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Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions)

– in the House of Commons at 11:30 pm on 10th December 1980.

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Photo of Mr Humphrey Atkins Mr Humphrey Atkins , Spelthorne 11:30 pm, 10th December 1980

I beg to move, That the draft Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Act 1978 (Continuance) (No. 2) Order 1980, which was laid before this House on 3 December, be approved. We have only one and a half hours for this debate but, nevertheless, I think that the House will expect me to follow the usual custom on these occasions and review the state of law and order in Northern Ireland as well as explaining the reasons why I am inviting the House to approve the order tonight.

Overall, the level of violence in Northern Ireland has continued to decline in 1980. Compared with the figures for last year, the number of deaths has fallen by one-third and the number of injuries is also substantially lower. Explosive attacks are down by about one-third and the number of shooting attacks is lower than last year. Of course, the figures; are still deplorably high and each incident represents an intense tragedy for the victims and their families which no statistics can possibly disguise.

The terrorists are no nearer achieving their objectives than they ever were. I do not think that anyone will wonder at that if we consider one of the most recent examples—only yesterday—when terrorists prepared an elaborate ambush for policemen, drew the policemen into that ambush, fired on them, injuring three of them, and shot an innocent woman bystander in the back in the meantime. They have no regard for human life whatever, whoever it is. It is small wonder that they are being increasingly rejected by the community.

As for their so-called "political" philosophy, such as it is, it has been shown to be totally irrelevant to the reality and immediacy of the problems that the people of the Province face. I cannot pretend to the House, however, that the problems are over. These people still have a capability to cause death and destruction, and I am afraid that they will continue to attempt to grab the headlines with outrageous acts.

I have been especially concerned in recent months by the increase in the number of seemingly sectarian attacks. I condemn unreservedly and without hestitation all those who commit violent acts, whoever they are and whatever so-called cause they claim. Let them be in no doubt that the security forces will continue to act impartially and resolutely against all who break the law, whatever their political and religious persuasions. I say the same to those who threaten to take the law into their own hands to deal with particular groups of terrorists.

Anyone who steps outside the law, for whatever reason, will find that the security forces will act against him. It is for them, and them alone, to enforce the law. They have become increasingly successful at this, which in my view shows that the policies we have been following for some time are right. I am sometimes urged to take more extreme measures, but I believe, if I were to do that, that I would destroy the free society we are trying to protect and at the same time give a fresh impetus to the terrorist campaign.

The best way forward continues to be the enforcement of the law according to the law, with the police in the lead, supported by the Army as necessary. This involves the slow and painstaking investigation of crime, the arrest of those responsible, the bringing of charges in the courts and the proving of those charges in the courts according to the law.

The process is not dramatic and, unfortunately, is seldom prominent in the media. But its effectiveness is clear. So far this year, for example, 539 people have been charged with scheduled offences, including 62 with murder. The police are managing to bring to court not only those who have committed offences recently but those who were responsible for crimes committed a number of years ago.

The demands made on the RUC and the Army every day in the course of their work are considerable. Not only are they subjected to murderous attacks, but there are those who are always trying to provoke or defame them. Yet the professionalism, courage and dedication with which they carry out their duties remain undiminished. I pay tribute once again to the skill and fortitude of the men and women in the Royal Ulster Constabulary and the RUC Reserve, the Regular Army and the Ulster Defence Regiment.

I am also very encouraged by the evidence of increasing acceptance by the minority community of the RUC as the legitimate upholders of the law and as a fair and reliable force they can turn to when necessary. This growing acceptability is itself a tribute to the impartiality and professionalism of the RUC. I want also to thank the police and the Army for their help with the temporary prison which has been necessary to ensure public safety during the industrial action by the Prison Officers Association. It is a mark of their dependability that security operations in the Province as a whole have been unaffected by this additional burden on them.

The RUC continues to grow in strength and capability. At the end of November the regular force stood at 6,874, well on the way to the target strength of 7,500. The police authority is engaged in a major building programme for the RUC. The force has a fleet of almost 1,500 vehicles; and a varied programme of equipment purchases has been designed to keep the RUC abreast of advancing technology. In addition, a force-wide computerised teleprinter service, now in operation, is designed in particular to increase the force's reaction speed and to facilitate the collation and retrieval of information. The police service is matching this increased capability with a growing sensitivity to the needs of the community.

The extension of normal policing, the growth in the size and capability of the RUC and, of course, the decline in the overall level of violence have allowed us to make significant reductions this year in Army force levels. It has always been our policy not to keep more troops in the Province, over and above the normal garrison, than the security situation demands. The Army remains fully capable of providing the RUC with such military support as it continues to need. Naturally, the reductions have been made in those parts of the Province, such as the centre of Belfast, where we are confident that the police can cope without the Regular Army's immediate support in strength. In the border areas the Army's strength is relatively much greater and, in addition, the RUC is working closely with its colleagues in the Republic, who have had notable successes recently.

The House will be aware that there have been a number of marches and demonstrations recently, supposedly in support of the prisoners on hunger strike. This support is misguided, but the Government recognise that everyone has a right to express his view, provided always that he does so peacefully and unprovocatively. I am glad to say that most of these demonstrations have passed off peacefully. The police have used their usual tact and discretion in handling them; and they will continue to do so. But I must warn the House that there are those in the Province who may—I believe will—seek to engineer confrontations either with other sections of the community or with the security forces themselves. Their intention will be to further their own ends by violence. I hope that demonstrators will think twice about being blatantly used in this way and that they will not allow their feelings to be manipulated into support for completely different objectives from their own. The security forces will, of course, be prepared to take firm action if, in the professional judgment of their commanders, this becomes necessary to preserve the peace.

As for the prison hunger strike itself, the House will be aware that seven men are in the seventh week of their hunger strike at the Maze prison and that they were all moved to the prison hospital on 2 December to enable the medical staff to keep closer medical surveillance over them. Three women prisoners at Armagh started to refuse food on 1 December. The seven men are continuing to lose weight. So far the position remains that their condition is not giving cause for serious concern, but if they persist in their refusal of food it may not be long before we begin to see signs of substantial deterioration.

The prisoners have made it plain that the object of their strike is to secure political status. The Government have made it quite clear that they cannot and will not concede that status and that they have already provided a humanitarian prison regime but that they are ready to consider genuine ideas for improvement in the regime for all prisoners from those who share their concern.

We must not lose sight of one basic fact. The protest movement within the prisons, from which the hunger strike stems, is one important arm in the strategy of the Provisional IRA. Its struggle to destroy law and order and overthrow democratic institutions in Northern Ireland does not stop at the prison gates; it is continued through other means inside. The protest is designed to contribute to its objective of securing political legitimacy for a movement whose only weapon is violence. It is also part of a wider attempt to discredit the measures that the Government have been compelled to introduce to protect society from terrorism. These, of course, are the measures that we are here to discuss and, I hope, renew today.

It is right that people should question the Government closely on the need for the powers in the Emergency Provisions Act. Over recent years, the Standing Advisory Commission on Human Rights has played an important role in analysing these powers and the Governmant's use of them, and in come cases recommending; that they should be changed or dropped. We welcome constructive criticism of that kind, even when we have not been able to follow it in practice. However, from the terrorists and those who support them and their methods of persuasion I am not prepared to accept that line of criticism. It would be absurd if the Government, after introducing certain measures to deal with terrorist intimidation and other criminal practices, were moved to withdraw these measures in response to complaints from the terrorists themselves.

There is one way in which the Provisional IRA and other organisations can most quickly contribute to the dismantling of the temporary legislation that we have to deal will the emergency—that is, to give up violence and take the path of democracy. They might recognise at the same time that they have by their evil activities immeasurably set back the legitimate political aspirations of the people whom they purport to serve. In the same way, I might add, the protest movement and the hunger strike inside the prison have complicated the Government's efforts to introduce progressively an improved regime, simply because heightened tensions invariably slow down progress. Nevertheless, this Government, like their predecessors, take seriously their obligation lo subject the emergency powers to thorough inspection, with a view to allowing any that are not still essential to lapse. As the House will recollect, the power of detention was allowed to lapse in this way six months ago. As the position improves and further opportunities arise, we shall take them.

The sections of the Act to which objection is most commonly taken today are all associated with the functions of the courts. They are the terms on which judges consider applications for bail in the High Court, in section 2: the rules governing the admissibility of statements by suspected persons in the case of allegations of ill treatment while under interrogation, in section 8; and the regime' of the so-called Diplock courts, where judges sit without juries, in section 7. The first two points have been so thoroughly discussed in these debates in the past 18 months that I shall not tonight again rehearse the Government's arguments for retaining the provisions in their present form at this point. I shall only say on bail that the position has not changed, except to the extent that I have noticed that the High Court grants bail to suspected persons in a very significant number of scheduled cases. On the admissibility of statements, I have again noticed that the courts on occasion find reason to stop a trial on the ground that the prosecution has not fully discharged the obligation put upon it in the Act to disprove an allegation that ill treatment took place.

Photo of Mr Tam Dalyell Mr Tam Dalyell , West Lothian

Hon. Members have been asking the Secretary of State over the past 18 months about the operation of the Diplock courts. Is his mind closed on the subject? Is he really saying that there is no chance of a. changed policy?

Photo of Mr Humphrey Atkins Mr Humphrey Atkins , Spelthorne

There is every chance that we can change he policy if the security situation improves. I have already said that we can dismantle the whole apparatus. If the terrorists would turn from the path of violence to that of democracy, we could do so at once. If the hon. Gentleman will allow me to continue, he will see that I say at the end that I do not recommend that we should do it now.

The comments about these courts go to the heart of what I have said about the terrorists bringing these provisions upon themselves. The system of Diplock courts exists because jurymen, like witnesses, have been scared away from doing their duty by threats to their safety. What is fundamental is the nature of the crime. Murder is murder, whatever the motive. Acts involving explosives or firearms are not less harmful because they have a political aim. They are just as harmful and abhorrent, whatever their aim. That is the fundamental yardstick by which we judge them. And that is more important than the fact that, in order lo meet terrorist methods, we have had to introduce some variations from the normal into the, system. But there is no variation in the standard of justice. Besides, what variations there are are compensated for by a number of safeguards.

One such safeguard is the full application of the recommendations of the Bennett committee on police interrogation procedures and practices. These are more far-reaching than the regulations applied in other parts of the United Kingdom—indeed, than probably anywhere else in the world. It is a further safeguard that every complaint of ill treatment is fully considered by the Director of Public Prosecutions there is no element of discretion here. I would also regard the consideration of all bail applications in scheduled cases by the High Court, rather than the magistrates' court, as a safeguard—as is undoubtedly the unfettered right of appeal from conviction and sentence in scheduled cases.

I therefore have no qualms about asking the House to continue the temporary provisions so long as the objective need seems clear. I recognise that there is a wider dimension. However fully justified the provisions may be, considered purely as a response to terrorist activity, it remains true that their effects spill over much more widely within the community. There are social and political consequences which need to be balanced against the requirements of law and order.

I know also that there is a sort of inertia about these matters. It is easier to continue to shelter behind these powers than to determine at a certain point that they are dispensable. But I can assure the House that the Government are most conscious that these powers are merely temporary. When the Act was passed, Parliament intended that they should not be permanent, and the sooner we can return to a state of complete normality in Northern Ireland, the better However, in the circumstances that prevail in Northern Ireland today, I am not able to recommend that any of the provisions should be allowed to lapse at this moment.

The situation in Northern Ireland is still a very sensitive one. I know that the House will share my view that it is essential to confront these problems calmly and to say and do nothing that would inflame passions. I am committed to the welfare and protection of every citizen of the Province, and I am sure that other hon. Members will approach this debate from the same point of view.

I invite the House to approve the motion.

Photo of Mr Don Concannon Mr Don Concannon , Mansfield 11:48 pm, 10th December 1980

It is obviously right that an Act such as this should be brought before the House for renewal at least every six months. This is a short debate, and already nearly 20 minutes of it have elapsed. I shall therefore try to get through my speech as quickly as I can, and I certainly waive the Opposition's right of reply. From looking around the Chamber, I think that that is what the House would require. Many hon. Members will want to speak.

First, I join the Secretary of State in paying tribute to all our security forces, whether they are the RUC, the Army, the UDR or others. I also extend my sympathy to the victims—and their relatives—whether in the security forces or in the civilian population. The vast majority of that civilian population would like nothing better than to get on with its ordinary daily life under rules of law and order markedly different from those that apply at the moment.

I should have liked to regard the order simply in terms of its renewing the powers and to consider whether the powers are right. It is incumbent upon the Opposition, however, to say something about the H-block hunger strikers.

We do not wish to make this situation any more difficult for the Government. We have no wish to see anyone die as a result of this strike. I met a lot of these gentlemen pretty regularly, and they left me in no doubt whatever about their aims and objects. In fact, they often told me that I could come up with any kind of concessions that I wanted—any kind of gifts, as they put it—but the only thing that mattered was special category or political status. Unless things have altered dramatically, I have no reason to believe that the situation has changed. From what the Secretary of State said tonight, that appears to be the case.

There is always the danger in Northern Ireland—I was always left in no doubt about this as well—of genuine, humanitarian gestures being seen as a sign of weakness. To a great extent, that encourages the strikers, or those who have control over them, to go for the one thing that matters, which is special category status. I am not saying that it is wrong to offer genuine changes in prison conditions, but if that is to be the case they must apply to the prison population as a whole, not just to one category. People ought to understand that it is not a question of prisoners in Northern Ireland catching up with the privileges enjoyed by prisoners in the United Kingdom. It is the other way round. The privileges granted in Northern Ireland—one has only to consider the remission aspect—are much better than those in the rest of the United Kingdom.

Anyone who thinks that the H-blocks are some kind of monstrosity ought to read the May report. The prison service in Northern Ireland is virtually completely new. All the buildings are new and are built on the best lines available. The May report was extremely complimentary about the prisons in Northern Ireland and held up the Northern Ireland prison service as a model for the prison service in Great Britain.

The Opposition certainly stand with the Government in their decision not to allow political status or anything of that nature to the strikers, and agree that they should resist blackmail of this kind. We should remember how we got into this situation in the first place. Special category status came about because the then Government gave way to political strikers and to the same type of blackmail as is taking place today.

I understand why at that time there was a lot of pressure on the Government to give this a chance. It was felt that it might do the trick and stop what was happening in 1970, 1971 and 1972. As a result, we were loaded with special category prisoners, but it did not take long for the House and the powers-that-be to realise what a mistake that was. Anyone involved in these matters at the time will remember that.

The Opposition back the Government in their stand against granting special category status or privileges, and we shall also go along with the Secretary of State if he wishes to make reforms to the whole prison system, as I have outlined.

The bringing forward of the continuance order every six months allows Parliament to scrutinise what can at best be described as exceptional law for exceptional circumstances. It is an Act that all of us, in normal circumstances, would have no part of, but, from what the Secretary of State said, the situation is far from normal. There is a possibility that further trouble lies in store. Whether from the hunger strike, sectarian violence or from other quarters, the threats are real.

After the exchanges in the House yesterday and today, I expected the Secretary of State to damp down feelings about what happened in Dublin. He ought to tell us whether the H-block situation and the hunger strike were discussed. We are particularly concerned about the words in the communiqué covering a range of issues including possible new institutional structures, citizenship rights, security matters, economic matters". The phrase "possible new institutional structures" has caught fire among certain sections of the community in Northern Ireland. The Secretary of State should explain to the people of Northern Ireland what is meant by those words. He must try to ease some of the fears in the Province.

The statement is ambiguous and open to innuendo and misrepresentation. The Secretary of State would do Northern Ireland a favour if he gave us some information about what happened in Dublin. If he thinks that action that might help to end the strike is best kept close to his chest, he has only to say so and the House will accept that it is a security matter and leave it at that.

This leads me reluctantly to the conclusion that this exceptional Act is still needed. That is why the House should renew the powers for another six months. I am one of those who like to ensure that the provisions in the Act are only the minimum necessary for tackling the emergency and run for the shortest possible time.

We should also be aiming, as the situation warrants, to restore the law in Northern Ireland to normality as quickly as we can. Having been involved in a number of renewal debates and having listened to all the advice from various quarters, I know that one tries to judge whether various sections are still necessary against the background of the ever-changing security scene. One tends to go for safety first and is reluctant to make changes for fear of upsetting the whole Act. I understand the reasons. Lives are at stake. If we make a mistake, people will lose their lives.

On one occasion, we had virtually agreed to make certain changes to the Act, but we hurriedly had to change our mind because before we came to the House we had the terrible La Mon massacre. The House would not have understood if we had tried to make changes at that time.

My hon. Friend the Member for Pontypridd (Mr. John) suggested in the previous debate that it might be time for another judicial review of the Act. In answer to a question from my hon. Friend the Member for St. Pancras, North (Mr. Stallard), the Secretary of State said: The hon. Gentleman is not quite correct. There is a case for rewording section 2. I have admitted that already. I do not think that there is a case for dropping it altogether"— he made the same point tonight— because of the possibility that we might return to the position hat I have described before the emergency arose. We can consider rewording it, but we are not considering that tonight. We are considering whether to renew it or to drop it. It is my judgment that we must keep it for the time being. If amending legislation is produced, we shall consider how best we can deal with it."—[Official Report, 22 July 1980; Vol. 988 c. 433.] Once the Secretary of State starts saying those things, he is admitting that here is a part of the Act that he thinks should be reviewed or rewritten but that he is prepared to leave it in because the practice seems to be going right. All I am saying is that there is also disquiet, imagined or real, about section 8, which deals with the admissibility of statements to the police.

There has recently been a major study of the legal system in Northern Ireland, which has produced a series of criticisms of the judicial process and security policy. It is the view of the Opposition, as was stated in the last debate, that the time is right for another judicial review of t tie Act. The only judicial review of the Act was carried rut in 1974–75 by the Gardiner committee. It led to the phasing out of detention, which I, with many others, welcomed.

There are many, if not all, hon. Members who abhor the need for this type of legislation tonight, but I can assure tie House that those of us—I do not think that there are many of us left in the House—who had the responsibility for carrying out this legislation and for carrying out the detention procedure hated the power it gave to the individual Ministers. The power of one's signature to sign people into detention on intelligence and ether reports is a power that I do not wish to have again. I was told that the first time was the hardest. I can remember that night very clearly, because it certainly was hard. I can assure the House that I never did get used to it. So I and the other Ministers were pleased with the outcome of the Gardiner committee. It gave us another way.

That is why it is the Opposition's view that the time is now right for another review. The terms of reference of that committee in 1974 would be just as suitable again. They were: to consider what provisions and powers, consistent to the maximum extent practicable in the circumstances with the preservation of civil liberties and human rights, are required to deal with terrorism and subversion in Northern Ireland, including provisions for the administration of justice, and to examine the working of the Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Act 1973; and to make recommendations. My hon. Friend the Member for Pontypridd made certain suggestions, as reported in column 440 of the Official Report of 22 July 1980, to the effect that there could be in advantage in appointing as many of the Gardiner committee as were able and willing to serve on the new review. This would be a great advantage. As the Secretary of State said in his opening remarks, the terrorist scene is always moving and has certainly changed since 1974. In fact, the Secretary of State in his opening remarks was still saying that the incidence of terrorism was continuing to decline, but that does not mean that he was net right in anticipating that there could be further problems very shortly.

The first review dealt with the situation as it was in 1974. We need a good review to see whether all the emergency powers are now necessary or are in the right form. Some of the anxieties felt about the Act by outside bodies and by Members of the House could be alleviated. One thing is certain: in succeeding debates the information gained would greatly help the House.

The Minister of State, in his winding-up speech of 22 July 1980, took this as an interesting suggestion and said that he would consider it without commitment. It would be helpful if the Secretary of State could give the House his considered views on this matter tonight so that we may learn whether the Government are any nearer to a decision on this matter. I put that forward as a serious suggestion, because, having had to operate the system, I know how much we favoured the previous report and how it helped us to judge many of the other matters.

The official Opposition will not vote against the order. We feel that it should be enforced for a further six months. However, I cannot help but hark back to the meeting on Monday, because I should have liked the House and the people of Northern Ireland to have been treated with more sympathy and respect. I hope that in his reply the Secretary of State will say whether any reference to the Act was made in Dublin and, if so, whether there were any suggestions that it should be amended, and, if so, how, or whether it should continue in its present form.

Photo of Mr John McQuade Mr John McQuade , Belfast North 12:05 am, 10th December 1980

All thinking people agree that effective deterrents are needed to defeat the IRA. Capital punishment, the most effective deterrent, has been refused by this Government, and so the IRA has been given a green light to continue to kill, with the legal safeguard that its members will not be killed. "Murder as many times as you like, but you will not forfeit your life": that is the message from this Government and their predecessors, both Labour and Conservative. So the people of Northern Ireland are left as easy prey to the IRA murderers, this Government thus providing an incentive to murder.

The only other deterrent—that of effective imprisonment—has been partly destroyed, and it now seems likely that it will be wholly destroyed. The preservation of the IRA murderers evidently has top priority with the Government rather than the preservation of the law-abiding citizens of Northern Ireland. The present offers that have been made to the IRA, and the offer of even more negotiated concessions, constitute further incentives for the IRA to increase its campaign of blood.

Last week, the Secretary of State offered to those convicted IRA criminals on the "dirty" protest the following: exercise in sports gear; six extra letters per month, three in and three out; two visits a month instead of one; an extra hour of physical exercise a week; one evening association a week in prison uniform; access to books and newspapers—which are already available in the cell blocks but not taken—in the rooms where masses are held on Sundays; closed visits as an alternative to body search; and compassionate home leave on the same basis as for prisoners who are not on "dirty" protest. One daily hour of exercise has always been available to the "dirty" protesters.

The Secretary of State has now declared that he is prepared to deal further with what he calls the humanitarian aspects of conditions arising from the protest. He is also prepared to talk with anyone who shares concern about it. The IRA has won the first point of its protest, namely, that such prisoners are different.

If this Government concede the least bit more, the Protestant people will be convinced that what has lurked in their minds for a very long time, and what they have been most loth to believe—namely, that the British Government have decided to betray Ulster and back the IRA's objective of a united Ireland—is a stark reality.

I warn the Secretary of State in the plainest language that Loyalists in these circumstances will be forced to take the most drastic of measures to defend themselves and preserve their heritage. The determination of the Protestants must not be underestimated by the Government or this House. Something must be done now so that anyone sentenced to imprisonment does imprisonment. We must not give way and let them have what they want. Now is the time to carry out the punishment imposed by the courts.

Photo of Mr Gerry Fitt Mr Gerry Fitt , Belfast West 12:10 am, 10th December 1980

I shall detain the House for only a few minutes, because my opinions on certain aspects of security in Northern Ireland are well known. I shall try to put into words that the House will understand the reasons why I have taken my stand.

I left the House on Friday afternoon and arrived in Belfast that evening. On entering the door of my house, my wife said "Read the Belfast Telegraph editorial." I read it. It began by stating Mrs. Irene Brown died today. The next sentence was Irene who? Then it went on to tell the story.

Eight weeks ago in Portadown, Craigavon, Irene Brown, a Protestant housewife with a loving husband and two young children, had everything to live for. Somebody did not like her because she was a Protestant, and a petrol bomb was thrown into her home and she was very badly burned. For eight weeks she lay in agonising pain, with her husband and young children watching her until she died on Friday.

Yesterday, the police in Strabane received a telephone call that a robbery was taking place in the area. They got into their van and went to the Kilcolman housing estate. As they got out of the van to go to the house where the robbery was allegedly taking place, IRA gunmen on the other side of the street, in a house in which they were holding the family captive, opened up with their rifles and seriously injured a detective, and an innocent woman was also badly injured by a ricocheting bullet.

A few hours ago in my constituency, a young man of 19 who was on his way home from work—I understand that he was a part-time member of the UDR—was shot dead in Durham Street.

When the people responsible for those three crimes—burning that young Protestant woman to death, injuring the detective and the woman, who is seriously ill and may die, and killing the young man today—are apprehended—and I pray to God that they are apprehended quickly—will anyone in his right mind and senses say that they should be given special category or political status? Those three crimes can be multiplied 100 times over the past few years in Northern Ireland.

Yesterday afternoon, after the attempted killing of the detective and the woman in Strabane, a courageous parish priest, Father Anthony Mulvey, appealed to his parishioners to withdraw any support that they may have been giving to the H-block hunger strike protest because, as he said, compassion is indivisible; compassion for anyone must be the same for everyone. There cannot be compassion for the hunger strikers without compassion for their victims.

I believe that Father Anthony Mulvey is the voice of a thousand priests and nuns in Northern Ireland—people who so far have not made themselves heard as clearly as they should have done. I accept that there are half a dozen Catholic priests in Northern Ireland who can easily be identified. Inadvertently or not, they have given support to the Provisional IRA cause. There are only half a dozen such priests. Thousands of priests do not support the campaign of terroism.

Those who are guilty of such heinous crimes—be they Catholics who burn people because they are Protestants, Protestants who cut people's throats because they are Catholics, IRA gunmen who shoot people who are members of the security forces, the police, the UDR, the British Army, or be they members of the UDA or the UDF—are criminals. They are motivated by a criminal intent. They do not deserve compassion, because they do not show it to their victims.

Should we renew the emergency provisions? Since the Act was placed on the statute book, I have voted against it. Tonight, I shall do so with an easy conscience. There is no contradiction in my stand. Emergency legislation that is couched in such language is not appropriate to the circumstances. In Committee, the hon. Member for Antrim, North (Rev. Ian Paisley) and I opposed the abolition of jury trials. We are political opponents, but we did everything that we could to maintain jury trials in Northern Ireland.

I know the situation in Northern Ireland, and I am the first to recognise that it would be impossible to have jury trials there today. Both the Loyalist crowd and the Republican crowd would seriously intimidate juries. It is time that we had two assessors to sit with the judge. In the Republic of Ireland there are three judges. If the Government were to consider that possibility and to appoint assessors, much of the criticism that is levelled at the Act would disappear.

The Government should not say that, although the Act is draconian, it will remain on the statute book until the last shot has been fired by the last terrorist. The Government must continue to try to improve the legislation and to wrong-foot the terrorists. They must not allow the terrorists to be able to say that it is the Government who have no compassion or humanity.

In no circumstances should the Government consider giving privileged treatment to those who have been imprisoned for such heinous crimes. They should continually seek to introduce reform for all prisoners, born in Northern Ireland and in Great Britain. I ask the Government to consider appointing assessors to sit with the judge if juries are at present inappropriate.

Photo of Mr John Biggs-Davison Mr John Biggs-Davison , Epping Forest 12:18 pm, 10th December 1980

It is an honour to speak after the hon. Member for Belfast, West (Mr. Fitt). I trust that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State will not close his mind to the hon. Gentleman's suggestion to the effect that the Diplock courts should be reformed.

In 1885, there were difficulties in Ireland. The Home Secretary in the Gladstone Administration, Sir William Harcourt, spoke of an Irish nation in the United States hostile with plenty of money". As my right hon. Friend knows, I spent last week in the United Slates of America and had the good companionship of my hon. Friend the Member for Peterborough (Dr. Mawhinney), who was born in Ulster. We went to New fork, Boston and Washington, and we put the harsh necessity of the legislation we are considering to religious and political leaders, and to the media.

The Irish nation in the United Stales is more numerous than the Irish nation in Ireland. We did not find it generally hostile. The large amount of money that is diverted though that murderous charity NORAID to the Provos has diminished, although presumably the purpose of the hunger strike is to extract new funds. One indicator of a reduction in foreign finance for the IRA is the number of bank raids in the Irish Republic

We found misconceptions of the emergency powers legislation. Misconceptions ire not confined to the United States. Leading articles in quality newspapers argue that if only the Government would show humanitarian concern for the hunger strikers a way out of the difficulty could be found.

All prisons are hateful places. On 4 December, in reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Gloucestershire, West (Mr. Mat land), the Secretary of State described a regime in, as the right hon. Member for Mansfield (Mr. Concannon) acknowledges, the most modem and well appointed prison in Western Europe and the privileges available to prisoners who conform.

As the hon. Member for Belfast, West and others have said, what humanitarian concern did convicted terrorists show their victims? The status that they demand has been declared inadmissible, not only in all quarters of the House but by the European Commission of Human Rights. It is a status never granted in the Republic of Ireland, which, to meet the common enemy of democracy, resorts to the Offences Against the State Act. If, as the hon. Member for Antrim, North (Rev. Ian Paisley) reminded us, the demand for special status were conceded, it would surely not be the list demand to be made on appeasing authority.

If these people were given prisoner of war status, the conclusion that one must draw is that they should be tried as war criminals. One thinks particularly of 19 prison officers murdered in cold blood.

We shall, with great regret, renew the emergency powers tonight. We take note of the assurance given by my right hon. Friend that any emergency powers no longer needed will be dispensed with. Despite the emergency powers—and this is not universally understood—the police and the Armed Forces are required to operate entirely within the law and are accountable to the law. Every complaint against a member of the security forces is thoroughly investigated. Police officers and soldiers have been prosecuted in the courts for criminal offences arising out of the way in which they were conducting their duty. Police investigation reports on all complaints alleging criminal behaviour by the police have to be referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions. As in Great Britain, the Police Complaints Board provides an independent element. All complaints must be referred to that board.

There is a misconception about the Bennett report of March 1979. Some people think that that report charged the RUC with torture. It did not show that the security forces had been guilty of systematic ill treatment of suspects. Indeed, it stated that the RLC, which today is a young, impartial force regaining the confidence of the minority, had been the object of a deliberate, sustained campaign of traducement. Bennett investigated 200 cases of alleged brutality and found only 15 instances in which suspects had sustained injuries which were not self-inflicted while in police custody. The papers relating to those cases have been referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

I am the last hon. Member who would wish to criticise a fine police force, the Garda Siochana, but they can be pretty rough. Whenever there are allegations of police brutality in the Republic or in a European forum, the complaints somehow or other fall by the wayside and we hear no more about them. It is very different within the British jurisdiction.

My right hon. Friend and the hon. Member for Belfast, West referred to the Diplock courts and trial without jury. The reason for the absence of a jury is well known. In the Republic terrorists are tried by special tribunals, but there is more than one judge. My right hon. Friend should consider what the hon. Gentleman said.

All the verdicts delivered in the Diplock courts remain subject to review by the Northern Ireland Court of Criminal Appeal and presumably, in the end, by the House of Lords, and are subject to a twice-yearly legislative review such as we are having tonight.

The right hon. Gentleman referred to judicial review and went back to 1974. In 1975, the Gardiner committee pointed out that the law … in Northern Ireland gives greater protection to the accused than in most disturbed communities". It went on to assert: Where freedoms conflict, the state has a duty to protect those in need of protection. I thought of the "inalienable rights" of the American Declaration of Independece: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Life comes before liberty, and certainly before the pursuit of happiness, whatever that means precisely.

I have studied the document of the Cobden Trust, which has been sent to hon. Members, but I come to the same conclusion as my right hon. Friend: that we cannot at this time return to jury courts. This is not a piece of British ruthlessness; it arises from the circumstances which prevail in the whole island of Ireland. The hon. Member for Belfast, West and I took up the case of the late Giuseppe Conlan. When studying the file, I found it remarkable that it was said on his behalf that if he had been tried by a Diplock court the answer might have been different, because the judges in those courts have great experience of the sort of forensic evidence which in so many cases leads to the conviction of terrorist offenders.

Secondly, it was argued that, if there had been no jury in the case, Mr. Conlan might have fared better because the jury was part of a public which was then experiencing the shock and horror of Provo atrocities in England.

The hunger strike was discussed in Dublin by the Prime Minister and the Taoiseach. I find the communiqueé disappointing in that Mr. Haughey failed to get off the fence and condemn the hunger strikers. I welcome the joint studies on international co-operation. I have argued in speeches and in articles in The Times and in The Irish Times for a still more intimate partnership than the present unique relationship, without prejudice to the national sovereignty either of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland or of the Irish Republic. Such a concept of partnership has been given the felicitous acronym IONAIslands of the North Atlantic.

I understand that the meeting at Dublin has in no way affected the constitutional positon of Northern Ireland. My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister has made it clear that there is no question of a confederation between the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland. The starting point for cooperation in the islands is that there are two sovereign nations.

In the first Airey Neave memorial lecture on 3 March, the Prime Minister reaffirmed the enduring commitment of the Conservative and Unionist Party to the Union. She said: No democratic country can voluntarily abandon its responsibilities in a part of its territory against the will of the majority of the population there. We do not intend to create any precedent of that kind. In the words that she uttered to a larger audience—the conference of the Conservative and Unionist Party—she and we stand rock firm for the Union.

Photo of Mr Jock Stallard Mr Jock Stallard , Camden St Pancras North 12:32 am, 10th December 1980

At this late stage, and because there are others who wish to speak, I shall try to be brief. It is difficult. I make the obvious complaint about the shortness of the debate and the lateness of the hour.

The Secretary of State will not be surprised to hear that I am disappointed that he has decided not to amend or reform the emergency provisions legislation. There are points of view other than those that have been expressed tonight. That is not to say that anyone in the House condones the heinous crimes and terrible acts of violence that we have heard about tonight from the hon. Member for Belfast, West (Mr. Fitt) and the Secretary of State. No one could condone that sort of conduct or those crimes. Those who are seeking a peaceful political solution to the problem have no time for that sort of activity. But that is not to say that we necessarily agree with all those who have spoken this evening.

I am extremely disappointed that the Prime Minister has not seen fit to make a statement to the House about the meeting in Dublin. We are all concerned and interested in the meeting. It will be unfortunate, to say the least, if we read about the debate that has taken place in the Dail and then our Prime Minister has to refute the version given in that Assembly or to give her version. It would have been far better for all concerned, especially in the sensitive position in which we find ourselves, if she had made a statement, as would normally have been the case, when she returned from the meeting. I cannot understand why she is being so coy. I for one would have wished to congratulate her on the initiative and to welcome any progress that was made towards improvements coming about between the Government of the Republic and our Government. I do not know whether that will entice her to say something—perhaps that is why she did not say anything—but it is perfectly true.

From the Labour side of the House, there have been many attempts to amend and reform this legislation. We tried to persuade all Governments to amend the emergency legislation, especially that which applies to the Six Counties. Those attempts had the support of prominent academics from both sides of the Irish Sea, of Amnesty International, of the British people and even of the Government's own appointed Standing Advisory Commission on Human Rights. They all supported, for good reasons, different attempts to amend or reform the Act. The hon. Member for Epping Forest (Mr. Biggs-Davison) referred to "Ten Years On In Ireland". Further suggestions are contained in that publication. If I had time, I would debate them. There are six suggestions in that small book that merit serious consideration.

It is said that there are some inside and outside the House who have forgotten about the provisions contained in the Act. The serious attacks on civil liberties in the Act have become almost a permanent feature of the legislative process. That certainly applies in Northern Ireland, and there is a danger of a spill-over into our own legislation if we are not careful.

We should remind ourselves briefly of the provisions that we are discussing. They include three-day and seven-day security detention, permission for the security forces to arrest for questioning, provision for a judge to sit by himself in a court handling terrorist charges, the reversal of the burden of proof in respect of bail applications when the accused is charged with being in possession of proscribed articles, and the alteration of the rules on the admissibility of statements by accused persons. As Peter Taylor puts it in another excellent publication, that gave the green light for Castlereagh.

These are serious issues that we should not gloss over lightly by listing a catalogue of dramatic incidents. We should remind ourselves from time to time of the seriousness of the attacks on civil liberties that are inherent in the Act. The system of conviction that it permits is without precedent. All the normal procedures for arrest, interrogation, admissibility of confessions and jury trial have been abrogated in Northern Ireland. The Secretary of State referred to terrorists. We hear the words "terrorists" and "terrorism" bandied about all over the place. Section 31 of the 1978 Act states: 'Terrorism' means the use of violence for political ends and includes any use of violence for the purpose of putting the public or any section of the public in fear. It refers to political ends. It is significant that that is the definition.

Can we say that all the special procedures and the special courts, plus the special definition of the individual who commits the crime, may be set on one side and that the man who comes out at the end of it all is not also special? I heard no word of complaint when the then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland introduced the special category status. It was accepted that there was something special. Since then we have erected a special legislative process to deal with it. We are being totally illogical if we now say that there is not something special. Of course, there are not many who will say that too loudly for fear of being accused of being on the side of the others. It is utter nonsense. We are being illogical until we discuss the issue openly in a forum such as the Chamber. Until we do that, we will not begin to understand the form and nature of the protests.

Many of those who have gone through the special process—I am not talking of the more dramatic, terrible and awful crimes of which we have heard during the debate—might have been found not guilty in the normal courts of law. We read almost daily of cases in which there is doubt. Even among the strikers, there are one or two of whom it could be said that there would be doubts if they had followed the normal processes of the law.

We have, responsibility for erecting these special frontiers, and we introduced the special processes and categories in the first place. At this moment there are still 370 men, close by the men who are on hunger strike, who are still on special category status. They are guilty of exactly the same crimes to which we have referred this evening. They live in compounds, wear no uniform, do no work, associate freely and enjoy frequent visits, parcels and so on. If it is asked why this should be so, the reply is "Well, they committed their crimes on the clay before we decided that such people would be treated differently." A lot of people cannot understand the logic of the special processes, the special category and then a special cut-off date.

Such a system was bound to create anomalies, and it has done. I wish to quote from a letter which appeared in The Times on 5 December, written by Canon John Austin Baker, of Westminster Abbey. He said, in relation to this point: We have not escaped the anomalies created by special category status simply by decreeing its abolition. It is absolutely true that we have not done so We have to face up to this fact, particularly in the current situation. It is not just a question of having a discussion in a drawing room of the type we have had in the previous hour or so. We are facing probably the most tragic situation that has existed in Northern Ireland since the start of these present troubles. We should treat it by looking for solutions instead of patting each other on the back, saying how well we are doing.

It is in that vein that I hope we shall have another look; at this problem The letter in The Times made some other tailing points and is well worth reading. I hope that the Secretary of State will have had the chance of reading it and will refer to it. I would hate to do the canon an injustice by picking bits of the letter out of context rather than reading the whole of it. It is an extremely interesting and important letter. Others have spoken in the same vein.

The Guardian said in a leader on 1 December: Is either side's avowal of principle a good enough cause for the deaths not only of the prisoners but of the many others who, it seems inevitable, will die in the resulting inter-sectarian terror? The question is not rhetorical. It may be that by taking a stand now the Government will make itself more credible in the ultimate defeat of the IRA, that instead of gaining prestige the IRA will lose it. But that is a large gamble. It seems more likely that even moderate opinion in the Irish Republic will be estranged, that the conditions of the hunger strikers will be misrepresented abroad, especially in the United States, and that a new generation of martyrs will succeed in setting back the peaceful evolution of the province and of Ireland by yet another decade. That is a very important leading article. With that I would include the efforts of the cardinal archbishop of Armagh, who made very early attempts to try to find a humane solution and had discussions with the Secretary of Stale. We did not gel a report on those discussions. We read some versions of them in some newspapers. I believe from what I have heard and what I know that he genuinely tried to find a solution that would avoid further bloodshed. I believe that the Government have a duty to protect all their citizens.

In the words of Canon Baker, If charity to the few can protect the many from indiscriminate tragedies of community conflict, then a balanced moral judgment will show that charity. I recommend that the Secretary of State has another think about this matter. I have written to him and to the Prime Minister suggesting that they ought to think seriously—[Interruption.] Far more seriously than some hon. Members below the Gangway on the Tory Benches. This is no laughing matter, and I say that particularly to those who come in to the Chamber at the last moment. The hon. Member would be far better—perhaps I would be far better not saying what I am thinking.

I have asked the Secretary of State to consider very seriously the appointment of a mediator in view of the intransigence of both sides in this case, to discuss the issue and try to find a solution that would take us out of what may well be the most tragic situation that we have faced for many years.

Because of the shortage of time, I cannot develop all the points that I wanted to make. However, for all these reasons, and because the Government still find it impossible to amend or reform the Act, I shall vote against its renewal tonight, as I have done on previous occasions. Perhaps on another occasion, in another debate held at an earlier hour, I shall be happy to give as many reasons as Government Members may desire.

Photo of Mr Ivor Stanbrook Mr Ivor Stanbrook , Bromley Orpington 12:45 am, 10th December 1980

The hon. Member for St. Pancras, North (Mr. Stallard) has been of service to the House by trying to clear up some of the confusion about the meaning of the words "political status". He has pointed out, correctly, that what we are concerned with is not political status—something that is not known in United Kingdom law—but a particular status granted to a certain number of people who were convicted of scheduled offences under the Act and of whom there are at present 300 or 400 still enjoying the privileges which were accorded to them, in my view wrongly, when the special status category was first brought into effect.

It therefore follows that what is aimed at is not political status as such—about which we know nothing, because it does not apply in the United Kingdom—but those privileges which are at present being enjoyed by these other prisoners who have been convicted of scheduled offences. It is important, when we are considering this matter and when publicity is given to it, to recognise that these people are not seeking to achieve anything new or different, or honourable or traditional. They are simply endeavouring to secure the continuance of something which was, rightly, taken away from all those convicted of scheduled offences in 1976.

There is, of course, a concept known to United Kingdom law which is of relevance to this type of case—that is, the concept of the political offence It is known to United Kingdom law and the law of extradition. A political offence is an offence which is incidental to violent disturbances where two or more parties are contending for power within a State. The general example that is given in the case law on this subject is that of an offence committed in the course of an anti-Government demonstration.

It follows that it does not in any way in our law apply to the deliberate cold-blooded killing which goes on in Northern Ireland and which is committed by the people with whom we are dealing tonight. That sort of thing may occur in war; but political offences have no application to war. So there is simply no basis upon which any sort of political status could be granted to these people.

I wish that Ministers would not keep saying that they will not accord political status to these people. What they should be saying is "We shall not grant their demands for privileges for any of them so long as they maintain their refusal to abide by prison rules." All of them are at present in breach of those rules. As long as they are, there is no ground for making any concessions whatsoever.

Photo of Mr Humphrey Atkins Mr Humphrey Atkins , Spelthorne 12:50 am, 10th December 1980

With the leave of the House, I shall try in the 10 minutes remaining to reply to the important points raised.

Perhaps I could start by taking up where my hon. Friend the Member for Orpington (Mr. Stanbrook) left off when he was commenting on what the hon. Member for St. Pancras, North (Mr. Stallard) said. We must be quite clear about this. The hon. Gentleman suggested that there should be a mediator. That is what the Government are in business to do. We have made our position perfectly clear. On 4 December I answered at some length a question, which appears in Hansard, which made the Government's position absolutely clear and spelt out in considerable detail the regime in the prisons in Northern Ireland. If protesting prisoners conform to the rules, they will enjoy the same privileges as others. We spelt out exactly what that entailed in relation to the demands that they are making.

That is where we stand. I would not want the hon. Gentleman or the House to be under the impression that we are interested in finding a mediator to move between us and the prisoners to see whether we can come to an arrangement. We shall not do that. It is essential to make certain that everybody understands our position. [Interruption.] If the right hon. Member for Down, South (Mr. Powell) will allow me, I shall try to answer the question.

Everyone, including those taking part in the hunger strike, should be absolutely clear what the Government's position is. Therefore, I considered it right that all the prisoners' relatives and all those likely to advise them should be sent copies of the statement but that the prisoners should be personally informed of the Government's position by one of my officials accompanying the governor, who was there quite properly, so that they cannot say that they did not know. I do not want the House to be under any misapprehension.

May I deal with the point that the right hon. Member for Mansfield (Mr. Concannon) made about Dublin before I deal with the two or three points concerning the Act? He asked three questions about the meeting between my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister and the Taoiseach in Dublin on Monday. The first was whether the Act that we are discussing tonight had been discussed between them. The answer is "No". It was not mentioned at any of the meetings at which I was present. Secondly, the right hon. Gentleman asked whether the hunger strike was mentioned. The answer is that it was. If he studies the communiqué, he will find that it states that my right hon. Friend and the Taoiseach discussed the matter and issued a joint statement about it.

The right hon. Gentleman then suggested that the phrase "possible new institutional structures" may cause security difficulties and that people may be uncertain about its meaning. He asked me to say a little about it. I am glad to do so. One purpose of the meeting was to see how to develop the unique relationship between our two countries that the two Heads of Government had mentioned when they last met in May. They decided that the right course was to set up a series of joint studies to see how the relationship could best be developed. [Interruption.] I wonder whether the right hon. Member for Down, South will allow me to make my own speech. I hope to cover the points that he raised

I cannot say precisely what ground the joint studies will cover, except that one will cover security. The matter requires further thought among ourselves and with the Government of the Republic.

The phrase is "institutional structures" and not "constitutional structures". We are not contemplating a federal structure, a confederation or anything like that, diminishing the powers of the sovereign Governments. We are considering whether any new arrangements would be helpful to facilitate consultation at all levels—official, ministerial and even parliamentary.

Let us look at it this way. The meeting on Monday was one of a series, similar to those that my right hon. Friend has had with other countries with which we have close relations. That in itself is an institutional structure. They have made it so. It is quite reasonable. We have close cooperation on economic matters. Would it help to formalise that? I do not know yet. None of us knows, but it is exactly the sort of thing that I believe we should be looking at. However, as my right hon. Friend has made clear—it was mentioned that she had—there is no question of federation, confederation or anything of that kind. We are seeking ways of improving relations between the two countries, carrying forward matters of joint interest as efficiently as we can.

I come next to the Act. The hon. Member for St. Pancras, North spoke of amending it and producing a whole range of matters in respect of which it could and possibly should be amended. He told the House that he does not like the Act and will vote against it. One must make an assessment about whether the Act should be continued. Is it generally working and being supported by the people to whom it applies? I think, as I have tried to show, that it is working and is generally supported. That is not to say that it should not be amended and that we should not constantly consider ways in which we ought to do that. I have undertaken that the Government will do so.

I was particularly interested in the suggestion of the right hon. Member for Mansfield about a judicial review, which follows the remarks of the hon. Member for Pontypridd (Mr. John) the last time we discussed this matter. We have given quite a lot of thought to the suggestion, and it will require an effort on the part of the Government to ensure that these emergency powers do not stay with us longer than they are needed.

There could well come a point at which it would be useful to have an independent judgment, with the impetus that that would give. But that would assume, I believe, that it had come to be widely thought that the emergency powers no longer met the needs of the case and that pretty drastic reform in one direction or another was called for. An independent judical review could assess then whether that dissatisfaction was well founded and advise the Government on how best to change course. But that is far from the position today.

I think that I can claim that the Government's security policy is on the whole regarded as being the right one and that the emergency powers contained in the Act are what is generally regarded as being necessary to carry it out. If we were to institute an independent review now, that would raise false expectations, on the part both of those who would like to see the powers disappear and of those who feared that they might be dismantled too quickly. That would increase tensions, and this is no moment for doing that. It is an idea that I would prefer to keep in reserve. However, the right hon. Member for Mansfield has put it, forward formally on behalf of the Opposition, and I promise him that I shall pay great attention to what he says and consider it carefully.

The hon. Member for Belfast, West (Mr. Fitt) raised the question of the two assessors. It was, of course, considered by Lord Gardiner in his review. He dismissed it on the ground that they would be subject to the same pressures as the jury. However, I note that the hon. Gentleman has mentioned it and I shall look at it again.

What matters tonight is that we should pass the order. I hope that the message will go out, as I believe it does from almost everybody who has spoken, first, that we all abhor violence, second, that we do not recognise a political motive for violence as being valid and, third, that we shall give every support that we can to the security forces, who are doing their utmost on our behalf to overcome the terrorism under which Northern Ireland has lived for too long. I hope that the House will support the order.

Question put:

The House divided: Ayes 93, Noes 21.

Division No. 16][12.58 am
AYES
Alison, MichaelGarel-Jones, Tristan
Arnold, TomGoodhart, Philip
Atkins, Rt Hon H.(S'thorne)Gorst, John
Baker, Nicholas (N Dorset)Griffiths, Peter Portsm'th N)
Berry, Hon AnthonyHarrison, Rt Hon Walter
Bevan, David GilroyHawkins, Paul
Biggs-Davison, JohnHawksley, Warren
Blackburn, JohnHeddle, John
Boscawen, Hon RobertHogg, Hon Douglas (Gr'th'm)
Bradford, Rev R.Jopling, Rt Hon Michael
Bright, GrahamLang, Ian
Brooke, Hon PeterLatham, Michael
Brown, M.(Brigg and Scun)Le Marchant, Spencer
Buck, AntonyLester Jim (Beeston)
Cadbury, JocelynLloyd, Peter (Fareham)
Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln)McCusker, H.
Clark, Hon A. (Plym'th, S'n)MacGregor, John
Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe)MacKay, John (Argyll)
Colvin, MichaelMcNair-Wilson, M. (N'bury)
Concannon, Rt Hon J. D.McQuade, John
Cope, JohnMcQuarrie, Albert
Costain, Sir AlbertMajor, John
Cranborne, ViscountMarlow, Tony
Dover, DenshoreMates, Michael
Dunlop, JohnMills, Iain (Meriden)
Dunn, Robert (Dartford)Moate, Roger
Faith, Mrs SheilaMolyneaux, James
Fenner, Mrs PeggyMorris, M. (N'hampton S)
Morrison, Hon P. (Chester)Squire, Robin
Myles, DavidStanbrook, Ivor
Needham, RichardStevens, Martin
Newton, TonyStradling Thomas, J.
Page, Richard (SW Herts)Taylor, Teddy (S'end E)
Paisley, Rev IanTebbit, Norman
Parris, MatthewThompson, Donald
Pendry, TomThorne, Neil (Ilford South)
Penhaligon, DavidWakeham, John
Percival, Sir IanWaller, Gary
Powell, Rt Hon J.E. (S Down)Watson, John
Proctor, K. HarveyWells, Bowen
Robinson, P. (Belfast E)Wheeler, John
Ross, Wm. (Londonderry)Whitney, Raymond
Rossi, HughWilliams, D.(Montgomery)
Sainsbury, Hon TimothyYoung, Sir George (Acton)
Shaw, Giles (Pudsey)
Shepherd, Colin (Hereford)Tellers for the Ayes:
Shersby, MichaelMr. Carol Mather and
Speller, TonyMr. David Waddington
Spicer, Michael (S Worcs)
NOES
Campbell-Savours, DaleMaynard, Miss Joan
Cryer, BobMikardo, Ian
Dalyell, TamO'Halloran, Michael
Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (L'lli)Parry, Robert
Dobson, FrankRichardson, Jo
Dubs, AlfredRoss, Ernest (Dundee West)
Fitt, GerardStallard, A. W.
Flannery, MartinTilley, John
Holland, S. (L'b'th, Vauxh'll)
McDonald, Dr OonaghTellers for the Noes:
McKelvey, WilliamMr. Clive Soley and
Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)Mr. Andrew F. Bennett
Maxton, John

Question accordingly agreed to.

Resolved.That the draft Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Act 1978 (Continuance) (No. 2) Order 1980, which was laid before this House on 3 December, be approved.