already said that one of the aims of terrorism is to incite a Government to introduce repressive measures, and their subsequent unpopularity is used by the terrorists to increase their criticism of those measures and also as an excuse for increased violence.

Mr. Andrew Hunter (Basingstoke) : Can the hon. Gentleman square his argument with the fact that the Governments of virtually every Western liberal democracy, in the face of the threat of terrorism, have felt obliged to introduce extra powers? It is not just this country or the hon. Gentleman's party that has introduced such powers ; it is a universal pattern followed by Governments throughout western democracy.

Mr. Sheerman : The hon. Gentleman obviously did not listen to what we said on Second Reading, in Committee or what I have said today. Exclusion powers are not used by any other European state, or by any other democracy in the western world.

Mr. Seamus Mallon (Newry and Armagh) : In relation to what the hon. Member for Basingstoke (Mr. Hunter) has said, would the hon. Gentleman care to state what other countries use a form of internal exile? There must be a clear distinction between exclusion from one country to another and a form of exclusion that operates within one jurisdiction.

Mr. Sheerman : I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for his help. Conservative Members will appreciate that that is

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the thrust of our argument. No other civilised, democratic society has such a power. That is why it is so objectionable. The power of exclusion is reminiscent of the middle ages and characteristic of non-democratic regimes. We hate terrorism and terrorists, and we understand that terrorists must be pursued, but to pursue them with the wrong laws and powers gets us nowhere. That helps terrorism.

Mr. Martin Flannery (Sheffield, Hillsborough) : Some countries have had such powers. Stalinist Russia expelled some quite distinguished people to Siberia, and so did Tsarist Russia. If that is the company that the Government want to keep, they are welcome to it.

Mr. Sheerman : That is precisely the point that we made over many hours in Committee.

Mr. Nicholas Bennett : The hon. Gentleman has said that the IRA and other terrorist organisations welcome these draconian powers for exclusion orders. He has said that in Northern Ireland terrorist organisations use exclusion orders for propaganda purposes. Can he give any examples of people who have been excluded from the United Kingdom mainland publicising that in Northern Ireland?

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