Acquisition of British Citizenship

Clause 1 – in the House of Commons at 12:30 am on 13th June 1990.

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Photo of Mr Tony Marlow Mr Tony Marlow , Northampton North 12:30 am, 13th June 1990

I beg to move amendment No. 3, in page 1, line 6, leave out '50,000' and insert '10,000'.

Photo of Mr Harold Walker Mr Harold Walker , Doncaster Central

With this it will be convenient to take the following amendments: No. 4, in page 1, line 6, leave out '50,000' and insert '5,000'.

No. 14, in page 1, line 6, leave out '50,000' and insert `20,000'.

No. 15, in page 1, line 6, leave out '50,000' and insert `30,000'.

No. 16, in page 1, line 6, leave out '50,000' and insert '40,000'.

No. 48, in page 1, line 24, at end insert—

`( ) The Secretary of State may by order amend subparagraph (1) by substituting a higher figure for the figure for the time being specified there if the Governor recommends that it is necessary to do so in order to maintain the stability of Hong Kong or the safety of its residents.'.

Photo of Mr Tony Marlow Mr Tony Marlow , Northampton North

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. We have a series of amendments—the numbers amendments. On the face of the Bill, the Government have a figure of 50,000 heads of household passports to be issued. The amendments refer to 5,000, 10,000, 20,000, 30,000 and 40,000. I believe, because I have read it—I should have found it hard to believe otherwise—that there is also a Liberal amendment to increase the number.

Not long ago we had an important debate on abortion. A series of amendments were called on a pendulum basis —one after the other. I am wondering how we can deal with voting on these amendments.

Photo of Mr Harold Walker Mr Harold Walker , Doncaster Central

It would be far better if the hon. Gentleman spoke to his amendment. We shall see how we get on during the debate.

Photo of Mr Tony Marlow Mr Tony Marlow , Northampton North

I am grateful to you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, for your undertaking.

Amendment No. 3 is a numbers amendment. A famous parliamentarian once said on the issue of immigration that numbers are of the essence. The Government have plucked out a figure—I am not sure whether it was out of the ether or elsewhere—of 50,000 as being the number of passports that they believe would satisfy the situation in Hong Kong and secure the continuing residence in Hong Kong of people who are essential to the well-being of the colony. As the House will know, it is the view of many of my hon. Friends that the issuance of those passports will not ensure that the people who have them remain, but that they take the first plane or boat out to re-establish themselves, their careers, their families and their financial fortunes elsewhere.

When we consider the numbers, we must take a careful look at the present circumstances in the United Kingdom. The past generation or so has seen a massive immigration of people of different backgrounds, cultures, religions, nationalities and ways of life into this country. I am much the same as many other hon. Members, in that I do not believe that our way of life, religion and culture is any better or worse than that of anybody else. Nevertheless, man is a tribal animal. Labour Members would say that man is a racist animal. They say that I am a racist. I do not know what they mean by that. If I am—and probably 90 per cent. of the population agree with my views—they are saying that 90 per cent. of those whom they want to vote for them at the general election are also racists.

If one brings in people of different races, cultures and backgrounds, to coin the word used by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister, one swamps localities with people of different backgrounds and the indigenous population whose families have resided here for generations will feel that their identity is being threatened. That does not happen only in the United Kingdom. One does not need to read the book when one can look at the picture. It is happening now in the Soviet Union.

There is a massive racial strife between the Asiatic republics there, because people from different backgrounds and cultures were put together in republics, to a large extent by the centralised bureaucracy of the Soviet Union. For 70 years they have been suppressed by Soviet communism, and now that that repression is no longer applied the old antagonisms are re-erupting, although they have been living together for two or three generations.

Photo of Mr Alex Carlile Mr Alex Carlile , Montgomery

What is the hon. Gentleman talking about?

Photo of Mr Tony Marlow Mr Tony Marlow , Northampton North

If the hon. and learned Gentleman wants to make a speech in a moment, I am sure that the House—

Photo of Mr Alex Carlile Mr Alex Carlile , Montgomery

The hon. Gentleman is trying to compare the conditions in the United Kingdom with those in the Soviet Union. Is he not aware that hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people were transplanted in the Soviet Union from one part of that union thousands of miles to another and that they were forced on the people in the places where they were settled? How on earth can he make an honest comparison between those entirely different circumstances?

Photo of Mr Tony Marlow Mr Tony Marlow , Northampton North

People in the Soviet Union have been transported from one part to another—

Photo of Mr Alex Carlile Mr Alex Carlile , Montgomery

Transplanted by force.

Photo of Mr Tony Marlow Mr Tony Marlow , Northampton North

The hon. and learned Gentleman is right. They were transplanted. They migrated from one part to another. People of different races and backgrounds have been living in various parts of the Soviet Union not for generations, but for centuries. The German communities in the Soviet Union have been there since the time of Catherine the Great. Although people have been there a long time, the ethnic differences still—

Photo of Mr Alex Carlile Mr Alex Carlile , Montgomery

Is the hon. Gentleman suggesting that we should send the Welsh back to Caernarvon?

Photo of Mr Tony Marlow Mr Tony Marlow , Northampton North

If the hon. and learned Gentleman wants to take part in a debate for children, let him find it elsewhere. This is a serious matter, which requires proper consideration by the House.

Problems arise between proportionately small communities of different backgrounds and cultures. The sum of the parts is greater than the whole because there is an element of cross-fertilisation. If sufficiently large ethnic minority communities, almost colonies, are transplanted or come of their own free will, the indigenous people feel that their identity is being threatened. Before we address ourselves to the number of people whom we allow in—people of different races, cultures and backgrounds, estimable, worthy, successful and articulate though they are and people with whom individually we may get on well —let us consider the present conditions here. It may riot worry us here. We may be relatively wealthy, relatively well-off and live in relatively comfortable surroundings, but it worries some of our constituents. We certainly ought to take account of that.

There has been mass migration of people of different cultures to this country, and we all know that the bulk of our constituents resent it. We all know in our bones that we ought to have done something about it, but we all know that to have done something about it at the time would have appeared illiberal, unpleasant and intolerant and therefore we stood back from doing it. We have let communities accumulate in this country knowing that it was against the desires, interests wishes, deep feelings and soul of the people of our country. Yet still we have been negligent enough to let it happen. We shall let it happen again if the Bill goes through the House.

The Government say that 50,000 heads of household will be issued with passports. With families, we can gross that up to 225,000 people—a quarter of a million people perhaps. The hon. Member for Workington (Mr. Campbell-Savours) believes—I do not agree with him—that, if the Bill is allowed to go through, all those people will not come here because all they really want to do is to stay in Hong Kong. He believes that everything will turn out right in China and that they will not feel the pressure to come out of Hong Kong, so they will all stay.

I do not believe that, but even if I did, as my right hon. Friend the Member for Chingford (Mr. Tebbit) said on an earlier occasion, if one issues an insurance policy one must take account of the fact that one might have to deliver, one might have to pay the bill, one might have to cough up. We are talking about a quarter of a million people. Those people will have friends, relatives and families in Hong Kong, and if things are unpleasant and there are pressures in Hong Kong and people want to get married from Hong Kong they will want to come to Britain.

We know how it is with the Asian sub-continent. We are better off in this country. There is more wealth here than there is in Asia. We know that and are grateful for it. Because of that, there is migration and families come together. But they tend to come together in one direction, quite naturally. They tend to come together in the United Kingdom where the wealth is and where people will be better off and will make better livings for themselves. If dark days surround the future of Hong Kong, the quarter of a million Chinese who come to this country will accumulate here their friends, relatives, spouses and their family from Hong Kong.

So we are talking about not a quarter of a million but perhaps half a million people added to the 4 million people of different culture and ethnic background who are in this country. They are lovely, excellent people, but different people. The indigenous population, rightly or wrongly, feel threatened by that. If we wish well for the future, that is something that we must take into account.

We might like to feel that, through race relations legislation, the Commission for Racial Equality, good will and education, everyone will love one another and come together. That might happen; but it might not. The history of the world to date does not give us great cause for optimism.

I do not want to delay the House for long, but we really ought to look at some of the statistics. I know that it will be greatly offensive to members of the Liberal Democratic party because they do not think that these things matter. It may matter to their constituents, but it does not seem to matter to them.

Let us consider schools. In the Inner London education authority, more than half the children are of non-European ethnic origin. In 1987, in the London borough of Tower Hamlets, almost half the schoolchildren were from Indian sub-continental ethnic origin. They are mainly Bangladeshi, of course. That is not a mixed, thriving, integrated community of people working together; it is a colony. How will the people who live round about react to that? If 50 per cent. of the people who live in the area are from Bangladesh, the people who are not from Bangladesh will move away and more people will move in from Bangladesh. They have large families. Why should they not have large families? The tendency will be that the proportion will increase from 50 per cent. to 60 per cent. to 70 per cent. I predict that within a relatively short period Tower Hamlets will effectively have become not a Bangladeshi community, but a colony within the United Kingdom.

How are we going to deal with that? How will we deal with the pressures and problems that have arisen since the Salman Rushdie affair began? I hope that we can, but can we guarantee it, and until we can guarantee it, does it make sense to allow a quarter of a million or half a million more people—worthy, estimable, pleasant, splendid and educated though they may be, but of a different culture, race and background—to come to this country?

I think that that would be madness—I really do. It is irresponsible. We all pride ourselves that through that irresponsibility we are being decent, honest and liberal, but we are not. We are building up a store of problems for our children.

Photo of Mr Dale Campbell-Savours Mr Dale Campbell-Savours , Workington

I have been listening closely to the hon. Gentleman. What does he think would happen in Hong Kong if the Government were not to make this concession? What does he think that the impact would be on the professional bodies and the Administration generally? Has he thought about that? Could he make a prediction about that in as informed a way as he has made his most recent predictions?

Photo of Mr Tony Marlow Mr Tony Marlow , Northampton North

As I said earlier, although we have responsibility for Hong Kong, our main commitment and responsibility is to the people—the electorate—of this country—

Photo of Mr Tony Marlow Mr Tony Marlow , Northampton North

I shall answer the hon. Gentleman's question. He knows me well enough to know that I will answer.

As we have said before, we disagree with the Government's proposal to offer people passports because it will encourage them to get out while the going is good and to take their families out early. We have been conned by the sophisticates, the gilded yuppies and the upper classes of Chinese Hong Kong. I believe that they will see themselves right and get out while the rest will have to stay behind. Seeing the privileged and the elite leaving Hong Kong will cause a greater problem for those who remain in Hong Kong and for Hong Kong itself than would be the case if the captains—the leaders—of Hong Kong were to stay. I believe that they will leave. If we did not have the Bill, I believe that they would be more likely to stay.

It was said earlier, "Why leave Hong Kong if you have an income tax rate of 15 per cent. there?" I believe that if we were not encouraging them to leave by this legislation, they might make a go of it and stay—

Photo of Mr Dale Campbell-Savours Mr Dale Campbell-Savours , Workington

Is the hon. Gentleman suggesting that when I repeatedly asked people in Hong Kong whether they would come here and they said, "No, we want to stay as long as possible; we do not want to leave," they were deliberately misleading me and that I was conned and fooled by them?

Photo of Mr Tony Marlow Mr Tony Marlow , Northampton North

The hon. Gentleman had what conversations he had with a lot of people, but it is my belief that, if people in Hong Kong wanted to sell this measure to the British Government, politicians and public, they would not say, "If you pass this Bill, we shall leave Hong Kong," because we would smell a rat. They are far more likely to say, "Of course, if you pass this, you will keep us in Hong Kong." The hon. Gentleman has made his assessment and I have made mine.

Photo of Mr Tony Marlow Mr Tony Marlow , Northampton North

Time will tell—[Interruption.] Yes, I think hon. Members were conned—

Photo of Mr Dale Campbell-Savours Mr Dale Campbell-Savours , Workington

The hon. Gentleman is surely naive.

Photo of Mr Tony Marlow Mr Tony Marlow , Northampton North

Well, that is the hon. Gentleman's opinion.

The Bill will not do Hong Kong any good. As others have said, it is the only ship on which the captain gets off first and leaves the crew and the women and children behind until last. The Bill looks after those who would otherwise be able to look after themselves, and those who cannot look after themselves will be forced to remain in Hong Kong. In military terms, it is not what one would call "leadership by example".

Although I do not want to detain the House, I shall bore hon. Members with a few more statistics. The latest statistics on births in inner London show that half those births are to people of non-British ethnic origin. In Greater London, the proportion is 40 per cent. of all births—

Photo of Mr Tony Marlow Mr Tony Marlow , Northampton North

The hon. and learned Gentleman says, "So what?" The hon. Gentleman for Workington has been throwing words such as "naive" around, but I am not naive; to say "So what?" to the fact that half the babies born in our capital city are of non-British origin is incredibly naive.

I had a grandfather who was born and brought up in London; he died in London 25 years ago. If he returned to London now, he would not believe the evidence of his eyes. He would not think that he was in Britain. He would hardly think that he was on the same planet. If that has happened over the past 25 years, what will happen to our capital in the next 25 years? What does the hon. and learned Gentleman think will happen? What will be the future stability of Britain? What will happen to Britain's identity? We have mixed loyalties and different cultures. It is true that they are thriving, lively and exciting, but what will they do for peace in our nation? I believe that we have a tiger by the tail, and I am sad that the Government will add to our problems.

Photo of Mr Robert Maclennan Mr Robert Maclennan , Caithness and Sutherland

My amendment, No. 48, is grouped with amendment No. 3, which was moved by the hon. Member for Northampton, North (Mr. Marlow) but the purpose of the two amendments is entirely different. The intention behind amendment No. 48 is to enable the Governor to bring forward proposals to raise the ceiling from 50,000 persons if, in his judgment, it is necessary to do so for the maintenance of stability in Hong Kong or for the safety of its residents.

The Minister will know that I moved an amendment in Committee to seek to give all holders of dependent territory citizenship the right of abode in this country and the right to full British citizenship. That is the basic view of my party and my parliamentary colleagues on how Britain should respond. We have not altered our judgment following the debates that we have heard, but we have recognised that the policy will not be endorsed by the Government. Among the reasons why are the views of those who share the opinions of the hon. Member for Northampton, North (Mr. Marlow). There is a spectrum of views on the Government Benches, and perhaps the hon. Gentleman constitutes one end of it. It is appropriate that, in a debate on numbers, we should hear the views that are held by the two ends of the spectrum.

Conservative Members found themselves in some difficulties during a debate about the wives of British citizens. It seemed that, in replying to the debate, the Under-Secretary of State conceded that a time would probably come when all the 50,000 passports had been issued and nothing could be done about the wives of British citizens under that head. It seemed that the Government had no means of coping with that problem. Those wives of British citizens would have to be left until the curtain dropped in 1997, when no doubt they would be able to apply for asylum if they felt themselves threatened.

One of the benefits of accepting amendment No. 48 is that it would provide for the possibility of dealing with the problem of the wives of British citizens within the compass of the Bill. I am talking about a few hundred spouses. There are other reasons for seeking to provide a degree of flexibility to the Governor and to the Government. If the scheme is to have a major impact upon public opinion in Hong Kong, it must be introduced quickly. It must be introduced for most of the 50,000 if it is to have any impact on the areas of the economy, which are most threatened by the evacuation of skilled, talented and educated people who are the key to maintaining the economy.

That practical concept has little to do with equity; it has nothing to do with justice. It has much to do, however, with trying to keep the wheels turning in Hong Kong. If it is to have that effect, it must be implemented quickly, and that has been accepted by the Government. Nevertheless, considerable problems will be created. If all the places are allocated and the circumstances change, I do not see why the Government should have to come back to the House to try to alter those circumstances through primary legislation, month—or years—later, when they need only accept the amendment now to ensure that the Bill's purposes are not set at naught.

1 am

The Government say that, having taken advice in Hong Kong, they consider 50,000 an acceptable figure because some people have come round to that view. When I was in Hong Kong after the Tiananmen square massacre—along with my right hon. Friend the Member for Yeovil (Mr. Ashdown)—the figures that we heard were nearer 350,000. Different groups have come up with different suggestions, but all the figures have been larger than that proposed by the Government. Given that people are leaving Hong Kong at the rate of about 1,000 a week, I do not think that the Government can be so sure that they have got it right.

All I ask is for the Government to retain the degree of flexibility that will enable them to react to the judgment of the Governor, in whom they have placed so much trust, and to move quickly and appropriately. They need not resile from their view that 50,000 is the right number; they can stick to it, and reassure Conservative Members that they believe it to be right. It would, however, be helpful if they would admit the possibility that it is not right.

If further primary legislation is needed, I feel that the schemes in general will be brought into considerable disrepute. In any event, I doubt whether such legislation could have the same impact as the Bill.

The hon. Member for Northampton, North made an extremely interesting speech, and I have no doubt that he was sincere, but I cannot believe that he really speaks for Britain. He claims that 90 per cent. of the public agree with him, citing as evidence the divisions in Tower Hamlets. May I remind the hon. Gentleman that an election was held in Tower Hamlets recently, and that the party returned to run the borough is the party to which I have the honour to belong, and not the hon. Gentleman's party. In the light of that result, the hon. Gentleman's example struck me as peculiarly inapposite.

Photo of Mr Tim Janman Mr Tim Janman , Thurrock

Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

Photo of Mr Robert Maclennan Mr Robert Maclennan , Caithness and Sutherland

No; I am dealing with one Member at a time.

I find the views of the hon. Member for Northampton, North about the Englishness of being English singularly provincial. In the mid-1950s, my constituency in the north of Scotland experienced an influx of Englishmen who spoke with accents that seemed more exotic in Caithness than the accents of Hong Kong would seem in Tower Hamlets. They did not belong to the same established Church. They came up to work in a nuclear research establishment and do foreign, exotic and, some thought, dangerous things, for money. They have been assimilated. The accents are a little more alike now. Generations pass.

But it is not only English people who have come up to my constituency and been assimilated. There are some Bengalis too, and the children speak with strong Caithness accents and execute the highland fling with at least as much panache as the descendents of the Mackay of Mackay. The reality is that time is the factor that the hon. Gentleman leaves out of account.

Photo of Sir Nicholas Bonsor Sir Nicholas Bonsor , Upminster

The hon. Gentleman is helping to make the point made by my hon. Friend the Member for Northampton, North (Mr. Marlow). The number of English who have gone up to Scotland is comparatively small and, as the hon. Gentleman said, has been properly assimilated. But he might like to reflect on the difficulties in Northern Ireland between the Scottish settlers and the Irish people who were there before them.

Photo of Mr Robert Maclennan Mr Robert Maclennan , Caithness and Sutherland

I speak about what I know. The population of Caithness rose substantially and the town of Thurso trebled in size, as a result of an injection of almost entirely English blood in the middle 1950s. That was a sudden demographic change of a massive kind which had the potential to cause enormous disruption, but it did not.

If one is seeking to argue this matter on the basis of culture, one is getting into rather dangerous territory. The reality is that we live in a world that is increasingly small and mobile, where the difference and diversity of backgrounds is a positive advantage. It is a cause not of diversion but of delight. The fact of some tens of thousands of people coming from Hong Kong to Britain cannot be regarded by me or my right hon. and hon. Friends as a tragedy or a threat. It would create a dynamism in those parts of the country which were fortunate enough to be the receiving point which even the Government might welcome.

We approach such matters from a different philosophical and historical point of view. I do not imagine for a minute that I will take the hon. Member for Northampton, North very far with me down that road, but let him not speak as though he spoke for Britain. There are other points of view.

Photo of Mr Tim Janman Mr Tim Janman , Thurrock

I shall not detain the House long. I assure my hon. Friends that I am sincere in that intent. But before I make my two brief points on the amendments, I want to expose the hypocritical drivel of the hon. Member for Caithness and Sutherland (Mr. Maclennan) when he referred to Tower Hamlets. Members of the Labour party in the borough of Tower Hamlets are most irate and sincere in their criticism of the local Liberal party for the racist campaign that they consider the Liberals have fought on more than one occasion in borough elections in Tower Hamlets. I believe that I am right in saying that the Liberal party in Tower Hamlets has been taken to task by the Commission for Racial Equality for its housing policies. There has certainly been wide criticism of the Liberal party in the borough of Tower Hamlets, basically because the Liberal council puts Bangladeshis at the back of the housing queue. Many accusations have been made against the Liberals, so let us not have any more of that convenient principled Liberal party purporting to the House that it has a consistent view on such matters. One has only to go to Tower Hamlets to see the true face of the Liberal party.

Photo of Mr Alex Carlile Mr Alex Carlile , Montgomery

The hon. Gentleman is not noted for his ready acceptance of propaganda coming from the extreme left, not just the extreme left of the Labour party but from extremes far to the left of that. Why does he now choose to believe extreme left propaganda, as opposed to the verdict of the electors of Tower Hamlets who have supported a Liberal Democrat council which in extremely difficult circumstances, with strong Bangladeshi support, has managed to build a community which he would have sought to send back to the Indian sub-continent?

Mr. Jarman:

I was not seeking to criticise the electorate of Tower Hamlets, and it is not only the Labour party in the borough which has made such criticisms—there have also been criticisms of the housing policy there from neutral quarters—[HON. MEMBERS: "Where? Name them."] I am seeking to expose the hypocrisy of the comments of the hon. Member for Caithness and Sutherland, given the policies that his party has pursued in Tower Hamlets. If the people of Tower Hamlets wish to endorse those policies, I do not criticise that. It is a matter for the electorate there.

Amendments Nos. 3 and 4 seek to reduce the number of passports being issued to heads of households to 10,000 and 5,000 respectively. The first point, which has been made at considerable length by my hon. Friend the Member for Northampton, North, is that, frankly, the number of 50,000 in the Bill is totally unacceptable to the British people. I put it on record that I endorse a great deal of what my hon. Friend the Member for Northampton, North said.

The second point is that there is a logic to the amendments. Section 4(5) of the British Nationality Act 1981 rightly gives a clear commitment to senior Crown servants in Hong Kong, who could potentially be at risk after 1997 if things turned sour in the colony. Therefore, if a Bill is passed by the House to amend that Act, it is not inconsistent to refine, guarantee and restate a commitment in law to a number of people which arithmetically would be roughly equivalent to those who are already covered by section 4(5) of the 1981 Act.

I briefly endorse the accurate remarks of my hon. Friend the Member for Northampton, North. I believe that he speaks for the vast majority of people in this country. Certainly the vast majority of my constituents hold the same view. It will not surprise the House to hear me standing here tonight to support those views and to put forward the fears of my constituents.

The hour is very late, but I urge the House to support the amendments in the names of my hon. Friend the Member for Northampton, North and other hon. Members.

Photo of Mr Dale Campbell-Savours Mr Dale Campbell-Savours , Workington

I shall intervene for a few moments in the debate because I have some sympathy with the amendment moved by the hon. Member for Caithness and Sutherland (Mr. Maclennan). It is not an amendment which I would have supported a month ago, but I feel in principle that one could support the amendment today, if one has talked to people in Hong Kong about these issues.

As so few hon. Members have had the opportunity to discuss with people in Hong Kong what their real intentions are, the House is perhaps not in a position to make a valid judgment on these matters. The truth is that many people do not wish to leave, will resist leaving until the last minute and will do so only in the most extreme circumstances.

In the course of one conversation, I found myself asking someone what kind of conditions would have to exist for them to finally want to leave. The scenario that they painted was one that even I found quite inconceivable. It seems that most people believe that the Chinese Government will seek to find some accommodation with the people in Hong Kong, if only to safeguard their commercial interests over the border in China, where a huge economy has developed in the special economic zone which has been set up by the Chinese authorities. It is utterly reliant on Hong Kong for the export of goods and their shipment to the rest of the world. The special economic zone provides substantial revenue for the Chinese Government.

Exactly the same happened in Macau. It was put to me when I was in Macau that the Chinese may want to develop support there, too, by giving Macau an element of independence so as to secure their own commercial interests. The Chinese are thoroughly pragmatic. They take a sensible view of what is in their best commercial interests. All I can do is to pass on what I was told while I was there. Even people who previously took a hard line found that their view had substantially changed after meeting people out there.

Photo of Sir Nicholas Bonsor Sir Nicholas Bonsor , Upminster

Does the hon. Gentleman not think it peculiar that, after having made this enormous trawl, he did not find a single person who would leave now, even though thousands are leaving every week?

Photo of Mr Dale Campbell-Savours Mr Dale Campbell-Savours , Workington 1:15 am, 13th June 1990

I referred earlier to the reasons why many of them are leaving now. Some countries have set up reception arrangements that require people immediately to take up the right of abode in the receiving countries. It is not that they want to move; it is that, if they accept the right of abode in Canada, they have to exercise it within a matter of a few months. Many of them would much prefer to stay in Hong Kong for many more years, having established a right of abode in Canada, and to exercise that right of abode only in the very worst conditions.

I drew the House's attention to the fact that a class of people are developing in Hong Kong who are called the astronauts—people who have immediately accepted the right of abode in Canada because of the nature of the offer. They have moved their money, in part, to Canada, but they have left much of it in Hong Kong. Having set up businesses in Canada, they have returned to Hong Kong to manage their businesses there, in the hope that one day they may be able to return to Canada. They have located their assets outside Hong Kong in such a way as to secure their assets for the future.

That is a perfectly human response. The hon. Member for Caithness and Sutherland referred to the fact that 1,000 people are leaving Hong Kong each week. I hope that hon. Members will not therefore conclude that they are necessarily leaving because they are desperate. In the main, they are leaving only because of the offers that have been made, not only by Canada, Australia and New Zealand but also by a number of other countries in south-east Asia. The most liberal country in south-east Asia in terms of acceptance arrangements is Singapore. The Government of Singapore have offered flexibility. People drew my attention on a number of occasions to the Singapore arrangement, since it provides for a delayed right of abode.

The problem is that many people have not, unfortunately, had the opportunity to discuss these matters in detail with the people who live in the colony. The majority want to remain there and are determined to do so, but they are worried about losing their assets. They also hold a social position in the colony. People aspire to a social position in all societies, and very often it is underpinned by their personal wealth. Having acquired that position, they are unwilling to lose it. Those in Hong Kong are simply trying to establish a bolthole, to secure their assets outside Hong Kong, while at the same time providing a reasonably secure future also for their families.

I wish that more people had had the opportunity to share my experience, for it would have greatly affected their contribution to this debate. I am not bought off with trips. I went to Hong Kong holding a fairly hard line, and during my visit—for which the Hong Kong Government paid—I argued the case made by the hon. Member for Northampton, North (Mr. Marlow). Wherever I went, I pointed to the debate in this country based on an interpretation of the issue in terms of immigration as against assurance. I confess that, after a week out there, I had to change my view. There, the question is not seen in immigration terms but in terms of consolidating the residents' position and making sure of their futures.

Photo of Sir Peter Lloyd Sir Peter Lloyd , Fareham

The remarks of the hon. Member for Workington (Mr. Cambell-Savours) were very perceptive and showed why the Government believe that the legislation is not to do with immigration but designed to give key people who have an opportunity to leave Hong Kong the confidence to remain there. That is the Bill's objective, and the hon. Member for Workington summed it up very well.

It is clear that there is no particular logic in the different figures that my hon. Friends suggest should be inserted into the Bill. They have not argued for any of them, except perhaps those relating to Crown servants. I suspect that they merely sought an opportunity to argue that the Government simply plucked the figure of 50,000 key people out of thin air, but they did not succeed.

As the hon. Member for Caithness and Sutherland surmised, the Government held extensive consultations with the Government and people of Hong Kong, and many in the United Kingdom who know Hong Kong made representations about the form that the assurance policy that the Bill represents should take.

Of course those in Hong Kong want the Bill to allow for a much larger number, and that is understandable. We looked at rates of immigration within the occupational groups and examined the evidence supplied by many of the groups themselves. Having carefully studied the occupational profile of Hong Kong's working population and the balance between the public and private sectors in the colony's economy, we then had to make a judgment.

The assurance package had to cater for a significant proportion of Hong Kong's key personnel, and thereby make a real impact on the level of emigration from the colony. At the same time, the figure had to be one that Britain could honour if, against all our expectations, those granted citizenship decided to come to the United Kingdom to live. If they did, their contribution to the United Kingdom would be immense, as it has been to Hong Kong. I am saddened that, in the excitement of his verbosity, my hon. Friend the Member for Northampton, North (Mr. Marlow) did not find a moment even to consider that aspect when he expatiated on the arrival of former Hong Kong residents in this country.

There is no precise science behind the 50,000 figure. As my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary explained on Second Reading, it was necessarily a compromise. We have to balance our duty to Hong Kong and to the United Kingdom, and we also have an ineluctable duty to both. Nothing that I heard today persuades me that the figures proposed by my hon. Friends are in any way an improvement on the Government's judgment. There would be no merit in a scheme that offered assurances to such a small number of people that there was no impact on the level of emigration and no spin-off in terms of confidence within the colony.

Photo of Mr Tony Marlow Mr Tony Marlow , Northampton North

What, in the Government's judgment, is the number of people who have been given these passports who will migrate to the United Kingdom, assuming that the relationships between Hong Kong and China, and between China and the United Kingdom, stay the same as now?

Photo of Sir Peter Lloyd Sir Peter Lloyd , Fareham

I think the number will be very low, as the hon. Member for Workington said.

Photo of Sir Peter Lloyd Sir Peter Lloyd , Fareham

We have no precise figure, but it is small. Presumably my hon. Friend thinks that all 50,000 will come here, but if he talks to some of the people who would be in line for British citizenship under the scheme, he will find that they do not want to come here; they want to stay in Hong Kong, but they want the assurance that, if things go wrong, they will have somewhere to go. They do not want to spend time in Canada or Australia if they can have the confidence to remain in Hong Kong with British citizenship.

Photo of Mr Norman Tebbit Mr Norman Tebbit , Chingford

Let us suppose that things do not go quite as my hon. Friend expects them to. In this world it is possible that even a Minister in a Conservative Government can be wrong in some small detail. It is very unusual, but the Bill shows that it is possible. Indeed, the Minister has admitted that he has been wrong on a number of occasions this evening.

Let us suppose that a large number of the people who are protected by British citizenship granted under the Bill decide to leave Hong Kong in the next three or four years. Can my hon. Friend assure me that under no circumstances will the Government come back to the House and say that another lot of people are now in the posts vacated by the first group, and that it is essential that they be maintained in those posts for the benefit of Hong Kong—so they would like to give a few more people citizenship? If the Bill fails in its intention of keeping these people in Hong Kong, will my hon. Friend assure me that he will not then ask the House to reinforce failure by granting another wodge of people British citizenship under this shoddy mechanism?

Photo of Sir Peter Lloyd Sir Peter Lloyd , Fareham

My right hon. Friend knows that we intend to grant the 50,000 places in two tranches, so there will not be a "wodge" in the next year or two; some will be held in reserve. My right hon. Friend knows perfectly well that the Government can give him only one assurance: it is that they have no intention of coming back to the House to increase the number, but that if they ever thought that the number should be increased or decreased, they would have to return to the House, and the House, not the Government, would decide in the end.

Photo of Mr Norman Tebbit Mr Norman Tebbit , Chingford

If my hon. Friend finds that the first tranche results in people leaving Hong Kong with their British passports, will he persist with the second tranche?

Photo of Sir Peter Lloyd Sir Peter Lloyd , Fareham

This Bill will then be on the statute book and we shall judge carefully how it is working out in practice and then report back to the House. I do not expect the scheme to fail in the way that my right hon. Friend suggests. Like people in Hong Kong and those who have studied the issue closely, I believe that the Bill will make an enormous contribution to confidence in the colony, as is our intention.

Photo of Mr Tony Marlow Mr Tony Marlow , Northampton North

The figure of 50,000 is on the face of the Bill. If it becomes apparent that that number is not necessary, will the Government issue fewer passports?

Photo of Sir Peter Lloyd Sir Peter Lloyd , Fareham

If 50,000 apply and meet the criteria, 50,000 will be the number. That is set out in the legislation, and there will be no resiling from that. I know that my hon. Friend is extremely worried that they will come here, but I do not expect them to do so. The majority in the Conservative party, and certainly the majority in the House, realise that that would be a tragedy for Hong Kong but a gain for this country.

It follows that the Government cannot accept amendment No. 48, which gives the Secretary of State discretion to substitute at a later date a figure higher than 50,000. We have reached a judgment about the maximum commitment that Britain can honour without the risk of unacceptable strain, and the Bill reflects that.

1.30 am

Doubts have been expressed that the proposed figure is too high. I do not share those doubts, but nor do I think that the House would expect the Home Secretary to have the power to increase the scale of the scheme without further legislation.

Photo of Mr John Butcher Mr John Butcher , Coventry South West

If my hon. Friend craves your indulgence, Mr. Deputy Speaker, he may wish to make a further observation to those who have listened carefully to his earlier comments. Are the Government, in asking hon. Members to support the Bill, saying that they have no intention whatever of returning to the House with another Bill and further primary legislation if they get their sums wrong about 50,000 people exercising their rights before 1997? I listened carefully to what my hon. Friend said. I think he said that the Government had no such intention, but we know that that phrase cannot be guaranteed. I am asking whether that phrase can be firmed up a little and whether he is prepared to give an undertaking to the House that under no circumstances will that 50,000 figure be exceeded.

Photo of Sir Peter Lloyd Sir Peter Lloyd , Fareham

What I said was perfectly clear and there is no need for me to repeat it.

Amendment negatived.

Photo of Mr Norman Tebbit Mr Norman Tebbit , Chingford

I beg to move amendment No. 6, in page 1, line 9, leave out 'after 30th June 1997' and insert 'before 1st December 1992'.

Photo of Mr Harold Walker Mr Harold Walker , Doncaster Central

With this it will be convenient to consider the following amendments: No. 46, in page 1, line 10, at end add 'or before 1st December 1993'. No. 13, in clause 5, page 3, line 17, leave out subsection (4) and insert— '(4) This Act shall come into force on 1st December 1992 if before that date its coming into force has been approved by resolution of each House of Parliament.'. No. 19. in page 3, line 19, at end insert ',provided that the Secretary of State may not appoint a day before 1st January 1993, and that, before any day is appointed for the commencement of any of the provisions of this Act, such commencement has been approved by resolution of each House of Parliament.'. No. 23, in schedule 1, page 4, line 30, after 'dates', insert `no earlier than 1st January 1993'.

Photo of Mr Norman Tebbit Mr Norman Tebbit , Chingford

The amendments have been grouped together because they all propose to delay the coming into operation of the Bill, either its taking effect or the issue of passports under it.

Amendment No. 13, although the drafting is defective, would ensure that the Bill could not take effect before there had been a vote in both Houses of Parliament following the next general election. That would allow my right hon. and hon. Friends, and indeed Opposition Members, to include in their election manifestos the pledge that they would enact this legislation, thereby allowing people to vote on it. That would be the decent thing to do and would give greater legitimacy to the Bill, which, as we have all agreed, breaches a solemn undertaking given by the Conservative party, not once but four or five times in consecutive general elections, that it would not allow further large-scale immigration.

My hon. Friend the Minister argued that the Bill would not allow that, that it would not happen, and that he hoped it would not happen, but he cannot, in any circumstances, guarantee that it would not. Therefore, it would be appropriate to allow both Houses of Parliament to vote again on the Bill being brought into effect after there had been a general election.

This would be unique, because it would be the first time that British electors had ever been consulted on large-scale immigration into this country. In the past, they have not been allowed to express an opinion about these matters, except in so far as they have done so by voting Conservative rather than Labour. Those who did so in the expectation that there would be tough immigration controls must be deeply upset and offended today.

One amendment provides that the passports issued should not have validity before 1997. Once again, the logic of my hon. Friend the Minister is followed. He says that the people of Hong Kong have no wish to use these passports and leave Hong Kong, and they would certainly not do so unless things went very wrong when the Chinese took over in 1997. In those circumstances, there is no need for their passports to be valid until then. What possible reason could they have to want the passports to be valid until then? I do not mind them being issued to give an assurance in case a Labour Government might renege on the promises given. After all, everyone knows that Labour Governments always renege on their promises.

What reason could there be for a Hong Kong Chinese citizen to want his British passport to be valid until the day he wants to leave Hong Kong, not for the purpose of business but to establish a new life elsewhere? As the causes that might bring him to that conclusion could not conceivably arise until 1997—because until then Hong Kong would be entirely safe under British colonial rule —why should he need the passport to be valid?

The amendment provides a good, alternative way of assuring the public in Britain that the intention really is to ensure that these people stay in Hong Kong, unless events after the Chinese take over compel them to leave. There may be people who want to use these passports almost as soon as they get them and to use them as travel documents which would enable them to take up residence in other parts of the world, even if not in Great Britain.

Photo of Francis Maude Francis Maude Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

I understand the argument of my right hon. Friend the Member for Chingford (Mr. Tebbit). It is essentially that the Bill's provisions should not be brought into effect until—depending on the amendment one looks at—two and a half or three years from now. We have introduced the Bill at this stage because there is a problem now. The rate of emigration of key people from Hong Kong is high and continues to rise. That haemorrhaging of talent and skill from the territory is causing great damage. We have judged—opinion in Hong Kong supports this view—that immediate measures are necessary to stem that flow. To delay the ability to award British citizenship for the period suggested by my right hon. Friend would not have stem the flow in the way that the Bill proposes.

My right hon. Friend put his argument tersely, cogently and simply. The House will understand this simple issue. The Bill is an immediate remedy for an immediate problem. In those circumstances, I do not believe that the House should accept the amendment.

Photo of Mr Norman Tebbit Mr Norman Tebbit , Chingford

My hon. Friend was kind enough to say that I had put the argument tersely, cogently and simply. I must say that my hon. Friend was terse and simple but not very cogent. He made a case against delaying the implementation of the Bill until after the next general election, but he gave no reason whatever why a Hong Kong citizen should wish the passport with which he had been issued, and which he held in his hand, to he valid immediately rather than in 1997. What on earth do these people want the passports to be valid for if it is not to leave Hong Kong instead of being persuaded to stay?

Photo of Francis Maude Francis Maude Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

They want the certainty that the passports that they hold are valid and will give them the right to leave. An essential part of the argument behind the Bill is that, if people are to have the confidence to remain, they must have the surety of being able to leave. It is not enough to give people a document that does not come into effect until after a general election—with all the consequences to which my right hon. Friend referred. Particularly in the light of the utterances of the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton (Mr. Kaufman) in the summer of last year—which were delphic, to say the least—that would not give them that confidence. Hong Kong opinion is unanimous about that. The purpose of the Bill is to renew and instil confidence in the minds of people in Hong Kong, and my right hon. Friend's amendment would deny them that confidence.

Photo of Mr Tony Marlow Mr Tony Marlow , Northampton North

Suppose that the exercise were undertaken. Suppose that the Governor allocated the passports and the Home Secretary accepted that the 50,000 passports—225,000 if wives, descendants and families are included—were valid. If each of them could be stamped with the words "this passport is valid from 1 July 1996", would not that be an adequate reassurance?

Photo of Francis Maude Francis Maude Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

No, I do not believe that it would. We can argue about whether such as step would have that effect on 50,000 people in Hong Kong, and none of us can be certain that we are right. But I repeat that what the right hon. Member for Gorton said last year destroyed a great deal of the trust that people in Hong Kong had in what might, at some stage, be an alternative Government.

Photo of Mr Norman Tebbit Mr Norman Tebbit , Chingford

I can understand why my hon. Friend rests his case on the deviousness of the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton (Mr. Kaufman). On this issue, the only thing on which we seem to be agreed is that the right hon. Member is devious—I would go so far as to say particularly devious. But that is not a good enough argument. I do not believe that even a Labour Government—even a Foreign Secretary or a Home Secretary in the shape of the right hon. Member for Gorton—would withdraw passports that had been issued. My hon. Friend has still not given me an answer to my question: for what purpose would the passports be used before 1996 or 1997 if not to frustrate the purpose of the Bill? By suggesting that the passports should be valid for use before then, my hon. Friend undermines my confidence that even he believes in the Bill.

Photo of Francis Maude Francis Maude Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

That is not the case. My right hon. Friend may be persuaded that passports carrying a delayed action stamp would instil the same confidence, and he might be confident that they would not be revoked. But all the advice and indications that we have had from those who might be the recipients of the passports in Hong Kong suggest that they do not have the trusting nature of my right hon. Friend. If giving people citizenship would not give them the confidence to remain in Hong Kong, which is the principal purpose of the Bill, there is no point in doing it.

I accept that it is a matter of judgment. Our judgment is—all the evidence that we have from Hong Kong supports it—that to incorporate the amendments in the Bill would be to negate the effect of the award of citizenship.

Photo of Mr Tony Marlow Mr Tony Marlow , Northampton North

My hon. Friend the Minister said that the passports would be issued in two tranches. If, after issuing the first tranche, it becomes apparent that people are taking the first plane or the first boat out and taking advantage of the passports to leave rather than to stay in Hong Kong, will the Government not issue the second tranche?

Photo of Francis Maude Francis Maude Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

As I recall, the same question was asked of my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department in the previous debate and he answered it.

Amendment negatived.

Photo of Sir Peter Lloyd Sir Peter Lloyd , Fareham

I beg to move amendment No. 47, in page 1, line 11, leave out from 'may' to end of line 13 and insert 'direct the Governor to make not more than a specified proportion of his recommendations in a period or periods specified in the direction; and any such direction may make different provision in relation to'.

In Committee I promised the hon. Member for Edinburgh, Central (Mr. Darling) to consider clarifying clause 1(3). Amendment 47 is the result, and I commend it to the House.

Amendment agreed to.Amendment proposed: No. 48, in page 1, line 24, at end insert— '() The Secretary of State may by order amend subparagraph (1) by substituting a higher figure for the figure for the time being specified there if the Governor recommends that it is necessary to do so in order to maintain the stability of Hong Kong or the safety of its residents.'.—[Mr. Maclennan.]

Question put, That the amendment be made:—

The House divided: Ayes 16, Noes 217.

Division No. 233][1.46 pm
AYES
Alton, DavidLivsey, Richard
Ashdown, Rt Hon PaddyMaclennan, Robert
Bruce, Malcolm (Gordon)Michael, Alun
Campbell, Menzies (Fife NE)Michie, Mrs Ray (Arg'l & Bute)
Campbell-Savours, D. N.Skinner, Dennis
Carlile, Alex (Mont'g)Taylor, Matthew (Truro)
Dalyell, Tam
Hughes, Simon (Southwark)Tellers for the Ayes:
Kennedy, CharlesMr. James Wallace and Mr. Ronnie learn.
Kirkwood, Archy
NOES
Alexander, RichardBright, Graham
Alison, Rt Hon MichaelBrooke, Rt Hon Peter
Allason, RupertBrown, Michael (Brigg & Cl't's)
Amess, DavidBruce, Ian (Dorset South)
Arbuthnot, JamesBurns, Simon
Arnold, Tom (Hazel Grove)Burt, Alistair
Ashby, DavidButcher, John
Atkins, RobertButler, Chris
Atkinson, DavidButterfill, John
Baker, Rt Hon K. (Mole Valley)Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln)
Baldry, TonyCarrington, Matthew
Batiste, SpencerCash, William
Bellingham, HenryChalker, Rt Hon Mrs Lynda
Bennett, Nicholas (Pembroke)Channon, Rt Hon Paul
Bevan, David GilroyChapman, Sydney
Blaker, Rt Hon Sir PeterChope, Christopher
Bonsor, Sir NicholasChurchill, Mr
Boscawen, Hon RobertClark, Hon Alan (Plym'th S'n)
Boswell, TimConway, Derek
Bottomley, PeterCoombs, Anthony (Wyre F'rest)
Bottomley, Mrs VirginiaCope, Rt Hon John
Bowden, A (Brighton K'pto'n)Couchman, James
Bowden, Gerald (Dulwich)Currie, Mrs Edwina
Bowis, JohnCurry, David
Brandon-Bravo, MartinDavies, Q. (Stamf'd & Spald'g)
Brazier, JulianDavis, David (Boothferry)
Day, StephenMarshall, Michael (Arundel)
Dorrell, StephenMartin, David (Portsmouth S)
Douglas-Hamilton, Lord JamesMates, Michael
Durant, TonyMaude, Hon Francis
Emery, Sir PeterMawhinney, Dr Brian
Evans, David (Welwyn Hatf'd)Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin
Fallon, MichaelMayhew, Rt Hon Sir Patrick
Favell, TonyMellor, David
Field, Barry (Isle of Wight)Meyer, Sir Anthony
Fishburn, John DudleyMills, Iain
Forman, NigelMiscampbell, Norman
Forsyth, Michael (Stirling)Mitchell, Andrew (Gedling)
Fox, Sir MarcusMitchell, Sir David
Franks, CecilMoate, Roger
Freeman, RogerMonro, Sir Hector
Garel-Jones, TristanMorrison, Rt Hon P (Chester)
Gill, ChristopherMoynihan, Hon Colin
Glyn, Dr Sir AlanNeedham, Richard
Goodlad, AlastairNeubert, Michael
Goodson-Wickes, Dr CharlesNewton, Rt Hon Tony
Gorman, Mrs TeresaNicholls, Patrick
Gow, IanNicholson, David (Taunton)
Greenway, Harry (Ealing N)Nicholson, Emma (Devon West)
Ground, PatrickNorris, Steve
Hague, WilliamOnslow, Rt Hon Cranley
Hamilton, Hon Archie (Epsom)Oppenheim, Phillip
Hamilton, Neil (Tatton)Paice, James
Hanley, JeremyPatnick, Irvine
Hannam, JohnPrice, Sir David
Harris, DavidRaffan, Keith
Haselhurst, AlanRaison, Rt Hon Timothy
Hawkins, ChristopherRathbone, Tim
Hayward, RobertRedwood, John
Heathcoat-Amory, DavidRenton, Rt Hon Tim
Hill, JamesRiddick, Graham
Hind, KennethRifkind, Rt Hon Malcolm
Hogg, Hon Douglas (Gr'th'm)Roberts, Wyn (Conwy)
Holt, RichardRossi, Sir Hugh
Howard, Rt Hon MichaelRowe, Andrew
Howarth, Alan (Strat'd-on-A)Ryder, Richard
Howarth, G. (Cannock & B 'wd)Sackville, Hon Tom
Howe, Rt Hon Sir GeoffreySainsbury, Hon Tim
Howell, Ralph (North Norfolk)Sayeed, Jonathan
Hughes, Robert G. (Harrow W)Shaw, David (Dover)
Hunt, David (Wirral W)Shaw, Sir Giles (Pudsey)
Hunt, Sir John (Ravensbourne)Shaw, Sir Michael (Scarb')
Hunter, AndrewShelton, Sir William
Hurd, Rt Hon DouglasShepherd, Colin (Hereford)
Irvine, MichaelShepherd, Richard (Aldridge)
Jack, MichaelSims, Roger
Jackson, RobertSmith, Tim (Beaconsfield)
Janman, TimSoames, Hon Nicholas
Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N)Spicer, Sir Jim (Dorset W)
Jones, Robert B (Herts W)Spicer, Michael (S Worcs)
Jopling, Rt Hon MichaelSquire, Robin
Key, RobertStanley, Rt Hon Sir John
King, Roger (B'ham N'thfield)Stern, Michael
King, Rt Hon Tom (Bridgwater)Stevens, Lewis
Kirkhope, TimothyStewart, Andy (Sherwood)
Knight, Greg (Derby North)Stradling Thomas, Sir John
Knowles, MichaelSumberg, David
Lang, IanTaylor, Ian (Esher)
Lawrence, IvanTaylor, Teddy (S'end E)
Lee, John (Pendle)Tebbit, Rt Hon Norman
Leigh, Edward (Gainsbor'gh)Thompson, D. (Calder Valley)
Lennox-Boyd, Hon MarkThompson, Patrick (Norwich N)
Lester, Jim (Broxtowe)Thornton, Malcolm
Lightbown, DavidTownsend, Cyril D. (B'heath)
Lilley, PeterTracey, Richard
Lloyd, Peter (Fareham)Tredinnick, David
Luce, Rt Hon RichardTrippier, David
MacKay, Andrew (E Berkshire)Trotter, Neville
Maclean, DavidTwinn, Dr Ian
McLoughlin, PatrickVaughan, Sir Gerard
McNair-Wilson, Sir PatrickViggers, Peter
Malins, HumfreyWaddington, Rt Hon David
Mans, KeithWalden, George
Maples, JohnWaller, Gary
Marlow, TonyWatts, John
Marshall, John (Hendon S)Whitney, Ray
Widdecombe, Ann
Wiggin, JerryTellers for the Noes:
Wood, TimothyMr. John M. Taylor and Mr. Nicholas Baker.
Yeo, Tim
Young, Sir George (Acton)

Question accordingly negatived.

Amendment proposed: No. 49, in page 1, line 24, at end insert— '() Nothing in this Section affects the jurisdiction of any Court to entertain proceedings of any description concerning the rights of any person under any provision of this Act'. —[Mr. Maclennan.]

Question put, That the amendment be made:—

The House divided: Ayes 24, Noes 212.

Division No.234]1.58 pm
AYES
Alton, DavidKennedy, Charles
Ashdown, Rt Hon PaddyMcKay, Allen (Barnsley West)
Barnes, Harry (Derbyshire NE)Maclennan, Robert
Bruce, Malcolm (Gordon)Michael, Alun
Campbell, Menzies (Fife NE)Michie, Mrs Ray (Arg'l & Bute)
Campbell-Savours, D. N.Nellist, Dave
Carlile, Alex (Mont'g)Robertson, George
Cryer, BobSkinner, Dennis
Dalyell, TamTaylor, Matthew (Truro)
Darling, AlistairWallace, James
Dixon, Don
Fearn, RonaldTellers for the Ayes:
Hughes, John (Coventry NE)Mr. Archie Kirkwood and Mr. Richard Livsey.
Hughes, Simon (Southwark)
NOES
Alexander, RichardCoombs, Anthony (Wyre F'rest)
Alison, Rt Hon MichaelCope, Rt Hon John
Allason, RupertCouchman, James
Amess, DavidCurrie, Mrs Edwina
Arbuthnot, JamesCurry, David
Arnold, Tom (Hazel Grove)Davies, Q. (Stamf'd & Spald'g)
Ashby, DavidDavis, David (Boothferry)
Atkins, RobertDay, Stephen
Atkinson, DavidDorrell, Stephen
Baker, Rt Hon K. (Mole Valley)Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James
Baker, Nicholas (Dorset N)Durant, Tony
Baldry, TonyEvans, David (Welwyn Hatf'd)
Batiste, SpencerFallon, Michael
Bellingham, HenryFavell, Tony
Bennett, Nicholas (Pembroke)Field, Barry (Isle of Wight)
Bevan, David GilroyFishburn, John Dudley
Blaker, Rt Hon Sir PeterForman, Nigel
Bonsor, Sir NicholasForsyth, Michael (Stirling)
Boscawen, Hon RobertForth, Eric
Boswell, TimFox, Sir Marcus
Bottomley, PeterFranks, Cecil
Bottomley, Mrs VirginiaFreeman, Roger
Bowden, A (Brighton K'pto'n)Garel-Jones, Tristan
Bowden, Gerald (Dulwich)Gill, Christopher
Bowis, JohnGlyn, Dr Sir Alan
Brandon-Bravo, MartinGoodlad, Alastair
Brazier, JulianGoodson-Wickes, Dr Charles
Bright, GrahamGorman, Mrs Teresa
Brooke, Rt Hon PeterGow, Ian
Brown, Michael (Brigg & Cl't's)Greenway, Harry (Ealing N)
Bruce, Ian (Dorset South)Ground, Patrick
Burns, SimonHague, William
Burt, AlistairHamilton, Hon Archie (Epsom)
Butler, ChrisHamilton, Neil (Tatton)
Butterfill, JohnHanley, Jeremy
Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln)Hannam, John
Carrington, MatthewHarris, David
Cash, WilliamHaselhurst, Alan
Chalker, Rt Hon Mrs LyndaHawkins, Christopher
Channon, Rt Hon PaulHayward, Robert
Chapman, SydneyHeathcoat-Amory, David
Chope, ChristopherHill, James
Churchill, MrHind, Kenneth
Clark, Hon Alan (Plym'th S'n)Hogg, Hon Douglas (Gr'th'm)
Conway, DerekHolt, Richard
Howarth, Alan (Strat'd-on-A)Onslow, Rt Hon Cranley
Howarth, G. (Cannock & B'wd)Oppenheim, Phillip
Howe, Rt Hon Sir GeoffreyPaice, James
Howell, Ralph (North Norfolk)Patnick, Irvine
Hughes, Robert G. (Harrow W)Price, Sir David
Hunt, David (Wirral W)Raffan, Keith
Hunt, Sir John (Ravensbourne)Raison, Rt Hon Timothy
Hunter, AndrewRathbone, Tim
Hurd, Rt Hon DouglasRedwood, John
Irvine, MichaelRonton, Rt Hon Tim
Jack, MichaelRiddick, Graham
Jackson, RobertRlfkind, Rt Hon Malcolm
Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N)Roberts, Wyn (Conwy)
Jones, Robert B (Herts W)Rossi, Sir Hugh
Jopling, Rt Hon MichaelRowe, Andrew
Key, RobertRyder, Richard
King, Roger (B'ham N'thfield)Sainsbury, Hon Tim
King, Rt Hon Tom (Bridgwater)Sayeed, Jonathan
Kirkhope, TimothyShaw, David (Dover)
Knight, Greg (Derby North)Shaw, Sir Giles (Pudsey)
Knowles, MichaelShaw, Sir Michael (Scarb')
Lang, IanShelton, Sir William
Lawrence, IvanShepherd, Colin (Hereford)
Lee, John (Pendle)Shepherd, Richard (Aldridge)
Leigh, Edward (Gainsbor'gh)Sims, Roger
Lennox-Boyd, Hon MarkSmith, Tim (Beaconsfield)
Lester, Jim (Broxtowe)Soames, Hon Nicholas
Lightbown, DavidSpicer, Sir Jim (Dorset W)
Lilley, PeterSpicer, Michael (S Worcs)
Lloyd, Peter (Fareham)Squire, Robin
Luce, Rt Hon RichardStanley, Rt Hon Sir John
MacKay, Andrew (E Berkshire)Stern, Michael
Maclean, DavidStevens, Lewis
McLoughlin, PatrickStewart, Andy (Sherwood)
McNair-Wilson, Sir PatrickStradling Thomas, Sir John
Malins, HumfreySumberg, David
Mans, KeithTaylor, Ian (Esher)
Maples, JohnTaylor, Teddy (S'end E)
Marlow, TonyThompson, D. (Calder Valley)
Marshall, John (Hendon S)Thompson, Patrick (Norwich N)
Marshall, Michael (Arundel)Thornton, Malcolm
Martin, David (Portsmouth S)Townsend, Cyril D. (B'heath)
Maude, Hon FrancisTracey, Richard
Mawhinney, Dr BrianTredinnick, David
Maxwell-Hyslop, RobinTrippier, David
Mayhew, Rt Hon Sir PatrickTrotter, Neville
Mellor, DavidTwinn, Dr Ian
Meyer, Sir AnthonyVaughan, Sir Gerard
Mills, IainViggers, Peter
Miscampbell, NormanWaddington, Rt Hon David
Mitchell, Andrew (Gedling)Walden, George
Mitchell, Sir DavidWaller, Gary
Moate, RogerWatts, John
Monro, Sir HectorWhitney, Ray
Morrison, Rt Hon P (Chester)Widdecombe, Ann
Moynihan, Hon ColinWiggin, Jerry
Needham, RichardWood, Timothy
Neubert, MichaelYeo, Tim
Newton, Rt Hon TonyYoung, Sir George (Acton)
Nicholls, Patrick
Nicholson, David (Taunton)Tellers for the Noes:
Nicholson, Emma (Devon West)Mr. John M. Taylor and Mr. Tom Sackville.
Norris, Steve

Question accordingly negatived.