Home Secretary (Engagements)

Oral Answers to Questions — Home Department – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 31st March 1977.

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Photo of Ms Audrey Wise Ms Audrey Wise , Coventry South West 12:00 am, 31st March 1977

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what are his official engagements for 31st March.

Photo of Mr Merlyn Rees Mr Merlyn Rees , Leeds South

This morning I attended a meeting of the Cabinet. In addition to my duties in this House, I shall be holding further meetings with ministerial colleagues and others, I shall dine with the Justices' Clerks Society, and I will be participating afterwards in a television programme on the Stechford by-election.

Photo of Ms Audrey Wise Ms Audrey Wise , Coventry South West

I wonder whether my right hon. Friend can find time in that busy day to give some further thought to the Philip Agee case? In particular, will he ensure that he sees original raw evidence relating to the matter rather than relying on the second-hand reports of his advisers?

Photo of Mr Merlyn Rees Mr Merlyn Rees , Leeds South

I can assure my hon. Friend that in a matter such as this I do not rely on my advisers. I have taken the decision myself. The decision I took was right. I should not have announced it in the House if I had thought otherwise.

Photo of Mr Enoch Powell Mr Enoch Powell , South Down

Does the right hon. Gentleman agree that he would be likely to be able to give more satisfactory answers if the Questions addressed to him disclosed the subject matter and were not of a generalised character, which has unfortunately become prevalent in Questions to the Prime Minister?

Photo of Mr Merlyn Rees Mr Merlyn Rees , Leeds South

I agree with the right hon. Gentleman.

Photo of Ms Audrey Wise Ms Audrey Wise , Coventry South West

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I wonder whether in considering that matter Ministers and others will also bear in mind that many subjects are refused acceptance by the Table Office, which makes the task of Back Benchers extremely difficult.

Several Hon. Members:

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Photo of Mr Chris Price Mr Chris Price , Lewisham West

Will my right hon. Friend reassure us that there will be no question of deportation until all the legal procedures have been gone through, not only in the English courts but in recourse to the European Commission of Human Rights at Strasbourg?

Photo of Mr Merlyn Rees Mr Merlyn Rees , Leeds South

I have tried carefully to allow this matter to go along while matters are being taken to the courts in this country. One of the people concerned was dealt with expeditiously by the European Commission. I shall bear all this in mind. I have no wish not to allow that aspect of natural justice to take its course, but I have to make a judgment at the end of the day.