Previous SectionIndexHome Page

11.35 pm

Mr. Andrew Hunter (Basingstoke): There is a shameful and sordid predictability about the schedule to the order. The same comments may be applied to the

29 Jul 1998 : Column 496

UDA and the UVF, although I am less certain of the evidence in their case, but the omission of the IRA from the schedule, although predictable, further undermines confidence in the Government's handling of the process and in the Secretary of State's objectivity and judgment.

The core of the argument is straightforward: there is no compelling, unambiguous or unequivocal evidence that Provisional IRA falls outside the two subsections of clause 3(8) or that it complies with any of the requirements of the four subsections of clause 3(9). PIRA should be included in the schedule.

On Second Reading, the Secretary of State and the Minister--the hon. Member for East Kilbride (Mr. Ingram)--made much of the four clarifications in the Prime Minister's speech at Balmoral on 14 May. They were ultra-selective in their quotations. The Prime Minister's speech was much more precise than the requirements in the Bill or in the order. He talked about an end to bombings, killings and beatings. There has been no end to those beatings; everyone knows which organisations are involved, and they should be included in the schedule.

Some of us needed no further evidence, but the order has provided us with it. What started as a peace process has turned into a process of appeasement, and we should all be ashamed of it. It is too late now--the Act is the Act--but would that we could have nothing to do with the Act or the order.

11.38 pm

Mr. Andrew Robathan (Blaby): Guardsmen Fisher and Wright still languish in gaol, having been sent by the Government to protect this country. Like every policeman and service man on the streets of Northern Ireland, they went out to do their duty. They made a grievous error, but for them to be still languishing in gaol when we are talking about releasing convicted murderers who went out to do murder is a disgrace. If the Secretary of State cannot reply now, will she write to me to say when she will make the decision on whether they are to be released?

About a year ago, I said to the Secretary of State at a meeting of the British-Irish parliamentary body that all the concessions were coming from one side. She said that I had got it entirely wrong, that it was a peace process, and concessions had to be made by all sides. Once again, all the concessions have been made by the Government and none by the Provisional IRA, which has killed someone within the past fortnight and is carrying out punishment beatings. No one doubts the good faith of the Secretary of State, but the path to hell is paved with good intentions. She is making a fudge to keep Sinn Fein on board by failing to put the Provisional IRA--loyalist parties as well, but I home in on the IRA--on the list of specified organisations. If she wants peace to succeed, she must make a stand and say that the Provisional IRA and its political side, Sinn Fein, cannot take part in the peace process until they subscribe to all the parts of the peace process to which they have signed up.

11.40 pm

Mr. Jeffrey Donaldson (Lagan Valley): I want to home in on the criteria that the Secretary of State has used to reach her decision. The Belfast agreement states that there must be a complete and unequivocal ceasefire

29 Jul 1998 : Column 497

for organisations to benefit from it. What does that mean? When the Prime Minister came to Balmoral during the referendum campaign he spelled it out clearly when he said that a complete and unequivocal ceasefire is

    "an end to bombings, killings and beatings, claimed or unclaimed; an end to targeting and procurement of weapons; progressive abandonment and dismantling of paramilitary structures actively directing and promoting violence".

None of the terrorist organisations of which I am aware in Northern Ireland meets those criteria. There are murders, beatings and bombings. If they are not carried out by those organisations, one suspects that they are done with the assistance of their members. There has been no abandonment and dismantling of paramilitary structures by the Ulster Volunteer Force, the Ulster Defence Association or the Provisional IRA. Not one weapon has been decommissioned by any of the terrorist organisations. The Provisional IRA has so far failed even to appoint someone to liaise with the decommissioning commission. Under the terms of the legislation, how can the Secretary of State argue that the Provisional IRA is co-operating with the commission? It is not co-operating or decommissioning, and violence is continuing.

The Prime Minister came to Northern Ireland and wrote some pledges for the people of Northern Ireland. He gave them his word. He wrote:

Are not the murder of Andrew Kearney and the beating of Vincent McKenna violence? Violence has not been given up for good. If the prisoners are to be released in circumstances where violence continues, the Prime Minister has broken his pledge to the people of Northern Ireland.

I appeal to the Secretary of State. Last weekend, the Truesdale family, whose brother Norman was murdered by the Provisional IRA, invited the Prime Minister to watch the video of his murder so that the Prime Minister could get some of the hurt that they feel because his murderer is going to be released on to the streets. I invite the Secretary of State to watch that video. Perhaps the Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office, the Member for East Kilbride (Mr. Ingram) has watched it and understands. I spoke to the family yesterday. They live in fear because the man who murdered their brother lives just up the street. When he is released, he will be in the heart of their community. They live in fear because of what is being proposed. The Minister may think that that is unfair, but he must understand how people feel. The feelings and fears are real. People in Northern Ireland do not understand why, when violence and murder continue, murderers will be released on to the streets. I ask the Government to think again.

11.43 pm

Mr. William Cash (Stone): I have never witnessed so much nervous twitching as I did while the Secretary of State listened to the Opposition's arguments. This is the biggest sell-out that I have seen in my time in Parliament. The release of the prisoners and the arrangements to allow members of the Northern Ireland Executive to take part in running Northern Ireland when

29 Jul 1998 : Column 498

they unquestionably have guns, either on or under the table, is one of the most abhorrent--

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order.

It being one and a half hours after the commencement of proceedings on the motion, Mr. Deputy Speaker put the Question, pursuant to Standing Order No. 16.

Question put:--

The House divided: Ayes 219, Noes 86.

Division No. 353
[11.44 pm


Adams, Mrs Irene (Paisley N)
Ainger, Nick
Alexander, Douglas
Allen, Graham
Anderson, Janet (Rossendale)
Atherton, Ms Candy
Atkins, Charlotte
Austin, John
Barron, Kevin
Battle, John
Bayley, Hugh
Beard, Nigel
Beckett, Rt Hon Mrs Margaret
Benton, Joe
Bermingham, Gerald
Berry, Roger
Best, Harold
Betts, Clive
Blackman, Liz
Blears, Ms Hazel
Blizzard, Bob
Borrow, David
Bradley, Keith (Withington)
Bradshaw, Ben
Brown, Russell (Dumfries)
Burgon, Colin
Caborn, Richard
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge)
Campbell, Menzies (NE Fife)
Canavan, Dennis
Cann, Jamie
Chapman, Ben (Wirral S)
Chaytor, David
Chisholm, Malcolm
Clapham, Michael
Clark, Rt Hon Dr David (S Shields)
Clark, Dr Lynda
(Edinburgh Pentlands)
Clarke, Charles (Norwich S)
Clarke, Tony (Northampton S)
Clelland, David
Coaker, Vernon
Coffey, Ms Ann
Cohen, Harry
Coleman, Iain
Colman, Tony
Connarty, Michael
Corbyn, Jeremy
Cotter, Brian
Cousins, Jim
Cox, Tom
Crausby, David
Cryer, Mrs Ann (Keighley)
Cryer, John (Hornchurch)
Cunliffe, Lawrence
Cunningham, Jim (Cov'try S)
Dalyell, Tam
Darvill, Keith
Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli)
Dobbin, Jim
Doran, Frank
Dowd, Jim
Drew, David
Efford, Clive
Ellman, Mrs Louise
Ennis, Jeff
Etherington, Bill
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Flynn, Paul
Foster, Rt Hon Derek
Foster, Michael J (Worcester)
Foulkes, George
Fyfe, Maria
Gapes, Mike
George, Andrew (St Ives)
Gerrard, Neil
Gibson, Dr Ian
Godman, Dr Norman A
Godsiff, Roger
Goggins, Paul
Golding, Mrs Llin
Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)
Hain, Peter
Hall, Mike (Weaver Vale)
Hamilton, Fabian (Leeds NE)
Hanson, David
Heal, Mrs Sylvia
Healey, John
Heath, David (Somerton & Frome)
Henderson, Doug (Newcastle N)
Hepburn, Stephen
Hesford, Stephen
Hill, Keith
Hoey, Kate
Hood, Jimmy
Hoyle, Lindsay
Hughes, Ms Beverley (Stretford)
Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)
Hughes, Simon (Southwark N)
Hutton, John
Iddon, Dr Brian
Illsley, Eric
Ingram, Adam
Jackson, Ms Glenda (Hampstead)
Jackson, Helen (Hillsborough)
Jamieson, David
Jenkins, Brian
Johnson, Alan (Hull W & Hessle)
Jones, Helen (Warrington N)
Jones, Ms Jenny
(Wolverh'ton SW)
Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S)
Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald
Keen, Alan (Feltham & Heston)
Keen, Ann (Brentford & Isleworth)
Keetch, Paul
Kidney, David
Kilfoyle, Peter
King, Andy (Rugby & Kenilworth)
Kingham, Ms Tess
Kirkwood, Archy
Kumar, Dr Ashok
Ladyman, Dr Stephen
Linton, Martin
Livsey, Richard
Love, Andrew
McAllion, John
McAvoy, Thomas
McCabe, Steve
McCartney, Ian (Makerfield)
McDonagh, Siobhain
Macdonald, Calum
McDonnell, John
McFall, John
McGuire, Mrs Anne
McNamara, Kevin
McNulty, Tony
Mactaggart, Fiona
McWalter, Tony
McWilliam, John
Mahon, Mrs Alice
Marsden, Paul (Shrewsbury)
Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)
Martlew, Eric
Meacher, Rt Hon Michael
Meale, Alan
Michael, Alun
Michie, Bill (Shef'ld Heeley)
Milburn, Alan
Miller, Andrew
Mitchell, Austin
Moonie, Dr Lewis
Morgan, Ms Julie (Cardiff N)
Morgan, Rhodri (Cardiff W)
Morley, Elliot
Mowlam, Rt Hon Marjorie
Mudie, George
Mullin, Chris
Murphy, Paul (Torfaen)
O'Brien, Bill (Normanton)
Olner, Bill
Öpik, Lembit
Pendry, Tom
Pickthall, Colin
Pike, Peter L
Plaskitt, James
Pope, Greg
Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lewisham E)
Prentice, Gordon (Pendle)
Prosser, Gwyn
Purchase, Ken
Quin, Ms Joyce
Reed, Andrew (Loughborough)
Reid, Dr John (Hamilton N)
Rogers, Allan
Rowlands, Ted
Ruddock, Ms Joan
Russell, Bob (Colchester)
Russell, Ms Christine (Chester)
Salmond, Alex
Salter, Martin
Savidge, Malcolm
Shaw, Jonathan
Sheerman, Barry
Short, Rt Hon Clare
Simpson, Alan (Nottingham S)
Skinner, Dennis
Smith, Rt Hon Andrew (Oxford E)
Smith, John (Glamorgan)
Soley, Clive
Squire, Ms Rachel
Steinberg, Gerry
Stewart, David (Inverness E)
Stewart, Ian (Eccles)
Straw, Rt Hon Jack
Stuart, Ms Gisela
Stunell, Andrew
Sutcliffe, Gerry
Taylor, Rt Hon Mrs Ann
Taylor, Ms Dari (Stockton S)
Taylor, David (NW Leics)
Temple-Morris, Peter
Thomas, Gareth (Clwyd W)
Tipping, Paddy
Touhig, Don
Turner, Dennis (Wolverh'ton SE)
Turner, Dr Desmond (Kemptown)
Twigg, Derek (Halton)
Twigg, Stephen (Enfield)
Vis, Dr Rudi
Ward, Ms Claire
Wareing, Robert N
Webb, Steve
White, Brian
Wills, Michael
Winnick, David
Wise, Audrey
Wood, Mike
Woolas, Phil
Worthington, Tony
Wright, Anthony D (Gt Yarmouth)

Tellers for the Ayes:

Jane Kennedy and
Mr. Robert Ainsworth.


Amess, David
Atkinson, David (Bour'mth E)
Atkinson, Peter (Hexham)
Beggs, Roy
Bercow, John
Beresford, Sir Paul
Boswell, Tim
Bottomley, Rt Hon Mrs Virginia
Brady, Graham
Brazier, Julian
Brooke, Rt Hon Peter
Bruce, Ian (S Dorset)
Burns, Simon
Cash, William
Chapman, Sir Sydney
(Chipping Barnet)
Clappison, James
Donaldson, Jeffrey
Dorrell, Rt Hon Stephen
Duncan Smith, Iain
Evans, Nigel
Fabricant, Michael
Flight, Howard
Forth, Rt Hon Eric
Fraser, Christopher
Garnier, Edward
Gill, Christopher
Gillan, Mrs Cheryl
Gray, James
Grieve, Dominic
Hammond, Philip
Howarth, Gerald (Aldershot)
Hunter, Andrew
Jack, Rt Hon Michael
Jenkin, Bernard
Johnson Smith,
Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey
Key, Robert
Kirkbride, Miss Julie
Laing, Mrs Eleanor
Leigh, Edward
Letwin, Oliver
Lilley, Rt Hon Peter
Lloyd, Rt Hon Sir Peter (Fareham)
Loughton, Tim
McIntosh, Miss Anne
MacKay, Andrew
McLoughlin, Patrick
Maples, John
Mates, Michael
Maude, Rt Hon Francis
Mawhinney, Rt Hon Sir Brian
Moss, Malcolm
Ottaway, Richard
Paice, James
Paisley, Rev Ian
Paterson, Owen
Pickles, Eric
Prior, David
Randall, John
Robathan, Andrew
Robertson, Laurence (Tewk'b'ry)
Robinson, Peter (Belfast E)
Ross, William (E Lond'y)
Sayeed, Jonathan
Smyth, Rev Martin (Belfast S)
Spelman, Mrs Caroline
Spicer, Sir Michael
Spring, Richard
Stanley, Rt Hon Sir John
Swayne, Desmond
Syms, Robert
Tapsell, Sir Peter
Thompson, William
Tredinnick, David
Trend, Michael
Tyrie, Andrew
Wardle, Charles
Wells, Bowen
Whitney, Sir Raymond
Whittingdale, John
Widdecombe, Rt Hon Miss Ann
Wilkinson, John
Willetts, David
Wilshire, David
Winterton, Nicholas (Macclesfield)
Woodward, Shaun
Young, Rt Hon Sir George

Tellers for the Noes:

Mr. Nigel Waterson and
Mr. Stephen Day.

Question accordingly agreed to.

29 Jul 1998 : Column 500


Next Section

IndexHome Page