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Mr. McDonnell: I accept the Minister's assurance on this Government's exercise of proscription as a final power.

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However, I offer a concrete example. Let us take part I and part II together, under a definition of an organisation as terrorist--an organisation that has an "ideological cause" and perpetrates


    "serious violence against any person or property".

Almost every organisation that demonstrated in Seattle was involved in serious crime against persons or property. Major mayhem was caused in that city. Many of those organisations were from this country and were funded by individuals from this country, and could be subject to proscription under parts I and II--could they not?

Mr. Clarke: Any organisation that focuses on the courses of activity defined in clause 1 is potentially subject to proscription. That is clearly set out in the Bill. My hon. Friend's point about funds relates to my next point on terrorist property and the concerns expressed about clauses 14 and 18.

In relation to the point made by my hon. Friend the Member for Nottingham, South on clause 14, it is not true that those giving money to an organisation--some of whose actions may come under the clause 1 definition--will necessarily commit offences under part III. People who give such money would have to know, or have reasonable cause to suspect, that the donation would be used for the purposes of terrorism. There needs to be a much more direct link between a donation and its likely end purpose than my hon. Friend suggested in his intervention.

My hon. Friend the Member for Slough (Fiona Mactaggart) raised a serious and important point onclause 18. I emphasise strongly that the fundraising and money-laundering systems are massively important in fostering and strengthening terrorist organisations. I have become fully aware of that fact only since taking on my present job in the summer. I had read about Noraid and so on, but I had not appreciated the extent to which that is the case. It is also the case in some of the areas of crime that the Bill does not cover. The money-laundering system is a key element in the support for such organisations. That is why we need to address, and why the clause addresses, the ways in which we target those people.

As many hon. Members have suggested, it is important to get the balance right; but it is also crucial to target the fundraising, which is the life-blood of such organisations. That includes telling professional advisers--as we do in the Bill--to take seriously their responsibilities in that regard. Two months ago, I was at a G8 conference on organised crime. The key question that was being discussed throughout the world was how to ensure that people who know that the proceeds of fundraising will be used to support terrorism live up to their responsibilities. That is a large part of the motivation for the relevant clauses in the Bill.

Mr. Maginnis: Given the problems that the Serious Fraud Office has had over the years, huge resources will be needed to take action on the provision of finance to terrorist operations from apparently legitimate sources. Are the Government now prepared to say that those resources will be made available to tackle the problem that the Minister has defined?

Mr. Clarke: I am not prepared to make a statement to the House tonight, but I am prepared to say that we

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absolutely take the point that the hon. Gentleman is making. Proposals for new legislation are under consideration, and we are studying the resources issues that will be involved because extremely substantial issues are involved.

In response to the specific argument made by my hon. Friend the Member for Slough, I want to make it clear that although I do believe that people who, in the course of their work, come across information about terrorist fundraising should pass it on, there is in the Bill a defence of reasonable excuse, which is an important qualification. We have also dropped the broader provision in section 18 of the PTA that any suspicion of terrorist activity acquired in any circumstances must be passed on, or an offence is committed. We have substantially tightened the provision.

I am prepared to consider in Committee the detail of the various wordings of which there was criticism, from wherever that criticism came. The hon. Member for Fermanagh and South Tyrone was worried that the definition of terrorism in clause 1 might be too loose, and he also drew attention to other issues. Those need to be debated in Committee.

My penultimate point is on the question of detention and whether it should be dealt with by the Executive or the judiciary. We have fulfilled our commitments in that area. We believe that the judiciary approach is modelled in ordinary criminal law. Hon. Members from both sides of the House have spoken on that subject, and no doubt it will be fully debated, but the Government believe that it is an effective, positive and progressive change to give the judiciary power to deal with these matters.

Finally, I turn to the question of incitement and overseas activity, mentioned by several of my right hon. and hon. Friends. First, I want to quote from clause 57(1):


I emphasise the word "incites". It is important to send a strong message to extremists that incitement in this country to terrorism anywhere overseas is unacceptable. In tandem with other parts of the Bill, those provisions demonstrate our commitment to change the climate in which people seek to operate in this country. We want to deter the encouragement of terrorist activities and to offer a basis for enforcement action that is necessary in the various circumstances that arise.

Mr. Corbyn rose--

Mr. Alan Simpson rose--

Mr. Clarke: I shall give way in a second, but first I shall answer the question asked by my right hon. Friend the Member for Chesterfield.

In the case of the Rivonia trial, the answer is no--there would not have been an offence against the Bill. One could consider whole areas. The aim is to stop the incitement of specific terrorist activities.

Mr. Corbyn rose--

Mr. Simpson rose--

Mr. Winnick rose--

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Mr. Clarke: I give way, for the final time, to my hon. Friend the Member for Islington, North.

Mr. Corbyn: If a person organises a meeting in solidarity with an organisation in another country that is attempting to overthrow the Government of that country by violent means, is that person guilty of an offence? Are the supporters of that organisation guilty of an offence? Are the people funding it or attending the meeting guilty of an offence? It seems to me that they could well be adjudged to be supporters of terrorist acts even if the regime that they were trying to overthrow was a totally evil and repressive regime, but had since named its opponents as terrorists.

Mr. Clarke: Prima facie, the answer is no. I cannot judge specific cases; that will be a matter for the courts to determine according to particular circumstances. The short answer is that support for solidarity action, international campaign organisations or whatever will not be an offence in the context that we are talking about.

I want to emphasise that clauses 60 and 61 will enable the United Kingdom to ratify the United Nations convention on the suppression of terrorist bombings and, therefore, to meet our international obligations. Clauses 57 to 59 will essentially fill in the remaining gaps in the law to ensure that where offences are committed anywhere in the world, they can brought before our courts--and quite rightly so.

Mr. Winnick: Does my hon. Friend remember that when terrorist atrocities occurred in Egypt involving British citizens, the Egyptians asked why Britain allowed this country to be used as a base for terrorist purposes? Whether we did or not--it would have been unknown to the Government of the day--is it not important that we send the message that Britain will under no circumstances be used as a base for terrorist activities? Otherwise, we shall be in no position to lecture other countries.

Mr. Clarke: My hon. Friend makes a powerful and important point, which applies not only to the Egyptian case but to a variety of others in which it is important that we send our message clearly.

Mr. Tony Benn: Let us consider the case of Sandline. It overthrew a de facto--not a de jure--Government and the Foreign Office seemed to be involved in that from the beginning. What is the position on that? We cannot be asked to give even a Second Reading to a Bill in which the lines of definition are so blurred that they are very dangerous.

Mr. Clarke: My right hon. Friend was a member of the Government who in 1978 passed the legislation that deals with such circumstances. It is important to say that it not possible to give prima facie judgments on all the issues as they arise, but we must establish a proper framework.

The Government believe that every act of terrorism is a uniquely cowardly and barbaric crime. The Bill responds to the need for specific powers, ensures that the United Kingdom takes a tough stance, provides a new permanent legal framework and gets the balance right. I commend the Bill to the House and look forward to energetic and interesting discussions in Committee on the various issues before us.

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Question put and agreed to.

Bill accordingly read a Second time.

Motion made, and Question put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 63(2),


The House divided: Ayes 47, Noes 262.


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