Orders of the Day — Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Act 1978

– in the House of Commons at 11:42 pm on 26th June 1985.

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Photo of Hon. Douglas Hurd Hon. Douglas Hurd , Witney 11:42 pm, 26th June 1985

I beg to move, That the draft Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Act 1978 (Continuance) (No. 2) Order 1985, which was laid before this House on 3rd June, be approved. I make clear the Government's central commitment to firm, effective and measured security policies. I commend to the House the steady and determined professionalism of our security forces. I want to say something about the security situation, because that is the background against which we ask the House to renew the powers. I shall also set out the Government's response to the late Sir George Baker's valuable review of the operation of the Emergency Provisions Act.

Our debate earlier today recognised the wider political context in which the security situation has to be discussed. As my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State and I have made clear, we shall go on working for political and economic improvements. But the House should not persuade itself that positive developments in either the economic or the political life of Northern Ireland will deflect the terrorist. I agree with what the right hon. Member for Lagan Valley (Mr. Molyneaux) said about that in the previous debate, although I did not recognise the account that he then gave of Government policy on that score.

Whatever other developments there may be, security will remain our first priority. It is the first requirement in any democracy, and it is by far the most important public service. So, with the Chief Constable and the General Officer Commanding it is my job to continue to work out measures which put the terrorists under intense pressure, and bring their campaign of violence to an end. Security policy is not static, but continually changing. We would be stupid to advertise the changes, and that sometimes makes it difficult to deal with criticisms. I sometimes feel that the terrorists have a clearer idea of the efficiency and success of the security forces than some of those whom the security forces protect, but perhaps that is inevitable.

I understand fully the strength of feeling about old and recent tragedies in Northern Ireland. I am informed of each and every death whenever it occurs, and I know the effect of such news. One feels the sorrow and anger—and the weight of responsibility too. We must and shall do all within our power to bring terrorism in Northern Ireland to an end. But I want to make another thing clear. No one helps a difficult situation by acting outside the law or by wild talk encouraging such acts. There is no such thing as security outside the law.

I have to hand the latest figures for violence. Such figures are, and should be, regularly given to the House. They show that so far, violence in 1985 is roughly comparable with violence in 1984, which saw less violence than any year since 1970. I report the figures to the House every month, but I shall not repeat them now in case I should be accused of being complacent about them, for I recognise that such figures can never give a true picture of the human tragedy which they represent. Each entry in the statistics is a new misery, and each entry should harden our resolve to continue to find ways of overcoming terrorism.

The RUC has borne the brunt in recent weeks. Total casualty figures have not increased, but the proportion of them borne by the RUC has increased. Since January, 19 police officers have been murdered by terrorists. As I would expect, the RUC has responded with calmness, with high professionalism and cool determination. The Chief Constable and all his officers have earned, deserved, and received, our greatest respect and appreciation. The RUC has relied on, and been given, the support of the regular Army and the UDR. In both cases, that support will remain essential.

Photo of Mr Eldon Griffiths Mr Eldon Griffiths , Bury St Edmunds

My right hon. Friend will know that an investigation is still going on into the Newry and Killeen incidents. When he has had an opportunity to study those reports will he take into account, in particular, the concern about whether adequate Army protection is available to the relatively much more vulnerable and targeted police?

Photo of Hon. Douglas Hurd Hon. Douglas Hurd , Witney

Yes, I shall do that. It is my experience that the co-operation between the Army and the RUC is extremely close and confident. Where there is a request for support from the RUC, the Army are quick and willing to give it.

The essence of our policy is simple. It is that the security forces should operate within the law to bring those guilty of terrorism crimes to justice before the courts. The Government will not allow themselves or the security forces to be drawn on to any other ground. Any other approach would be wrong in principle and counterproductive in practice.

This policy can provide the community with the service they need only if the security forces can be sure of the support of all those within the community who obey the law. Indeed, this is true of all parts of the criminal justice system, from the policeman on the beat to the highest court in the land. We must continue to look for ways of winning the confidence and securing the support of the whole community. Many opportunities already exist. They extend from local police liaison groups, formal and informal, through encouraging recruitment from all parts of the community to my proposals for a more independent element in the way complaints against the police are examined. They include keeping the operation of the criminal justice system under close review to ensure that it is fair and effective and that it strikes the right balance between the rights of the individual and the needs of society to be protected from violence and crime. This effort cannot be one-sided. It is not just a matter for the Government or the police. It is up to the whole law-abiding community and its political leaders to show that they hold to the basic principles that underlie our system of law and order and that they are prepared to support and sustain those who duty is to protect us all.

Of course there is room for improvement. Criticisms should be voiced and proposals made. Only a stupid Government close their ears to the suggestions of their fellow citizens, but those suggestions need to be judged against whether they sustain or undermine the true interests of security on which our freedom depends.

I should like to say something about a matter that was raised in the earlier debate, because it is an area where an immediate and practical contribution can be made to help the police during a difficult period. I am referring to the control and routeing of parades and marches, which several hon. Members in different parts of the House have already mentioned.

I endorse what the Chief Constable said about provocative parades and marches in the foreword to his annual report last year. These can lead to disorder and retaliation, and they require the deployment of considerable police resources that could be put to much better use in countering the terrorist threat. I suggest that limitations to the traditional routes are not a restriction on individual liberties and that a responsibility rests on the organisers of all parades—traditional or non-traditional — from both communities to show a greater understanding of the difficulties that the police face. They should show more flexibility than has sometimes been shown in the past over the choice of routes.

The Chief Constable has said that he will be ready to impose conditions on a march if necessary, but that should be a last resort. We are not talking about a general or inflexible policy but about local discussions between the police and the organisers and decisions taken one by one by the Chief Constable in the light of local circumstances.

Photo of John Taylor John Taylor , Strangford

As the right hon. Gentleman quite properly states, the routeing of parades is a matter for the Chief Constable and not the Executive. That being so — and as the right hon. Gentleman in a written reply to me after St. Patrick's day confirmed that the Irish Republic Government had made representations about the routeing of parades in Northern Ireland — will he reject the right of the Dublin Government to influence the routes of parades when the Executive of our own country does not interfere with police decisions?

Photo of Hon. Douglas Hurd Hon. Douglas Hurd , Witney

The right hon. Gentleman knows the legal position. If there is a suggestion that a parade should be banned — [Interruption.] I am trying to complete the picture, because the picture given by the right hon. Gentleman was incomplete. If there is a proposal that any parade should be banned, that requires my approval. If it is a suggestion that a parade should be re-routed, as the right hon. Gentleman correctly said, that is a matter within the operational responsibility of the Chief Constable. These are not matters for outside intervention. They need to be decided in the light of a careful assessment of each local situation and the priority which I hope all hon. Members, leaders of constitutional parties and those concerned with the security of the Province, would give to the maintenance of public order.

There is a case in the future for looking at our public order legislation as it bears on the control of parades and demonstrations, especially in the light of the Home Secretary's recently published paper on this subject. That is a matter which I shall be examining carefully.

As we know, terrorists are at present active, particularly in border areas. Hon. Members who represent constituencies in those areas know that better than anyone else. Only the most determined and sustained effort in those areas will deal with the threat. In this task, our security forces in Northern Ireland depend crucially, as many incidents have exposed, on the co-operation that they receive from the Irish Republic. Nobody who wants to be taken seriously in discussing security can ignore that fact.

The efforts that the Garda already make have saved lives. But I would like to see, as I am sure the whole House would like to see, more intense co-operation at all levels to help counter the threat along and across the border. The Irish Government are, of course, well aware of our views. They have made no secret of their abhorrence of terrorism. The defeat of terrorism is as much in their interest as it is in ours.

I hope that the Garda and the RUC will find more ways of working more closely together and that, in the natural course, meetings will be held at all levels, including at the most senior. We all have much to gain — and the terrorist has most to fear—from better co-operation and a close understanding with the Irish on security matters. That is why Sinn Fein and the IRA are so strongly opposed to our present discussions with the Irish Government. They know what they have to fear from more effective security co-operation. They do not want to be throttled or deprived of the border as an operational asset. Therefore, they hope and work for the breakdown of discussions between the British and Irish Governments.

Some concern has been expressed recently, in the House and elsewhere, about the resources available to the RUC, now that the RUC has primacy in conducting the security policy. We shall continue to provide the necessary level of support, and such support is the first claim on my budget. Expenditure on the police service has quadrupled in real terms in the last 12 years. To a large extent, this reflects the growth in the size of the RUC in recent years.

There have been three increases in the authorised establishment of the force in the past four years, raising the ceiling of the regular RUC and the full-time reserve to a total of 11,000. When we have filled the few hundred remaining vacancies in the next few months, the overall strength of the force will have doubled in little more than nine years. The number of civilians working in direct support of the RUC has increased over the same period from 860 to almost 2,000, thus releasing police officers from administrative to operational duties.

The net result is that the total man hours worked by fulltime officers of the force during 1984–85—which is the most reliable indicator of the police effort—rose to its highest ever annual level of 23·1 million. It is right that such a large commitment of resources should be carefully managed to ensure that it is directed to the sharp end of policing and to our main priority, the defeat of terrorism. I therefore welcome the work of the police authority and the Chief Constable on the efficient management of these resources.

I do not suppose that anywhere in the world—certainly anywhere in the western world—there has been such a rapid expansion of a police force to deal with a particular threat in so short a time. Of course, it creates problems—as my hon. Friend the Member for Bury St. Edmunds (Sir E. Griffiths) will know from experience — some of which we have heard about, such as accommodation. Those are problems that we must tackle with as much speed and effectiveness as the build-up of the force. The build-up of the force and its spirit and professionalism after such a rapid increase is a notable achievement, not principally by Government but by the RUC and the community from which its members are drawn.

Photo of Mr John Hume Mr John Hume , Foyle

Will the right hon. Gentleman explain to me and to many people in my constituency who are puzzled about this why house searches have beeen carried out by masked men in civilian clothes supported by members of the police force? Does the right hon. Gentleman support this practice? What is the reason for it?

Photo of Hon. Douglas Hurd Hon. Douglas Hurd , Witney

The hon. Gentleman has not raised this matter with me before. If he will give me details of time and place, I shall of course look into what he says.

I should like to turn to our discussion of the recommendations made by the late Sir George Baker in his valuable review of the Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Act 1978. The Act gives the security forces and the courts additional powers to counter the terrorist threat. Sir George concluded that there was little scope for fundamental changes to the Act but considered that in some areas it could be adjusted and that some powers could be given up. I have already made it clear that we accept the broad thrust of the review, and I should now like to set out briefly our main conclusions, which w11 be incorporated in a Bill to be brought before the House when the parliamentary timetable permits.

Sir George recommended that the detention provisions of the Act, which remain on the statute book although not in force, should be repealed. As I said in December, I cannot foresee these powers being used in anything other than a short-term crisis of major proportions. Obviously, we hope that we shall not face such a crisis. After much thought, I have come to the conclusion that if such a crisis were to arise in a recess when we had dropped this reserve power, it could be difficult to offer the Northern Ireland people the protection that they would need. I have thought about this matter carefully, and I have decided that the prudent course is not to accept this recommendation but to retain the detention provisions on the statute book.

I have carefully considered the recommendations in the report about the types of offences that would be brought before non-jury, or Diplock, courts. I think that we all want a restoration of jury trial for all offences in Northern Ireland. I am sure that Sir George was right in concluding that restoration of jury trial is not possible in present conditions. I therefore propose that, in accordance with Sir George's recommendations, schedule 4 to the Act should be amended to increase the Attorney-General's discretion to certify cases out of the scheduled mode of trial. My right hon. and learned Friend the Attorney-General considers that it is right to retain this discretion for himself, although Sir George recommended that it should be delegated to the Director of Public Prosecutions. We shall frame our proposals in the light of my right hon. and learned Friend's decision. The list of cases to which such discretion will be extended is not precisely that proposed by Sir George, but in substance I accept his recommendations and they will be included in the Bill.

I have decided not to accept the recommendation that a judge should have discretion to dismiss the jury in a jury trial and continue in the schedule mode, that is without a jury. We believe that, in those circumstances, retrial of the case is the better course.

Sir George made a number of recommendations about police arrest powers, which, broadly, would have had the effect of duplicating the police arrest powers contained in section 12 of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (Temporary Provisions) 1984. We propose to meet the spirit of these recommendations by repealing the arrest powers in section 11 of the Act, leaving the RUC to rely on those contained in section 12 of the Prevention of Terrorism Act. That will be a considerable simplification for all concerned. Persons arrested under the Prevention of Terrorism Act must be charged or released within 48 hours, rather than the 72 hours allowed under section 11 of the Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Act, although the former period may be extended by a period or periods not exceeding five days. Extensions beyond 48 hours require specific authority from the Executive and thus remain under close ministerial control. The change that I am suggesting will mean that the initial period of arrest without ministerial involvement will, in all cases, be 48 hours, and the maximum period will be seven days. So far as the Army's arrest power is concerned, no final decision has been taken on the need for or form of any modifications to section 14, but I intend that a power of Army arrest should be retained.

Like Sir George, the Government endorse the present practice of the courts in bail applications. I suggested in December that, as the practice seems satisfactory, there might be no need to amend the law. But, having thought about it again, I think that it would be right to change the law. I therefore propose that section 2(2) of the Act should be recast to move the onus in bail applications towards the prosecution. That would be in line with the present practice of the courts. Section 2(4) should be repealed, as Sir George recommended, and section 2(5) widened to include members of the RUC and RUC reserve.

The practice of the courts in respect of the admissibility of confessions was endorsed by Sir George Baker.

Photo of Mr Peter Archer Mr Peter Archer , Warley West

Does the Minister have it in mind to accept the overall period of 12 months?

Photo of Hon. Douglas Hurd Hon. Douglas Hurd , Witney

I am coming to that shortly. I had passed to the admissibility of confessions. The present practice was endorsed by Sir George Baker. I feel inclined to reflect in section 8 of the Act the principles that the judges now apply.

The last of the major changes recommended by Sir George Baker was that the temporary provisions of the Act should be reviewed annually by Parliament, and should have a maximum life of five years without re-enactment. In this, Sir George follows the pattern that Parliament has already adopted in respect of the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act 1984. His recommendation is a welcome restatement of the clear responsibility of Parliament and of the Government to consider afresh whether any emergency provisions should continue and, if so, in what form, and I accept his recommendation.

I should like to touch on another set of recommendations contained in the review. I have studied carefully those recommendations that bear, or could bear, upon the problem of delays in the judicial system, including his recommendation of a time limit of 12 months on the period between committal and trial. I am considering this and other possible ways of reducing the length of time between first remand and trial because I accept that this is a vulnerable aspect of the present judicial system. My right hon. and learned Friend the Home Secretary has decided, as the House knows, to mount field trials in England and Wales on a system of statutory time limits. I am not sure that all the same considerations and all the same possibilities exist in Northern Ireland, but I am in touch with my right hon. and learned Friend, and I will watch progress with the trials with interest to see whether there is scope for doing something similar in the different circumstances of Northern Ireland.

I am also giving thought to the proposal by Sir George Baker that some way should be found to increase the maximum remand period in scheduled cases to 28 or 30 days. The current situation is unsatisfactory, as hon. Members with direct experience will know. At present, all such persons have to be produced before a magistrate once a week, but the magistrate has no power to grant bail and can only remand the accused persons for a further period. Thus the process is largely, in Sir George Baker's words, "meaningless" and a waste of time, money and resources". Following the precedent in England and Wales, we are already considering separate legislation that would extend from 14 to 28 days the maximum period for which, if he agrees, an accused person may be remanded in custody. There would be attractions in amending the emergency provisions Act 1978 so as to remove in respect of scheduled cases the requirement for a person to give his consent. Taken together, these changes would give magistrates the discretion to remand persons accused of scheduled offences for up to 28 days. This would save a good deal of unnecessary court time and other resources—resources that could be better used in minimising the length of time between first remand and trial. Defendants who did not make weekly remand appearances would still have regular access to their solicitors and other visitors, and could make bail applications in open court at short notice. I recognise that the arguments are not all one way, and that is why I have laid both sides of the argument before the House, but I believe that the balance of the argument points to an amendment along the lines that I have described. When the time comes, the House will have ample opportunity to look in detail at the proposals because they will require changes in the law.

I have been unable, in the short space of time available, to do full justice to each of Sir George's recommendations, but I hope what I have said illustrates the broad thrust of our response. The Government will put legislation before the House when they can, certainly during the lifetime of this Parliament.

Photo of Mr Harold McCusker Mr Harold McCusker , Upper Bann

The Secretary of State has studiously avoided referring to Sinn Fein, yet the Baker report is shot through, from the first paragraph to the end, with Sir George Baker's astonishment that this organisation is allowed to exist. He states that be believes that IRA murderers could be proved to be the agents of Gerry Adams and his Sinn Fein associates. A few months ago the Secretary of State assured me that he would address himself to the Baker recommendations, yet he has ignored doing so tonight. Will he please say something about those recommendations?

Photo of Hon. Douglas Hurd Hon. Douglas Hurd , Witney

I looked carefully for the hon. Gentleman and referred in reasonably complimentary terms to him in his absence during my first speech, when I dealt at some length with the Government's attitude towards Sinn Fein. Further examination is required of Sir George Baker's recommendations. I am not enamoured of his particular proposal, but if the hon. Gentleman will read in Hansard what I said earlier about Sinn Fein he will see what the Government are doing about it.

I believe that the modifications I have mentioned will represent steps towards restoring normality to Northern Ireland. They are small steps, perhaps, but they are worth taking. Because our security policy is not static I shall continue to keep a careful watch upon it, and also upon its legislative basis. Our policy cannot be inflexible and unimaginative. If it is to succeed, it must be capable of responding quickly to changing circumstances.

As for the motion before the House this evening, I do not believe that it could possibly be argued by any realistic person that the security forces and the courts do not need the powers granted by the emergency provisions Act to enable them to combat terrorism. I should be amazed if, in their hearts, those on the Opposition Front Bench, who now have the same length of experience of these matters as I have, had come to the conclusion that these powers are unnecessary. I shall be interested to hear their views on this subject.

We have seen a number of appalling terrorist outrages around the world in recent weeks, including in Northern Ireland, and many Governments are urgently reviewing the steps that can be taken to meet the terrorist threat. Northern Ireland continues to face a vicious terrorist campaign that has resulted in an intolerable loss of life. Some improvement has been achieved, but we are emphatically not in a position to relinquish measures that undoubtedly save lives, for without them the men of violence would be able to operate with greater freedom and to even greater deadly effect. Therefore, I confidently invite the House to agree to extend the life of the 1978 Act by a further six months.

Photo of Mr Peter Archer Mr Peter Archer , Warley West 12:13 am, 26th June 1985

The time available for this debate is relatively brief. That is a consequence of the manner in which the Government have tabled their business, so I assume that that is what they intended. One consequence, which may not greatly trouble the Government, is that my contribution to this debate must be brief. That is made easier because on successive occasions over the past two years I have had the opportunity to expound in some detail the Opposition's views on the emergency provisions Act, and anything I say on the subject tonight will be in the nature of repetition.

It was kind of the hon. Member for Wiltshire, North (Mr. Needham) to regret that in an earlier debate I did not repeat in detail what I had said on previous occasions. I do not propose to do so in this debate either. If he was not in attendance on any of the occasions when I said it, I can direct his attention to the Official Report. This will not be an extended contribution, but since the Opposition propose to divide the House on the motion I owe it to hon. Members to offer a brief statement on our position.

In an earlier debate today I spent some time repeating what I have said on many occasions and what perhaps hardly required saying—that there is no issue between any of the parties in the House, certainly not between the Government and the official Opposition, on our attitude to violence. We all wholly condemn the unlawful use of violence in the pursuit of any political objective, whether in 1920 or in 1985. The question is how people can most effectively be protected from that violence.

In an earlier debate I referred in passing to two questions: how can we remove the economic and social grievances which provide a recruiting ground, particularly among the young, for paramilitaries of either persuasion; and how can we resolve the political issues that give rise to such a sick and distorted sense of mission and isolate the men of violence?

In this debate I want to pose a third question. How can we ensure that the measures that we take to safeguard law and order are effective and not counterproductive?

Our anxieties about the emergency provisions Act are on three matters and I shall do no more than refer to them because I have developed them all on previous occasions.

The first question in our minds is whether the powers are necessary to enable those who have to enforce the law to do their job. The right hon. Gentleman said in somewhat sweeping terms that he would be amazed if anyone could doubt the proposition. I have ventured in the past to doubt the proposition and I have given my reasons in detail. I only say tonight that we recognise, as we have always done, that we charge those who have to enforce the law with a difficult and frequently dangerous duty, and we owe them support in the discharge of that duty. But to offer them powers which are not necessary is not an effective way of giving them that support. It is quite the reverse. To do so is to create unnecessary problems, for reasons to which I shall refer in a moment.

I noticed yesterday that the Home Secretary was anxious to emphasise that in discovering the recent plot the police availed themselves of certain powers in the Prevention of Terrorism Act. We may be told more about that at a later date. But he never suggested that the powers in the emergency provisions Act assisted them in any way, and it is difficult to see how they could have done.

The very name of the Act that we are considering today emphasises that these are powers which were taken because the authorities were facing an emergency. They recognised—quite rightly—that it was not be regarded as a normal way of conducting our affairs. I hope we all agree that we ought not to let ourselves be coerced by men of violence into departing more than is essential from our normal way of life, or they will have achieved their objective.

In the course of the debate on the Baker report on 20 December 1984, the right hon. Gentleman said, and he said it again today, that he had considered section 12 of the Act, which permits detention without trial. That provision has not been used since 1975, when my right hon. Friend the Member for Morley and Leeds, South (Mr. Rees) announced that he would no longer avail himself of it. The Secretary of State had been asked—and he has obviously directed his mind to it again tonight—why, if it was never used, it was allowed to remain on the statute book. His answer, as I understand it, is that a situation might occur, perhaps when Parliament was in recess, when he might feel a need to use it.

I do not believe that that is a proper approach to emergency powers in a free community, when we have these powers not because they have been shown to be necessary but lest they might become necessary at some hypothetical time in the future. I could go through the powers one by one, as I have done in the past, and show that there are other powers available to the authorities to do what they may wish to do. I cannot do that tonight, for obvious reasons.

Our second anxiety about the Act is that it is literally counterproductive. The Secretary of State quite rightly emphasised that the law can be upheld only by lawful methods. The most effective way to combat crime of any sort is to ensure that the community believes that the legal system and those who enforce it are not only lawful but manifestly fair and that they protect the legitimate interests of all law-abiding sections of the community. Then, indeed, they will support the police, provide information, offer themselves as witnesses and express their disapproval of those who break the law.

That is not the case in Northern Ireland at the present time. An opinion poll published in the Belfast Telegraph on 6 February showed that nearly two thirds of the Catholic community believed that the legal system was unfair. Of course, some things are perceived as unfair because they manifestly are unfair. That is true of some practices associated with what have come to be called the supergrass trials. But again, I have elaborated on that in the past and in this limited debate it would not be fair to others who wish to speak if I repeated it.

I wish to emphasise only two things. It makes no contribution to dealing with paramilitaries to convict the wrong people. Not only illegality but unfairness in any system which depends upon public co-operation is counterproductive. Those who invoke Satan to cast out Satan are to be condemned not only for moral reasons but because it simply does not work.

Our final reason for opposing the order is that after 15 months the Government have still not implemented even the limited amendments to the law which Sir George Baker recommended as necessary. In the debate on the renewal order on 5 July last year, I sketched the history of the anxieties that had been expressed about the Act, the somewhat belated announcement of the inquiry and the further delayed appointment of Sir George Baker. Sir George worked with commendable energy and expedition to report in March 1984. His recommendations were not so radical as some of us might have hoped, but his report seems to have shared the fate of so many reports. It was welcomed, tributes were paid to Sir George, but there was a certain lack of urgency in implementing his recommendations. Of course, I welcome the fact that today the right hon. Gentleman has offered us his reactions, but I am bound to say that what he said hardly allayed our anxieties. It will require more than that to change our view. This is not the occasion to react in detail to what he said, but today we are considering the Act in its unamended form.

I have no doubt that I shall be taken to task by those holding a whole spectrum of various views because I have made no mention of matters which they believe to be important. Silence does not imply a lack of concern; I am simply conscious that there are hon. Members in the Chamber who were not able to contribute to the earlier debate, and this debate has only limited time. I have given this explanation only lest our reasons be misrepresented; lest it be suggested that the Opposition are insufficiently concerned with law enforcement. Any lack of concern is not ours. Those who have demonstrated a lack of concern are those who have reacted so tardily to the Baker report and those who have denied us adequate time to debate this motion tonight.

12 24 am

Photo of Mr Humphrey Atkins Mr Humphrey Atkins , Spelthorne

I shall be very brief, but I must comment on what I regard as a deplorable speech from the right hon. and learned Member for Warley, West (Mr. Archer). He knows as well as anyone else in the House that the Provisional IRA and all other terrorist organisations are evil and ruthless. So far as one can judge, they want only one thing: to overthrow the existing order and replace it with themselves. No doubt if they achieve that, they would keep order with the same methods as they used to get it. As we know, they will do anything to achieve their objectives. They will murder—Airey Neave, for example. They will murder British soldiers, Irish soldiers, and innocent citizens in Northern Ireland. They will resort to the weapon of blackmail by using the hunger strike, which happened when I was Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. They will murder indiscriminately innocent people on the mainland.

Terrorists will use any method to achieve their ends, yet the right hon. and learned Gentleman maintains that they should be dealt with as though they were people who had broken the speed limit in Sussex. I cannot believe that Labour Back-Bench Members will support him. I hope that they will not. I beg them not to support him, because the emergency powers that we are being invited to renew tonight are a weapon which we would much rather not use if we had the opportunity, but which we have used and which the people whom we hire to work on our behalf—the security forces—wish to continue to use. They believe that they are to our advantage.

Photo of Mr Peter Archer Mr Peter Archer , Warley West

The right hon. Gentleman has recounted many facts, none of which is in issue in the debate, as I thought I had made clear. Is he disagreeing with the statement of the present Secretary of State that we should deal with those people by due process of law, as we would deal with someone who broke the speed limit, or is he suggesting that there is something to be gained by unlawful methods of dealing with them?

Photo of Mr Humphrey Atkins Mr Humphrey Atkins , Spelthorne

Perhaps I could remind the right hon. and learned Gentleman that this House and the other place make the law. We are being invited to continue a law that we have made. If we pass it, it is lawful.

The point that I am trying to make is that we are dealing with evil men. The security forces, whether they be the British Army or the Royal Ulster Constabulary, which we hire to defend innocent citizens, believe that they need the powers in the Act. Yet the right hon. and learned Gentleman says that they should not have them. If he and Labour Back-Bench Members vote against the order, they will deprive the security forces upon which we rely of a power that they believe they need. I beg Labour Members not to vote against the order.

Photo of Mr Roy Mason Mr Roy Mason , Barnsley Central 12:28 am, 26th June 1985

I believe that the Prevention of Terrorism Act and the emergency provisions played a part in this week's dramatic good news about police operations. I wish to place on record my thanks to and praise of those Scotland Yard and special branch officers who, through diligence, patience and skill, frustrated the IRA's planned carnage at our seaside resorts. There is no doubt that police intelligence and skill, backed by our anti-terrorist legislation, has saved hundreds of lives.

If we are to combat those evil men, we must maintain the full legal armoury that Parliament has decreed should be available. There is no doubt that if our security forces had not been equipped with those legal powers, once again we would be mourning the deaths of scores of innocent British and American tourists in London. But there are many examples of terrorists slipping through the emergency provisions net. Even the present legislative controls do not stop them.

I am also pleased at the appointment of Sir Kenneth Newman, who has been given the supreme task of overseeing the hunt for other terrorists, for bomb workshops, and of eliminating the worrying possibility of one or more bombs having been placed in hotels with delayed timing devices. There is no man better equipped for that job. I know from working with him that he has the intelligence, the experience and the steel to pursue that task with the vigour that it deserves.

The Provisional IRA and the Irish National Liberation Army visit Britain in their various guises, observed at the Irish exits under the Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Acts. They visit friends and relatives, mingle in the groups of football spectators to the west coast matches, attend boxing in London, and occasionally divert en route to leave a message in a covert drop, to awaken a sleeper here and there, to assemble an active service unit, to collect and store bomb-making equipment, to establish safe houses and so on. All the time in our midst some terrorist activity is taking place by the Irish terrorist groups and their friends in Great Britain. Therefore, constant surveillance is absolutely necessary. The maintenance of these emergency provisions is an arm of the law which must be continued.

Our security and intelligence officers, manning the air and sea ports of Northern Ireland, need the right, and thus the backing of Parliament, to watch faces, track their movements, and recognise the mug shots of wanted men, especially those who managed to remain free after the mass escape from the Maze prison—that college of higher learning in Irish nationalism, military discipline and terrorist activity. Yet, even some of those men have escaped the emergency provisions net. Therefore, when we hear or read of some outcry at a port in Northern Ireland or Great Britain concerning one or more persons being held and protesting their innocence—they may well be innocent—we must recognise that the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act 1984 and the emergency provisions in operation will cause some nuisance and inconvenience.

Some do-gooders will rise in anger at this intrusion into our peaceful, democratic way of life. I do not complain when they say that our civil liberties have been breached again. But what if, in that batch the special branch has collared, there are a couple, whom it has held under suspicion, who were wanting to effect a post drop, to awaken a sleeper, or to activate an active service unit? In the time that they can be held under the emergency provisions legislation in Northern Ireland or the prevention of terrorism legislation in Great Britain, it will be a failed mission. If there is no evidence against them, their return home is being frustrated, but their mission will have failed.

No doubt that has happened time and time again. There is no telling how many lives have been saved as a result. Some completely innocent people may have been held with them, perhaps even as a shroud when one in a group of travellers is a suspect. That is the price that we have to pay when terrorism and terrorists abound within our shores.

It is also important to understand that the emergency provisions and the extension of arrest time legislation give the police the time to check the forensic evidence that they have available regarding prints on guns and bomb-making equipment, and to match that evidence in the time available. I ask my parliamentary colleagues not to relax these laws. They are more important now than at any time since their inception. There may be fewer terrorists in total, but there are proportionately more hard-line callous men. The INLA wanted to prove that its way of getting rid of the British was the best. It decided, therefore, to ignore the giving of warnings to the security forces and to deal out damage and death on a massive scale, adopt a higher profile and be not concerned about the propaganda backlash. The hawks in the Provisional IRA are now bent on the same path—one evil group trying to outdo the other. It is like a competition in mass assassinations. Now, it is not just public buildings with HMG stamped upon them or hotels, with evacuation warnings given, that are attacked, but carnage on any scale and affecting anyone. That is the major change.

A great deal of that carnage coincided with and flows from the Maze break-out—17 hard-bitten killers and mass murderers on the run who have no qualms about blasting bodies to pieces and, what is more, schooled from their Maze prison experience better than their counterparts. No doubt a steely bitterness is in their veins. The Brighton bombing was an example of that, as was last week's planned wholesale carnage.

In the light of all that, I ask my colleagues not to parley with Provisional Sinn Fein. I believe that that organisation, the councillors in particular, is the political agent of those Provo terrorists.

I have noticed that some of my colleagues have met Gerry Adams, one of the godfathers of terrorism. I remember that, shortly after that meeting in the 1983 recess, we had the Maze break-out. Adams would have known about the planned break-out at the time of that meeting. He must have been inwardly smirking at the thought of meeting true democrats on the eve of that planned murderous break-out.

I am aware that further meetings have taken place. Many Provisional Sinn Fein councillors are former Maze men. They are not ordinary criminals as we understand them, having served the sentence and wiped the slate clean. They have been retrained, rested, and refurbished, but they are more political, and let us not be kidded by the political activity with which they attempt to cloak their terrorism.

It is not just ballot box and bullet now, frightening as that is; it is ballot box and mass slaughter. Since the intervention of PSF in the local political scene, the militant element has clearly been given a free rein. One of the reasons for that is that no more elections are pending for a while. It is not unduly worried about public opinion.

I am of the opinion that those PSF councillors should also be banned from entering this parliamentary building. It is an extraordinary measure, but it should be taken against those known supporters of terrorism. They should be banned because their memories will be long and their feelings bitter and I believe that they will use any political contact for entry into the United Kingdom's most revered democratic institution.

The emergency provisions legislation can be used for that purpose. Those men are known. When they leave Northern Ireland for Great Britain our parliamentary security teams should be informed, provided with their mug shots and should bar them from entering the precincts of the Palace of Westminster. Their main purpose will not be to make political contact with known friends, or even to take advantage of appearing politically respectable. Instead, they will minutely scrutinise the security screens, the checking-in methods, the layout of rooms, the Ministers' sectors and where Members of Parliament, former Ministers and Ministers tend to congregate. Some of those men will have been trained for just that purpose. I say do not give them a chance. After Mountbatten, Brighton, Harrods, the penetration of these precincts on two occasions and the horrifying latest scare, we must make sure that those Provisional Sinn Fein agents of Provo terrorism are banned from this building. It will be a prime target, especially if they are seeking revenge.

In the light of what I have said, for the sake of all our peoples, and so that my party is not misunderstood, I urge my colleagues not to vote against the order tonight.

Photo of Mr Enoch Powell Mr Enoch Powell , South Down 12:40 am, 26th June 1985

I wish to use the opportunity given by this debate to refute a common assumption which has serious consequences for security in Northern Ireland and has been one of the causes of the perversion of Government policy in dealing with it. It featured in the speech with which the Secretary of State opened the debate. I refer to the assumption that for the successful combating of the Provisional IRA the co-operation of the Government of the Irish Republic is a sine qua non.

I understand how this might appear to be reasonable and even axiomatic to those who are unacquainted with the circumstances in Northern Ireland. People might well say that it is not attractive, that the explosives used in Northern Ireland predominantly come from the territory of the Republic, that those who perpetrate murders increasingly in the areas adjacent to the frontier have been training, waiting, planning in the territory of the Irish Republic. They might ask whether it is true that the territory of the Irish Republic affords them a ready and nearby refuge after their deeds have been carried out. How then—such a person might inquire — can one dispute that it is essential for combating the provisional IRA to gain the co-operation of the Government of the Irish Republic? There are two distinct and separate reasons.

The first is that there is no such thing as co-operation by the Government of the Irish Republic in combating the Provisional IRA. No Government of the Irish Republic could, for political reasons, be seen to be or be perceived to co-operate successfully in the extinction of the Provisional IRA.

We are told that the IRA is as much the enemy of the Irish Government as it is of Her Majesty's Government. I have no doubt that the IRA is distasteful to the Government of the Irish Republic. I have no doubt that they fear the IRA for historic as well as for contemporary reasons, but there is no contradiction. There is no contradiction between that mutual hostility between conventional politics in the Irish Republic and the fact that no conventional politician dare to be seen, or would expect to survive being seen, as having co-operated with the British in putting down a Provisional IRA campaign. It is not available. They cannot deliver.

The other reason is that the Provisional IRA, and its operations, is a weapon—perhaps the most effective weapon—for securing the political purposes pursued by the Government of the Irish Republic. At this stage, lest I be misheard or misunderstood, I want to say that at no time have I spoken in terms of hostility, contempt or disrespect of either the people or the Government of that sovereign, independent state, the Irish Republic. Nor am I saying that the members of the Government of that state are consciously, knowingly or avoidably in league in murderous activity with the members of the Provisional IRA. I am saying that the activities of the Provisional IRA have been and still are the means whereby the Irish Republic and its politicians have made in the past 15 years inroads into the constitutional status of Northern Ireland such as they could not have imagined making in the absence of the IRA campaign.

The premier of the Irish Republic, against whom I have no complaint and no criticism, cannot be so unobservant as not to have perceived that it was successive acts of terrorism which opened the way to the successive stages by which the Government have been drawn into courses of action which visibly were intended first to prejudice and then to dispense with the status of Northern Ireland as a part of the United Kingdom. Most signally, in 1979 it was the call for co-operation from the Irish Republic following the murder of Lord Mountbatten which led to the meeting of 5 October 1979, when the plans for the political operation that has since been carried out were laid down. That led to the first of the series of meetings between the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and the premier of the Irish Republic, which stage by stage have erected the structure which was designed to be the means of cozening Northern Ireland out of the United Kingdom into the embrace of an all-Ireland state.

At each stage Ministers were told—no doubt by their advisers, civil servants and members of the security forces—"You must get the co-operation of the Irish Republic. That is the only key to combating the terrorism of the Provisional IRA. You must ascertain on what terms you will be able to obtain that co-operation." We have explored that in successive terms. We have been building a tower of Babylon in the past four years out of the terms which were successively exacted or sought by the Government of the Irish Republic in return for affording that which they could not deliver and that which was providing them at that very moment with the means of making what, in the terminology of this affair, is described as political progress.

Without the Provisional IRA there would have been no possibility of bringing things to such a pass. Even now the Government are discussing with the Government of the Irish Republic steps and provisions every one of which is a direct and visible derogation of the status of Northern Ireland as part of the United Kingdom.

It will perhaps be asked, "In the absence of the co-operation of the Government of the Irish Republic, how are we to defeat the Provisional IRA?" It will be noticed that at each stage of my remarks I have emphasised the words "the Government of the Irish Republic". I am not referring to the Garda itself, though the Garda is a political police force in a sense of which we have no comprehension in Great Britain of such a force. The relationship of that force with the politicians in the Government of the Irish Republic is one that we would not for a moment tolerate existing in Great Britain between the Government and politicians and the police forces. However, I accept that between policemen there is comradeship and that a certain degree, so far as it is permissible within what at the time happens to be the intentions of the political management in Dublin, of useful information is made available by the RUC to the Garda and by the Garda to the RUC. Nothing will prevent that—it is the very nature of the adjacent forces seeking success in their operations, often against the same people. When we talk about securing the co-operation of the Government of the Irish Republic, we are talking about something quite different. We are talking about something to which has been attached a fatal price tag—a price tag that has been paid in practice by the lives and property of citizens in both Northern Ireland and Great Britain.

Consider, Mr. Deputy Speaker, if it is not too severe an imposition upon the imagination, what would be your outlook if you were a member of the Provisional IRA, watching the relationships between Her Majesty's Government and the Irish Republic, as our Government go about the attempt to secure the co-operation of the Government of the Irish Republic. You would say, as the IRA says, "Ah, we understand very well what is happening. They are going the same way as we intend to go. Let them go on along that course because, before they reach that ultimate role, we shall take over from them and we shall be in the saddle."

It has been a continuing encouragement to the IRA, and a continuing discouragement to their victims, to have been able to read all too clearly in the past five years the price that we have paid for that unattainable article—the co-operation of the Government of the Irish Republic in putting down the Provisional IRA.

From the fact that my right hon. and hon. Friends and I will support this motion, it is sometimes wrongly supposed that we like the emergency provisions, that we like provisions of law in our part of the United Kingdom that are different from the corresponding provisions in the rest of the United Kingdom. We do not. We desire before others to see the law in our part of the United Kingdom in line with the law in the rest of the United Kingdom, but we know that that can come about only if the Government lay aside the illusion that has caused them relations with the Government of the Irish Republic — I am not considering other factors and motives that have entered into that—that are all too manifestly an encouragement and a sign of success for the terrorist, and a discouragement and abasement for those who oppose it.

The shortest way to end the campaign of terrorism is for it to be seen that the Government have no political intentions, propositions, negotiations or undertakings with other Governments that would be incompatible with the maintenance of the present status of Northern Ireland. Strike down that vision which, if it is not clear to us is clear to the rest of the world, and the Government will have taken the most decisive step towards defeating the IRA and being able to take this Act off our statute book.

Several Hon. Members:

rose——

Photo of Mr Paul Dean Mr Paul Dean , Woodspring

Order. I remind the House that the debate must finish at 12 minutes past one o'clock. The wind-up speeches are expected shortly after one o'clock, so I appeal for short contributions.

Photo of Mr John Biggs-Davison Mr John Biggs-Davison , Epping Forest 12:53 am, 26th June 1985

I feel sorry for the right hon and learned Member for Warley, West (Mr. Archer). He cannot enjoy the role that he is playing, nor the speech that he made, brief though it was. He is a distinguished and able lawyer, but he does not know Northern Ireland as the right hon. Member for Barnsley, Central (Mr. Mason) knows Northern Ireland. The right hon. Member is deeply respected in Northern Ireland, and in the House.

Photo of Mr John Biggs-Davison Mr John Biggs-Davison , Epping Forest

The right hon. and learned Member for Warley, West has refused, because of the influences within his party, to recognise what is recognised by all reasonable people—that to defeat terrorism it is sometimes necessary to forgo some of the elements of individual freedom and liberal conventions.

The House and the country must honestly recognise that some sacrifice of liberal convention and individual freedom is unavoidable. It was extraordinary to witness the Leader of the Opposition praising the police for their achievement without announcing that the Labour party had seen reason and would support the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act.

The Labour party has gone further tonight. We are told that it will oppose the renewal of these emergency powers. The right hon. and learned Gentleman knows in his heart that those powers are necessary, because those who know the province better than he — such as his right hon. Friend the Member for Barnsley, Central—will have told him so. These powers are regrettably necessary. If they had any sense of decency, those who claim to be an alternative Government, who wish to take office at some future time and to administer the Province of Northern Ireland, would refuse to vote against the renewal of these necessary powers.

Photo of Mr Ken Maginnis Mr Ken Maginnis , Fermanagh and South Tyrone 12:56 am, 26th June 1985

In the few minutes at my disposal, I wish to deal specifically with internment which, happily, the Secretary of State has decided not to exclude from the revised Act.

As a legacy of Bennett, Ulster now has no proper way in which to deal with a suspect. When a suspect terrorist is taken in for interrogation, he simply sits without speaking, co-operating or justifying himself. He merely waits for two days—or if necessary seven days—until he is released. The effect on our police force is demoralising. What is the point of a policeman trying to exact a confession or explanation from a terrorist when he knows that in the final analysis he is likely to be complained about, as a result of which police time will be wasted investigating false allegations?

It is not that we do not know who the terrorists are in Ulster. The Secretary of State will no doubt confirm that on 29 November last year I asked him if he was aware that one Peter Sherry, who stood as a Sinn Fein candidate in a local government by-election, recently used his manifesto to forecast which people would be murdered, and three of those murders have already been carried out?"—[Official Report, 29 November 1984; Vol. 68, c. 1075. I later explained that Peter Sherry was walking free around the streets of the town in which I live planning further murders. The police knew it, yet when they brought him in for questioning they were unable within the seven days to get a word out of him and he was released.

Will the right hon. Gentleman now confirm that what I said last November has been proved to be true? Is Peter Sherry one of the terrorists who, with guns in his possession, was captured in the recent round-up? He brought his terrorism from the streets of my town to this country. That is what the police have to put up with.

That is why I want the Secretary of State to take a long, hard look at the provision on internment. Safeguards already exist, such as the provision of advisers, and other safeguards may be necessary. I regret that time does not permit me to develop the point, but if it is decided that a person should remain in detention, that person should come before the courts and prove his innocence. Let us put the onus of proof fairly and squarely on the person detained. Let him prove his innocence.

Photo of Stuart Bell Stuart Bell , Middlesbrough 1:01 am, 26th June 1985

This has been a short but cogent debate, with speeches by the Secretary of State and two former Secretaries of State. The hon. Member for Epping Forest (Sir J. Biggs-Davison) contributed, as did the right hon. Member for South Down (Mr. Powell), who has followed these issues closely.

We discuss this issue in the context of the emergency provisions legislation and the Diplock courts. The hon. Member for Epping Forest referred to yesterday's remarks by the Leader of the Opposition. My right hon. Friend stated clearly to the House the satisfaction of Labour Members at the remarkable success of the police against the IRA, and he was right to say that the whole nation has cause to be grateful.

The debate tonight, however, is not about police work but about the renewal of the Act, the legislative framework of which provides for the Diplock courts. The Act abolishes jury trials for scheduled offences. The Secretary of State tonight expressed his concern about such issues and it is clear that we are not far apart on them. He said that the ultimate aim must be the restoration of jury trials for all types of offences, though he accepts that it is not possible to achieve that in present conditions.

The right hon. Gentleman accepts many other recommendations in the Baker report, and my hon. Friends and I have consistently pressed him on those matters because among the provisions of the Act that particularly concern us is section 8, which deals with the admissibility of confessions, confessions which would not be admissible in courts in Great Britain. The right hon. Gentleman took on board the criticisms that we have been making—and which the Baker report made—about section 11 of the Act, which deals with the holding of a suspect for 72 hours without charge. The right hon. Gentleman said that that would be repealed.

It is clear, as I say, that there is not a great divide between my hon. Friends and the right hon. Gentleman on the issue of terrorism—the need to protect the people from terrorists and to combat terrorism wherever it may occur. However, we have consistently shown our concern about the Diplock courts situation, linked as it is to a supergrass system of evidence. Such a situation is abhorrent to lawyers and jurists in Britain and elsewhere, and it is right that we should constantly draw attention to the threat to civil liberties and civil rights in Northern Ireland. Opposition Members are not prepared to see the erosion of those liberties and rights beyond what is necessary and justified.

The Secretary of State mentioned the field trials in England and Wales into the practicability and effectiveness of time limits. He said the same thing to the House six months ago on 21 December. We have not advanced on that issue. I should have thought that the right hon. Gentleman would have been told by the Home Secretary how the field trials were progressing and that he would share the conclusions with the House. He has not done that.

The Secretary of State has said that he wishes to bring forward the necessary legislation that will modify the Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Act. We welcome that decision, but again he has given no date. He has simply said that he will do so within the lifetime of the present Parliament. Meanwhile, we are afraid that innocent people will be the victims of such tardiness. We are dealing not with convicted terrorists but with those whose civil rights have been taken from them.

The Secretary of State mentioned section 2(2) of the Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Act on bail applications and said that it would be recast. He said that section 2(4) of the Act would be repealed. We welcome his decision. We welcome also his thoughts on those parts of the Baker report that he is prepared to accept. We want to examine that report carefully and to ascertain whether he can go further. We want to debate that issue and to have it put into context. We have consistently stated to the House and to the country generally that we oppose terrorism wherever we find it.

Photo of Mr Nicholas Scott Mr Nicholas Scott , Chelsea 1:06 am, 26th June 1985

I have time to deal with only a few contributions. I must say to the hon. Member for Fermanagh and South Tyrone (Mr. Maginnis) that it is not my responsibility or that of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State to say who may at present be detained and charged as a result of the recent arrests on this side of the water. That is a responsibility of my right hon. and learned Friend the Home Secretary and, in due course, the information that the hon. Gentleman seeks will become apparent.

The right hon. Member for South Down (Mr. Powell) claimed that there was no co-operation between the Government of the Republic of Ireland and the British Government and, by implication, between the security forces—[Interruption.] Since he described the Garda Siochana as a political police force in a way not understood on this side of the water, the implication was clear.

Without the co-operation of the Government of the Republic of Ireland, I do not believe that we would have had the interception of the Marita Ann bringing its cargo of arms to slaughter men and women in Northern Ireland, the discovery in the north of Dublin of a bomb factory which manufactured timers for bombs, the finds in recent months of explosives on the other side of the border, the identification of command wires running across the border and the establishment of the vehicle check points that have been frequently set up to assist the security forces operating in Northern Ireland. Far from getting no co-operation from the Government of the Republic, we have had excellent co-operation in recent months and years.

I go on to the assertion of the right hon. Member for South Down that the Government of the Republic of Ireland and the IRA have a common aim. I believe that few statements could be further from the truth, for the Government of the Republic see clearly that their democracy is as much at risk from the operation of the terrorists now operating in Northern Ireland as is democracy in Northern Ireland itself. Divisions between the Republic and this Government could only help, not hinder, terrorist activity in Ireland. I have no intention of following the right hon. Member for South Down in his perverse interpretation of recent Anglo-Irish relations, save only to say that his interpretation certainly does not accord with mine.

The right hon. and learned Member for Warley, West (Mr. Archer) should cast his mind back to 1957 to the plea that Aneurin Bevan made to the Labour party conference about not being sent naked into the conference chamber by being deprived of the nuclear deterrent. If ever, alas, the right hon. and learned Gentleman and his colleagues became responsible for security in Northern Ireland, they would find that within a week they would need these powers in order to conduct the battle against terrorism. They will be not in a conference chamber but in a real conflict in which liberal democracy is under attack from vicious terrorism in which the lives of innocent people are at stake.

The success that we have had in Great Britain was unequivocally stated by the Home Secretary to be due to the powers of the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act 1984. The Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Act is relevant not to Great Britain but only to Northern Ireland. Those powers are essential, as I can assure the right hon. and learned Gentleman, as a founder member of the British Institute of Human Rights. I have become convinced of the necessity of those powers in the job that we seek to do in Northern Ireland.

A vote against those powers now will be a blow at those in the security forces who need those powers to do their job. As I have said, if ever the right hon. and learned Gentleman became responsible for these matters, he would quickly find out that he, too, needed them.

In conclusion, I repeat that the primary objective of the Government's policy in Northern Ireland remains the eradication of terrorism. The Government do not accept that there is a halfway house. The emergency provisions Act plays a major part in enabling the security forces and the courts to deal effectively with that terrorism.

The House will have an opportunity in due course to deal in detail with the changes which may be made in that Act when the Government introduce a Bill incorporating the revisions which have been outlined. Meanwhile, I have no doubt that we need these provisions, and I commend the order to the House.

Question put:

The House divided: Ayes 159, Noes 52.

Division No. 250][1.11 am
AYES
Atkins, Rt Hon Sir H.Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln)
Beaumont-Dark, AnthonyCarlisle, Rt Hon M. (W'ton S)
Beggs, RoyConway, Derek
Beith, A. J.Cope, John
Biggs-Davison, Sir JohnDorrell, Stephen
Bonsor, Sir NicholasDurant, Tony
Boscawen, Hon RobertFarr, Sir John
Brandon-Bravo, MartinFavell, Anthony
Brown, M. (Brigg & Cl'thpes)Fenner, Mrs Peggy
Buck, Sir AntonyForsyth, Michael (Stirling)
Burt, AlistairForsythe, Clifford (S Antrim)
Carlile, Alexander (Montg'y)Forth, Eric
Carlisle, John (N Luton)Franks, Cecil
Freeman, RogerNicholls, Patrick
Galley, RoyNicholson, J.
Garel-Jones, TristanNorris, Steven
Goodhart, Sir PhilipOsborn, Sir John
Gow, IanPage, Sir John (Harrow W)
Gregory, ConalPage, Richard (Herts SW)
Griffiths, Sir EldonPaisley, Rev Ian
Griffiths, Peter (Portsm'th N)Pawsey, James
Ground, PatrickPorter, Barry
Gummer, John SelwynPortillo, Michael
Hamilton, Neil (Tatton)Powell, Rt Hon J. E. (S Down)
Hanley, JeremyPowley, John
Hargreaves, KennethProctor, K. Harvey
Harris, DavidRathbone, Tim
Haselhurst, AlanRhodes James, Robert
Hayes, J.Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon
Hayward, RobertRobinson, Mark (N'port W)
Hickmet, RichardRoss, Wm. (Londonderry)
Hind, KennethSackville, Hon Thomas
Hogg, Hon Douglas (Gr'th'm)Sainsbury, Hon Timothy
Holt, RichardSayeed, Jonathan
Howarth, Alan (Stratf'd-on-A)Scott, Nicholas
Howarth, Gerald (Cannock)Shaw, Giles (Pudsey)
Hughes, Simon (Southwark)Shaw, Sir Michael (Scarb')
Hunt, David (Wirral)Smith, Sir Dudley (Warwick)
Hunter, AndrewSmith, Tim (Beaconsfield)
Hurd, Rt Hon DouglasSmyth, Rev W. M. (Belfast S)
Jackson, RobertSoames, Hon Nicholas
Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N)Speed, Keith
Jones, Robert (W Herts)Spencer, Derek
Jopling, Rt Hon MichaelSpicer, Jim (W Dorset)
Kennedy, CharlesStanbrook, Ivor
Key, RobertStern, Michael
Kilfedder, James A.Stevens, Lewis (Nuneaton)
Knight, Greg (Derby N)Stevens, Martin (Fulham)
Knight, Dame Jill (Edgbaston)Stewart, Allan (Eastwood)
Knowles, MichaelSumberg, David
Leigh, Edward (Gainsbor'gh)Taylor, Rt Hon John David
Lennox-Boyd, Hon MarkTemple-Morris, Peter
Lester, JimThomas, Rt Hon Peter
Lightbown, DavidThompson, Donald (Calder V)
Lilley, PeterThompson, Patrick (N'ich N)
Lloyd, Peter, (Fareham)Thorne, Neil (Ilford S)
Lord, MichaelThornton, Malcolm
Luce, RichardThurnham, Peter
Lyell, NicholasTownend, John (Bridlington)
McCrea, Rev WilliamTracey, Richard
McCusker, HaroldTwinn, Dr Ian
MacKay, John (Argyll & Bute)Waddington, David
Maclean, David JohnWalden, George
Maclennan, RobertWalker, Cecil (Belfast N)
Maginnis, KenWallace, James
Major, JohnWaller, Gary
Malins, HumfreyWard, John
Maples, JohnWardle, C. (Bexhill)
Marshall, Michael (Arundel)Warren, Kenneth
Mather, CarolWatts, John
Mayhew, Sir PatrickWheeler, John
Meadowcroft, MichaelWilkinson, John
Meyer, Sir AnthonyWinterton, Mrs Ann
Mills, Iain (Meriden)Winterton, Nicholas
Mitchell, David (NW Hants)Wolfson, Mark
Moate, RogerWood, Timothy
Molyneaux, Rt Hon JamesYeo, Tim
Morris, M. (N'hampton, S)
Moynihan, Hon C.Tellers for the Ayes:
Needham, RichardMr. Ian Lang and
Nelson, AnthonyMr. Archie Hamilton.
Neubert, Michael
NOES
Archer, Rt Hon PeterBrown, Ron (E'burgh, Leith)
Atkinson, N. (Tottenham)Clay, Robert
Barnett, GuyClwyd, Mrs Ann
Beckett, Mrs MargaretCocks, Rt Hon M. (Bristol S.)
Bell, StuartCohen, Harry
Benn, TonyConlan, Bernard
Bennett, A. (Dent'n & Red'sh)Cook, Frank (Stockton North)
Bermingham, GeraldCorbyn, Jeremy
Boyes, RolandCox, Thomas (Tooting)
Cunliffe, LawrenceMikardo, Ian
Dalyell, TamO'Neill, Martin
Deakins, EricParry, Robert
Dubs, AlfredPatchett, Terry
Ellis, RaymondPike, Peter
Evans, John (St. Helens N)Prescott, John
Fisher, MarkRedmond, M.
Flannery, MartinRichardson, Ms Jo
Foster, DerekRoberts, Allan (Bootle)
George, BruceRoberts, Ernest (Hackney N)
Hogg, N. (C'nauld & Kilsyth)Short, Ms Clare (Ladywood)
Holland, Stuart (Vauxhall)Skinner, Dennis
Hughes, Sean (Knowsley S)Smith, C.(Isl'ton S & F'bury)
Hume, JohnSoley, Clive
Lamond, JamesStott, Roger
Lewis, Terence (Worsley)
Lloyd, Tony (Stretford)Tellers for the Noes:
Loyden, EdwardMr. Allen McKay and
Madden, MaxMr. John McWilliam.

Question accordingly agreed to.

Resolved,

That the draft Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Act 1978 (Continuance) (No. 2) Order 1985, which was laid before this House on 3rd June, be approved.