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Baroness Williams of Crosby: I thank the noble and learned Lord the Lord Advocate for his reply, and in particular for the very full explanation he gave of subsection (2). When he turned to subsection (3), I have to say that I found his clear statement that the Government would not accept the amendment not tantamount to an argument against it. I am still not satisfied that the amendment is other than in perfectly good order. I believe it makes perfectly good sense.

The nub of the whole argument, as the Committee knows, is whether it is appropriate, as the noble Lord, Lord McIntosh, said, that immigration offences should be treated as if they were equivalent to serious offences of the most extreme kind. I think it has been the express view of the Committee in this debate that that argument simply will not hold water.

I thank very much those noble Lords who have taken part in the debate. An extremely serious point was raised by the noble Earl, Lord Sandwich, on the impact of all this on race relations. With respect, it was not addressed by the Minister when he replied. It is an extremely important point and has concerned many Members in this place. The noble Viscount, Lord Brentford, raised similar concerns. Again, I fear that they have not so far been adequately considered.

To turn to the police, I believe that the British record on policing is one of the great glories of this country. However, I am also well aware that some of the most distinguished commissioners, not least of the Metropolitan Police, and including the present commissioner, have themselves been deeply concerned at some incidents of racism among the police. It does not help their own case--which they have made with such strength and imagination--to pretend that there is no problem of this kind, since they themselves admit that there is. It is the duty of this place to help support commissioners of police in their attempt to try to make sure that all citizens of this country are treated alike.

2 May 1996 : Column 1773

I thank very much the noble Lord, Lord Menuhin. He has made a tremendous contribution to this country. He came here under the very terms and generosity of previous Acts. He has been one of the most significant artistic contributors to this country of anybody in this place that I can name. I am most grateful to him for coming in to speak.

Finally, I thank the noble Lord, Lord Renton, for his kind remarks. I am grateful to him for regarding me as speaking with sincerity. I assure him that it is not sincerity that primarily motivates me. I do not want to delay the proceedings of the Committee, but let me just tell a very short story.

Some years ago I was travelling in Romania with my family on holiday. We stopped at a remote hotel in the Carpathian Mountains. It was made of concrete but was shabby and cheap. It was the only hotel to be found in that remote village. I handed over my passport, on which my occupation at that time (it was the old passport) was recorded as "Member of Parliament". The man behind the desk said to me: "Magna Carta liberorum". It is that response that has always filled me with a great sense of pride in my country--the "great charter of the free". I fear that measures such as this go a long way to undermine that reputation. It is because I wish to see that reputation upheld that I now ask the Committee to express its opinion on this amendment.

5.5 p.m.

On Question, Whether the said amendment (No. 77) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 112; Not-Contents, 131.

Division No. 1


Acton, L.
Addington, L.
Archer of Sandwell, L.
Avebury, L.
Barnett, L.
Bath, M.
Beaumont of Whitley, L.
Berkeley, L.
Blackstone, B.
Borrie, L.
Broadbridge, L.
Carmichael of Kelvingrove, L.
Carter, L.
Chester, Bp.
Chichester, Bp.
Clancarty, E.
Clinton-Davis, L.
Cocks of Hartcliffe, L.
David, B.
Desai, L.
Donaldson of Kingsbridge, L.
Dormand of Easington, L.
Drogheda, E.
Dubs, L.
Ezra, L.
Falkender, B.
Falkland, V.
Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Fitt, L.
Gallacher, L.
Graham of Edmonton, L. [Teller.]
Greenhill of Harrow, L.
Grey, E.
Halsbury, E.
Hamwee, B.
Hanworth, V.
Harris of Greenwich, L.
Haskel, L.
Hayman, B.
Healey, L.
Henderson of Brompton, L.
Hilton of Eggardon, B.
Hollick, L.
Hollis of Heigham, B.
Holme of Cheltenham, L.
Howie of Troon, L.
Hughes, L.
Hutchinson of Lullington, L.
Hylton, L.
Jay of Paddington, B.
Jeger, B.
Jenkins of Putney, L.
Judd, L.
Kennet, L.
Kilbracken, L.
Kissin, L.
Lester of Herne Hill, L.
Lockwood, B.
Lovell-Davis, L.
McIntosh of Haringey, L.
Mackie of Benshie, L.
McNair, L.
McNally, L.
Mayhew, L.
Merlyn-Rees, L.
Meston, L.
Mishcon, L.
Monkswell, L.
Morris of Castle Morris, L.
Nathan, L.
Nicol, B.
Ogmore, L.
Oxford, Bp.
Peston, L.
Rea, L.
Redesdale, L.
Richard, L.
Ripon, Bp.
Robertson of Oakridge, L.
Rochester, L.
Rodgers of Quarry Bank, L.
Runcie, L.
Russell, E.
St. John of Bletso, L.
Sandwich, E.
Scanlon, L.
Seear, B.
Serota, B.
Shepherd, L.
Simon, V.
Smith, L.
Stedman, B.
Strabolgi, L.
Strafford, E.
Tenby, V.
Thomson of Monifieth, L.
Thurso, V.
Tope, L.
Tordoff, L.
Turner of Camden, B.
Wallace of Coslany, L.
Walpole, L.
Warnock, B.
Wedderburn of Charlton, L.
White, B.
Wigoder, L.
Williams of Crosby, B. [Teller.]
Williams of Elvel, L.
Williams of Mostyn, L.
Winston, L.
Wright of Richmond, L.
Young of Dartington, L.


Addison, V.
Ailsa, M.
Aldington, L.
Alexander of Tunis, E.
Allenby of Megiddo, V.
Archer of Weston-Super-Mare, L.
Ashbourne, L.
Astor of Hever, L.
Balfour, E.
Bauer, L.
Belhaven and Stenton, L.
Blaker, L.
Blatch, B.
Boardman, L.
Bowness, L.
Boyd-Carpenter, L.
Brabazon of Tara, L.
Brigstocke, B.
Butterworth, L.
Cadman, L.
Campbell of Alloway, L.
Campbell of Croy, L.
Carnock, L.
Chalker of Wallasey, B.
Chelmsford, V.
Chesham, L. [Teller.]
Clanwilliam, E.
Clark of Kempston, L.
Coleridge, L.
Courtown, E.
Cranborne, V. [Lord Privy Seal.]
Cumberlege, B.
Dacre of Glanton, L.
De L'Isle, V.
Dean of Harptree, L.
Denton of Wakefield, B.
Dilhorne, V.
Dixon-Smith, L.
Eden of Winton, L.
Elliott of Morpeth, L.
Elton, L.
Fraser of Carmyllie, L.
Gainford, L.
Gainsborough, E.
Gardner of Parkes, B.
Geddes, L.
Gisborough, L.
Goschen, V.
Haddington, E.
Haig, E.
Hailsham of Saint Marylebone, L.
Harding of Petherton, L.
Hardwicke, E.
Harlech, L.
Harris of Peckham, L.
Hemphill, L.
Henley, L.
Holderness, L.
Hooper, B.
Hothfield, L.
Howe, E.
Hylton-Foster, B.
Ilchester, E.
Inglewood, L.
Jenkin of Roding, L.
Kimball, L.
Kingsland, L.
Leigh, L.
Lindsey and Abingdon, E.
Liverpool, E.
Long, V.
Lucas, L.
Lucas of Chilworth, L.
Lyell, L.
McColl of Dulwich, L.
Mackay of Ardbrecknish, L.
Mackay of Clashfern, L. [Lord Chancellor.]
Mackay of Drumadoon, L.
Marlesford, L.
Massereene and Ferrard, V.
Merrivale, L.
Mersey, V.
Miller of Hendon, B.
Milverton, L.
Monk Bretton, L.
Monson, L.
Montgomery of Alamein, V.
Mottistone, L.
Mountgarret, V.
Mowbray and Stourton, L.
Moyne, L.
Murton of Lindisfarne, L.
Nelson, E.
Newall, L.
Northesk, E.
Orr-Ewing, L.
Oxfuird, V.
Park of Monmouth, B.
Pearson of Rannoch, L.
Pender, L.
Peyton of Yeovil, L.
Pym, L.
Rankeillour, L.
Rawlings, B.
Rees, L.
Rennell, L.
Renton, L.
Renwick, L.
Saltoun of Abernethy, Ly.
Sanderson of Bowden, L.
Seccombe, B.
Selborne, E.
Shaw of Northstead, L.
Sherfield, L.
Skelmersdale, L.
Soulsby of Swaffham Prior, L.
Stewartby, L.
Stockton, E.
Strange, B.
Strathcarron, L.
Strathclyde, L. [Teller.]
Sudeley, L.
Swinfen, L.
Teviot, L.
Thomas of Gwydir, L.
Trumpington, B.
Vivian, L.
Whitelaw, V.
Wise, L.
Wynford, L.
Young, B.

Resolved in the negative, and amendment disagreed to accordingly.

2 May 1996 : Column 1775

5.15 p.m.

[Amendment No. 78 not moved.]

The Lord Bishop of Ripon moved Amendment No. 79:

Page 5, line 43, at end insert ("and "premises" has the same meaning as in the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, save that it does not include a hospital (as defined in section 128 of the National Health Service Act 1977), bona fide educational establishment or place of worship").

The right reverend Prelate said: Amendment No. 79 seeks to limit the meaning of the word "premises". The noble and learned Lord the Lord Advocate has already commented that two powers are given under Clause 7; that is, the power to enter and arrest and the power to enter and search.

The institutions mentioned in the amendment are of a specific kind. I was moved by the contribution of the noble Lord, Lord Menuhin, on the debate on Amendment No. 77 and by what he said about this country being a country of humane behaviour. Each of the institutions mentioned in the amendment--a hospital, a bone fide educational establishment and a place of worship--have specific uses. A hospital is a place of healing; a bona fide educational establishment is a place of learning; and a place of worship speaks for itself. Those activities are such that they do not sit easily with the intrusive powers given under Clause 7. Those powers are not only intrusive; they may also be violent.

One of the powers is the power of arrest. The noble Lord, Lord Renton, conjured up a picture of somebody walking along a street, realising that he is about to be arrested and fleeing into one of those institutions. I find it difficult to see how that could happen in practice and, indeed, how the institution would receive him. If a man fled into a place of worship, would not the act of worship come to an end and those taking part in due course leave? The place of worship, in many cases, may be locked up for the night. I find it difficult to see how refuge could be sought by anybody for more than a momentary period.

2 May 1996 : Column 1776

The power of search also is not appropriate. Again one must ask what kind of evidence is being searched for. What could one be looking for in a place of worship? Other than lists of members, what could one find in a place of worship? What could one be looking for in a hospital, other than medical records? Those institutions are such that their activities sit uneasily with the powers afforded by the clause.

It is because I have that sense of uneasiness about the activities of entering, searching and arresting taking place that I tabled the amendment. I beg to move.

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