No. 11, in page 7, line 10, leave out '14' and insert '28'.[Mr. Malins.]
Passenger and Crew Information: Police Powers
I beg to move amendment No. 17, in page 14, line 38, after 'owner', insert ', captain'.
Mr. Deputy Speaker:
With this it will be convenient to discuss the following amendments: No. 18, in page 14, line 41, after 'owner', insert ', captain'.
No. 19, in page 15, line 17, leave out paragraph (a) and insert
'(a) may be made orally or in writing, but if made orally shall be confirmed in writing within 48 hours'.
No. 20, in page 15, line 19, leave out 'six months' and insert 'one month'.
No. 21, in clause 32, page 15, line 45, after 'owner', insert ', captain'.
No. 22, in clause 33, page 16, line 42, after 'section', insert '30'.
No. 23, in page 17, line 2, at end insert
'(2A) A person who is guilty of an offence under subsection (1) shall be liable on conviction on indictment in the Crown Court to a term of 2 years imprisonment or a fine or both.'.
No. 24, in clause 37, page 19, line 9, leave out 'may' and insert 'shall'.
No. 25, in page 19, line 11, leave out 'is likely to' and insert 'may'.
I propose to make an extremely brief contribution on the amendments. I do not ask the Minister to deal with them at length, or at all, unless he feels it appropriate to do so, but I will be grateful if he is able to write to me.
Clauses 31, 32, 33 and 37 touch on important issues with regard to the sharing of information, which must be seen against the backdrop of the need for doing so in the more dangerous world that we currently face. The Minister is aware of our 100 per cent. support for Government attempts to ensure that our country is safe, and he must never be in any doubt about that.
The amendments are entirely probing. I tabled amendments Nos. 17, 18 and 21 because I had hoped on several occasions in Committee to insert the word "captain" in relation to a ship.
Amendment No. 19 would enable information required by a constable to be provided orally rather than in writing as long as it is confirmed in writing within 48 hours. There would be no harm in that. I am sure that the Minister will feel free to accept that sensible amendment.
16 Nov 2005 : Column 1049
Amendment No. 22 suggests that a breach of clause 30, as well as of clauses 31 or 32, should be an offence. As the Bill stands, I cannot see that breaching clause 30 by not providing information to an immigration officer is an offence. Would such breaches be imprisonable offences?
Amendment No. 24 would strengthen the provision on the disclosure of information for security purposes so that a person "shall", instead of "may" disclose information. Amendment No. 25 would reduce the test to thinking that that information "may", instead of "is likely to" be of use for a specified purpose.
These are tidying amendments, none of which concerns matters of principle.
I shall try to be even briefer than the hon. Member for Woking (Mr. Malins).
I fully endorse what the hon. Gentleman said about amendments Nos. 17, 18 and 21. It seems sensible that the captain of a ship, who is likely to be in charge, should be the person responsible.
On amendment No. 19, the hon. Gentleman is fully justified in saying that information could be given orally instead of in writing but put in writing within 48 hours.
We support amendment No. 20, which would reduce the specified period for the requirement from six months to one month.
I am not sure why the hon. Gentleman feels that amendment No. 22 is necessary. The provisions in clause 31(2) and (3) and clause 32(2) are restricted to police officers of superintendent or a higher level whereas under the amendment any immigration officer could be used.
We do not support amendment No. 23 but we do support amendments Nos. 24 and 25.
I hope that I shall be even more brief than the hon. Members for Woking (Mr. Malins) and for Manchester, Withington (Mr. Leech). I understand that there is no objection in principle to the e-borders regime that we are introducing, or to the security benefits that we believe will flow from it. The issues raised in the amendments tabled by the hon. Member for Woking are essentially operational questions that we can deal with, and I shall write to him and to the hon. Member for Manchester, Withington to give them clarification on the points that they have raised. We shall not accept the amendments, but I will clarify the reasons why in my letter. I ask the hon. Member for Woking to withdraw his amendment.
I am grateful to the Minister for his response. I believe that several of my amendments have merit, but if I were to test the opinion of the House at this point, I would be in trouble with a number of people. However, I hope that the Minister will take on board the points that I have raised and that he will write to me, because one or two of them have some merit. I repeat our general support for the Government in this matter. The Minister will also be pleased to know that I shall not have to deliver on the bet that I struck with him in private a few moments ago. I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.
Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
16 Nov 2005 : Column 1050
No. 30, in page 23, line 40, at end insert
'(1A) In section 99(4) (expenditure) after "section" insert "4,".'.
No. 31, in page 23, line 41, leave out
'after "section" insert "4 or"'
'for "95" substitute "4, 95 or 98".'.[Mr. Dhanda.]
No. 32, in page 26, line 7, leave out from 'paid' to 'provide' in line 8 and insert ';
and the rules referred to in subsection (1) may'. [Mr. Dhanda.]
Refugee Convention: Construction
I beg to move amendment No. 34, in page 28, line 1, leave out Clause 51.
Madam Deputy Speaker (Sylvia Heal):
With this it will be convenient to discuss the following amendments:
No. 35, in page 28, line 2 [Clause 51], leave out subsection (1).
No. 54, in page 28, line 5 [Clause 51], leave out from 'terrorism' to 'and' in line 6 and insert
'where such acts amount to offences in UK law'.
No. 55, in page 28, line 8 [Clause 51], leave out from 'terrorism' to end of line 9 and insert
'where such acts amount to offences in UK law'.
No. 36, in page 28 [Clause 51], leave out lines 26 and 27.
No. 56, in page 28, line 26 [Clause 51], leave out from 'section' to end of line 27 and insert