Incitement to Racial Hatred

Part of Clause 70 – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 8th July 1976.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr Hugh Rossi Mr Hugh Rossi , Haringey Hornsey 12:00 am, 8th July 1976

I am obliged, Mr. Deputy Speaker. However, it is on the Amendment Paper. No matter—it was not discussed. I should have liked to ask the Minister how this code of practice can help in solving this problem. That is why I was asking him what discussions the Home Secretary has had with, for example, the big bankers on the recruitment of immigrant children educated in the country up to A and O level standard, to see whether they would be prepared to ensure that job opportunities exist for them. The same goes for the large insurance companies and also for the professions. What is the position with regard to the acceptance of articled clerks into my profession, for example, from this group of our citizens? I am not aware whether any discussions have taken place with the professional bodies concerned.

Such a discussion between the Government and the relevant bodies would be of greater assistance than a code of practice to be laid down by a commission. That is subject to whatever is envisaged in the code of practice. On that I should have liked some assistance from the Minister, because it is a matter of great concern to many of my constituents.

I have one criticism of the Home Office. It does not give all the help it could give to the local authority reception areas where there is the greatest concentration of immigrants, and particularly during the crisis in Cyprus in the summer of 1974 the refusal of the Home Office to treat the Cypriots coming to this country as refugees meant that the whole burden of about 800 to 1,000 families—4,000 to 5,000 people—fell entirely upon the slender resources of my local authority.

If the Government are concerned about race relations, there is a need to have a co-ordinating body between local authorities and the various Government Departments concerned to ensure that there are the facilities for reception and that the necessary economic and other aid will be given to the local authorities which suddenly have thrust upon them the problem of dealing with large numbers of immigrants arriving in a crisis situation.

I hope that the Government will consider that matter, because it is not discussed in the Bill.

Just one further point in conclusion. I am prompted to say this by a comment which was made by the hon. Member for Bolsover (Mr. Skinner) who is no longer here.