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Mr. Allan: The hon. Gentleman makes a very fair point. Groups that work with refugees and others who are subject to immigration control have passed many pieces of information to me expressing their extreme concern, which would have been forceful evidence in the Special Standing Committee.

This is a sensitive issue, but sensitivity does not mean lack of scrutiny. The reverse is true, precisely because it is sensitive, and because we know that some of the forces not of conservatism but of fascism have been involved in the incidents that have forced the Government to bring the measure forward. Those forces have been there in Dover and other parts of Kent, peddling their filth and their muck around the streets. We know that they are involved--and that means that we should talk about the issue for more time, not less. We should not rush through a Lords amendment that, when we think about the history of where it has come from, we see is clearly a reaction to the forces of fascism.

We must be careful about the process of tagging bits on to Bills--or why not leave Bills open all the year round so that we can simply tag extra bits of legislation on to them at various stages? I have no doubt that the provision would not have emerged if the Bill had not still been open to amendment over the recess.

Mr. Stephen Pound (Ealing, North): Does the hon. Gentleman realise that he causes grave offence in implying, by associating the word "fascism" with it, that the Bill is a knee-jerk reaction to what happened in the summer? Does he accept that what has been happening in many constituencies for many years is intolerable, and that it is in no one's interests that it be allowed to continue? Does he not at least accept that there is an

9 Nov 1999 : Column 1031

element of good will and positive thinking on the part of the Government, and an attempt to resolve the situation before it degenerates even further?

Mr. Allan: I have been careful not to say that the Bill as a whole is related to the wider issue and the wider build-up of problems. I say simply that the specific measure before us, which the Minister has already said was introduced in response to public order incidents involving fascists over the summer--[Interruption.] She made the point herself that it was a response--

Mrs. Roche: No.

Mr. Allan: It was a response to public order events in Kent, and my reading of the newspapers--

Mrs. Roche: I have listened carefully to the hon. Gentleman, and he too must be careful and report accurately what I said. I said that the power was new and would not be used routinely, but would be subject to scrutiny. I made it clear that public order would be one of the considerations affecting its use, but not the only one. The hon. Gentleman forgets himself.

Mr. Allan: I take that elucidation on board, but the incidents in Kent of which we are all aware constituted one of the factors behind the Lords amendment. I still bluntly maintain that the provision was introduced purely because of the coincidence of the Bill's remaining open when the incidents occurred, and that that is not the appropriate way in which to respond to such events.

I return to the fundamental principle that the state should restrict the liberty of the individual, whether that individual be a citizen or not, only in extreme circumstances and when it has demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt, subject to proper scrutiny, why it should take those powers.

If the Government do not accept our amendment--or even if they do, but still press ahead with the powers that they are taking--we shall move into a world in which children under 10, and foreigners subject to immigration control, can be subject to such things as curfews and home detention orders without proper scrutiny, and without having committed any criminal offence. I urge the House to support our amendment to restrict the powers, and to be very careful about placing such powers on the statute book.

Mr. Dawson: I am extremely perturbed by Lords amendment No. 1, and the prospect of

That is partly because the language seems so benign, and it has been difficult to find out what the facilities might be and what they might mean.

It is a shame that at the end of our dealings with a complex and challenging Bill, such a far-reaching proposal has been made. I simply do not understand the need for such accommodation. I do not understand the institutional rules that will need to surround such provision, nor its place within a human rights agenda.

9 Nov 1999 : Column 1032

The most disturbing aspect is the fact that weshall expect children, either as part of families or unaccompanied, to be accommodated in such facilities.

Mrs. Roche: There is no suggestion whatever that we would seek to place unaccompanied children at Oakington.

12.30 am

Mr. Dawson: I am grateful for that clarification. However, children will still be held at such institutions as part of families. To accommodate children in circumstances that will be, at the very least, restricted seems to me to be wrong. It goes against our concept of childhood and the ability of parents to care properly for their children. It will also deny parents access to the facilities that their children need. Those children could end up living among undesirable people and be unable to get away. That is inappropriate.

We have heard of the need for proper discussion of the regulations surrounding the proposals at an early stage, and I ask my hon. Friend the Minister to make arrangements that stop such facilities being used for children in any circumstances. The facilities cannot accord with the United Nations convention on the rights of the child or with an agenda that stresses care for children and family friendly policies. I hope that the facilities will not be used for children in any circumstances.

Mrs. Roche: I am glad that we have had this debate. Hon. Members on both sides of the House have raised many important issues and I have listened carefully to the requests for as much information as possible about Oakington. I shall reflect on how we can make that available. We are already actively consulting the voluntary organisations and have been open with them about access.

I must point out to my hon. Friend the Member for Lancaster and Wyre (Mr. Dawson) that it would be wrong to split up families, and that is why we are providing the accommodation at Oakington. I must also say to the Liberal Democrat Members who have spoken that I believe that they will have cause to repent the tone of their remarks, when they have time to reflect on them tomorrow in the cold light of day. It is a great shame that they made their comments in such a way. In contrast, both Labour and Conservative Members made several practical points.

The most humanitarian approach is to speed up applications so that we can deal swiftly with those cases that are unfounded and can grant status to those whose cases are genuine as quickly as possible. Indeed, the Government have shown their commitment to that approach by publishing a consultation document on refugee integration. [Interruption.] Liberal Democrat Members are talking among themselves, but they never mentioned the positive steps that the Government are taking. I hope that the House will agree to the Lords amendment.

Amendment proposed to the Lords amendment: (a), in line 8, at end add--

'(2) No person shall be accommodated by the Secretary of State under subsection (1) for a period exceeding 10 days.'--[Mr. Simon Hughes.]

9 Nov 1999 : Column 1033

Question put, That the amendment to the Lords amendment be made:--

The House divided: Ayes 39, Noes 296.

Division No. 317
[12.34 am


Allan, Richard
Ballard, Jackie
Beith, Rt Hon A J
Benn, Rt Hon Tony (Chesterfield)
Brand, Dr Peter
Breed, Colin
Burnett, John
Burstow, Paul
Campbell, Rt Hon Menzies
(NE Fife)
Canavan, Dennis
Chidgey, David
Corbyn, Jeremy
Cotter, Brian
Davey, Edward (Kingston)
Fallon, Michael
Fearn, Ronnie
Foster, Don (Bath)
George, Andrew (St Ives)
Harris, Dr Evan
Hughes, Simon (Southwark N)
Jones, Dr Lynne (Selly Oak)
Jones, Nigel (Cheltenham)
Keetch, Paul
Kirkwood, Archy
Llwyd, Elfyn
McAllion, John
McDonnell, John
Maclennan, Rt Hon Robert
Michie, Mrs Ray (Argyll & Bute)
Moore, Michael
Morgan, Alasdair (Galloway)
Rendel, David
Russell, Bob (Colchester)
Salmond, Alex
Sanders, Adrian
Stunell, Andrew
Webb, Steve
Welsh, Andrew
Willis, Phil

Tellers for the Ayes:

Sir Robert Smith and
Mr. David Heath.


Adams, Mrs Irene (Paisley N)
Ainger, Nick
Alexander, Douglas
Allen, Graham
Atherton, Ms Candy
Atkins, Charlotte
Barnes, Harry
Barron, Kevin
Bayley, Hugh
Beard, Nigel
Beggs, Roy
Bell, Stuart (Middlesbrough)
Benn, Hilary (Leeds C)
Bennett, Andrew F
Benton, Joe
Berry, Roger
Betts, Clive
Blackman, Liz
Blears, Ms Hazel
Blizzard, Bob
Boateng, Rt Hon Paul
Borrow, David
Bradley, Keith (Withington)
Bradley, Peter (The Wrekin)
Bradshaw, Ben
Brown, Russell (Dumfries)
Browne, Desmond
Burden, Richard
Burgon, Colin
Butler, Mrs Christine
Byers, Rt Hon Stephen
Campbell, Alan (Tynemouth)
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge)
Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V)
Campbell-Savours, Dale
Caplin, Ivor
Casale, Roger
Caton, Martin
Chapman, Ben (Wirral S)
Chaytor, David
Clapham, Michael
Clark, Rt Hon Dr David (S Shields)
Clark, Dr Lynda
(Edinburgh Pentlands)
Clark, Paul (Gillingham)
Clarke, Charles (Norwich S)
Clarke, Rt Hon Tom (Coatbridge)
Clarke, Tony (Northampton S)
Clelland, David
Clwyd, Ann
Coaker, Vernon
Coleman, Iain
Connarty, Michael
Cousins, Jim
Cranston, Ross
Cryer, Mrs Ann (Keighley)
Cryer, John (Hornchurch)
Cummings, John
Cunliffe, Lawrence
Curtis-Thomas, Mrs Claire
Dalyell, Tam
Darvill, Keith
Davey, Valerie (Bristol W)
Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli)
Davies, Geraint (Croydon C)
Dean, Mrs Janet
Denham, John
Dismore, Andrew
Dobbin, Jim
Donohoe, Brian H
Doran, Frank
Dowd, Jim
Drew, David
Eagle, Angela (Wallasey)
Edwards, Huw
Efford, Clive
Ellman, Mrs Louise
Field, Rt Hon Frank
Fisher, Mark
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Fitzsimons, Lorna
Flint, Caroline
Flynn, Paul
Follett, Barbara
Foster, Rt Hon Derek
Foster, Michael J (Worcester)
Fyfe, Maria
Gapes, Mike
Gardiner, Barry
George, Bruce (Walsall S)
Gibson, Dr Ian
Gilroy, Mrs Linda
Godman, Dr Norman A
Godsiff, Roger
Goggins, Paul
Golding, Mrs Llin
Gordon, Mrs Eileen
Griffiths, Jane (Reading E)
Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S)
Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)
Grogan, John
Hain, Peter
Hall, Mike (Weaver Vale)
Hall, Patrick (Bedford)
Hamilton, Fabian (Leeds NE)
Hanson, David
Heal, Mrs Sylvia
Healey, John
Henderson, Doug (Newcastle N)
Henderson, Ivan (Harwich)
Hepburn, Stephen
Heppell, John
Hesford, Stephen
Hewitt, Ms Patricia
Hill, Keith
Hinchliffe, David
Hood, Jimmy
Hope, Phil
Howarth, Alan (Newport E)
Howarth, George (Knowsley N)
Howells, Dr Kim
Hoyle, Lindsay
Hughes, Ms Beverley (Stretford)
Humble, Mrs Joan
Hurst, Alan
Hutton, John
Iddon, Dr Brian
Illsley, Eric
Jackson, Helen (Hillsborough)
Jamieson, David
Jenkins, Brian
Johnson, Alan (Hull W & Hessle)
Johnson, Miss Melanie
(Welwyn Hatfield)
Jones, Rt Hon Barry (Alyn)
Jones, Helen (Warrington N)
Jones, Jon Owen (Cardiff C)
Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S)
Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald
Keeble, Ms Sally
Keen, Alan (Feltham & Heston)
Keen, Ann (Brentford & Isleworth)
Kemp, Fraser
Kennedy, Jane (Wavertree)
Khabra, Piara S
Kidney, David
Kilfoyle, Peter
King, Andy (Rugby & Kenilworth)
Kumar, Dr Ashok
Ladyman, Dr Stephen
Lawrence, Ms Jackie
Laxton, Bob
Lepper, David
Leslie, Christopher
Levitt, Tom
Lewis, Ivan (Bury S)
Linton, Martin
Lloyd, Tony (Manchester C)
Lock, David
Love, Andrew
McAvoy, Thomas
McCabe, Steve
McCartney, Rt Hon Ian
McDonagh, Siobhain
Macdonald, Calum
McFall, John
McGuire, Mrs Anne
McIsaac, Shona
McKenna, Mrs Rosemary
Mackinlay, Andrew
McNulty, Tony
MacShane, Denis
Mactaggart, Fiona
McWalter, Tony
McWilliam, John
Mahon, Mrs Alice
Mallaber, Judy
Marsden, Gordon (Blackpool S)
Marsden, Paul (Shrewsbury)
Marshall, David (Shettleston)
Marshall-Andrews, Robert
Martlew, Eric
Meale, Alan
Merron, Gillian
Milburn, Rt Hon Alan
Miller, Andrew
Moffatt, Laura
Moonie, Dr Lewis
Moran, Ms Margaret
Morley, Elliot
Mountford, Kali
Mudie, George
Mullin, Chris
Murphy, Denis (Wansbeck)
Murphy, Jim (Eastwood)
Murphy, Rt Hon Paul (Torfaen)
Naysmith, Dr Doug
Norris, Dan
O'Brien, Bill (Normanton)
O'Brien, Mike (N Warks)
Olner, Bill
O'Neill, Martin
Organ, Mrs Diana
Osborne, Ms Sandra
Palmer, Dr Nick
Pearson, Ian
Pendry, Tom
Perham, Ms Linda
Pickthall, Colin
Pike, Peter L
Plaskitt, James
Pollard, Kerry
Pond, Chris
Pope, Greg
Pound, Stephen
Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lewisham E)
Prentice, Gordon (Pendle)
Prosser, Gwyn
Purchase, Ken
Quin, Rt Hon Ms Joyce
Quinn, Lawrie
Rapson, Syd
Raynsford, Nick
Reed, Andrew (Loughborough)
Roche, Mrs Barbara
Rooker, Jeff
Ross, Ernie (Dundee W)
Rowlands, Ted
Roy, Frank
Ruane, Chris
Ruddock, Joan
Russell, Ms Christine (Chester)
Salter, Martin
Sarwar, Mohammad
Savidge, Malcolm
Sawford, Phil
Sedgemore, Brian
Sheerman, Barry
Sheldon, Rt Hon Robert
Shipley, Ms Debra
Short, Rt Hon Clare
Simpson, Alan (Nottingham S)
Singh, Marsha
Skinner, Dennis
Smith, Rt Hon Andrew (Oxford E)
Smith, Angela (Basildon)
Smith, Rt Hon Chris (Islington S)
Smith, Jacqui (Redditch)
Smith, John (Glamorgan)
Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)
Snape, Peter
Soley, Clive
Southworth, Ms Helen
Spellar, John
Starkey, Dr Phyllis
Steinberg, Gerry
Stewart, David (Inverness E)
Stewart, Ian (Eccles)
Stinchcombe, Paul
Stoate, Dr Howard
Strang, Rt Hon Dr Gavin
Straw, Rt Hon Jack
Stringer, Graham
Stuart, Ms Gisela
Sutcliffe, Gerry
Taylor, Rt Hon Mrs Ann
Taylor, Ms Dari (Stockton S)
Taylor, David (NW Leics)
Temple-Morris, Peter
Thomas, Gareth (Clwyd W)
Thomas, Gareth R (Harrow W)
Tipping, Paddy
Todd, Mark
Touhig, Don
Trickett, Jon
Truswell, Paul
Turner, Dennis (Wolverh'ton SE)
Turner, Dr Desmond (Kemptown)
Turner, Dr George (NW Norfolk)
Turner, Neil (Wigan)
Twigg, Derek (Halton)
Twigg, Stephen (Enfield)
Tynan, Bill
Walley, Ms Joan
Ward, Ms Claire
Wareing, Robert N
Watts, David
White, Brian
Whitehead, Dr Alan
Williams, Rt Hon Alan
(Swansea W)
Williams, Alan W (E Carmarthen)
Williams, Mrs Betty (Conwy)
Wilson, Brian
Winnick, David
Winterton, Ms Rosie (Doncaster C)
Woolas, Phil
Worthington, Tony
Wray, James

Tellers for the Noes:

Mr. Kevin Hughes and
Mr. Robert Ainsworth.

Question accordingly negatived.

9 Nov 1999 : Column 1035

It being more than five hours after commencement of proceedings on the supplemental allocation of time order, Mr. Deputy Speaker put the Questions necessary for the disposal of proceedings to be concluded at that hour.

Lords amendment No. 1 agreed to [Special Entry].

Lords amendment No. 139 and amendment (a) thereto agreed to.

Remaining Lords amendments agreed to [some with Special Entry].

Committee appointed to draw up Reasons to be assigned to the Lords for disagreeing to their amendment No. 135: Mr. Mike Hall, Mr. Tom Levitt, Mr. David Lidington, Mrs. Barbara Roche and Mr. Keith Simpson; Mrs. Barbara Roche to be the Chairman of the Committee; Three to be the quorum of the Committee.--[Mr. Mike Hall.]

To withdraw immediately.

Reasons for disagreeing to Lords amendment No. 135 reported, and agreed to; to be communicated to the Lords.

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