Previous SectionIndexHome Page

Sir Ivan Lawrence: He does not.

Mr. Dowd: The hon. and learned Member for Burton says that he does not, but I am sure that the Home Secretary is perfectly capable of making his own defence. I understand that the hon. and learned Member for Burton has represented various dubious clients in the past, including the Kray brothers, but he should not let his enthusiasm run away with him when defending the Home Secretary.

The Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Bill was brought in for a two-year period--the preceding measure ran for five years--precisely so that it could be open to the amendment and revision that we hope the review will recommend. We believe that the review is long overdue, and we hope that Lord Lloyd will reach the same conclusion as Lord Colville and that the legislation can be improved so that it stops being in part--and only in part--counter-productive and measures up to the standard of security that the British people have every right to expect.

7.18 pm

Mr. Howard: With the leave of the House, I should like to pick up the main themes that have emerged from the debate and respond to some of the points that have been raised.

As in previous years, much has been made of the exclusion power. We have heard objections to it on grounds of civil liberties or its being an unacceptable form of internal exile. As I have already made clear, it is a power that has been used sparingly and carefully over the past year and there are only 33 exclusion orders currently in force--less than half the number at the beginning of 1995.

Mr. Jeremy Corbyn (Islington, North): Does the Home Secretary agree that it is dangerous for any Minister to have the use of exclusion powers, and that it is doubly dangerous to have exclusion powers that cannot be contested in a court of law and, therefore, are not open to public examination? That is condemned around the world and it should be condemned here as well.

Mr. Howard: It has not been condemned by people who have examined the issue, including Mr. Rowe, because they know that it would be naive and irresponsible for a Government to abandon the power of exclusion while the IRA maintains its weapons, explosives and the will to use them.

I will put it plainly to the hon. Member for Sunderland, South (Mr. Mullin) and others who think like him. If we had obtained intelligence of who was planning to carry out the South Quay bombing, or of Edward O'Brien's purpose in coming to London to lie low with a stock of Semtex, I would have had no qualms in excluding them and using the powers that the prevention of terrorism Act provides. I do not believe that anyone has the "civil

14 Mar 1996 : Column 1168

liberty" to travel around the United Kingdom to commit whatever acts of terrorism he pleases. I am far more concerned with the civil liberty to run a newsagents in docklands without the roof being blown in on top of one, or to catch a No. 171 bus without it blowing up in the Strand. Those are the civil liberties about which I care passionately.

Mr. Corbyn rose--

Mr. McNamara rose--

Mr. Howard: I shall not give way again. I was generous in giving way during my opening remarks, and now I want to finish in the time allotted to me.

As for extensions of detention under section 14 of the Act, to which the hon. Member for Sunderland, South referred, I give my personal authority for any detention beyond 48 hours. In doing so, I look at the case put by the police--including, for example, the need not simply for questioning, but for further inquiries or searches to be made or, with foreign suspects, for suspicious material to be translated. I take into account any intelligence that might justify the inquiries. Where an extension of detention is necessary for investigative purposes, I authorise it, for the period necessary.

The hon. Member for Sunderland, South was wrong when he suggested that it is possible under section 14 for a person to be detained for seven days, incommunicado and without seeing a solicitor. The maximum time that the right to consult a solicitor can be delayed, and then only for the specific purposes set out in section 14, is48 hours. The maximum time for which contact with a solicitor can be delayed in non-PTA cases is 36 hours. The hon. Gentleman attached great significance to those powers this evening and on the "Today" programme this morning, but he is mistaken in his interpretation of section 14. The difference between that section and the ordinary application of the law outwith the prevention of terrorism Act is limited.

Mr. Mullin: Is the Home Secretary saying that no one has ever been held, without access to a solicitor, for more than 48 hours under the Act?

Mr. Howard: I have no knowledge of anybody being held for more than 48 hours, for which section 14 provides--the power that we are debating this evening, and which the hon. Gentleman misinterpreted or misunderstood.

It was suggested that the power of detention should include a judicial element, but the decision to detain cannot sensibly be taken by anyone who does not have access to the full intelligence picture that enables an informed judgment to be made. The introduction of a judicial element has been rejected in a series of reviews of the Act--by Lord Shackleton in 1978, by Lord Jellicoe in 1983 and by Viscount Colville in 1987. Mr. Rowe deals with the matter in chapters 6 and 8 of his report, in which he succinctly, but clearly, sets out the arguments against judicial intervention. I shall not repeat the arguments because they are set out for all to see in the report.

Perhaps the most difficult issue to address is the funding of terrorist operations in other countries. Whatever legislation is in place, it is extremely difficult to get the

14 Mar 1996 : Column 1169

evidence necessary to secure a conviction. Money can be laundered through various routes, and some may be used for humanitarian purposes as a cover. As soon as one, supposedly innocent, fund-raising activity is exposed, the collecting tins come out under another guise. To tackle that, we need close and careful international co-operation. In many cases, it may be best to tackle the fund raiser rather than the fund that he establishes--excluding or deporting where there is information that justifies the use of those powers on the basis that the person's activities are effectively funding terrorism elsewhere. I shall continue to give close attention to that. If there are ways of tightening up our practices that will make a real difference, I shall be delighted to put them into effect.

Much has been made of Lord Lloyd's review. My hon. Friend the Member for Spelthorne (Mr. Wilshire) asked whether the review could consider introducing new powers. I unhesitatingly give my hon. Friend my assurance that it will. The hon. Member for Lewisham, West (Mr. Dowd) suggested that I was seeking to minimise the significance of the Lloyd review, but nothing could be further from the truth. I said that the Lloyd report is predicated on the ending of Northern Irish terrorism. It is intended to examine the permanent powers that we shall need to combat terrorism if and when there is a ceasefire in Northern Ireland--so it is not relevant to the heart of the issues we have debated today. I see many nodding heads among the right hon. and hon. Gentlemen seated behind the hon. Member for Blackburn(Mr. Straw), who wholly failed to grasp the central aspect of the report's significance in relation to this debate.

I walked through South Quay with the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis. I saw the devastation caused in London just a few weeks ago. Ask people in South Quay if they support the prevention of terrorism Act. Ask the families of people who were murdered there. Ask the people who were injured. Ask those whose homes were shattered or whose businesses were devastated. We all know the answer that they would give. They would queue up to vote with the Government in the Lobby tonight--and that is where all right hon. and hon. Members should be if they want effective action to combat terrorism--not just to talk about it.

If we are to fight terrorism effectively, and to give our people the protection that they need, we need the powers in the prevention of terrorism Act. That is why I invite the House to approve the order and the regulations.

Question put:--

The House divided: Ayes 222, Noes 26.

Division No. 77
[7.27 pm


Ainsworth, Peter (East Surrey)
Aitken, Rt Hon Jonathan
Alexander, Richard
Alison, Rt Hon Michael (Selby)
Allason, Rupert (Torbay)
Amess, David
Arbuthnot, James
Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham)
Arnold, Sir Thomas (Hazel Grv)
Ashdown, Rt Hon Paddy
Atkinson, David (Bour'mouth E)
Baker, Rt Hon Kenneth (Mole V)
Baker, Nicholas (North Dorset)
Banks, Matthew (Southport)
Bates, Michael
Batiste, Spencer
Beggs, Roy
Beith, Rt Hon A J
Bellingham, Henry
Bonsor, Sir Nicholas
Boswell, Tim
Bottomley, Peter (Eltham)
Bowden, Sir Andrew
Bowis, John
Boyson, Rt Hon Sir Rhodes
Brandreth, Gyles
Brazier, Julian
Bright, Sir Graham
Brooke, Rt Hon Peter
Browning, Mrs Angela
Butcher, John
Butler, Peter
Campbell, Menzies (Fife NE)
Carlisle, John (Luton North)
Carlisle, Sir Kenneth (Lincoln)
Carrington, Matthew
Carttiss, Michael
Cash, William
Channon, Rt Hon Paul
Chapman, Sir Sydney
Clappison, James
Clark, Dr Michael (Rochford)
Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey
Coe, Sebastian
Congdon, David
Conway, Derek
Coombs, Anthony (Wyre For'st)
Coombs, Simon (Swindon)
Cope, Rt Hon Sir John
Cormack, Sir Patrick
Couchman, James
Cran, James
Currie, Mrs Edwina (S D'by'ire)
Davies, Quentin (Stamford)
Davis, David (Boothferry)
Day, Stephen
Deva, Nirj Joseph
Dorrell, Rt Hon Stephen
Dover, Den
Duncan-Smith, Iain
Dunn, Bob
Elletson, Harold
Evans, Nigel (Ribble Valley)
Evans, Roger (Monmouth)
Evennett, David
Faber, David
Fenner, Dame Peggy
Fishburn, Dudley
Forman, Nigel
Forth, Eric
Foster, Don (Bath)
Fox, Dr Liam (Woodspring)
Fox, Rt Hon Sir Marcus (Shipley)
Freeman, Rt Hon Roger
French, Douglas
Fry, Sir Peter
Gale, Roger
Gardiner, Sir George
Garnier, Edward
Goodlad, Rt Hon Alastair
Goodson-Wickes, Dr Charles
Gorst, Sir John
Greenway, Harry (Ealing N)
Griffiths, Peter (Portsmouth, N)
Gummer, Rt Hon John Selwyn
Hamilton, Rt Hon Sir Archibald
Hamilton, Neil (Tatton)
Hanley, Rt Hon Jeremy
Hannam, Sir John
Hargreaves, Andrew
Harris, David
Hawkins, Nick
Hawksley, Warren
Heathcoat-Amory, Rt Hon David
Hendry, Charles
Higgins, Rt Hon Sir Terence
Hogg, Rt Hon Douglas (G'tham)
Horam, John
Howard, Rt Hon Michael
Hughes, Robert G (Harrow W)
Hunt, Rt Hon David (Wirral W)
Hunt, Sir John (Ravensbourne)
Hunter, Andrew
Jack, Michael
Jenkin, Bernard
Jessel, Toby
Johnson Smith, Sir Geoffrey
Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N)
Jones, Robert B (W Hertfdshr)
Key, Robert
King, Rt Hon Tom
Kirkhope, Timothy
Kirkwood, Archy
Knapman, Roger
Knight, Mrs Angela (Erewash)
Knight, Rt Hon Greg (Derby N)
Knight, Dame Jill (Bir'm E'st'n)
Lang, Rt Hon Ian
Lawrence, Sir Ivan
Legg, Barry
Leigh, Edward
Lidington, David
Luff, Peter
MacKay, Andrew
Maclean, Rt Hon David
McNair-Wilson, Sir Patrick
Maitland, Lady Olga
Malone, Gerald
Mans, Keith
Marshall, John (Hendon S)
Marshall, Sir Michael (Arundel)
Martin, David (Portsmouth S)
Mates, Michael
Mawhinney, Rt Hon Dr Brian
Mills, Iain
Mitchell, Andrew (Gedling)
Mitchell, Sir David (NW Hants)
Molyneaux, Rt Hon Sir James
Monro, Rt Hon Sir Hector
Neubert, Sir Michael
Newton, Rt Hon Tony
Nicholls, Patrick
Nicholson, David (Taunton)
Norris, Steve
Onslow, Rt Hon Sir Cranley
Oppenheim, Phillip
Ottaway, Richard
Page, Richard
Paice, James
Paisley, The Reverend Ian
Patnick, Sir Irvine
Pattie, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey
Pawsey, James
Peacock, Mrs Elizabeth
Pickles, Eric
Porter, Barry (Wirral S)
Portillo, Rt Hon Michael
Powell, William (Corby)
Redwood, Rt Hon John
Richards, Rod
Riddick, Graham
Robathan, Andrew
Roberts, Rt Hon Sir Wyn
Robinson, Mark (Somerton)
Rumbold, Rt Hon Dame Angela
Sackville, Tom
Scott, Rt Hon Sir Nicholas
Shaw, David (Dover)
Shephard, Rt Hon Gillian
Shersby, Sir Michael
Sims, Roger
Smith, Sir Dudley (Warwick)
Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield)
Soames, Nicholas
Spencer, Sir Derek
Spicer, Sir James (W Dorset)
Spicer, Sir Michael (S Worcs)
Spink, Dr Robert
Spring, Richard
Sproat, Iain
Squire, Robin (Hornchurch)
Stanley, Rt Hon Sir John
Steel, Rt Hon Sir David
Steen, Anthony
Stephen, Michael
Stern, Michael
Stewart, Allan
Streeter, Gary
Sweeney, Walter
Sykes, John
Taylor, John M (Solihull)
Taylor, Sir Teddy (Southend, E)
Temple-Morris, Peter
Thomason, Roy
Thompson, Sir Donald (C'er V)
Thompson, Patrick (Norwich N)
Thurnham, Peter
Townsend, Cyril D (Bexl'yh'th)
Tracey, Richard
Trend, Michael
Twinn, Dr Ian
Vaughan, Sir Gerard
Viggers, Peter
Waldegrave, Rt Hon William
Walden, George
Walker, Bill (N Tayside)
Wallace, James
Waller, Gary
Ward, John
Wardle, Charles (Bexhill)
Waterson, Nigel
Watts, John
Wells, Bowen
Whitney, Ray
Whittingdale, John
Widdecombe, Ann
Wilshire, David
Winterton, Mrs Ann (Congleton)
Winterton, Nicholas (Macc'f'ld)
Wolfson, Mark
Wood, Timothy

Tellers for the Ayes:

Mr. Simon Burns and
Mr. Patrick McLoughlin.


Abbott, Ms Diane
Austin-Walker, John
Barnes, Harry
Benn, Rt Hon Tony
Bennett, Andrew F
Canavan, Dennis
Cohen, Harry
Davis, Terry (B'ham, H'dge H'l)
Etherington, Bill
Fyfe, Maria
Grant, Bernie (Tottenham)
Hendron, Dr Joe
Jackson, Helen (Shef'ld, H)
Jones, Lynne (B'ham S O)
Livingstone, Ken
Loyden, Eddie
McGrady, Eddie
McNamara, Kevin
Mallon, Seamus
Marek, Dr John
Michie, Bill (Sheffield Heeley)
Mullin, Chris
Sedgemore, Brian
Simpson, Alan
Skinner, Dennis
Stott, Roger

Tellers for the Noes:

Mr. Max Madden and
Mr. Jeremy Corbyn.

Question accordingly agreed to.

14 Mar 1996 : Column 1171



14 Mar 1996 : Column 1172

Theatr Clwyd

Motion made, and Question proposed, That this House do now adjourn.--[Mr. Ottaway.]

Next Section

IndexHome Page