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surely we want that to stop, not to intensify. There are no signs of the paramilitaries being defeated either by the security forces or by each other.

We shall go on discussing the problem long after I am gone if something political is not done. To raise the politics of Northern Ireland in the House is to be condemned straight away. Yet we would then be discussing the reality of what is happening and not the superficialities of the terrible deaths, killings and slaughter which continue all the time. We could go on discussing that as the hon. Member for Mid-Ulster (Rev. William McCrea) did. I know that it was hard for him because people had just been killed in his constituency, but we must discuss the causes and not just the symptoms of these terrible problems. There are no signs of either side being defeated. Both have considerable support in their communities and stores of armaments from various sources. They can carry on as they are, almost indefinitely, unless politics intervenes or supervenes.

The deadly enemy of terrorism is democracy, not defeating the other side or armaments. It is precisely because there was no real democracy in Northern Ireland that we are in this mess today. I must say to all Unionists that they still have the old Stormont mentality. All they want is to go back to the old Stormont, but that is impossible. However, as long as that mentality pervades their ranks, the slaughter will go on. That is the harsh reality which we never discuss here because we never discuss the politics of the situation.

Mr. Mallon : I do not think that that is the reality. Many Unionists now do not think in those terms and are desperately seeking, as we are, to see how we can get not just an arrangement, but a solution to the problem. If they are not prepared to put that on record, I may be forgiven for helping them out by doing so.

Mr. Flannery : I am grateful to my hon. Friend for correcting me if I was wrong. I do not see the situation with the same clarity, but I do not see it with the optimism that he conveyed in his remarks either. I am surprised that he feels such optimism. I cannot sense it, but I hope that I am wrong and that he is right.

The House condemns terrorism by both sides. It is time that the Unionists did what I asked of one of them earlier today. They should condemn murders when committed by paramilitary loyalist groups and condemn the IRA when it carries out murders. They should condemn both, but they should not intensify the struggle by condemning only one side. We must condemn terrorism from both sides.

The present legislation has not done anything to stop the killings. The killings have intensified and there is considerable evidence that the Acts have exacerbated the problem and have not achieved anything held out by Lord Colville, or by Sir George Baker before him. I have attended almost every Northern Ireland debate and Question Time in the past 15 years and, once again, matters are becoming worse. There is no victory on the agenda in Northern Ireland for anyone. There is a problem to be faced, but no victory. The people who believe that they can be victorious are living in a dream world. They might want to smash the enemy and put him down, but if they did, he would rise again, whichever side he was on. Peace will come only when proof is given that equality and democracy will be given to both communities and that

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there will be no return to the flagrant lack of democracy of the old Stormont, which brought about the civil rights march and the attack on it 20 years ago.

Mr. William Ross rose --

Mr. Flannery : No, I shall not give way because it is time for me to conclude my speech.

The only hope for peace is to ensure that the majority community never again enjoys a virtual autocracy over the minority community and that there is a coming together of the communities. There is no future in slaughtering each other. The only hope is for a change of mind on the part of the Unionists and for them to offer the hand of democracy to the minority community. I am sure that if that hand were reached out, the other side would heartily grip it and there would be peace, but that is the only hope that I can see.

6.39 pm

Mr. Jim Marshall (Leicester, South) : We have had an interesting debate which has been highly charged in part. It is well that we remind ourselves of the people about whom we have been talking and of the reason the security forces claim to need the emergency powers. We are talking about the thousands, if not millions, of ordinary people who live in the Province who wish simply to go about their daily business unhindered and without the threat of violence. They wish to pursue what we consider to be ordinary objectives such as a job, a decent house, a decent school and all the other things that make up normal social and economic life for the rest of the United Kingdom. We must always remember that that is the backcloth to our debates. Like the rest of the citizens of the United Kingdom, the people of Northern Ireland wish to live in peace and in a democratic society. That is why the Army went into the Province some years ago and that is why the emergency provisions legislation was introduced. It is as well to remind ourselves also that the Army entered the Province to uphold democratic values and to support, not supplant, the civilian authorities in upholding the rule of law. If that is the backcloth and those are the reasons, despite the cries for greater activity from some hon. Members, it inevitably means the minimum use of force and, where possible, the application of the general criminal law, and every derogation from those values must be justified. Our claim is that there has been a distinct failure to do that, especially in the Secretary of State's speech, and that is one reason why we shall vote against the order.

I should like to make it clear that that does not mean any softening towards terrorism or acts or terrorism. Terrorism is inimical to the basic democratic instincts that the vast majority of Members of Parliament in the House share. I regret and reject the charge made by the hon. Member for Londonderry, East (Mr. Ross) that there is a lack of resolve against terrorism. He charged the Government with a lack of resolve and, by implication, his charge was general against all parties in the House. I totally reject that charge if it was levelled at the Labour party. I am sure that when the Minister replies he will reject the charge equally vehemently on behalf of the Government.

We are not soft on terrorism. Terrorism must be defeated, but it must be defeated in a way that does justice

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to the democratic values of our society and that does not use techniques or methods that would be more appropriate in a more authoritarian if not dictatorial society.

The hon. Member for Londonderry, East also gave the impression that the attitude of the IRA and its apparent freedom of movement suggest that the IRA thinks that it has won the battle. That is turning truth on its head. The frustration of the IRA and its inability to make real political progress, either north or south of the border, is shown by its increased use of violence in its attacks in the North of Ireland and in the attacks that it has sought to carry out in Great Britain. There is no way, politically, in which the IRA can win the hearts and minds of the majority of the minority community in the North of Ireland and there is no way in which the IRA can militarily defeat the security forces in the North of Ireland.

Mr. John D. Taylor : As election results have consistently shown that 30 per cent. of the Roman Catholic community votes for the terrorist party Sinn Fein, why does the hon. Gentleman think it impossible for Sinn Fein to advance from 30 per cent. to 50 per cent?

Mr. Marshall : If the hon. Gentleman reads my remarks in Hansard tomorrow, he will see that I said that Sinn Fein has failed to win the majority of the minority community in the North of Ireland. That is the position now. My best guess is that it would find it virtually impossible to secure the majority vote of the minority community in the North of Ireland

Mr. John D. Taylor : Why? Mr. Marshall : Because the majority of people in the minority community--as in the majority community--do not like being pushed around by bully boys. They want to lead normal lives and to live in peace with people across the community. It is for that reason that they share the same aspirations, desires and aims as all other ordinary people in the North of Ireland and why they do not share the aims and objectives of the gunmen and the terrorists.

As I have only four minutes left, I shall try to make further progress rapidly. I refer now to the speech made by the hon. Member for Mid-Ulster (Rev. William McCrea). In his absence I shall say only that I wish that the hon. Gentleman would show as much emotion and feeling when seeking to attain a political solution in Northern Ireland as he shows when bringing to the House one catalogue of death after another. The hon. Gentleman shows a high degree of emotion and feels highly emotional about the position. However, if he could divert his energy and emotion into positive avenues of seeking a political solution in Northern Ireland if only for a few seconds, Northern Ireland would be a far better place.

I turn finally to the comments of the Secretary of State. He singularly failed to give any justification of the measures that he is bringing forward for renewal today. He made two general assertions with which no one would disagree. I remind the Secretary of State of those two assertions. The first was that, in view of yesterday's and other recent events, the security forces require every assistance and support. I agree with that-- everyone would agree with it. The second general assertion was that the perpetrators of such crimes must be brought to justice. Again, we all agree with that general assertion. However, the Secretary of State then sought to imply that, having

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made those two general assertions, there was no need to seek to justify the measures in detail. That was a failure on the part of the Secretary of State this afternoon.

As my hon. Friend the Member for Kingston upon Hull, North (Mr. McNamara) made clear, when we are seeking to justify changes from the normal criminal law and derogations from normal standards, it is vital that justifications are given and that they are convincing. The Secretary of State tried to hide his lack of any real argument in favour of the measure by drawing attention to progress made by the Government in other spheres, and he referred to jobs, equality of opportunity and housing. While the Government have made admirable progress in those areas, the right hon. Gentleman must appreciate that unless there is political progress, with a determination on his part and that of the constitutional parties to get together and form a new political consensus in the North, all that admirable economic and social progress will count for naught.

I urge the Secretary of State, as I have in previous debates, to continue to seek talks with the constitutional parties, and I appreciate that that is his intention. As my hon. Friend the Member for Newry and Armagh (Mr. Mallon) pointed out, there is great need for politicians in the North to talk in terms of making political progress and not concentrate always on the evil aspects of the Province.

We need a body of criminal law in Northern Ireland which is clear, coherent and concise. We should dispense with all powers that are not really needed. There should be no duplication of powers and we should not fall into the trap of believing that the criminal law alone can solve the problems of Northern Ireland.

Because it fails to answer those challenges, we shall, as my hon. Friend the Member for Kingston upon Hull, North said, oppose the order tonight.

6.53 pm

The Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office (Mr. Ian Stewart) This debate is taking place in the shadow of last night's atrocity in Coagh, and hon. Members present this evening appreciate the emotion of the hon. Member for Mid-Ulster (Rev. William McCrea), who spoke about those whom he knew personally. But despite that emotion, we must take decisions using judgment, according to our best advice and experience of the facts.

I heard with sadness from the hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull, North (Mr. McNamara) that the Opposition would vote against the order tonight, because there is no subject about which one could say more strongly that the Government wished that they had no grounds to criticise the Opposition. If ever there was a subject on which a unity of purpose and approach was desirable in this House, it is this issue of the troubles and terrorism in Northern Ireland. Unfortunately, we do not have that tonight. To use an Irish writer's phrase, the Labour party's attitude to terrorism is in a state of "chassis."

I recall that, when we debated what was then the Prevention of Terrorism Bill on Second Reading, some Opposition Members abstained, some voted for a reasoned amendment and some voted against. Tonight they have decided to vote against. I hope that some of them may be honourable enough to abstain, or even to vote in the Lobby with the Government.

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I draw a contrast between what was said in this debate by the hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull, North and his noble Friend Lord Mason who, when he had the responsibility for dealing with these problems, introduced and supported measures such as we are discussing tonight and ensured that the security forces had the powers they needed. Speaking in the other place recently in the context of prevention of terrorism legislation, Lord Mason said :

"we stood together"--

referring to the 1970s--

"with the major political parties behind us."--[ Official Report, House of Lords, 13 February 1989 ; Vol. 504, c. 34.]

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Sir Paul Dean) : Order. If the Minister is quoting from a speech made by a Member of the other place who is not a Minister, will he please paraphrase?

Mr. Stewart : Thank you for that guidance, Mr. Deputy Speaker. Lord Mason said in another place that at that time basic freedoms were under serious threat and that bipartisan support was necessary. I regret that we have not had that in this debate.

When Labour Members were in office in the 1970s they were responsible for these issues and were determined to deal with the problem. I was sorry to hear the remarks of the hon. Member for Leicester, South (Mr. Marshall), because he seemed to be apologising for the position that his Front Bench was advocating. Opposition Members seem to have lost their grip on reality. They say that they are committed to the fight against terrorism, but they will not support any longer the measures that are necessary to conduct that fight. To will the end but not the means is a position of irresponsibility.

The Government have their responsibilities in this matter. We regret, just as Lord Colville regretted, that he had to conclude that there was reluctant acceptance of the need for emergency provisions of this kind. The powers which we seek to renew are a regrettable necessity. We do not view security policy in isolation. We do not want to leave a vacuum on the political front. We believe that progress towards political development and dialogue would help, but they would not achieve a solution on their own. Without the necessary powers, our security forces cannot pursue the campaign against terrorism which, alas, is essential in Northern Ireland today. The Government will continue to deal robustly with terrorism within the law. With emergency legislation, it is always a question of balance and fine judgment. Measures must be powerful enough to be effective, but we must never lose that essential ingredient of fairness and general consideration towards the public, a point to which several hon. Members have referred.

Lord Colville emphasised, above all in what he said, that the comments made to him were not so much about the powers as about the way in which they were exercised. I wish to endorse again on behalf of the Government our commitment that all these powers should be implemented in a fair and impartial way, with courtesy and consideration, and that lapses--which occasionally, I am afraid, are bound to happen and are deeply to be regretted--must be as few as possible. We appreciate that they have an effect on public confidence and that the support of the community is a vital contributory factor in countering terrorism.

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I hope that the independent commission for police complaints, which was not enthusiastically received by the hon. Member for Newry and Armagh (Mr. Mallon), will prove to be an important instrument for dealing with complaints. We must bear in mind that the commission has not yet produced a report on its first 10 months of activity. I am sure that its establishment is an important innovation.

The fact that the Army has taken new measures to speed up the machinery for dealing with complaints demonstrates our belief that this is an important matter, and we support what Lord Colville said about the impact that it can make in the general campaign against terrorism.

To get the matter into perspective, with 10,000 regular troops and 6,000 members of the UDR in Northern Ireland, in the eight months to the end of January that represented nearly 4 million troop days of activity, and that has resulted in fewer than 200 complaints coming to Army headquarters, Northern Ireland. I wish that the number was smaller, but one must keep the situation in perspective.

I pay tribute to the members of the RUC, the Regulars and the Reserves, the UDR and the Regular soldiers for the way in which they, on behalf of the whole community--of the Government, the people of Great Britain and the people of Northern Ireland--at great risk to themselves--day after day, month after month and alas year after year--enable the people of Northern Ireland to live as normal a life as possible in difficult circumstances.

We are anxious to see an improvement in the security situation, and I am not without hope on that front. Significant finds of weaponry have been made in recent months in the North of Ireland, and also by the Gardai in the Republic. I am encouraged by the growing feeling of resentment in Northern Ireland about the futility of terrorism as a means of achieving any of the ends that the terrorists say they espouse.

There are better prospects now in Northern Ireland ; they could be even better if terrorism could be seen to fail. Terrorism itself will never achieve anything but grief and waste. We need to ensure, under those circumstances, that the brave members of the security forces who carry such responsibilities on behalf of us all have the means to counter terrorism. They need the sort of powers that were introduced in the emergency provisions legislation of the 1970s and 1980s. They need the provisions in the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Bill which is going through Parliament--

It being Seven o'clock, Mr. Deputy Speaker-- put the Question on the motion, pursuant to Order [3 March].

The House divided : Ayes 239, Noes 118.

Division No. 119] [7 pm


Alison, Rt Hon Michael

Alton, David

Amess, David

Amos, Alan

Arbuthnot, James

Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham)

Arnold, Tom (Hazel Grove)

Ashdown, Rt Hon Paddy

Aspinwall, Jack

Baker, Nicholas (Dorset N)

Baldry, Tony

Barnes, Mrs Rosie (Greenwich)

Batiste, Spencer

Beggs, Roy

Bellingham, Henry

Bendall, Vivian

Bennett, Nicholas (Pembroke)

Benyon, W.

Bevan, David Gilroy

Blackburn, Dr John G.

Blaker, Rt Hon Sir Peter

Boscawen, Hon Robert

Boswell, Tim

Bottomley, Peter

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Bottomley, Mrs Virginia

Bowis, John

Boyson, Rt Hon Dr Sir Rhodes

Brandon-Bravo, Martin

Brazier, Julian

Bright, Graham

Brown, Michael (Brigg & Cl't's)

Buck, Sir Antony

Burns, Simon

Burt, Alistair

Butler, Chris

Butterfill, John

Campbell, Menzies (Fife NE)

Carlile, Alex (Mont'g)

Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln)

Carrington, Matthew

Carttiss, Michael

Cartwright, John

Cash, William

Channon, Rt Hon Paul

Chapman, Sydney

Chope, Christopher

Clark, Dr Michael (Rochford)

Clark, Sir W. (Croydon S)

Colvin, Michael

Coombs, Anthony (Wyre F'rest)

Cope, Rt Hon John

Cran, James

Currie, Mrs Edwina

Curry, David

Davies, Q. (Stamf'd & Spald'g)

Davis, David (Boothferry)

Day, Stephen

Devlin, Tim

Dorrell, Stephen

Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James

Dover, Den

Dunn, Bob

Durant, Tony

Dykes, Hugh

Emery, Sir Peter

Evennett, David

Fallon, Michael

Favell, Tony

Fearn, Ronald

Fishburn, John Dudley

Fookes, Dame Janet

Forman, Nigel

Forsyth, Michael (Stirling)

Forth, Eric

Fowler, Rt Hon Norman

Fox, Sir Marcus

Franks, Cecil

Freeman, Roger

French, Douglas

Gale, Roger

Gardiner, George

Garel-Jones, Tristan

Gill, Christopher

Glyn, Dr Alan

Gow, Ian

Gregory, Conal

Gummer, Rt Hon John Selwyn

Hague, William

Hamilton, Hon Archie (Epsom)

Hanley, Jeremy

Hannam, John

Hargreaves, Ken (Hyndburn)

Harris, David

Haselhurst, Alan

Hayhoe, Rt Hon Sir Barney

Hayward, Robert

Heath, Rt Hon Edward

Heddle, John

Hind, Kenneth

Hogg, Hon Douglas (Gr'th'm)

Howard, Michael

Howarth, Alan (Strat'd-on-A)

Howarth, G. (Cannock & B'wd)

Howe, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey

Howell, Rt Hon David (G'dford)

Howells, Geraint

Hughes, Robert G. (Harrow W)

Hunt, David (Wirral W)

Hunt, John (Ravensbourne)

Hunter, Andrew

Irvine, Michael

Irving, Charles

Jack, Michael

Jackson, Robert

Janman, Tim

Johnson Smith, Sir Geoffrey

Jopling, Rt Hon Michael

Kellett-Bowman, Dame Elaine

Kilfedder, James

King, Roger (B'ham N'thfield)

King, Rt Hon Tom (Bridgwater)

Kirkhope, Timothy

Kirkwood, Archy

Knapman, Roger

Knight, Greg (Derby North)

Knight, Dame Jill (Edgbaston)

Knowles, Michael

Knox, David

Lawrence, Ivan

Lee, John (Pendle)

Leigh, Edward (Gainsbor'gh)

Lester, Jim (Broxtowe)

Lilley, Peter

Livsey, Richard

Lloyd, Sir Ian (Havant)

Lloyd, Peter (Fareham)

Lord, Michael

Luce, Rt Hon Richard

McCrindle, Robert

Macfarlane, Sir Neil

MacGregor, Rt Hon John

MacKay, Andrew (E Berkshire)

Maclean, David

Maclennan, Robert

McLoughlin, Patrick

McNair-Wilson, Sir Michael

Madel, David

Mans, Keith

Maples, John

Marshall, John (Hendon S)

Martin, David (Portsmouth S)

Maude, Hon Francis

Meyer, Sir Anthony

Michie, Mrs Ray (Arg'l & Bute)

Miller, Sir Hal

Mills, Iain

Mitchell, Andrew (Gedling)

Mitchell, Sir David

Moate, Roger

Molyneaux, Rt Hon James

Morrison, Sir Charles

Moss, Malcolm

Moynihan, Hon Colin

Mudd, David

Needham, Richard

Nelson, Anthony

Neubert, Michael

Newton, Rt Hon Tony

Nicholls, Patrick

Nicholson, David (Taunton)

Nicholson, Emma (Devon West)

Onslow, Rt Hon Cranley

Oppenheim, Phillip

Owen, Rt Hon Dr David

Page, Richard

Patnick, Irvine

Pawsey, James

Peacock, Mrs Elizabeth

Porter, David (Waveney)

Portillo, Michael

Powell, William (Corby)

Price, Sir David

Raffan, Keith

Raison, Rt Hon Timothy

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