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Lord Williams of Mostyn: I am grateful to the noble Lord. At Second Reading, I promised to make a first draft of the rules available for our discussion today. I am pleased that we were able to deliver on that promise.

Perhaps I may say how grateful we in the Home Office are to my noble and learned friend the Lord Chancellor and his staff for their work in preparing the first draft so quickly and, as the noble Lord said, so conscientiously.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 4, as amended, agreed to.

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Lord Williams of Mostyn moved Amendment No. 3:

After Clause 4, insert the following new clause--

Appointment of person to represent the appellant's interests

(".--(1) The relevant law officer may appoint a person to represent the interests of an appellant in any proceedings before the Special Immigration Appeals Commission from which the appellant and any legal representative of his are excluded.
(2) For the purposes of subsection (1) above, the relevant law officer is--
(a) in relation to proceedings before the Commission in England and Wales, the Attorney General,
(b) in relation to proceedings before the Commission in Scotland, the Lord Advocate, and
(c) in relation to proceedings before the Commission in Northern Ireland, the Attorney General for Northern Ireland.
(3) A person appointed under subsection (1) above--
(a) if appointed for the purposes of proceedings in England and Wales, shall have a general qualification for the purposes of section 71 of the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990,
(b) if appointed for the purposes of proceedings in Scotland, shall be--
(i) an advocate, or
(ii) a solicitor who has by virtue of section 25A of the Solicitors (Scotland) Act 1980 rights of audience in the Court of Session and the High Court of Justiciary, and
(c) if appointed for the purposes of proceedings in Northern Ireland, shall be a member of the Bar of Northern Ireland.
(4) A person appointed under subsection (1) above shall not be responsible to the person whose interests he is appointed to represent.").

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 5 agreed to.

Schedule 1 [The Commission]:

Lord Williams of Mostyn moved Amendment No. 4:

Page 5, line 33, at end insert--
("( ) appointed as chief adjudicator under paragraph 1 of Schedule 5 to the Immigration Act 1971, or").

The noble Lord said: In moving Amendment No. 4, I speak to Amendments Nos. 5 and 6. They accumulatively make a minor change to Schedule 1 to the Bill. As introduced, the Bill provided that the second member of a commission can be or have been a legally qualified member of the Immigration Appeals Tribunal or a special adjudicator; that is, an adjudicator designated to deal with asylum appeals under the 1993 Act. It again reflects a concern raised by the noble Baroness, Lady Blatch. We have had discussions with my noble and learned friend the Lord Chancellor and have established in practice that my noble and learned friend the Lord Chancellor would only deem it appropriate to appoint the chief immigration adjudicator to sit on the commission. In those circumstances, I believe that it is preferable if the Bill reflects that rather than implying a selection from a rather wider range of people. The amendments are designed to achieve that aim. I hope that they are acceptable to the Committee. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

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Lord Williams of Mostyn moved Amendments Nos. 5 and 6:

Page 5, line 35, after ("of") insert ("that").
Page 5, line 35, leave out from ("Schedule") to end of line 37.

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Schedule 1, as amended, agreed to.

Schedule 2 [Appeals: Supplementary]:

Lord Williams of Mostyn moved Amendment No. 7:

Page 7, line 2, at end insert--

("Notice of appealable decisions and statement of appeal rights etc

. Section 18 of the Immigration Act 1971 shall have effect as if section 2 above were contained in Part II of that Act.").

The noble Lord said: I have already spoken to this amendment. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Schedule 2, as amended, agreed to.

Remaining schedule agreed to.

House resumed: Bill reported with amendments.

NATO and the Russian Federation

3.40 p.m.

Lord Kennet rose to ask Her Majesty's Government what is the status in international law of the Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Co-operation and Security between NATO and the Russian Federation, signed on 27th May.

The noble Lord said: My Lords, I begin by welcoming the noble Baroness, Lady Symons, back from her--apparently very recently completed--journey to the Caribbean. I hope that it was a great success.

Since the election we have had a good discussion on the European Union. Now we have to pick up European military affairs again. They do not get any simpler or more sensible.

The Government did excellently last week at Amsterdam, particularly over fish. But the military realities of Europe in the big world remain largely ungrasped in this country. They are not nice to think about, and few people do--least of all in the recent election campaign.

Ministers have not yet had time to get their minds round the confusion within NATO, and indeed within the whole European security landscape. Whitehall therefore, presumably, is carrying on carrying on until it is clearly instructed to do something different. The Defence Review conducted by the Government should help clarify minds in relation to NATO, as well as much else; but it will not be concluded before the end of the year. I was glad to see that NATO is to re-examine its strategic concept. That is good. But there is a great deal more to re-examine than that.

The Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Co-operation and Security between NATO and the Russian Federation is an oddity in the diplomatic history of Europe: an epoch-making international document in which nobody agrees to anything. It is also an emblem or symptom

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of a certain self-important and self-ignorant culture of violence and compulsion from which we have to save our grandchildren. And yet, it is also an ugly duckling which might perhaps--just perhaps, given skill and care--turn into a swan of peace and harmony. For that to happen, we shall have to drop goading the Russians and ever-increasing military spending from NATO's agenda.

NATO expansion started badly. I need not remind the House that it is the fruit of internal American politics, not of reflection, and that free and informed opinion in this country was virtually unanimous against it. But here we are: the document is there, and Mr. Yeltsin has signed it. My Question asks what is the position of the foundation Act in law, and I await the answer with interest.

It is certainly not a treaty or agreement: no one agrees with anyone to do, or refrain from, anything at all. The text contains the by now sickeningly familiar language about how NATO has no intention, no plan and no reason to deploy nuclear weapons in the countries which may join it. This is the very same language which Mr. Major as Foreign Secretary and Mr. James Baker as US Secretary of State used to Gorbachev about expanding NATO in the first place, and by which they induced the Russians to withdraw from East Germany and Poland. Those commitments did not count, because they had not been written down, you see. The Russians have not forgotten that betrayal. An honest to God treaty would not now have spoken of absence of plans or intentions, but would have simply undertaken not to do the deed in question. That is what Russia asked for, and was refused.

The Russians have withdrawn all their nuclear weapons within their own frontiers. The United States has never for a moment even considered doing that, and we have apparently not suggested it. So it is not unnatural that the Russians should in return have declared that the whole Act collapses if the West's non-binding statements are changed in word or deed, and also if NATO tries to take in any of the ex-Soviet republics. What they will make of the bilateral "Security Charter" the US is now offering the Baltic States, God knows. We do know what they think about the idiotic US-funded exercise, "Sea Breeze", planned for August.

The first part of the Act is largely devoted to setting up the NATO-Russia Permanent Joint Council, and attempting to relate it to the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council and to the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe. I tried to table a Question to ask the Government to list all the defence-related organisations in Europe--there are many others--but the Minute Room said it would be unfair to ask for such a long Answer. So I have asked the Library. God help them!

This is a great deal of Euro-spaghetti, the effect of which at the end guarantees that the Russians can raise in NATO any question they like about anything. Yeltsin now claims that Russia will be taking part, as a decision-maker, in any interest of "mutual concern", to use his words. "NATO will not be the only one setting the agenda", he says. And of course, Russia has a veto

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in both OSCE and the UN Security Council, which alone can now legitimate NATO activity outside its borders.

There is also the matter of transparency, and what that may mean, and to whom. The text establishes as a "principle",

    "mutual transparency in creating and implementing defence policy and military doctrines".

I put down a number of Questions the other day about certain new implementations of defence policies within Europe and the continued arming of our continent; and to my surprise the Government said that all this is "a matter for the individual countries concerned". The United States has just signed a "Status of Forces" agreement with Hungary, which is, the Hungarians make clear, nothing to do with US NATO forces. Does not "mutual transparency" require some interest in, and explanation of, the presence of non-NATO US forces in a country expected to join NATO? And should not transparency begin at home?

Now as to costs. Since I first spoke about NATO expansion in this House last October, the American estimates for the entire cost of taking in the first three countries have become no more sensible. General Shalikashvili, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, has vouchsafed that taking in the three first applicant countries might cost altogether between 27 and 35 billion dollars over 10 years, and that the US might pay a sum equivalent to about 3 per cent. of that.

The Congressional Budget Office on the other hand--I quoted from it last year--estimates 125 billion dollars. That is about four times as much, and would put the US contribution at, say, 0.75 per cent.--three-quarters of 1 per cent.--of the total cost of enlargement. Those glaring discrepancies suggest that President Yeltsin's spokesman had a point three weeks ago when he said that the price of expansion is "being intensively kept silent about". Indeed.

So who pays the rest? This country? Portugal? Greece? Our Ministry of Defence just makes hopeful noises: "We expect the costs of enlargement to be manageable". Is that really the Chancellor of the Exchequer's view? It will all presumably have to come from the defence budget, already encumbered with post-dated Tory cheques.

If European NATO is not to pay, then are Poland and the other applicants themselves? That notion is laughable. Poland, as my noble friend Lord Eatwell recently reminded us, would, if its economy continued to grow at 5 per cent. per year, reach the present economic level of Greece in 20 years from now. Greece is, of course, the poorest of the present members of the European Union. The Polish armed forces are fairly well forward in bringing their communications and their general inter-operability within NATO up to what membership requires, but their actual arms are another story. Most of their tanks, planes, warships and so on have only another year or two's life left. Polish plans to replace them with modern weapons, to be bought mainly from the US, hope to rely on a system of offset sales which does not yet seem to be very clearly thought out,

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let alone accepted by the other side. What would Boeing-McDonnell-Douglas-Lockheed, etc. do with several hundred million dollars-worth of Polish exports?

This unthought-out spawning of yet more security organisations comes from the great failure of our generation; the failure to shake off Europe's redundant military structures altogether. Twice this century the US has intervened in Europe, largely at the invitation of this country, to end wars that Europe could not end for itself. Our gratitude remains, and must remain for ever. After the Second World War the tyrant of the Russian Empire, Stalin, advanced and advanced until we had to set up NATO and the American armies had to decide to stay on indefinitely. Stalin, carefully waiting until the day after, then set up the Warsaw Pact.

But in time reason and tolerance prevailed in Russia and the Russian people got rid of communism. We must remember that: we, the West, did not get rid of Soviet communism; the Russians themselves did, led principally by the great peacemaker, Gorbachev. He fell, as peacemakers do, and, because we managed to force the pace at which the Soviet Union and the Russian state itself were dismantled, penury and chaos ensued and have continued.

Who threatened NATO then, and what with? Scrabbling through the waste-paper baskets of the implausible, various think-tanks and lobbies and military industries concluded that it could be argued that various Asian countries with strict Muslim regimes might, if goaded enough, threaten it. Certainly some of those demonised states--not all--used provocative language towards us and certainly some--once, twice, even three times over many years--have committed acts of terrorism in NATO countries. Not big ones: it is notable that neither Oklahoma City nor Tokyo was foreign terrorism, and Lockerbie has yet to come to trial.

How do we protect ourselves against this mini-terrorism? We do so with long-range thermo-nuclear missiles to be launched from land, sea and air, with hundreds of submarines, tanks and bombers and thousands of fighter aircraft and aircraft carriers--in short, with everything we happen to have thought necessary in the Cold War, with everything we have in case we had to fight a third world war in the usual place.

Now we have to face the US revolution in military affairs as well, the better to re-fight the Gulf War, the Seven Days' War, a war against North Korea, a war in outer space or a war against all those rogue hackers who already penetrate the Pentagon's best-kept computers, leaving only a smiley face or, worse, nothing at all.

What we Europeans should have done when the Cold War ran down was to look at Russia's real military capacity and then agree, within the all-embracing security architecture implicit in OSCE, to come down to some equivalent level. Is there any hope that we could still have time to do that before the promised Russian rearmament in response to NATO enlargement has gone too far? If so, we should do it; and, while we are doing it, we should at last find time to analyse the real causes

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of terrorism, which, except for Israeli terrorism, most obviously begin with fear of the West, and particularly of the US and its unruly CIA.

To say that enlargement is a mistake is not to dismiss the natural ardour with which the applicant governments desire it. Their peoples have all suffered from hostile military occupation by, first, Germany and then Russia for half a century. If you have suffered that, you do not go for half measures in protecting yourself from a recurrence. But Western governments have duties not only to the Polish, Czech and Hungarian peoples, whom we so much admire and like--yes, liking and disliking do come into world affairs--but also to their own peoples, for whom they are immediately responsible; to the Russian people, whom we also admire and like; and to peace in the world.

I spoke of a culture of violence and compulsion. This it is, combined with the vast and growing arms production in many countries--and ours the second exporter in the world--which underlies so much of the tension between the West and Asia, including Eurasian Russia.

We now have to make the best of this ill thought-out initiative and that means turning to good account certain aspects of the text which I have not yet mentioned. The Chancellor of the Exchequer said in an article a week ago:

    "Our long-term commitment to Europe means that it is essential that we ... play a leading role in shaping Europe's future".

That future cannot but include the Founding Act we are debating today, the

    "new European security architecture in which Russia finds its due place",

as last week's presidential conclusions from the Amsterdam Council put it. But this must explicitly be Europe's own future, not what President Clinton calls the

    "new Europe [which] is central to the [United States'] larger security strategy"

and which last month he told young officers at Westpoint they would be called upon to implement and enforce.

We are not inclined, I believe, any of us Europeans, to act out the new US "full-spectrum dominance" doctrine nor to become part of its larger security strategy. With much of that strategy we quite explicitly do not agree. Even within Europe we do not approve, for instance, of the United States arming and training one of the parties in Bosnia or of pulling out before the job there is done. Outside Europe our disagreements stretch from Cuba to Iran and from China to Israel.

Perhaps above all we have to ask ourselves how long the US Congress will be content to put up with any European independence of view in NATO or with our belief in the United Nations or the rule of international law. Neither Senator Helms nor Senator Lott has much time for Europeans with ideas of their own about Cuba, mines or global warming. Those are heavy questions, but it is our business to ask them. The previous government, for the most part, ignored their existence.

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Well, there we are. We have a provisional resting place in Europe, though the task of bringing back a civilian culture to Russia has not yet begun. Perhaps we should begin with transparencies. Yeltsin has submitted this Act to the Duma and expects it to be accepted. Clinton will not be submitting it to Congress--that is one reason why it has not been made a proper treaty--but the enlargement itself will require ratification in the American Senate, where its future is perhaps uncertain. This House will remember, of course, that the British Parliament is the only one in Europe which does not have the right to ratify treaties reached by its government.

The Founding Act is not a treaty, as I have emphasised, and therefore it does not need ratification. It is thus all the more interesting that it is the same kind of presidential Executive Act as Roosevelt signed up to with Churchill about co-operation on nuclear weapons after World War II, and that Truman later reneged on, thus persuading Clement Attlee and Ernie Bevin that we had better develop our own.

In conclusion, I urge the Government to make time for a full debate on NATO in both Houses.

3.59 p.m.

Baroness Park of Monmouth: My Lords, according to Yevgeniy Primakov, the Russian Foreign Minister, speaking on 26th May of this Founding Act, the document itself states that it will be legally binding. It contains a number of commitments which are so germane to the Defence Review in the context of our future national commitments that, like the previous speaker, I most strongly urge the need for a full debate on the implications of what does amount to a treaty well before we come to debate the Defence Review itself.

Let me give a few examples. Under Section IV, (politico-military matters) NATO,

    "reiterates ... that the Alliance will carry out its collective defence and other missions by ensuring the necessary interoperability, integration and capability for reinforcement rather than by additional stationing of substantial combat forces. Accordingly it will have to rely on adequate infrastructure commensurate with the above tasks".

That refers to all forces, not just to nuclear forces and nuclear infrastructure, which is dealt with elsewhere. Primakov stressed with some satisfaction that the NATO commitment not to deploy on a permanent basis any strike forces or combat forces on the territory of its members concerns both existing and new members.

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