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Commonwealth Immigrants Bill

Volume 654: debated on Tuesday 27 February 1962

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[2ND ALLOTTED DAY]

As amended, further considered.

Clause 16—(Immigration Officers And Medical Inspectors)

3.58 p.m.

I beg to move, in page 11, line 36, at end to insert:

"The power to give instructions under this subsection so far as they relate to the exercise of the powers conferred by section two of this Act shall be exercisable by statutory instrument and any statutory instrument setting out such instructions shall be subject to annulment by resolution of either House of Parliament".
For the information of the House, Mr. Speaker, may I ask whether the proposed Amendments in page 11, line 31, to leave out subsection (3), and in page 11, line 36, at end to insert:
"The power to give instructions under this subsection shall be exercisable by statutory instrument and any statutory instrument setting out such instructions shall be subject to annulment by resolution of either House of Parliament."
will be considered with the one I am moving?

The Amendment being moved by the hon. Gentleman has been selected, and it is permitted, if the House agrees, to discuss with it the two other Amendments mentioned by the hon. Gentleman.

I am obliged, Mr. Speaker.

We are not now discussing whether there should be immigration laws for Commonwealth citizens, but to what extent, and by what method, the carrying out of these laws should be controlled and supervised by Parliament. The object of this Amendment is to ensure that the instructions to immigration officers about the carrying out of their powers under Clause 2 of the Bill—which deals with the refusal of admission and with conditional admission—should require the prior consent of Parliament, to be exercisable by Statutory Instrument subject to annulment.

This procedure has been accepted in principle in Clause 17 (4), dealing with certain exemptions. Clause 17 itself provides that additions may be made to the exemptions, and that this shall be by the procedure for Statutory Instruments. The point at issue now is whether the instructions and the wide discretion involved should be left to the Secretary of State and his officials and the immigration officers, or whether there should be some form of control exercised by Parliament.

4.0 p.m.

When we were discussing this subject in Committee, we were very much in doubt as to the nature of the instructions to be given to the immigration officers. We now have before us the draft instructions, and I recognise that some of them are not—as I think the Home Secretary put it—in "legal form". In this connection, the Home Secretary said in the debate on 13th February, when referring to the instructions:
"They are, in the nature of things, working rules as to the actions which immigration officers should take in certain specified circumstances and, as hon. Members will see when they read these instructions before the week end, they are not expressed in legal or formal language."—[OFFICIAL REPORT. 13th February, 1962; Vol. 653, c. 1147.]
I appreciate that, and I agree that some of the statements in the instructions are not in the normal legal form. For example, paragraph I of the instructions states:
"Immigration Officers will of course carry out their duties without regard to the race, colour or religion. …"
I am sure that all hon. Members agree with that sentence. And in paragraph 5 we read:
"The need to impose a control on immigration for settlement in no way diminishes the Government's desire to welcome visitors."
I hope that that will always be the Government's desire. But it would seem that some of the instructions involve, or may involve, some important questions of general policy. Perhaps I might give some examples of these. In paragraph 7 we read:
"The Immigration Officer has power to impose a condition limiting a visitor's length of stay in the United Kingdom. Where this power is exercised, he can in addition impose a condition limiting or prohibiting the visitor's employment or occupation."
And the paragraph goes on:
"It will not be necessary to use these powers frequently."
This limiting or prohibiting of a visitor's employment or occupation raises an issue of principle and represents more than day-to-day instructions to immigration officers. I agree that this paragraph refers to visitors, and I am also aware that paragraph 19, which deals with employment, states:
"… an Immigration Officer must not refuse admission to, or admit subject to conditions, a Commonwealth citizen who is coming to the United Kingdom for employment and is the person described in a current Ministry of Labour voucher."
But there is power in Clause 2 of the Bill to impose conditions on the type of employment a Commonwealth citizen coming to this country may take up, and there may be a limitation on the time he will be allowed to remain in this country subject to the type of employment which he is able to obtain. While I do not have a great deal of complaint about these draft instructions, we have no guarantee that they will not be altered in the future. A future Home Secretary might decide to limit immigrants to certain menial jobs. I do not think that that is the intention of the present Home Secretary, but it is possible that such a thing could happen under the powers contained in Clause 2—and Parliament would have no right to prevent that being carried out since they are part of the discretionary powers which the Minister will have.

Against the background to our discussions is the reserve power to impose some form of quota. In the debate on 13th February, the Home Secretary also said:
"I hope that in arranging our business for the Report stage we will give more time to Clause 2. The hon. Gentleman referred to the remarks of the Attorney-General, and I can only say that, in column 354 of the OFFICIAL REPORT, if he will turn to the Explanatory and Financial Memorandum of the Bill, he will see the following words:"
The Home Secretary went on to quote those words, which concluded:
"'… subject to any limit which the Government may from time to time consider necessary '."
And the Home Secretary continued:
"It is this last quota, as I understand it, to which my right hon. and learned Friend was referring. If that enlightens the hon. Gentleman in any way, that is the best answer that I can give at short notice on this point. I underline the words in the Explanatory and Financial Memorandum: '… subject to any limit which the Government may from time to time consider necessary.' We must reserve this as a Government decision, and that is the answer to the intervention of the hon. Member for Huddersfield, West (Mr. Wade)."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 13th February, 1962; Vol. 653. c. 1152 and 1153.]
It may be that if instructions are issued in the future on the subject of quota they may be given to representatives of Her Majesty's Government overseas in the countries of origin. I do not know, but if so, perhaps it will not come under this provision. Therefore, it would be helpful if an answer could be given to this question.

I can see issues of importance arising if there is to be any kind of quota over and above the question of whether a Commonwealth citizen has a job available. If there is a quota, how is it to be fairly distributed as between one Commonwealth country and another? That seems to raise matters of principle about which Parliament should be consulted.

Surely the only point of the Amendment is that of Parliamentary procedure for dealing with a Statutory Instrument when it is made and whether the instructions are to be given by way of a Statutory Instrument. The hon. Member cannot discuss on this Amendment what the contents of the instructions will be.

On a point of order. It was made clear in Committee, before the instructions were published, that there would be an opportunity of discussing them in the House either on Report or Third Reading. The Home Secretary referred to this in columns 1148 and 1152 of the OFFICIAL REPORT for 13th February. The instructions to be given to immigration officers were not available to hon. Members when we last debated this matter. All hon. Members expressed their desire to discuss them. This is really the only Amendment before the House which will provide us with an opportunity of commenting on the instructions, unless you rule, Mr. Speaker, that they can be discussed on Third Reading.

Since under the Guillotine we have until 6 p.m. substantially to discuss the Amendment—and the Amendment only—before Third Reading begins, I respectfully submit that, on this Amendment, it would be in order to discuss the instructions because that is related to the whole question of whether or not they are subject to a Statutory Instrument.

Perhaps I can help the House and you, Mr. Speaker. It was agreed that there should be an opportunity provided to discuss the instructions and I naturally very much hoped when we arranged business like this that there would be a gap when they could be discussed. I shall be ready later to answer any points that arise out of comments on the instructions, and there is only one slight inflection of difference between the hon. Gentleman the Member for Huddersfield, West (Mr. Wade) and myself on this.

The actual system of granting vouchers arises under Clause 2, and there is only an indirect reference to this in the instructions. You were correct, Mr. Speaker, in saying that the whole system of granting vouchers was discussed on 22nd February when the points raised were answered by the Minister of Labour. I do not think that it would be in order to go into that in detail on the Amendment, but I think that it would be in order to discuss the instructions.

I accept that that is the right position. The matter concerning the instructions is made clear when I remind myself that I said that the Amendment in line 31 could be discussed with this one.

I am obliged, Mr. Speaker. I was not intending to pursue the subject of the quota. I merely mentioned it as a point of principle which might well arise and which I hoped would come before us and would not merely be dealt with by instructions.

The difficulty before us is this. Obviously, part of these instructions concern detailed day-to-day matters which cannot easily be incorporated in a Statutory Instrument. On the other hand, parts of them involve matters of principle which I should have thought could more fittingly be dealt with by a Statutory Instrument.

I should like to make just one more quotation from HANSARD. Here, I wish to quote from my own observations. I said:
"Would not it be practicable to make some distinction between instructions dealing with the day-to-day duties of the immigration officers, and those involving important questions of policy? In the latter case, surely it is not sufficient merely to inform the House."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 13th February, 1962; Vol. 653, c. 1151.]
I suggest that the best way round this difficulty is to incorporate the instructions in a Statutory Instrument but to delegate certain powers to the Minister by that Statutory Instrument. In that way, I think that we get the best of both worlds. The main points could be incorporated in a Statutory Instrument, but it would still be open to the Home Secretary to lay down rules for the benefit of immigration officers. I hope that this suggestion will be favourably considered.

Although we have had helpful and liberal expressions of view from the Home Secretary, we must consider the future. May I put the problem in a very hypothetical way. Suppose that the Home Secretary were succeeded in office by the hon. Member for Louth (Sir C. Osborne). In that case, would we be entirely satisfied to leave such wide discretions in the hands of the Home Secretary? Unless we are satisfied with this point, I think that we should insist that a Statutory Instrument should be laid.

I join with the hon. Member for Huddersfield, West (Mr. Wade) in thanking the Home Secretary for publishing the instructions. They have been very helpful, and I think that the latter stages of our debates on this complex Bill have been helped a good deal by knowing the sort of information which is contained in the White Paper. However, I should like to ask the Home Secretary a few questions about the White Paper, because I feel that it is not clear on a number of difficult points which need a personal explanation from the right hon. Gentleman.

First, the final sentence of paragraph 20 of the White Paper reads:
"Persons who require vouchers but have not obtained them should normally be refused admission."
This is backed up in paragraph 28, the first sentence of which reads:
"The general rule is that persons of eighteen or over must qualify for admission in their own right, for example, as the holders of Ministry of Labour vouchers or entry certificates, or as students."
Taking those two sentences together, but particularly the first, I should like to know whether my impression of them is right. Does the White Paper mean that what we have called in our discussions the balanced quota of people without skill or without a job to come to here will never be admitted unless they have obtained a voucher before leaving their Commonwealth country? May we be clear: is this the end of free entry at the ports if a person has not a voucher of one kind or another? Or is it still possible for people to leave their home country, to come here and take advantage of some quota figure which the Home Secretary may have laid down and say, "That quota figure has not yet been exceeded. I wish to apply for admission to this country and I shall seek a job when I land."

Would not the hon. Gentleman agree that it would be undesirable to let people come to this country on the off-chance of getting a job? Surely it would be better to ensure that they would be admitted here before they left their own country.

4.15 p.m.

I am not arguing the case. I am merely asking for information. I wish to know whether the system which has applied so far under which people come here freely and search for jobs when they get into this country is at an end and whether only people with vouchers will be allowed in. I did not want to be drawn into an argument on the matter—we have had arguments throughout the Bill—but my answer to the hon. Member for Clapham (Dr. Glyn) is that I should have thought it would be wrong to close the door entirely to people who might wish to come here without going through official machinery in their own country. Provided the quota figures which the Home Secretary has in mind have not been exceeded, there should be considerable latitude at the ports, depending on how the figures are going in any period, to allow people to be admitted under a system such as that which operates at the moment.

The second question which I should like to ask the Home Secretary concerns relatives. The paragraphs in the White Paper on this subject are clear enough. They set out the people who have the right to come here to join residents here or to follow accepted immigrants. Has there been any discussion with Commonwealth countries about how this can be facilitated? May we know, for example, whether the Home Office agrees with Commonwealth countries that relatives, when they travel separate from the immigrant worker, should carry a document stating who they are so that all the difficulties at the ports can be ironed out in advance?

I have in mind particularly certain wives, common law wives for that matter, coming here to join an immigrant. Will such women be able to obtain without difficulty and carry a piece of paper issued in a Commonwealth country saying that she is the wife of a certain man who has been admitted here or who is a resident of this country? If so, everything at the ports will be plain sailing. I think that we all wish that to be the case. I hope that there has been consultation about this so that specific categories of people of this kind will be admitted by immigation officers and that Commonwealth countries will help the process by providing them with pieces of paper certifying the position, thus helping their progress through the ports.

My third question concerns paragraph 7 of the White Paper. Immigration officers are told in the middle of the paragraph that they should
"consider imposing a condition limiting the period of stay where the visitor's intentions are not clear, and he thinks it important that the visitor should appreciate that he is permitted to stay only for a limited period."
What further instruction is being given about this? Surely that is a wide discretion to give to an immigration officer. Shall we follow the procedure adopted in the application of the aliens legislation, with periods of three months and six months being allowed, with facilities for renewal? What further guidance is being given to immigration officers about the limitation of the period?

In commenting on the Amendment which seeks to leave out subsection (3), I come back to the general instructions to immigration officers and their power to admit persons subject to restrictions on employment. What sort of restrictions will these be? Will the right hon. Gentleman give us some examples of the type of restriction which, under Clause 2 (1, b), immigration officers will impose on employment under the Bill?

We have been worried all the way through about how Parliament at any time will know the numbers which the immigration officers are being told to admit. We raised this matter with the Minister of Labour when we debated the question of vouchers. The Home Secretary has not been forthcoming on this issue. It may be right from an administrative point of view for him to refuse to commit himself in advance, but we are reaching a stage at which somebody must know, all things being equal, or if events are similar to those of the recent past, what regular flow of immigrants the right hon. Gentleman expects to be tolerable to this country. What is his judgment on this issue? How will be give instructions to immigration officers about the precise numbers to be admitted? How will they know when the numbers are being exceeded? Will they be given definite instructions to cut immigration off at a certain number? How will Parliament know the numbers which the right hon. Gentleman has in mind at any time? This is important.

I come specifically to the Amendment moved by the hon. Member for Huddersfield, West (Mr. Wade). The Home Secretary's answer has been, "Do not put these things in Statutory Instruments. You always have the power to question the Home Secretary." But we cannot question him until he gives some information about the policy to which he is working in terms of total numbers. That is the crucial point of the Bill. Are the numbers to be cut to 10,000 a year or will 50,000 a year be tolerable? No one is asking the Home Secretary to commit himself now to a precise figure, but we must be informed how he will let us know later which of those two figures he has in mind—or any other figure. So far we do not know.

What about the Irish under the instructions? There is nothing about them in the Bill or in the instructions to the immigration officers. The right hon. Gentleman said that he will admit the Irish; even though they are covered by the Bill, he intends to make an exception of them. Surely that should have been in the White Paper. Somebody must say somewhere what is to be done about the citizens of Northern Ireland and Eire. Why was it not in the instructions to the immigration officers? How will the Home Secretary work that? Is it to be the case that at the ports they are to be entirely free from restriction and omitted from the Bill altogether, or is any part of the general restrictions, for example the restriction on visitors to a particular length of time, to apply to citizens of Eire? Or are they to be totally exempt from every restriction under the Bill? This is a very important matter, and I hope that the Home Secretary will reply frankly at least to that part of my question.

I apologise for giving him a catalogue of questions, but I hope that he regards them all as relevant.

The hon. Member for Birmingham, Northfield (Mr. Chapman) is under a misapprehension about the way in which the instructions will work. Presumably they will go to immigration officers and they will be at ports other than those receiving ships from Southern Ireland. I therefore assume that the Southern Irish who choose to come in through some other way will be treated as any other Commonwealth immigrants under the instructions, which are entirely non-discriminatory.

I join the hon. Member for Northfield and the hon. Member for Huddersfield. West (Mr. Wade) in thanking my right hon. Friend for dealing with this matter by making the draft instructions available to us this afternoon. That is an exceptional action on his part, and it has done a great deal in all parts of the Committee to relieve anxieties about the way in which this scheme will work. Now that they have read the instructions, many people who had serious misgivings feel that many of those misgivings have been removed.

Having had some experience of the way in which somewhat similar instructions have worked in the case of aliens policy, I believe that when this policy is brought into operation it will work smoothly and there will be very few complaints about it. But that is prophesy. These instructions are a good deal more liberal in character than those which the immigration officers have about aliens.

I agree, but it was worth pointing out that they are. It is a point which the hon. Member for Northfield did not make in his speech, and it is a point which we should note and on which we should express approval.

The hon. Member for Huddersfield, West said that he would have preferred the scheme to be embodied in a Statutory Instrument rather than in instructions of this character. I do not think that he is right. These instructions are of a kind which must be entirely flexible throughout—flexible in themselves and flexible in that they may be varied from day to day to meet particular hard cases. Everyone who has experience of this sort of policy knows that new types of case regularly arise. If one has to deal with them under hard-and-fast regulations, one is bound to cause hardship.

An example of what I mean is to be found in paragraph 25, on page 7:
"A woman who has been living in permanent association with a man, even if not married to him, should be treated for this purpose as a wife. Immigration Officers should bear in mind any local custom or tradition tending to establish the permanence of the association."
It is clear what that means. Everyone knows that immigration officers will interpret it liberally, but it would be quite impossible to reduce it to the kind of language which would have to be embodied in a regulation. There are plenty of other similar passages, but that is a very striking example. The hon. Member suggested that parts of the scheme should be embodied in a Statutory Instrument and that other parts might be left to the discretion of my right hon. Friend, with instructions being given through him to immigration officers. That would not be a very good idea. It would be the introduction of two-tier government in this connection. We should find that parts of the rules were hard and fast and that parts were subject to alteration in the light of particular hard cases. It is very much better to deal with the matter as it has been dealt with by my right hon. Friend. I am glad that he has seen fit to deal with it in this way, and I hope very much that the regulations will work as smoothly as I believe they will.

4.30 p.m.

. Could the hon. Gentleman tell the House, in view of the speech which he has just made and the blessing which he has given to the draft instructions, why he has tabled an Amendment to leave out the subsection which seems to establish them?

I do not know whether the hon. Gentleman was in his place when a point of order was raised earlier. The Amendment was tabled so that it should be possible to discuss the instructions. If the Amendment had not been tabled, such a debate would have been out of order.

I certainly should not wish to press that Amendment, because it would run precisely contrary to the sense of the speech which I have made.

I support the remarks which have been made by my hon. Friend the Member for Hendon, South (Sir H. Lucas-Tooth) in congratulating my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary upon the production of the draft instructions. As one of those who viewed the Bill with a great deal of apprehension and considered that it would have a detrimental effect on Commonwealth relations, I greatly welcome the liberal attitude of the instructions.

I should like to put one point to my right hon. Friend. As a great deal of anxiety has been caused in Commonwealth countries about the possible racial effects of the Bill, I wonder whether he could make some arrangements whereby the instructions or something similar to them could be given wide circulation in Commonwealth countries.

I intervene briefly. I should not have intervened at all had it not been for something said by my hon. Friend the Member for Hendon, South (Sir H. Lucas-Tooth) which leads me to ask my right hon. Friend whether he can explain the point more clearly. It is the narrow point concerning the Southern Irish.

As I understood my hon. Friend, it was his interpretation of the present legal position that—although the Bill, as drafted specifically includes the Southern Irish, and we have the Government's declaration that they do not intend to operate it, at any rate at the present time—if a Southern Irishman chose to sail from Southern Ireland to, say, Southampton he would be subject to the regulations but if he chose to travel on one of the ordinary routes to a West Coast port he would not be subject to them.

That interpretation may or may not be right. I differ from my hon. Friend with very considerable hesitation in view of his long experience, but if his interpretation is correct I hope that my right hon. Friend will make it clear, because it does not sound a workable proposition to me. I am under the impression—though I should be most grateful for clarification about this—that the Southern Irish are not in any circumstances at present to have the provisions of the Bill or the instructions applied to them, and that in that respect they will be in precisely the same position as Ulster men. It is on that point that some of us will hope to catch Mr. Speaker's eye on a subsequent occasion.

It is because I think it is most important that neither the House nor the public should be in any doubt about precisely what the application of the regulations will be that I intervene briefly to ask for further clarification. Perhaps I might add, in one sentence, my very real sense of appreciation for the tenor of the regulations, which, as my hon. Friend the Member for Worcester (Mr. Walker) has just said, has greatly helped many of us.

I feel rather concerned about paragraph 25 of the instructions. We want to encourage immigrants from other parts of the Commonwealth to adapt themselves to our normal way of life, and I consider that it would be a good thing if they were encouraged, if at all practicable, to marry the women with whom they are associating before coming to this country. Otherwise we shall be faced with an ever-increasing illegitimacy rate, especially in London, where it is already much higher than the rest of the country, and where about a quarter of all these immigrants are at present living.

I should like a little more information about another part of the paragraph which says that immigration officers should bear in mind any local custom or tradition tending to establish the permanence of the association. I have at least two constituents who have brought with them one wife and family but have left at least one other wife and family in India. I want to know whether this other part of the instruction has any relevance in that respect. In other words, shall we in future be taking into account conditions and associations in some parts of the Commonwealth and be admitting immigrants who have several wives and considerable families?

Congratulations have been tendered to the Home Secretary both upon having published the draft instructions and upon their tenor. I do not demur from those congratulations at all. In fact, I add mine to them.

However, I think it fair to add that at any rate some of the congratulations are due to the Opposition and to some back bench hon. Members opposite for the pressure that we maintained during earlier stages of our discussions for the publication of the draft instructions and also for their drafting in the most humane, liberal and enlightened manner possible. Consequently, I think we may all legitimately participate in the happier position in which we find ourselves today compared with when we originally discussed the Bill.

Having said that, I do not think it in any way detracts from the arguments put forward by the hon. Member for Huddersfield, West (Mr. Wade) in support of the Amendment. A similar Amendment in the name of some of my hon. Friends and myself is being discussed with that Amendment. I still think that on the whole it would be an advantage if the instructions were embodied in a Statutory Instrument and, therefore, had the form and force of a Statute and required the sanction of Parliament. I do not accept the view that the fact that the instructions, necessarily in some paragraphs are couched in vague non-legal language, in itself is a reason why they should not be embodied in a Statutory Instrument. I accept the advantages of flexibility, but that does not mean that they should not be in the form of a Statutory Instrument.

Nor do I think that the plea for flexibility detracts from the argument, because we all have experience of Statutory Instruments having to be varied and amended time after time, as the Minister of State knows perfectly well, and there are instances in other forms of subordinate legislation where amendments are repeatedly made—in the Customs Acts and some of the Road Traffic Acts. Therefore, that is not an argument for refusing to put these instructions in the form of a Statutory Instrument.

But the references to flexibility, which, I think, were made on both sides of the House, raise in my mind a question to which I hope we shall have an answer from the Home Secretary. It is: granted that there has to be flexibility, and granted that experience may show the necessity for some revision of these instructions from time to time, may we have an assurance that if and whenever the instructions to immigration officers are varied or changed, any such variation or amendment of the instructions will be published and made available? That seems to me a very modest request to make.

I should also like to ask the Home Secretary for an assurance that when these draft instructions take their final form, which will presumably be not before this Bill has emerged from this House and another place, the Home Secretary will make such revisions in the draft instructions as appear to represent suggestions and ideas which have been put forward in our debates here and other suggestions which, no doubt, will be put forward in another place, because—and I say this in no disrespectful manner—there is evidence in the drafting of these instructions that there has not been the fullest possible consideration of them. I imagine that this is the first draft, and I think the Home Secretary has said on more than one occasion that he was anxious to know the views of Members on the draft instructions.

I share the sentiments which have been expressed about the general, liberal, humane and sensible tenor of the instructions, but, nevertheless, there are a number of instances in which the duties of immigration officers could with convenience be clarified. It is of the greatest importance that any intending immigrant should know with the greatest amount of precision what his chances are of getting into this country if he takes the trouble to come 3,000 or 4,000 or 12,000 miles.

It is my belief, having studied these draft instructions pretty carefully, that there will be two classes of person. There will be those Who come to work and have a voucher; and those Who come because they are self-dependent, or as students, or because they are relatives of somebody and have a right to be here. Leaving aside the class of those who will come under the voucher system, it is most important that all the others should know with the greatest degree of certainty that, subject to some medical inspection or some security ground, they will be admitted. I am bound to say that, with the one exception about students, the situation does not appear to be as clear as it might be. I would have thought that any reasonable immigration officer reading these instructions would give the benefit of the doubt to any intending immigrant who arrived under these categories. If that is the intention, I welcome it.

That brings me to the point about vouchers. This is really the only opportunity we shall have of clearing up some of the points which arise on paragraph 20 and the points which have been raised by my hon. Friends and hon. Members opposite. When we first discussed this the Home Secretary rather put us off by saying that we should in due course have a clear statement about this voucher system from the Minister of Labour. We had a statement from the Minister of Labour one day last week. With the greatest respect to the Minister of Labour, I do not think his most fervent admirer would say, Whatever his gifts are, that the gift of clear, lucid and precise exposition is one of his most obvious gifts. Therefore, I think that some of my hon. Friends and hon. Members opposite are justified in feeling that this question of the vouchers, and the interpretation of paragraph 20, is still obscured in a certain amount of mystery.

4.45 p.m.

I think we can best analyse it in this way. Those who come here to work under the voucher system will be either skilled or unskilled. If they are skilled no problem will, I think, arise. Either they will have a job to go to because an employer wants them, or they will have some obvious skill such as that of an architect or a nurse, or some professional or technical qualification, which will qualify them to come in, and they will, no doubt, get employment. But what about the unskilled?

It is now clear that the way in which the Home Office intends to work this voucher system is by fixing in its own mind, and presumably, at some date communicating to this House and the public, the number of people who will be admitted as unskilled immigrants. That is the way the control will be exercised. That is why the Home Office wants powers in this Bill, in order to control the inflow of unskilled immigrants. We have repeatedly asked that the Government should tell us two things: first of all, what kind of numbers they propose to fix for the unskilled immigrants, whether they propose to fix these numbers monthly or quarterly; and whether they propose to fix them in relation to the countries from which the intending immigrants come.

At the moment, unskilled immigrants come from all over the Commonwealth and from Ireland. This is where this Irish question is so important. The Bill at the moment does not relate to Ireland—at any rate, the Bill itself does not relate to Ireland in the sense that the instructions to immigration officers relate to Ireland. Irish unskilled immigrants will, as I understand it—I hope that the Home Secretary will correct me if I am wrong—for the time being at any rate be able to come to this country without a voucher and without any limitation of numbers and without restrictions when they get here. Therefore, it follows that the degree of control which the Home Office will exercise over unskilled immigrants from the Commonwealth will depend, at any rate in part, if not in whole, upon the number of unskilled immigrants who come into this country from Ireland, as they will be entitled to without a voucher, without control, without limitation of numbers.

Will the Home Secretary please say whether that is his understanding also of the operation of the Bill plus the draft instructions as we now have them? If it is, then I think we are entitled to ask the further question: to what extent will unskilled immigrants from the Commonwealth be prejudiced by the numbers of unskilled immigrants who continue to come into this country from Ireland? Will there be in the mind of the Home Secretary a point notionally at which the advent of unskilled Irish immigrants will thereby inevitably prejudice and limit the number of unskilled immigrants from—shall we say?—Jamaica or the West Indies? Is there a point at which some control over the Irish is, in the view of the Home Secretary, found to be necessary? That is the point which troubles my hon. Friends and myself. It is on that subject that the Bill and the instructions are silent, and we have had no clear indication from the Home Secretary of what is intended.

On one occasion the Attorney-General told us that some immigrants would be turned back through no fault of their own but because the quota had been satisfied. That would be a great hardship to any immigrant. What is far more likely to happen, however, is that some unskilled immigrants from the West Indies and elsewhere who have been able to enter the country quite easily up to now will find difficulty in obtaining vouchers in future.

Intending immigrants will like to know what plans they can make for the future. Hon. Members on both sides of the House realise that for economic reasons, quite apart from moral and Commonwealth reasons, we shall still require—and perhaps we shall not be able to dispense with—a certain number of unskilled immigrants. It is, therefore, important that intending immigrants should be given some idea—something that they cannot possibly discern from any speech so far made by the Government—of the approximate number who would be admitted, and whether there would be an aggregate limitation or a limitation based upon countries of origin.

These are the chief questions which concern my hon. Friends about these draft instructions. One reason why we press the Amendment is that, in the absence of clarification, Parliamentary control would obviously be far more satisfactory. This could be achieved if the Amendment were accepted. The House would then decide what instructions to immigration officers were to be embodied in Statutory Instruments.

I will endeavour to answer as many as possible of the detailed points which have been raised. The debate has taken place as a result of an undertaking that there would be time to consider the instructions before we began the Third Reading debate, in case it should prove to be out of order to consider those instructions during that debate.

Last week several hon. Members expressed their satisfaction at the fact that the Government had felt it right to make available a White Paper containing the draft instructions. The hon. Member for Salford, West (Mr. C. Royle) said that as a result of their publication he at least felt less miserable, if not happier. I will not put it higher than that. The hon. Member for Birmingham, Northfield (Mr. Chapman) said much the same thing, but was a little more cheerful than his hon. Friend.

My hon. Friend the Member for Hendon, South (Sir H. Lucas-Tooth) has expressed satisfaction that we have published a White Paper. It has made a considerable difference to our discussion. It has enabled the House to see the humane and, I hope, sensible way in which we hope to carry out the Bill's provisions. It has been said that we did not have in mind many of these points in the original instructions, and that they have been extracted from us by the House. We had in mind a policy exactly of this type when we introduced the Bill, but we have had the sense to listen to the points made by hon. Members on both sides of the House, including the hon. Member for Islington, East (Mr. Fletcher), and we have attempted to frame the instructions so that they will be in tune with the criticisms made.

The hon. Member for Islington, East asked whether the House could have an assurance that if amendments were made in the instructions, or they were revised, particulars of the alterations would be made available to the House. I have already said that we shall keep the House informed. That is equivalent to the pledge for which the hon. Member asked. We must make available to the House, in whatever is the most convenient form, any considerable amendment to the published instructions to immigration officers.

The hon. Member also asked whether the instructions, in their final form, would be made available. We rightly said that they would not be finalised before the Bill had been passed by another place. That is obvious, because it must go through the full Parliamentary process. When that has been done we shall finalise the instructions, and if it is the wish of the House we can make those available as well. I do not think that they will be fundamentally different from these, but we may have to take account of points which are raised in this debate and in debates in another place.

It has been our object to place as few restrictions as possible upon Commonwealth citizens coming here, subject to the primary object of the Bill, which is to control entry, fundamentally by employment. I emphasise this because the instructions to immigration officers, especially those governing the exercise of their discretion, are likely to cover only a relatively small, although important, part of the field. They cover cases where immigration officers have discretion. If a man has a voucher or an entry certificate he just comes in. To that extent a large proportion of the field lies outside the terms of the instructions, although they are important.

The purpose of the Amendment is the same as that of the Amendment which we discussed on 13th February, when the Committee accepted my view that it would not be right that all the instructions to be given under this subsection should take the form of statutory instruments. In moving the Amendment today the hon. Member for Huddersfield, West (Mr. Wade) quoted what I said on 13th February, namely, that the instructions were not suitable for expression in a legal way. I am sure that bon. Members who have read them will agree that they would be less useful as a guide to immigration officers, and as an indication to immigrants of our general policy, if they were put into the language of statutory instruments.

But there are other reasons why the Amendment is not acceptable. They have been hinted at by some hon. Members, including my hon. Friend the Member for Hendon, South. It is likely mat we shall need to alter instructions to immigration officers from time to time, or to amplify certain paragraphs. For instance, in a recent debate the right hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland (Mr. Grimond) asked about organised training schemes, and the production of documentary evidence of sponsorship.

I myself referred to certain schemes operating under the Colombo Plan. I have since been looking into the right hon. Gentleman's representations about apprenticeships, and I think that they would be covered by the certainty that such people would be admitted in the A category, but in case they are not covered I should like to reserve the position and to keep the instructions fluid, so that before finally publishing them—or even afterwards—I could meet cases of that sort which were not otherwise covered.

It is therefore important that I should not be tied down too much by the Statutory Instrument procedure. It would be cumbrous and tiresome in the extreme if we had to lay a Statutory Instrument before we could make any adjustment in the relationship between the Secretary of State and his officers. The Amendment would cover all the instructions to officers relating to their functions. I must reserve the position in relation to the later paragraphs of the White Paper. Paragraphs 40 and 41, for instance, which deals with refusal on grounds of criminal record and on grounds of security, respectively, will not be published. They must be reserved. I do not think that anybody would expect an instruction concerning security to be published by the Secretary of State.

5.0 p.m.

I think that it is pretty clear from the debate that the instructions are on more or less the right lines, but I should make it clear again, in addition to what I have said in answer to the hon. Member for Islington, East, that if there are any other points raised even on Third Reading which seem to be unsatisfactory we shall take account of them in making the final instructions.

The hon. Member for Huddersfield, West raised the question of paragraph 7 of the instructions which contains references to employment conditions and so forth. I want to stress that in that paragraph these words are used:
"It will not be necessary to use these powers frequently."
This is clearly the case. When the Bill was brought before us there was some feeling in Committee that to control and regulate employment was undesirable. We have entirely accepted the wish of the House of Commons in that matter. These powers are held completely in reserve so that an employment condition now can be applied only when there is a time condition. This means that it can apply only to visitors or students and it could apply to them only if the immigration officer thought that candidates for entry as visitors or students were going behind the voucher scheme and were attempting to get in illicitly in that way. Paragraph 7 is one of the most difficult paragraphs in the White Paper, and that is my answer to the hon. Member for Huddersfield, West.

The hon. Member for Northfield raised the question of an important sentence at the end of paragraph 20, which he read with paragraph 28 of the White Paper. My answer to his point is definite, and I hope that attention will be paid overseas as well as here to what I now have to say. Paragraph 20 says:
"Persons who require vouchers but have not obtained them should normally be refused admission."
I want to make clear that the way in which the Bill operates is through vouchers. Although the hon. Member for Islington, East was somewhat derogatory about the explanation given by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour, and although it is not in order to go into the matter in detail here, I should like to make it clear that my right hon. Friend described how A vouchers would be obtainable from employers, B vouchers from countries of origin or through the centre here, and C vouchers would be provided by the centre under arrangements made in consultation with authorities overseas.

This is the method by which the Bill will be operated. Therefore it is wise to give notice to intending immigrants that it is wiser to obtain a voucher or entry certificate—because we accepted the purpose of the Amendment moved by the hon. Member for Widnes (Mr. MacColl) about entry certificates. If a person obtains an entry certificate he can be certain of getting in past the immigration officer without trouble. All he has to do is to obtain the certificate from the country of origin.

It is not wise therefore for an immigrant to come into this country without making any arrangements at all. It is all right if he comes as a visitor or student or in the class of residents and relatives who are covered by these instructions. It is only when he tries to come on the basis of employment that it will be unwise for him not to get the matter regulated before he comes. I would advise students always to try to obtain entry certificates with the aid of their own universities or authorities in their own countries so as to save themselves doubt at the ports, but if they come and there is doubt at the ports then paragraphs 13 and 14 in particular will show that every care will be taken to let them in if we possibly can.

This is so much the case that although there is a reference to hours of study in paragraph 12 it is our intention that fewer hours should be accepted by the immigration officer at the port if it is thought that the immigrant is a genuine student in search of genuine study. There is always the opportunity to chance one's arm when one arrives at the port of entry, but it is essential, in the case of employment, for the immigrant to get himself fixed up with a voucher before he comes and advisable, in the case of an entry certificate, to obtain that certificate, especially if he is a student The whole aim of an entry certificate is to get the idea of the Bill understood overseas and then dealt with as sensibly as possible.

Before the right hon. Gentleman leaves the question of students, will he be good enough to deal with the rather unfortunate expression in paragraph 13 of the White Paper Which refers to a student and where it is provided that the immigration officer must be satisfied that

"his principal object in coming to the United Kingdom is to study …"?
We have urged that there are a number of cases where people come partly to work and partly to study. They would not be able to say that their principal object was to study but it might be one of their two only objects in coming here. This is a point on which we think an Amendment is required.

I shall, of course, think about what the hon. Member has said before we make the final version, but the object of the words is to stop students coming here who are not genuine and who want to avoid the voucher system. The case of the Kennington Commercial College, to which the hon. Member referred and which I have personally investigated, and other cases, will be covered.

If there is doubt, my advice to students would be to get either an entry certificate or a voucher. The right way for people who are trainees or who are taking up apprenticeships is to obtain a voucher, and I should like to make it clear that they will be given an A voucher if they seek a genuine objective. It is our desire to encourage Commonwealth students. There are a great many here today and we do not want the Bill to have the effect of stopping young Commonwealth men and women coming here to study. There is no reason why we should stop them. It would be contrary to our object.

The hon. Member for Northfield raised the question of relatives and I will see whether it is possible for relatives to carry with them the documents to which he referred. That is the main point, but I should also stress that in addition to trying to see that they carry the documents with them, of which I will take a note, I should say that any relative who is in doubt should obtain an entry certificate before entering the United Kingdom. The hon. Member asked whether consultation was going on with overseas countries. This point has been raised by two speakers. We are having full and detailed consultations with all the Governments overseas on these matters. I think that that partly accounts for the greatly improved attitude overseas as well as in the House, because it is now seen how it is intended that the Bill should work and it is seen that we must work it with overseas authorities as well as our own. This is having a good effect overseas.

Another point raised by the hon. Member for Northfield was the question of a limit period under paragraph 7, and he asked whether there would be restrictions on employment. I think that I have answered that in dealing with a previous point. The hon. Member went on to raise a question which he attempted to raise when my right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour was speaking. He attaches it to this Amendment and he wants to know how Parliament will know the number. The Amendment provides a convenient peg on which to hang a question like that. The hon. Member says that if Parliament cannot know the number it should be regulated by statutory instruments.

I do not accept that the instructions should be under Statutory Instrument. It would spoil them. Nor can I go further than the Minister of Labour and say that we can announce ahead the number in category C. There is a slight misconception in the language of the hon. Member for Northfield which it is very valuable for me to correct before the Bill goes to Third Reading. He asked, and used the expression, how the immigration officers could know how many they would be permitted to admit and how entries would be cut off at a particular figure. We were also asked by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for South Shields (Mr. Ede) how the situation would be dealt with if one person rolled in at Southampton and another at Newcastle-upon-Tyne at the same time and how the immigration officer would know whether he should out one of those off. That implies a misunderstanding of the system. It also means that my opening remarks have not been fully understood. It will be seen that I have attended almost every hour of the debate and know most of the speeches.

The sphere of discretion for immigration officers is only in relation to the classes referred to in the instructions. When a voucher is granted, it will be granted by the Ministry of Labour. Therefore, the limitation in class C, which is the only place where there will be a limitation, is made by the Ministry of Labour. Therefore, the immigration officers simply have to judge whether a person has a voucher or an entry certificate. They have to concern themselves not about numbers, but only about credentials.

I hope that I have made the situation plain and thereby removed a considerable doubt about the operation of the Bill, which has been difficult to understand. I only hope that it will work out well. As my right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour said, it is our wish that it should work out well.

Does this mean that there will not be any actual figure of limitation? The figure of 40,000, for example, has been used constantly.

It means that I cannot announce the number ahead, nor could the Minister of Labour, because that would be unfair both to us and to the immigrants. We want to control category C in the interests of the immigrants, socially and economically, and in the interests of this country. If the position is that in some year we think that the number coming in can be enlarged, the discretion will be left to the Government of the day. That is much fairer both to immigrants and to the country.

An important corollary to this is the means by which the House will know the details. I have sufficient knowledge of this House to know that if it wants to know something, it finds it out. It will be open to hon. Members, on either side, to put down questions or otherwise to interrogate the Government about the operation of the Bill. In that way, and in the early review which we have arranged—it will be remembered that we have arranged a review of Part I of the Bill at the end of 1963—we shall be able to give the information that hon. Members desire. That, however, is a different matter from deciding the number today, which would be as unfair to the immigrants as to the administration. I hope that I have made the position clear to the hon. Member for Northfield, who raised many interesting points in his address.

A detailed question has been asked concerning the Irish. I must make it clear that if the Irish come to an ordinary port—that is to say, not one of the Irish ports, where there is no immigration control—they will be governed, like anybody else, by paragraph 3 of the instructions. This is the legal position under the Bill. ID those instructions, the term "Commonwealth citizen" is used as an abbreviation for a Commonwealth citizen who by virtue of Clause 1 is subject to immigration control. What is meant, therefore, as will be seen from Clause 1 (4) in particular, is that the Irish would be subject to the Bill if they chose to come in by one of the other ports.

My hon. Friend the Member for Worcester (Mr. Walker) asked whether wide circulation could be given to the instructions. I have already arranged that that shall be done. When the final version is made, we shall see that it is widely distributed overseas. The hon. Member for Bethnal Green (Mr. Holman) referred to various aspects of marital associations. The words used by the hon. Member—" tending to encourage permanence of association"—will be taken into account by the immigration officers. These are the points which have been raised in the course of the debate and which I have been only too pleased to answer and, I hope, clarify.

May we be just a little more clear on what is for some of us the surprising discovery that if a Southern Irishman arrives at a non-Irish port, he will come in under paragraph 3 of the instructions? How will a Southern Irishman coming in in those circumstances be distinguished?

5.15 p.m.

To explain how the Bill will operate, I must refer to Clause 1 (4), which states:

"This Part of this Act applies to British protected persons and citizens of the Republic of Ireland".
They can, therefore, be identified at these ports and will be treated the same as any other Commonwealth citizen.

The Home Secretary knows that I sit at his feet in this House and always take great notice of everything he says; in fact, some of the things he says I really believe. This afternoon, however, the right hon. Gentleman has rather blinded us on technical points Like the hon. Member for Wokingham (Mr. van Straubenzee), I am still a little concerned about the Irish situation. This is an illustration of the right hon. Gentleman's earlier remark, that if hon. Members want to find things out they have a way of doing so. On the Irish question, we seem to be in the position that we cannot find out the exact position. It may well be too late before we can get the information, and it certainly will be too late to use Question Time in the House for this purpose.

The Home Secretary's objections to the Amendments seem to be based purely on technical difficulties. He has spoken of the situation arising that we cannot put all these matters into a Statutory Instrument. I should like to remind the right hon. Gentleman of the halcyon days of 1950–51, before the House had an 11.30 p.m. limit to Prayers, when hon. Friends of his used to keep the House up all night against the Labour Government praying against our Statutory Instruments. I was a Government Whip at the time, and I know well what that meant.

In those Statutory Instruments, and particularly in the Explanatory Memoranda, there was not a shortage of words. I clearly remember hon. Members opposite, who were then in Opposition, occupying the time of the House on purpose to read paragraph after paragraph from the Explanatory Memoranda of those Statutory Instruments. I suggest to the Home Secretary that we should have the instructions, as we now see them or in their ultimate form, in the shape of a Statutory Instrument.

We have had a good debate, and our position has been made clear. Even at this late stage, however, I ask for fresh consideration to be given. Great anxiety has been shown from many parts of the House about the terms of the Bill and the circumstances in which immigrants will enter the country. Our anxiety is by no means allayed. Because of that anxiety, which still exists, we are concerned that the House should have as much power as possible.

Throughout our debates, on Second Reading, in Committee and on Report, the Home Secretary has spoken about the liberal application of the Bill. I pay him the compliment once more that it seems that there will be liberal application of it arising from the instructions. That does not, however, alter the fact that this House will lose its control completely, when the Bill goes through in its present form, if the instructions are not tabled as a Statutory Instrument. That is a safeguard that the House should have in a Measure which affects the whole Commonwealth. It would be another way of liberally applying the terms of the Bill.

I cannot help but express deep disappointment that the right hon. Gentleman has not seen fit to accept the Amendment proposed by the Liberal Party and Amendments which have been tabled in similar terms by my hon. Friends. I wish that at this moment, or if not at this moment when the Bill reaches another place, steps might be taken to see that the Statutory Instrument procedure shall obtain, and I make that appeal in the hope that a change of view will come about in the mind of the Government.

I have listened to this debate this afternoon with great interest. It reminds me of some of the problems which confronted me from 1945 to 1948 with regard to aliens. It was at the time when, if there had been no aliens law, the only restriction on people coming into this country from Europe would have been the carrying capacity of ships and aeroplanes. It was necessary, though very much against the grain in my case, to impose at first very severe restrictions in view of the plight this country was in, and then steadily to ease them.

I think that what will be required here will be administration by common sense, and I hope that I am not giving any secret away when I say that the heaviest burden will fall on the Minister of State or on the Under-Secretary of State at the Home Office, in dealing with the awkward requests that come from immigration officers. On occasion, they will have to go to the right hon. Gentleman the Home Secretary and say, "This is a very tricky one. There are arguments on both sides, and my inclination is to go one way. What do you think about it?" I have no doubt that the Secretary of State, if he is wise, would say, "Seeing that you have considered this at considerable length, I think I had better adopt your recommendation." There might be an occasion when that is not very easy for the Secretary of State, because in the end he will have to answer in this House for any mistake that might be made by an immigration officer or by the Under-Secretary. I hope I am not infringing trade union rules too much in giving that indication of the way in which, so far as I can gather from my negotiations with the Home Office in regard to the admission of aliens, the work still seems to be done.

The worst possible thing that could happen would be if somebody is ruled out on a mere technicality. It is a very serious thing if, no matter with what care the statutory instrument or some other document that is generally available is worked out, on a pure technicality some wretched girl is ruled out, possibly in the kind of case mentioned by my hon. Friend the Member for Bethnal Green (Mr. Holman). When people whose religion allows them to have more than one wife in other countries turn up here, we admit one of them and then the other applies, we know that we cannot refer it to the Archbishop of Canterbury. This is something which has to be settled, first, by the immigration officers themselves, and, if there is some difficulty about it, by one of the Under-Secretaries, and finally by the Secretary of State.

Would the right hon. Gentleman say what he would do in that particular case?

I would want all the details in front of me, but I am inclined to recognise that some of these things in other countries are decided not by a Statute, but by custom, and that is particularly true in the West Indies. I have explained this twice before to the House, and will not delay the House any further now.

Therefore, while I hope that the final version of the instructions will give as much information as possible, I still hope that they will be mainly settled by rules of common sense at each stage. I have no doubt that if that is done, in the course of a little while, a kind of case law will be built up which all the people who actually have to take decisions will know, and they will then apply common sense to the kind of very intricate problem presented. If they get involved in any particularly difficult problem, I have no doubt that the hon. Member for Hendon, South (Sir H. Lucas-Tooth), in view of his former association with the Department, will always be willing to give them counsel's opinion, even on the difficult kind of point which I have just raised.

I am still not clear about the quota, because the Minister of Labour, in a speech which I found singularly obscurantist, used the words and said there would be a quota. I gathered that, whether there is a quota or not, everybody wanting to come to this country will be well advised to get either a voucher or a certificate before coming here. I hope that there will be some arrangement inside the various Commonwealth territories in which this Measure will operate at long range whereby people can get the kind of assurance that will enable them to feel when they come here that they will be admitted, and that there will not be too much of what the right hon. Gentleman called "chancing the arm". Unnecessary trouble and friction at the ports of entry could quite easily make this Bill, when it becomes an Act, a very considerable cause of friction between the various

Division No. 108.]

AYES

[5.30 p.m.

Abse, LeoCullen, Mrs. AliceGrimond, Rt. Hon. J.
Ainsley, WilliamDarling, GeorgeGunter, Ray
Albu, AustenDavies, Harold (Leek)Hall, Rt. Hn. Glenvil (Colne Valley)
Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)Davies, Ifor (Gower)Hamilton, William (West Fife)
Allen, Scholefield (Crewe)Deer, GeorgeHannan, William
Awbery, StanDelargy, HughHart, Mrs. Judith
Bacon, Mite AliceDempsey, JamesHayman, F. H.
Baxter, William (Stirlingshire, W.)Diamond, JohnHenderson, Rt. Hn. Arthur (Rwly Regis)
Beaney AlanDodds, NormanHerbison, Miss Margaret
Bellenger, Rt. Hon. F. J.Driberg, TomHilton, A. V.
Bennett, J. (Glasgow, Bridgeton)Ede, Rt. Hon. C.Holman, Percy
Benson, Sir GeorgeEdwards, Rt. Hon. Ness (Caerphilly)Holt, Arthur
Blackburn, F.Edwards, Robert (Bilston)Houghton, Douglas
Blyton, WilliamEdwards, Walter (Stepney)Howell, Charles A. (Perry Barr)
Boardman, H.Fernyhough, E.Howell, Denis (Small Heath)
Bowden, Rt. Hn. H. W. (Leics. S. W.)Finch, HaroldHoy, James H.
Bowles, FrankFletcher, EricHughes, Cledwyn (Anglesey)
Boyden, JamesFoot, Michael (Ebbw Vale)Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)
Braddock, Mrs. E. M.Forman, J. C.Hunter, A. E.
Brockway, A. FennerFraser, Thomas (Hamilton)Hynd, H. (Accrington)
Brown, Rt. Hon. George (Belper)Gaitskell Rt. Hon. HughHynd, John (Attercliffe)
Brown, Thomas (Ince)Galpern, Sir MyerIrving, Sydney (Dartford)
Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.)George, Lady MeganL.loyd (Crmrthn)Janner, Sir Barnett
Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green)Ginsburg, DavidJeger, George
Callaghan, JamesGooch, E. C.Jenkins, Roy (Stechford)
Castle, Mrs. BarbaraGourlay, HarryJohnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.)
Chapman, DonaldGrey, CharlesJones, Rt. Hn. A, Creech (Wakefield)
Cliffe, MichaelGriffiths, David (Rother Valley)Jones, Dan (Burnley)
Cronin, JohnGriffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly)Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham)

parts of the Commonwealth, unless some such arrangement as that is made.

I am bound to say that what the right hon. Gentleman said this afternoon about the Irish has not cleared my mind very much. In his Second Reading speech, he quoted what I said in 1948 about the Irish in this particular category of things, and I have heard nothing in the course of discussions on this Bill that has made me think that that is not still the best way in which to approach the problem. In the past few days, I have been reading the account of Peel's difficulties with the Irish, first as Chief Secretary in Ireland and afterwards when he was Home Secretary. I find that even as long ago as that, before Roman Catholic emancipation, he had reached the conclusion that it is no good trying to adopt logic as one's guide when one is dealing with Irish problems, because the Irish will always find their way either through or under any logical application or any rule that one attempts to make.

I shall vote for this Amendment in the belief that there are some things that can be better done by Statutory Instrument, but I would not like to see Statutory Instruments applied to the whole range of the difficulties that arise on this particular phase of this Bill.

Question put, That those words be there inserted in the Bill:—

The House divided: Ayes 184, Noes 271.

Jones, T. W. (Merioneth)Owen, WillStones, William
Kelley, RichardPadley, W. E.Strachey, Rt. Hon. John
Key, Rt. Hon. C. W.Paget, R. T.Strauss, Rt. Hn. G. R. (Vauxhall)
King, Dr. HoracePanned, Charles (Leeds W,)Stross, Dr. Barnett (Stoke-on-Trent, C.)
Lawson, GeorgePargiter, G. A.Swain, Thomas
Lee, Frederick (Newton)Parkin, B. T.Swingler, Stephen
Lewis, Arthur (West Ham, N.)Pavitt, LaurenceTaylor, Bernard (Mansfield)
Lipton, MarcusPearson, Arthur (Pontypridd)Thomson, G. M. (Dundee, E.)
Mabon, Dr. J. DicksonPeart, FrederickThornton, Ernest
MacColl, JamesPentland, NormanThorpe, Jeremy
McInnes, JamesPlummer, Sir LeslieTimmons, John
McKay, John (Wallsend)Popplewell, ErnestUngoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn
Mackie, John (Enfield, East)Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)Wainwright, Edwin
McLeavey, FrankProbert, ArthurWarbey, William
MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling)Randall, HarryWatkins, Tudor
Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.)Rankin, JohnWeitzman, David
Manuel, A. C.Redhead, E. C.Wells, Percy (Faversham)
Mapp, CharlesRhodes, H.White, Mrs. Eirene
Marsh, RichardRoberts, Albert (Normanton)Whitlock, William
Mason, RoyRoberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon)Wilkins, W. A.
Mayhew, ChristopherRobertson, John (Paisley)Willey, Frederick
Mellish, R. J.Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.)Williams, D. J. (Neath)
Mendelson, J. J.Rogers, G. H. R. (Kensington, N.)Williams, LI (Abertillery)
Milne, EdwardRoss, WilliamWilliams, W. R. (Openshaw)
Mitchison, G. R.Royle, Charles (Salford, West)Williams W. T. (Warrington)
Monslow, WalterShinwell, Rt. Hon. E.Willis, E. G. (Edinburgh, E.)
Moody, A. S.Short, EdwardWilson, Rt. Hon. Harold (Huyton)
Morris, JohnSlater, Mrs. Harriet (Stoke, N.)Woodburn, Rt. Hon. A.
Mort, D. L.Slater, Joseph (Sedgefield)Woof, Robert
Moyle, ArthurSmith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)Yates, Victor (Ladywood)
Mulley, FrederickSnow, Julian
Neal, HaroldSpriggs, Leslie

TELLERS FOR THE AYES:

Oliver, G. H.Steele, ThomasMr. Wade and Dr. Broughton
Oram, A. E.Stonehouse, John

NOES

Agnew, Sir PeterCorfield, F. V.Hall, John (Wycombe)
Allason, JamesCostain, A. P.Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N. W.)
Arbuthnot, JohnCoulson, MichaelHarris, Reader (Heston)
Ashton, Sir HubertCourtney, Cdr. AnthonyHarrison, Brian (Maldon)
Atkins, HumphreyCraddock, Sir BeresfordHarrison, Col Sir Harwood (Eye)
Barber, AnthonyCritchley, JulianHarvey, John (Walthamstow, E.)
Barlow, Sir JohnCrosthwalte-Eyre, Col Sir OliverHarvie Anderson, Miss
Barter, JohnCunningham, KnoxHastings, Stephen
Batsford, BrianCurran, CharlesHay, John
Baxter, Sir Beverley (Southgate)Currie, G. B. H.Heald, Rt. Hon Sir Lionel
Beamish, Col Sir TuftonDalkeith, Earl ofHendry, Forbes
Bell, RonaldDance, JamesHill, Dr. Rt. Hon. Charles (Luton)
Bevins, Rt. Hon. Reginaldd'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir HenryHill, Mrs. Eveline (Wythenshawe)
Biffen, Johnde Ferranti, BasilHill, J. E. B. (S. Norfolk)
Biggs-Davison, JohnDigby, Simon WingfieldHirst, Geoffrey
Birch, Rt. Hon. NigelDonaldson, Cmdr. C. E. M.Hobson, Sir John
Bishop, F. P.Doughty, CharlesHocking, Philip N.
Black Sir CyrilDrayson, G. B.Holland, Philip
Bossom, Clivedu Cann, EdwardHollingworth, John
Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hon. J.Duncan, Sir JamesHornby, R. P.
Boyle, Sir EdwardEden, JohnHughes Hallett, Vive-Admiral John
Brewis, JohnElliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton)Hughes-Young, Michael
Bromley-Davenport, Lt. -Col Sir WalterElliott, R. W.(Nwcstle-upon-Tyne, N.)Hulbert, Sir Norman
Brooman-White, R.Emery, PeterHurd, Sir Anthony
Brown, Alan (Tottenham)Emmet, Hon. Mrs. EvelynHutchison, Michael Clarke
Browne, Percy (Torrington)Errington, Sir EricIrvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)
Buck, AntonyErroll, Rt. Hon. F. J.Jackson, John
Bullard, DenysFarey-Jones, F. W.James, David
Bullus, Wing Commander EricFarr, JohnJenkins, Robert (Dulwich)
Burden, F. A.Finlay, GraemeJennings, J. C.
Butler, Rt. Hn. R. A. (Saffron Walden)Fisher, NigelJohnson, Dr. Donald (Carlisle)
Campbell, Sir David (Belfast, S.)Fletcher-Cooke, CharlesJohnson, Eric (Blackley)
Campbell, Gordon (Moray & Nairn)Forrest, GeorgeJohnson Smith, Geoffrey
Carr, Compton (Barons Court)Fraser, Ian (Plymouth, Sutton)Kerans, Cdr. J. S.
Cary, Sir RobertFreeth, DenzilKerby, Capt. Henry
Channon, H. P. G.Galbraith, Hon. T. G. D.Kershaw, Anthony
Chataway, ChristopherGammans, LadyKimball, Marcus
Chichester-Clark, R.Gardner, EdwardKitson, Timothy
Clark, Henry (Antrim, N.)George, J. C. (Pollok)Langford-Holt, Sir John
Clark, William (Nottingham, S.)Gilmour, Sir JohnLeather, E. H. C.
Clarke, Brig. Terence (Portsmth, W.)Glyn, Dr. Alan (Clapham)Leburn, Gilmour
Cleaver, LeonardGoodhart, PhilipLegge-Bourke, Sir Harry
Cole, NormanGoodhew, VictorLewis, Kenneth (Rutland)
Collard, RichardCough, FrederickLilley, F. J. P.
Cooke, RobertGower, RaymondLindsay, Sir Martin
Cooper, A. E.Grant-Ferris, Wg. Cdr. R.Linstead, Sir Hugh
Cordeaux, Lt.-Col. J. K.Gresham Cooke, R.Litchfield, Capt. John
Cordle, JohnGurden, HaroldLongbottom, Charles

Longden, GilbertPike, Miss MervynTalbot, John E.
Loveys, Walter H.Pilkington, Sir RichardTapsell, Peter
Lucas, Sir JocelynPitman, Sir JamesTaylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)
Lucas-Tooth, Sir HughPitt, Miss EdithTaylor, Edwin (Bolton, E.)
Mac Arthur, IanPott, PercivallTaylor, Frank (M'ch'st'r, Moss-Side)
McLaren, MartinPowell, Rt. Hon. J. EnochTaylor, W. J. (Bradford, N.)
McLaughlin, Mrs. PatriciaPrice, David (Eastleigh)Teeling, Sir William
Maclay, Rt. Hon. JohnPrior, J. M. L.Temple, John M.
Maclean, Sir Fitzroy (Bute & N. Ayrs.)Prior-Palmer, Brig Sir OthoThomas, Leslie (Canterbury)
Macleod, Rt. Hn. lain (Enfield, W.)Profumo, Rt. Hon. JohnThomas, Peter (Conway)
MacLeod, John (Ross & Cromarty)Proudfoot, WilfredThompson, Kenneth (Walton)
McMaster, Stanley R.Quennell, Miss J. M.Thompson, Richard (Croydon, s.)
Macpherson, Niall (Dumfries)Ramsden, JamesThorneycroft, Rt. Hon. Peter
Maddan, MartinRawlinson, PeterThornton-Kemsley, Sir Colin
Maltland, Sir JohnRedmayne, Rt. Hon. MartinTiley, Arthur (Bradford, W.)
Manningham-Buller, Rt. Hn Sir R.Rees, HughTilney, John (Wavertree)
Markham, Major Sir FrankRenton, DavidTouche, Rt. Hon Sir Gordon
Marlowe, AnthonyRidley, Hon. NicholasTurton, Rt. Hon. R. H.
Marples, Rt. Hon. ErnestRidsdale, JulianTweedsmuir, Lady
Marshall, DouglasRobinson, Rt Hn Sir R. (B'pool, S.)van Straubenzee, W. R.
Marten, NeilRoots, WilliamVane, W. M. F.
Mathew, Robert (Honiton)Ropner, Col Sir LeonardVaughan-Morgan, Rt. Hon Sir John
Matthews, Gordon (Meriden)Royle, Anthony (Richmond, Surrey)Vickers, Miss Joan
Mawby, RayRussell, RonaldVosper, Rt. Hon. Dennis
Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J.Sandys, Rt. Hon. DuncanWakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)
Mills, StrattonScott-Hopkins, JamesWakefield, Sir Wavell (St. M'lebone)
Montgomery, FergusSeymour, LeslieWalker, Peter
More, Jasper (Ludlow)Sharples, RichardWall, Patrick
Morgan, WilliamShaw, M.Ward, Dame Irene
Morrison, JohnSkeet, T. H. H.Webster, David
Nabarro, GeraldSmith, Dudley (Br'ntf'd & Chiswick)Wells, John (Maidstone)
Nicholls, Sir HarmarSmithers, PeterWhitelaw, William
Nicholson, Sir GodfreySmyth, Brig, Sir John (Norwood)Williams, Dudley (Exeter)
Nugent, Rt. Hon Sir RichardSpearman, Sir AlexanderWilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Oakshott, Sir HendrieSpeir, RupertWise, A. R.
Osborn, John (Hallam)Stanley, Hon. RichardWolrige-Gordon, Patrick
Osborne, Sir Cyril (Louth)Stevens, GeoffreyWoodhouse, C. M.
Page, Graham (Crosby)Steward, Harold (Stockport S.)Woodnutt, Mark
Page, John (Harrow, West)Stodart, J. A.Woollam, John
Panned, Norman (Kirkdale)Stoddart-Scott, Col Sir MalcolmWorsley, Marcus
Peel, JohnStorey Sir Samuel
Peyton, JohnStudholme, Sir Henry

TELLERS FOR THE NOES:

Pickthorn, Sir KennethSummers, Sir Spencer (Aylesbury)Mr. Frank Pearson and
Mr. Michael Hamilton

First Schedule—(Supplementary Provi Sions As To Control Of Immigration)

I beg to move, in page 15, line 26, after "documents", to insert:

"of any description specified by that officer, being a description appearing to that officer to be relevant for the purposes of the examination".

I think that it would be convenient for the House to discuss with this the two next following Government Amendments in lines 27 and 31.

Yes, Mr. Deputy-Speaker; it would be convenient to discuss the three together.

In Committee, I undertook to consider the drafting of paragraph 1 (3) of the First Schedule which deals with the power to demand documents and the power to search for documents with a view to ensuring that the immigration officer's power to demand documents is limited to those relevant to his examination of the immigrant or visitor under the Bill.

These three Amendments meet just that purpose. They provide that the immigration officer must specify the description of the documents he wishes to see and also that the documents must be of a description appearing to him to be relevant. I hope that the House will regard this as an improvement.

I raised this matter by an Amendment in Committee, and I am greatly obliged to the hon. and learned Gentleman for meeting the point we had in mind. I am a little puzzled as to why his words are better than mine, but no doubt the lawyers will know the answer, as they do on so many occasions.

What the Government propose does help. The immigration officer will now be limited in two ways, first, in the general carrying out of his duties under Part I and, second, more specifically in regard to documents, since the documents he demands must be relevant for the purposes of the examination. He will not be able to demand that someone should empty his pockets on the table and show what he has in the way of documents. I am glad that the proposed Amendments cover that point.

Amendment agreed to.

Further Amendments made: In page 15, line 27, after "documents", insert "of any such description".

In page 15, line 31, at end insert "such".—[ Mr. Renton.]

I beg to move, in page 15, line 36, after "examination" to insert:

"(not exceeding seven days)".
In Committee, the hon. and learned Member for Ipswich (Mr. D. Foot) moved an Amendment limiting to thirty days the length of time for which an immigration officer could keep a document under the powers given him by the First Schedule to detain a document handed to him by an immigrant or found on an immigrant after search. I persuaded the hon. and learned Gentleman to withdraw his Amendment in order that we might find a more suitable form of words. I did not think that it was necessary to have such a long period as thirty days for the retention of such document.

The Amendment provides that the period shall be seven days. It will be very rare that an immigration officer will want to retain documents for even as long as that, but there might be a case in which it was necessary to do so for so long. I remind the House that there is the further safeguard that the document must be retained only for the purposes of the examination and not for any other purpose.

Amendment agreed to.

5.45 p.m.

I beg to move, in page 15, line 42, after "inspector" to insert:

"or by any qualified person carrying out any test or examination required by a medical inspector".
We had a fairly considerable discussion on this point in Committee. I undertook that I would put down an Amendment in the sense then indicated. The purpose of this Amendment is to put beyond doubt the power of a medical inspector to require an immigrant to undergo an X-ray examination or any other kind of examination which the medical inspector thinks necessary. It is highly desirable also, for practical reasons, that the examination should be carried out not necessarily by the medical inspector himself but by a qualified radiologist or, according to the nature of the test or examination, by some other qualified person. This will be possible under the Amendment.

Amendment agreed to.

I beg to move, in page 19, line 34, to leave out from "comply" to "with" in line 35.

This Amendment deals with certain wording in paragraph 8 of the First Schedule, Part II, providing for control over seamen. In sub-paragraph (3), it is provided:

"An immigration officer may by notice in writing given at any time to any Commonwealth citizen to whom sub-paragraph (2) of this paragraph applies, authorise him to remain in the United Kingdom either without conditions or subject to any such conditions as could be imposed under section two of this Act, including in particular conditions requiring him—
  • (a) to leave the United Kingdom in a specified ship or aircraft; or
  • (b) to leave the United Kingdom within a specified period in accordance with arrangements for his repatriation;
  • and where such a notice is given to any person, he shall not be treated as a person to whom admission to the United Kingdom has been refused unless, in the case where he is subject to conditions requiring him to leave the United Kingdom as aforesaid, he fails to comply or is reasonably suspected of intending to fail to comply with those conditions."

    The object of the Amendment is to omit the words

    "or is reasonably suspected of intending to fail to comply".

    This is not the case of a suspected criminal being found loitering on premises with intent to commit a felony. It is not suggested even that the seaman in question is intending to fail to comply but merely that the immigration officer reasonably suspects him of intending to fail to comply.

    We have heard a good deal about the amount of discretion given to immigration officers. It seems to me that this sub-paragraph imposes too great a burden on the immigration officer as well as putting the person in question in the very difficult position of having to prove that he is not rightly suspected of intending to fail to comply with the conditions. I need not elaborate. The point is whether it is reasonable to insert such words as these, and I hope that they will be deleted.

    I concede at once that these words are unusual and, on the face of it, appear to be somewhat arbitrary. But we are dealing with a rather unusual situation. The wording of the paragraph itself is a little complicated, but perhaps I can explain what the situation is. Then the House can better judge whether or not these words are appropriate.

    Take the case of a Commonwealth seaman who arrives at a port here, where the master of the ship wants to arrange for him to leave the ship and go back to his own country under alternative arrangements. Or there is the case of a seaman who may fall ill and be admitted to hospital here on the understanding that the owners of the ship will arrange his repatriation when he is better. Those are two examples of cases which could arise.

    It will be generally accepted—because there has been no adverse comment about it during our discussions—that the power given earlier in paragraph 8 (3) of the First Schedule is a necessary one. It is a power to impose special conditions; if the seaman fails to comply with them he can be detained and the master of the ship is made responsible for his removal. But the difficulty which arises is that the seamen may make it clear that he does not intend to leave in accordance with the arrangements made. He may even tear up the notice given to him and trample on it or say something which makes it quite plain that he is not going to go.

    Various circumstances could arise in which it became extremely doubtful whether he was going to go. If such circumstances should arise, it would be rather absurd that an immigration officer could take no action at all until the time for repatriation was past and the ship or aircraft had gone. The only result would be that there would have to be all the palaver of fresh repatriation arrangements, and the seaman would have to be held in custody until the arrival of the new time fixed for his departure.

    It is in the interests of all concerned, possibly indeed of the seaman himself, that, in an appropriate case, he can be detained and placed on board the ship on which he is due to leave. That is the effect of these words which the hon. Member for Huddersfield, West (Mr. Wade) wants to leave out. I agree that it is an unusual power to give, but I should have thought it was highly desirable to retain it.

    Would not this mean that an immigration officer could have a man deported before there could be an intervention by someone applying to the Home Secretary or exercising an appeal against the officer's decision?

    No. I do not think that the fact that the immigration officer had himself reasonably suspected that the man was not going to go, say, the next day, would in any way prevent him from making representations to the Home Secretary. As we know from our experience under the aliens law, aliens who are detained do make representations. Quite candidly, I do not think that the hon. Gentleman's point is an answer to the case I have put.

    I am unhappy about this, and that is why I propose to say something. The point I was trying to make was that these words mean that a person shall not be treated as having been prohibited from entering unless he fails to comply or is suspected of not intending to comply with the conditions. If the immigration officer suspects that the man concerned is not going to comply, he can thereupon remove him from this country and thereby prevent him from actually exercising some form of appeal either to the Home Office or to somebody else.

    In other words, that person may be refusing to comply for the moment in order to make some formal appeal. If these words are left in, however, the immigration officer can say, "I do not think that you are going to comply with the conditions. I could not care less about your appeal. I have the power to make you go, and you are going."

    I have already spoken twice, Mr. Deputy-Speaker. I do not know what the position is now.

    We are in some difficulty here. I understood that the Minister of State had the Floor. If he is interrupted, it can only be by short questions.

    I, too, am unhappy about this. It is not good enough for the Minister of State to say that in certain conditions the Home Office might have to go through "palaver"—I think that was his word. He said that, in certain conditions, the Home Office might have to go through a great deal of "palaver" to give effect to certain circumstances in which it thought it might have reasonable grounds for suspecting that someone was intending to fail to comply with certain conditions.

    We are concerned not so much with saving the Home Office, in a few isolated cases, from going through a certain amount of trouble, but chiefly with doing justice to an individual. If the point at issue is doing justice to an individual rather than doing injustice to him, then it is small price to pay that the Home Office may have a certain amount of trouble.

    The hon. Gentleman has quite misunderstood the position. We are envisaging circumstances in which repatriation arrangements have already been made. During the time that they are being made, and up to the moment they expire, there is an opportunity of making representation to the Home Office. There seems little point in having similar arrangements made all over again unless

    Division No. 109.]

    AYES

    [6.0 p.m.

    Agnew, Sir PeterBuck, AntonyCraddock, Sir Beresford
    Allason, JamesBui lard, DenysCritchley, Julian
    Arbuthnot, JohnBullus, Wing Commander EricCrosthwaite-Eyre, Col. Sir Oliver
    Ashton, Sir HubertBurden, F. A.Cunningham, Knox
    Atkins, HumphreyButler, Rt. Hn. R. A.(Saffron Walden)Curran, Charles
    Barlow, Sir JohnCampbell, Sir David (Belfast, S.)Currie, G. B. H.
    Barter, JohnCampbell, Gordon (Moray & Nairn)Dalkeith, Earl of
    Batsford, BrianCarr, Compton (Barons Court)Dance, James
    Baxter, Sir Beverley (Southgate)Cary, Sir Robertd'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry
    Beamish, Col. Sir TuftonChannon, H. P. G.Deedes, W. F.
    Bell, RonaldChataway, Christopherde Ferranti, Basil
    Bevins, Rt. Hon. ReginaldChichester-Clark, R.Digby, Simon Wingfield
    Bitten, JohnClark, Henry (Antrim, N.)Donaldson, Cmdr. C. E. M.
    Biggs-Davison, JohnClark, William (Nottingham, S.)Doughty, Charles
    Birch, Rt. Hon. NigelClarke, Brig. Terence (Portsmth, W.)Drayson, G. B.
    Bishop, F. P.Cleaver, Leonarddu Cann, Edward
    Black, Sir CyrilCole, NormanDuncan, Sir James
    Bossom, CliveCollard, RichardEden, John
    Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hon. J.Cooke, RobertElliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton)
    Boyle, Sir EdwardCooper, A. E.Elliott, R. W.(Nwcastle-upon-Tyne, N.)
    Braine, BernardCordeaux, Lt.-Col. J. K.Emery, Peter
    Brewis, JohnCordle, JohnEmmet, Hon. Mrs. Evelyn
    Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. Sir WalterCorfield, F. V.Errington, Sir Eric
    Brooman-White, R.Costain, A. P.Erroll, Rt. Hon. F. J.
    Brown, Alan (Tottenham)Coulson, MichaelFarey-Jones, F. W.
    Browne, Percy (Torrington)Courtney, Cdr. AnthonyFarr, John

    there is a really good reason for it. We do not see that there really is such good reason.

    I think that I am entitled to continue what I was saying, because I gather that the Minister of State got up not to make a speech but to interrupt me.

    I am far from happy about this. What worries me as much as anything is that a provision of this kind, which might mean injustice, is just the sort of thing that this House ought not to allow to be slipped into a Bill a minute before the Guillotine falls. Issues of principle are involved, and the House ought to weigh, on the one hand, the possibility of doing injustice to an individual and, on the other hand, the arguments put by the Minister of State about administrative convenience or inconvenience. It is all very unfortunate. This is not the first time it has happened that, as a result of this mischievous and iniquitous Guillotine, we cannot ventilate these matters.

    I am prepared to give an undertaking that this matter will be looked at in another place. I cannot say any more now, but I appreciate what the hon. Gentleman has said and willingly give that undertaking.

    Question put, That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Bill:—

    The House divided: Ayes 274, Noes 179.

    Finlay, GraemeLongbottom, CharlesRopner, Col Sir Leonard
    Fisher, NigelLongden, GilbertRoyle, Anthony (Richmond, Surrey)
    Fletcher-Cooke, CharlesLoveys, Walter H.Russell, Ronald
    Forrest, GeorgeLucas, Sir JocelynSandys, Rt. Hon. Duncan
    Fraser, Ian (Plymouth, Sutton)Lucas-Tooth, Sir HughScott-Hopkins, James
    Freeth, DenzilMacArthur, IanSeymour, Leslie
    Galbraith, Hon. T. G. D.McLaren, MartinSharples, Richard
    Gammans, LadyMcLaughlin, Mrs. PatriciaShaw, M.
    Gardner, EdwardMaclay, Rt. Hon. JohnSkeet, T. H. H.
    George, J. C. (Pollok)Maclean, Sir Fitroy (Bute &N. Ayrs.)Smith, Dudley (Br'ntf'd & Chiswick)
    Gilmour, Sir JohnMacleod, Rt. Hn. Iain (Enfield, W.)Smithers, Peter
    Glyn, Dr. Alan (Clapham)MacLeod, John (Ross & Cromarty)Smyth, Brig Sir John (Norwood)
    Goodhart, PhilipMcMaster, Stanley R.Spearman, Sir Alexander
    Goodhew, VictorMacpherson, Niall (Dumfries)Speir, Rupert
    Cough, FrederickMaddan, MartinStanley, Hon. Richard
    Gower, RaymondMaitland, Sir JohnStevens, Geoffrey
    Grant-Ferris, Wg. Cdr. R.Manningham-Buller, Rt. Hn Sir R.Steward, Harold (Stockport, S.)
    Gresham Cooke, R,Markham, Major Sir FrankStodart, J. A.
    Gurden, HaroldMarlowe, AnthonyStoddart-Scott, Col Sir Malcolm
    Hall, John (Wycombe)Marples, Rt. Hon. ErnestStorey, Sir Samuel
    Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N. W.)Marshall, DouglasStudholme, Sir Henry
    Harris, Reader (Heston)Marten, NeilSummers, Sir Spencer (Aylesbury)
    Harrison, Brian (Maldon)Mathew, Robert (Honiton)Talbot, John E.
    Harrison, Col Sir Harwood (Eye)Matthews, Gordon (Meriden)Tapsell, Peter
    Harvey, John (Walthamstow, E.)Mawby, RayTaylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)
    Harvie Anderson, MissMaxwell-Hyslop, R. J.Taylor, Edwin (Bolton, E.)
    Hastings, StephenMills, StrattonTaylor, Frank (M'ch'st'r, Moss Side)
    Hay, JohnMontgomery, FergusTaylor, W. J. (Bradford, N.)
    Heald, Rt. Hon Sir LionelMore, Jasper (Ludlow)Teeling, Sir William
    Hendry, ForbesMorgan, WilliamTemple, John M.
    Hill, Dr. Rt. Hon. Charles (Luton)Morrison, JohnThomas, Leslie (Canterbury)
    Hill, Mrs. Eveline (Wythenshawe)Mott-Radclyffe, Sir CharlesThomas, Peter (Conway)
    Hirst, GeoffreyNabarro, GeraldThompson, Kenneth (Walton)
    Hobson, Sir JohnNicholls, Sir HarmarThompson, Richard (Croydon, S.)
    Hocking, Philip N.Nicholson, Sir GodfreyThorneycroft, Rt. Hon. Peter
    Holland, PhilipNugent, Rt. Hon Sir RichardThornton-Kemsley, Sir Colin
    Hollingworth, JohnOakshott, Sir HendrieTiley, Arthur (Bradford, W.)
    Hopkins, AlanOsborn, John (Hallam)Tilney, John (Wavertree)
    Hornby, R. P.Osborne, Sir Cyril (Louth)Touche, Rt. Hon Sir Gordon
    Hughes Hallett, Vice-Admiral JohnPage, Graham (Crosby)Turton, Rt. Hon. R. H.
    Hughes-Young, MichaelPage, John (Harrow, West)Tweedsmuir, Lady
    Hulbert, Sir NormanPannell, Norman (Kirkdale)van Straubenzee, W. R.
    Hurd, Sir AnthonyPearson, Frank (Clitheroe)Vane, W. M. F.
    Hutchison, Michael ClarkPeel, JohnVaughan-Morgan, Rt. Hon Sir John
    Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)Peyton, JohnVickers, Miss Joan
    Jackson JohnPickthorn, Sir Kenneth
    James DavidPike, Miss MervynVosper, Rt. Hon. Dennis
    Jennings, J. C.Pilkington, Sir RichardWakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)
    Johnson, Dr. Donald (Carlisle)Pitman, Sir JamesWakefield, Sir Wavell (St. M'lebone)
    Johnson, Eric (Blackley)Pitt, Miss EdithWalker, Peter
    Johnson Smith, GeoffreyPott, PercivallWall, Patrick
    Kaberry, Sir DonaldPowell, Rt. Hon. J. EnochWard, Dame Irene
    Kerans Cdr. J. SPrice, David (Eastleigh)Webster, David
    Kerby, Capt. HenryPrior, J. M. L.Wells, John (Maidstone)
    Kershaw, AnthonyPrior-Palmer, Brig Sir OthoWhitelaw, William
    Kimball, MarcusProfumo, Rt. Hon. JohnWilliams, Dudley (Exeter)
    Kitson, TimothyProudfoot, WilfredWilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
    Lancaster, Col. C. C.Quennell, Miss J. M.Wise, A. R.
    Langford-Holt, Sir JohnRamsden, JamesWolrige-Gordon, Patrick
    Leather, E. H. C.Rawlinson, PeterWoodhouse, C. M.
    Leburn, GilmourRedmayne, Rt. Hon. MartinWoodnutt, Mark
    Legge-Bourke, Sir HarryRees, HughWoollam, John
    Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)Renton, DavidWorsley, Marcus
    Lilley, F. J. P.Ridley, Hon. Nicholas
    Lindsay, Sir MartinRidsdale, Julian

    TELLERS FOR THE AYES:

    Linstead, Sir HughRobinson, Rt. Hn Sir R. (B'pool, S.)Mr J. E. B. Hill and
    Litchfield, Capt. JohnRoots, WilliamMr. Michael Hamilton

    NOES

    Abse, LeoBraddock, Mrs. E. M.Deer, George
    Ainsley, WilliamBrockway, A. FennerDelargy, Hugh
    Albu, AustenBrown, Rt. Hon. George (Belper)Dempsey, James
    Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)Brown, Thomas (Ince)Diamond, John
    Allen, Scholefield (Crewe)Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.)Dodds, Norman
    Awbery, StanButler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green)Ede, Rt. Hon. C.
    Baxter, William (Stirlingshire, W.)Callaghan, JamesEdwards, Rt. Hon. Ness (Caerphilly)
    Bellenger, Rt. Hon. F. J.Castle, Mrs. BarbaraEdwards, Robert (Bilston)
    Bennett, J. (Glasgow, Bridgeton)Chapman, DonaldEdwards, Walter (Stepney)
    Benson, Sir GeorgeCliffe, MichaelFernyhough, E.
    Blackburn, F.Cronin, JohnFinch, Harold
    Blyton, WilliamCrosland, AnthonyFletcher, Eric
    Boardman, H.Cullen, Mrs. AliceFoot, Michael (Ebbw Vale)
    Bowden, Rt. Hn. H. W.(Leics, S. W.)Darling, GeorgeForman, J. C.
    Bowles, FrankDavies, Harold (Leek)Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton)
    Boyden, JamesDavies, Ifor (Gower)Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. Hugh

    Galpern, Sir MyerMcInnes, JamesRoss, William
    George, Lady Megan Lloyd (Crmrthn)McKay, John (Wallsend)Royle, Charles (Salford, West)
    Ginsburg, DavidMackie, John (Enfield, East)Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E.
    Gooch, E. G.McLeavy, FrankSkeffington, Arthur
    Gourlay, HarryMacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling)Slater, Mrs. Harriet (Stoke, N.)
    Griffiths, David (Rother Valley)Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.)Slater, Joseph (Sedgefield)
    Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly)Manuel, A. C.Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)
    Grimond, Rt. Hon. J.Mapp, CharlesSnow, Julian
    Gunter, RayMarsh, RichardSpriggs, Leslie
    Hall, Rt. Hn. Glenvil (Colne Valley)Mason, RoySteele, Thomas
    Hamilton, William (West Fife)Mayhew, ChristopherStonehouse, John
    Hannan, WilliamMellish, R. J.Stones, William
    Hart, Mrs. JudithMendelson, J. J.Strachey, Rt. Hon. John
    Hayman, F. H.Milne, EdwardStrauss, Rt. Hn. G. R. (Vauxhall)
    Healey, DenisMitchison, G. R.Stross, Dr. Barnett (Stoke-on Trent, C.)
    Henderson, Rt. Hn. Arthur (Rwly Regis)Monslow, WalterSwain, Thomas
    Herbison, Miss MargaretMoody, A. S.Swingler, Stephen
    Hilton, A. V.Morris, JohnTaylor, Bernard (Mansfield)
    Holman, PercyMort, D. L.Thomson, G. M. (Dundee, E.)
    Holt, ArthurMoyle, ArthurThornton, Ernest
    Houghton, DouglasMulley, FrederickThorpe, Jeremy
    Howell, Charles A. (Perry Barr)Neal, HaroldUngoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn
    Howell, Denis (Small Heath)Noel-Baker, Rt. Hn. Philip (Dierby, S.)Wade, Donald
    Hoy, James H.Oliver, G. H.Wainwright, Edwin
    Hughes, Cledwyn (Anglesey)Oram, A. E.Warbey, William
    Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)Owen, WillWatkins, Tudor
    Hunter, A. E.Padley, W. E.Weitzman, David
    Hynd, H. (Accrington)Pannell, Charles (Leeds, W.)Wells, Percy (Faversham)
    Hynd, John (Attercliffe)Pargiter, G. A.
    Irving, Sydney (Dartford)Parkin, B. T.White, Mrs. Eirene
    Janner, Sir BarnettPavitt, LaurenceWhitlock, William
    Jeger, GeorgePearson, Arthur (Pontypridd)Wilkins, W. A.
    Jenkins, Roy (Stechford)Peart, FrederickWilley, Frederick
    Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.)Pentland, NormanWilliams, D. J. (Neath)
    Jones, Rt. Hn. A. Creech (Wakefield)Plummer, Sir LeslieWilliams, LI. (Abertillery)
    Jones, Dan (Burnley)Popplewell, ErnestWilliams, W. R. (Openshaw)
    Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham)Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)Williams, W. T. (Warrington)
    Jones, T. W. (Merioneth)Probert, ArthurWillis, E. G. (Edinburgh, E.)
    Key, Rt. Hon. C. W.Randall, HarryWilson, Rt. Hon. Harold (Huyton)
    King, Dr. HoraceRankin, JohnWoodburn, Rt. Hon. A.
    Lawson, GeorgeRhodes, H.Woof, Robert
    Lee, Frederick (Newton)Roberts, Albert (Normanton)Yates, Victor (Ladywood)
    Lewis, Arthur (West Ham, N.)Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon)
    Mabon, Dr. J. DicksonRobertson, John (Paisley)

    TELLERS FOR THE NOES:

    MacColl, JamesRobinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.)Mr. Redhead and Dr. Broughton

    It being after Six o'clock, Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER proceeded, pursuant to Orders, to put forthwith the Question on an Amendment, moved by a member of the Government, of which notice had been given, to the remaining part of the Bill.

    Second Schedule—(Supplementary Provisions As To Deportation)

    Amendment made: In page 20, line 43, after second "port" insert:

    "in a country of which that person is a citizen or a country or territory to which the Secretary of State has reason to believe that he will be admitted, and".—[Mr. R. A. Butler.]

    6.10 p.m.

    I beg to move, That the Bill be now read the Third time.

    First, according to tradition, I should like to pay tribute to those hon. Members who have helped to make this a better and, I think, more effective Bill. I shall be referring to the various changes which have been made in the Bill, since I realise that on Third Reading one adheres to what is in the Bill. I should like to thank my own team, the Minister of State and the Joint Under-Secretary of State. In addition, I do not think it inappropriate to thank my right hon. and learned Friend the Attorney-General for his many interventions in our debates. Also, I wish to pay tribute to the stewardship of the hon. Member for Islington, East (Mr. Fletcher) who has stood almost alone in opposing the Bill from the Opposition Front Bench, aided by other distinguished people, and who has on every occasion said that he was totally dissatisfied with whatever we have said and has led his troops into Division Lobby after Division Lobby to register disapproval of what we had done. If that is not opposition, I want to know what is.

    There is now a greater calm than when the Bill was introduced before Christmas. I think that this is due to the realisation that the Bill will be administered in a humane and liberal spirit. In fact, the House and countries overseas have come to understand by degrees the spirit and manner in which the Bill will be operated. This may be due in part to the publication of the instructions to immigration officers, but I think that it is also due to the changes which have been made and explanations which have been given during the passage of the Bill. I have made it clear that we fully understand the seriousness of legislation which involves departing from the long-established tradition that citizens of member States of the Commonwealth should be free to come here and to stay here for as long as they like. We have never underestimated the seriousness of such a Measure.

    The reasons which I gave as to why the Government believe that the Bill was rendered necessary by the course of events have been justified by the information which has become available since its introduction. The Registrar General estimates that the net inward balance of the total population of the United Kingdom in 1960 was 82,000 compared with a net inward balance of 44,000 in 1959. They estimate that the figure for 1961 is likely to exceed 160,000, double the figure for 1960 which was in itself double the figure for the year before. I need not go into the other figures provided during our debates by the Home Office of immigrants from Asia, the Mediterranean, East and West Africa, the West Indies, and so on, which amounted to no less than 136,000 in 1961. But these figures indicate that there was a reason why the Government decided that a Measure such as this was necessary.

    As I say, on Third Reading, one discusses the contents of the Bill. The Government have decided to maintain the main structure of the Bill, but we have, with the aid of hon. Members, made certain improvements. For example, the duration of Part I has been limited to the end of 1963 so that it can then be reviewed in the light of experience of its operation and thereafter subjected, if Parliament so pleases, to annual review under the Expiring Laws Continuance Bill.

    We have written into the Bill a provision giving returning residents, wives and children the right of admission to this country and have made specific provision for the admission of students. Besides publishing instructions to immigration officers, we have provided a system of entry certificates and undertaken to seek the assistance of an advisory council in dealing with problems connected with the welfare of immigrants and their integration into the community. Those are all improvements for which we are grateful to hon. Members and which we have been only too glad to make.

    The main purpose of Part I of the Bill has not been free from a certain amount of misconception. The purpose of it is to control immigration into the United Kingdom from other parts of the Commonwealth. It affects Canadians, Australians and New Zealanders in the same way as it affects Indians, Pakistanis and West Indians. Critics of the Bill have fastened on the special position of the Southern Irish as evidence of racial discrimination, and there have been unfounded suggestions that the Government have not been clear on this issue. But we were very well aware of certain salient features before we decided to introduce the Bill.

    The first was that the Southern Irish come here in uncertain, but we believe considerable, numbers. Although no precise information is available, they have been coming for a long time, many of them on seasonal work. Secondly, we believed that power should be taken to bring them under the control of the Bill in case of need, and, thirdly, that their special geographical position would mean that in practice some special treatment would be necessary. That is borne out by the observations of the right hon. Member for South Shields (Mr. Ede) earlier this afternoon.

    The Government decided, as a matter of practice, that it was not desirable at this stage to put into force an entry control on traffic between the two islands. The power to do so is, however, in the Bill, and the Government accept the principle that, should this power have to be used to control immigrants from the Irish Republic, it should be exercised at the point of entry into the United Kingdom. That power is provided in paragraph 10 (2) of the First Schedule and in Clause 3.

    Steps have been taken to obtain much more accurate information than we have at present about Irish immigration, by greater use of records of various Government Departments and by the application of well-tried sampling techniques to the traffic between the islands. This information will be available by the time that Part I comes up for reconsideration towards the end of 1963. The sampling techniques are the same as those which we have been using recently on certain sea routes. They are voluntary, result in little inconvenience to passengers and give a sample and picture of what is happening. We have had experience of them operating in the social survey, and the results will be useful.

    An integral part of the entry conditions in Part I is that there should be a control over those coming here for employment. This is to be operated by means of the voucher system which we considered earlier this afternoon. As my right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour explained, vouchers will be issued freely to those who have jobs to come to and to those who have special skills. In addition, there will be a third category of applicants who wish to come and work here and who have neither a skill nor a definite job waiting for them. It is this third category which will be subject to limits decided from time to time by the Government in the light of the employment position, economic expansion, social conditions and other factors, and I hope that they will be decided as much in the interests of the immigrants as in the interests of this country. We need these men and women, and all that we wish to ensure is that the numbers coming in correspond, so to speak, to the welcome which awaits them. The welcome will be warm, but the physical conditions must be present also.

    The voucher holder will not be subject to employment controls once he has been admitted to this country. It is important that I should make that clear. Voucher holders and their families, the various other classes who come under Clause 2, which has been revised, and those who avail themselves wisely of entry certificates, may be described as making up the great bulk of Commonwealth citizens presenting themselves at the control points of our ports of arrival. The sector in which the immigration officer will exercise discretion in applying any instructions will, therefore, be comparatively marginal.

    I cannot go over the reasons discussed in Committee and on Report against submitting the immigration officer's decision to a tribunal or to a judge. As the Bill indicates in Clause 16 (3), the immigration officer will be answerable to me in carrying out the instructions which I am laying down for his guidance, and I shall be responsible to the House both for the policy and for the way in which it is carried out. Earlier the right hon. Gentleman said that the task might well be that of one of the other Ministers. I dare say that it will be, because my hon. and learned Friend the Minister of State has distinguished himself in looking after the present aliens immigration controls, but he will be the first to realise that I cannot avoid responsibility. I was, therefore, pleased, earlier this afternoon, to make it clear to the hon. Member for Islington, East that I should be only too glad to be answerable to the House, because I think that the more hon. Members study and find out the way in which the Bill is working, the more reasonable will they find it to be. If it is not working well, we hope to have the same advantage as we have had in the passage of the Bill—namely, the constructive advice of hon. Members in making it work better.

    Before I leave Part I, I want to make it clear that we are in close touch with overseas territories about the voucher scheme and the best way of operating the entry certificate scheme in each individual territory. It will be essential for the proper working of the entry certificate scheme that we have collaboration with the authorities overseas.

    Part II of the Bill is intended as a permanent addition to the Statute Book, and I think that, on the whole, we can claim that the provisions of Part II have been generally well received, There is, I think, general acceptance of the view that it is right that there should be power to deport immigrants from the Commonwealth who offend against our laws. This is a power which will be exercised by the Secretary of State only on the recommendation of a court following conviction of an offence punishable with imprisonment.

    So much for the main provisions of the Bill. Before I conclude I should like to emphasise a point which is often lost sight of by commentators who appear not to have followed our debates very attentively. The basic purpose of the Bill is not to stop immigration but to control it in case of need. All of us, on all sides of the House, are very conscious of the value of the contribution which the immigrants are making to our national life. We all know, or should know, that our hospitals, our public transport and some of our mills, industries and factories would be in serious difficulties were it not for the services of immigrant workers. We shall, therefore, continue to welcome immigrants to help us in a great variety of occupations and employments.

    But in their own interests as well as ours, we do not want immigrants to come into the country at a greater rate than that at which they can be absorbed into the community. I emphasise that what we are proposing is a control of immigration and not a cessation of immigration. It is, I believe, because this fact has been realised that we are getting much more favourable reports from overseas countries and a better reception of the Bill in the House.

    After all these long days and nights of debate, I commend the Bill, as amended, to the House. It is a workable instrument, well designed to serve an inescapable purpose, and I ask the House to give it a Third Reading.

    6.24 p.m.

    The Home Secretary began his remarks by making some congratulatory references to myself, for which I thank him, and to other members of the Committee who have taken part in our debates. I should like to follow that note and to congratulate the Home Secretary on a very adroit Parliamentary performance in the way in which the Bill has been piloted through to Third Reading. One of the advantages of taking a Home Office Bill on the Floor is that we have the benefit of the Home Secretary's presence throughout the discussions in Committee.

    It would be wrong if I did not recognise that the Bill, which almost every Government spokesman has referred to with distaste and dislike, has been substantially improved since Second Reading. We should acknowledge that the Home Secretary has endeavoured, both today and earlier, to try and placate the storms of controversy. He claimed that we are in calmer waters today than when the Bill was introduced. If that is so, it is largely because the Home Secretary has taken care, as he did just now, to make a number of reasonable and sensible statements on the humane way he intends the Bill to be operated.

    The Home Secretary also referred to the very considerable improvements and changes which have been made in the Bill since we discussed it on Second Reading. I do not think he acknowledged that nearly all, if not all, of the improvements which have been made in the Bill were either inspired by or strongly supported by hon. Members on these benches. It is perhaps as well that I should recapitulate quite shortly the substantial modifications which we have initiated and which the Home Secretary has accepted.

    First, there is the all-important improvement that, instead of operating for five years, as originally intended, without any occasion or opportunity of Parliamentary review, the Bill will now be on the Statute Book for only some eighteen or twenty months before the whole question of its renewal or continuance arises for a thorough overhaul and discussion in Parliament. That will give the House the opportunity to test the Home Secretary's promises of the way the Bill will be operated.

    Even now there are certain aspects of the instructions to immigrant officers—the publication of which is welcomed—and of the voucher system which are far from clear to hon. Members. This was stressed by my right hon. Friend the Member for South Shields (Mr. Ede), and if they are not clear to him, then I am sure they will not be clear to a great many intending immigrants.

    The Home Secretary has also referred to the fact that we have inserted in Clause 2 a specific reference of benefit to students. We urged this upon him in the initial debates. While we welcome the statutory provision in the Bill, we are still anxious, as the Home Secretary knows, to ensure that in the operation of the Bill concerning students the same degree of welcome and of assistance will be given to part-time students as to full-time students. We think that it would be quite wrong to discriminate between those who come for a full-time university course or course of technical training, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, those, of whom there have been so many in the past, who come from the Commonwealth for the very laudable purpose of combining some useful employment in our economy with the undertaking of part-time studies of technical or other character.

    Next, I acknowledge the considerable modifications, which we urged and which have been accepted, in respect of the dependants of immigrants, their wives, children and step-children, and the enlargement of the provisions about residence. We welcome also the recognition which has been given to those who come, particularly from the West Indies—women who come here with men but who are not married to them in accordance with our conception of matrimony, but who, as a result of a long association, have the same kind of status in their own country as would be recognised in this country if they were legally married.

    The Home Secretary has also accepted the suggestions that have been made to him about entry certificates and the advisory council, to which we attach considerable importance. He has adopted a large number of detailed Amendments with regard to the production of documents, the availability of search and the conditions of deportation. I particularly welcome the excision from the Bill of what would have been a very retrograde provision of retrospective effect. It is now established that a person convicted of an offence committed before the Bill was passed cannot be deported. I am happy to see that this change has been made.

    I have no doubt also that if it had not been for the operation of the Guillotine and the truncated debates which have been forced upon us on some of the Clauses and, in particular, the Schedules, there would have been other Amendments that the Committee would have considered, and some of which would no doubt have been accepted by the Government. There will be an opportunity in another place to remedy that defect. I would stress that, in our opinion, the Bill as originally produced was a piece of ill-considered, ill-digested legislation, and that we have done a great deal to improve it. Even so, I do not think that anyone would pretend that in its present form it is even technically free from flaws and defects, and there are still some matters in the Schedules which are worthy of careful scrutiny in another place.

    Although I have claimed credit for the Opposition for a great many improvements that we think we have secured in the Bill, it still remains true that we adhere to the view that was expressed from the Opposition Front Bench when the Bill was introduced, that this is a bad Bill, and we intend to vote against it on Third Reading. We do so for the following reasons.

    First, we think that it will be a blot on our Statute Book. We regard it, as the Home Secretary has admitted more than once, as a violation of our long-cherished principle of the free entry of Commonwealth subjects to this country. Second, we think it will inevitably have a disruptive tendency on the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth today is a fragile conception. It is threatened with dangers of various kinds both from within and from without. However much the Government may argue the necessity for the Bill, the fact remains that in the eyes of the Commonwealth it is regarded as something tending to have a disintegrating effect on Commonwealth loyalty, Commonwealth unity and Commonwealth self-respect. The third reason why we shall vote against it is that we think it is actuated—if it is not, in fact, actuated, it is generally regarded as actuated—by colour prejudice and racial discrimination.

    One thing which we can contrast in the House, and which I must emphasise, is the wide divergence between the kind of moderate, liberal, conciliatory speech which we have just heard from the Home Secretary and some of the wild, irrational, emphatic utterances designed to stir up racial prejudice and hatred which have been made by Tory back benchers in various parts of the country. The Home Secretary must realise that one indirect effect of introducing the Bill has been to encourage some back bench Conservative Members to vent their spleen against Commonwealth immigrants of colour.

    I take only one example of this. Despite what the Home Secretary has said, it will take more words than his and more words than mine—and I hope enough words will be said—to correct the mischievous campaign which has been conducted in some parts of the country by some Tory back benchers against coloured immigrants from the Commonwealth. One particularly notable illustration of this was the speech recently made by the hon. and gallant Member for Buckingham (Sir F. Markham) in which he said—I think I had better quote the words—

    As that speech was made in my constituency, may I ask the hon. Member for Islington, East (Mr. Fletcher) whether he has seen the correspondence recently published in the local newspaper in which my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Buckingham (Sir F. Markham) stated that the matter to which the hon. Gentleman objects so strongly was not part of what he said?

    No, I have not seen that. I must admit that the Towcester Times is not—

    It was the Northampton Chronicle and Echo. I suppose the hon. Gentleman has given notice to my hon. and gallant Friend that he proposed to refer to his speech.

    I had not read those extracts. In view of the Attorney-General's interjection, I will not pursue the quotation. I will content myself by saying that I have noticed—this cannot be challenged or denied; I have noticed it in my own constituency and will give a relevant quotation in a moment—that there have been a number of speeches in various parts of the country indicating that a large number of the Commonwealth immigrants are criminals, or come here with no intention of working, or come here for vicious and undesirable purposes.

    Perhaps I might revert for a moment to the subject of the quotation which the hon. Member for Islington, East (Mr. Fletcher) was proposing to make from a speech by my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Buckingham (Sir F. Markham). I wondered whether the hon. Gentleman had given my hon. and gallant Friend notice of his intention. I think that the hon. Gentleman read the quotation on a previous occasion when my hon. and gallant Friend was not here. I also believe that my hon. and gallant Friend had already informed the hon. and learned Member for Northampton (Mr. Paget), from whom he obtained the quotation, that it was, in fact, a quotation from the editorial matter in the newspaper and that none of it was said by my hon. and gallant Friend. I think it is right that my hon. and gallant Friend should be given notice so that he can be present if there is to be any reference at all to that matter.

    Why does not the hon. and gallant Member for Buckingham (Sir F. Markham) turn up here?

    I have said that I shall not pursue that matter.

    I have here a most scurrilous pamphlet which is circulating in my own constituency. It even suggests that the Opposition, by their Parliamentary action in opposing the Bill, have caused smallpox. That is the kind of rabid, irresponsible—

    That is an extreme case, but other hon. Members will be familiar with publications and speeches of a similar nature. This sort of thing has grown in recent months, and it is designed to stir up racial prejudice in this country. The point that I am making is—

    The hon. Member does his argument no great good when he puts forward this sort of thing. To seek to suggest, as some of the hon. Gentleman's colleagues have done in the debate, that it is hon. Members on this side of the House who are anxious to foment trouble invites the sort of retaliation from this side of the House that we do not really want to introduce into this debate. But in this context it is surely fair to point out that there has been the case of a trade and labour club which decided to ban coloured members. Many hon. Members opposite were, quite rightly, concerned about that. It would also be fair to point out in this context that there have been strikes by trade unionists against the employment of coloured labour. In this context, too, it would be fair to point out that some of the areas in which racial strife has broken out are certainly not areas in which the Conservative Party flourishes. I should have thought that it would have been much better to have left all this out of the debate. I myself believe that all of us—most of us, at any rate—on both sides of the House are more than anxious to see that immigrants who come into this country come into reasonably happy surroundings where they can use their abilities in the best interests of this nation and in their own best interest, too. In those circumstances, I think that what the hon. Member was unfortunately bringing into the debate would have been better left among the irrelevancies which I think are much better forgotten, and ought to be forgotten on both sides of the House.

    I have been very patient, and I welcome that interruption, and for this reason. I think I prefaced my remarks by saying that one thing which I have not detected in the observations of the Government is any repudiation of some of the scurrilous statements made by some hon. Members opposite. I was very glad to hear the hon. Member's remarks. In fact it was the kind of intervention I was hoping for. I agree with the hon. Member that it is most important that on both sides of this House there should be repudiation of colour prejudice, from wherever it comes, whether it be the Union Party, or back benchers opposite, or from trade unionists. Wherever it comes from, it is most important that that kind of outlook and approach should be repudiated by this House. I know that the sentiments uttered by the hon. Member for Walthamstow, East (Mr. J. Harvey) are shared by some of his colleagues. I believe that they are shared by the Home Secretary. I think that it is most important that they should be expressed, because otherwise increasing harm will be done by this Bill.

    On this Third Reading we have to face the situation that the Government are taking powers to control the number of immigrants, and that it still looks as if there will inevitably be a discrimination against coloured immigrants as compared, shall we say, with Irish immigrants. This afternoon the Home Secretary made it clear that Irish immigrants will be able to come here without vouchers, and to the extent to which unskilled immigrants from Ireland come, there must inevitably be curtailment of the number of coloured immigrants who come from other parts of the Commonwealth. So those who regard this Bill as leading to discrimination based on colour are obviously justified and are using arguments which cannot be seriously challenged.

    I hope I may conclude on a constructive note. When this Bill is passed there will still be a large number of immigrants from the Commonwealth in this country. The majority of them will be coloured. The problem of assimilating, integrating, coloured immigrants in our society will remain. I think it is most important, when this Bill is passed, for the Home Secretary, with the advice of the numerous social organisations which exist, to do something to stimulate a far greater effort in this country to see that Commonwealth immigrants, particularly coloured immigrants, have greater opportunities for integration into the ordinary life of the community than exists at present.

    One of the reasons, of course, why the Home Secretary found it necessary to introduce this Bill at all was that the existence—as he put it—of immigrants in uncontrolled numbers produces certain social problems. One of the notoriour evils is in housing. It would be out of order for me on Third Reading to expatiate on that, but I think it is relevant, in concluding these remarks, to urge upon the Home Office the importance, after this Bill is passed, and with the assistance of the advisory council, of stimulating the efforts of the British Council, the National Council of Social Service, the various inter-Governmental organisations, the branches of the High Commissioners' offices in this country and the religious bodies of all denominations who are working in this field, with a view to seeing that Commonwealth immigrants are treated as equals, have no fear of racial discrimination, and are absorbed as far and as rapidly as possible into our English society.

    I think that the hon. Gentleman has forgotten to mention one point. He has not told us whether a future Labour Government would remove this Measure from the Statute Book. Will he clear up that point?

    6.46 p.m.

    If my remarks are brief, it will be because I have some consideration for the large number of my hon. Friends on this side of the House who, I know, wish to catch the eye of the Chair. I will say this much for the speech we have just heard from the hon. Gentleman the Member for Islington, East (Mr. Fletcher) speaking for the Opposition. He started off badly with a smear campaign, which was shot down in flames—if one can shoot a campaign down—by my hon. Friend the Member for Walthamstow, East (Mr. J. Harvey), and ended up with a rather pathetic admission that the hon. Gentleman did not know what his party's attitude to repealing this Bill truly is. I hope the country will notice that with some concern. Despite the opposition which is to be taken into the Lobby against the Bill, we are not, I suspect, going to have a clear-cut definition of what that party's approach is.

    I am sure that I speak for the overwhelming majority of Members on these benches who support this Bill when I say that we do so with some regret. All of us all through have appreciated that if there is a necessity for it it is at least a deplorable necessity, but I also feel, as I think many of us do, that if only we had had on the Statute Book many years ago some powers of control—if I may put it in a thoroughly Irish way—we should not have needed this Bill today. The difficulty has been that there has been a rising fear that immigration would overwhelm this country and continue to create social conditions which we could not cope with. I believe that from now on we shall always have some such machinery on the Statute Book.

    The protestations from the party opposite are not unlike the protestations there were at an earlier stage many years ago from the Liberal Party in connection with the Aliens Act. Despite the fact that there was a Liberal Government after that, that Act still remained on the Statute Book.

    Of course, the Bill has been greatly improved. I think that it has been more improved by the instructions to the immigration officers than anything else. That has done a vast amount to allay the suspicions which many of us had almost from the beginning, and the fact that the Bill is also to be reviewed in eighteen months will make it easier to support it on Third Reading. I believe that this Bill is now necessary. I think that the time has come when we had to have some machinery of control. But I am concerned—very concerned—with the effect on the West Indies.

    The gamut of opinion in my own party ranges from Louth to Surbiton. I find myself nearer to the Surbiton end of the axis in my sympathies. I share with my hon. Friend the Member for Surbiton (Mr. Fisher) a great affection for the West Indies and the West Indians. It is good to hear so many people on both sides of the House say that they do not want any discrimination. I suppose that I shall reveal myself as being thoroughly discriminatory if I say that I would like any discrimination that develops to be practised strongly in favour of West Indian immigrants as against some of the other possible sources of the labour which the country needs. I make no bones about making that appeal. If we need labour, then let us get it from the West Indies, because thereby we can make some contribution towards solving the West Indians' social and economic difficulties, whereas the number that we can take from India or Pakistan will not help those countries at all. It will be a mere drop in the ocean.

    We can make a tremendous contribution towards helping the West Indies, to which we owe a great debt—a debt which we owe to no other part of the Commonwealth, for a reason of which we are all aware. I also say quite plainly that I should like to see any preference that is to be extended extended to Commonwealth citizens from the West Indies rather than to the Irish Republicans.

    That brings me to a point which makes many of us very unhappy. Many of us have qualms about the curious and anomalous position of the Southern Irish. I found my views well expressed in a letter in The Times, from a well-known journalist, Mrs. Elizabeth Nicholas, who said:
    "we have Mr. Butler, an enlightened Home Secretary, rising in the House to say that whereas it is impossible to control the immigration into the United Kingdom of foreigners, citizens of the Irish Republic, should this stream be diluted by British citizens from overseas, such control would become both possible and necessary. Why Mr. Butler, of all people, should be moved to utter such gibberish defies rational analysis. It must be the pixies at work."
    I feel that the pixies are still at work, to some extent.

    I have not heard any really satisfactory reason put forward by any Government spokesman why the Irish border could not be controlled. The frontier between Mexico and the United States is controlled. I do not say that it is 100 per cent. perfect, but at least some attempt is made to make it effective. But if it is absolutely impossible to do this, as we are told, I feel that the alternative solution—that our friends from Northern Ireland should go back to the system of sailing permits that prevailed during the war—should be tried out once more, if that is the price we have to pay for making the Commonwealth a reality and proving to the world that being a citizen of the Commonwealth is different from being a foreigner from Southern Ireland.

    The Southern Irish have got the best of both worlds. They have the glamour of independence as well as all the benefits of being part of the United Kingdom. We are now pampering them at the expense of our Commonwealth ties.

    We have eighteen months during which we shall have to scrutinise carefully the operation of the Bill, and my right hon. Friend will have a chance to reconsider the question of the Southern Irish. I think that we would all agree that the Bill will be administered very humanely and wisely. For that reason, I feel that I can support its Third Reading, but we must look at it even more carefully in eighteen months' time.

    6.55 p.m.

    It is almost unnecessary for me to say that I echo the sentiments expressed by the right hon. Member for Reigate (Sir J. Vaughan-Morgan) about the West Indies. He and I were members of the same delegation that went to the West Indies on behalf of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, many years ago. I think that our love for the West Indies started at that time, and it has continued in the days that have followed.

    If the Bill had been born in the spirit expressed by the right hon. Member for Reigate, and in the terms used by the Home Secretary this evening, some of us would have had less concern about it, and there would have been less bitterness in our souls. But that is not the way it began. It did not begin in a pleasant, understanding way, with expressions of deep sentiment for the people of the Commonwealth, and especially of the West Indies. It began with the unholy triple alliance of the hon. Member for Louth (Sir C. Osborne), the hon. Member for Birmingham, Selly Oak (Mr. Gurden) and the hon. Member for Liverpool, Kirkdale (Mr. N. Pannell), with a few additions.

    It started in the wrong spirit. It started with agitations at Conservative Party conferences. Eventually, to my horror, the Home Secretary bowed to that agitation. It is not without significance that the three hon. Members to whom I have referred have left us almost alone during our discussion of the Bill. I know that the hon. Member for Kirkdale has spoken once or twice, but in the main those hon. Members have been absent from our deliberations. They have not helped their hon. Friends, or hon. Members on this side of the House, to try to make the Bill a better one. They would have been happier if no improvements had been made. Their vicious attitude towards the problem is not reflected in speeches like that to which we have just listened by the right hon. Member for Reigate.

    We have had the Second Reading debate and the somewhat lengthy Committee and Report stages, but in spite of what the Home Secretary said this evening, and the many things said by my hon. Friend the Member for Islington, East (Mr. Fletcher), I still have a nasty feeling that this is where I came in, in the Second Reading debate. It is the same old, pernicious Measure, in spite of all the improvements that have been mentioned by my hon. Friends, with the possible exception of the instructions that we have talked about so much today.

    In spite of the so-called improvements, the Bill will deal a severe blow to Commonwealth relations, both in the abstract and in the personal sense. The Irish are out of the Bill, and it will be very easy for our white friends in other parts of the Commonwealth to comply with the terms of the Bill. It therefore boils down to this: this Measure, at the end of its Third Reading, exercises immigration restraint on our coloured brethren.

    The hon. Member for Louth must be feeling very happy just now. He must be cock-a-hoop. I only hope that the Home Secretary is as unhappy as I am. In the course of our discussion he referred to something that I said a few days ago, and remarked that the instructions had made me at least less unhappy. I hope that he has the same feeling.

    I find some comfort in the draft instructions, but to a large degree that comfort has melted away in anticipation of the methods of the Minister of Labour. Those of us who listened to him carefully the other night and followed that up by reading what he said are still in a fog about what will happen. What good might have been done by the liberal instructions which are being issued to the immigration officers is being wiped out in the application of the Bill from St. James's Square. As we progressed with the Bill, I was one of those who thought that a sufficient number of immigrants would arrive in this country in the future to relieve their own economic pressures and to assist us in our problems in transport, in the hospitals and in industry, but after what the Minister of Labour said that hope is now very slight indeed.

    Confusion, deep concern and anxiety abound in the countries which are affected. I hope that I may be permitted to say that I know what I am talking about in that respect. I have been back from the West Indies only a few weeks, and I know how anxious and worried the West Indians are, particularly in Jamaica, about the application of this Measure. We have created trouble in their minds which we had no need to create.

    The Government, by means of the Bill, are abandoning a policy of a multiracial society in this country. They are saying, in effect, "You have your independence now. You are 21 years of age. Mother is no longer interested in you and your future." I begin to wonder seriously whether, when independence has been achieved by so many countries in the Commonwealth, Conservatives are interested in the Commonwealth now that it is no longer something to be exploited. The introduction of the Bill seems to be an indication that that is so.

    I appeal to the Attorney-General to be good enough to pass on to the Prime Minister what I now want to say. In a short time new members will be joining the Commonwealth Prime Ministers' Conference, in particular from the West Indies. Will the Attorney-General ask his right hon. Friend to ensure that when the next Conference assembles the question of immigration shall be very high on its agenda? I agree that this question is not just our burden. Migration is a burden on the Commonwealth as a whole, and I believe that countries like Canada, Australia and New Zealand could bear a great deal of that burden for us.

    When we argued this point earlier it was suggested that, for example, the Prime Minister of Jamaica would not be at the Commonwealth Prime Ministers' Conference anyhow. But he will be entitled to be there within a few months from now, and I sincerely hope that this will be a question which will be tackled by the Prime Ministers' Conference and fully discussed, with real consultation to see whether there can be an alleviation of the problem. I only hope for the immediate future that another Lord Birkett might rise in another place and persuade their Lordships to kill another Bill.

    If I have expressed what I have had to say with bitterness, I am sorry, but I have very deep feelings on these matters. The West Indies are a love of mine. I love the people and I should hate them to be hurt. We have one comfort. There will be reconsideration in 1963. I hope that when that time comes we shall say of the Bill what someone much greater than I once said of another Bill: "Take it away and cut its throat."

    7.6 p.m.

    This debate started on a note of sweet reasonableness which I think has somewhat deteriorated since the speech of the hon. Member for Salford, West (Mr. Royle). Even the eye of the hon. Member for Islington, East (Mr. Fletcher) was piercingly fixed on me when the hon. Member made his criticism of certain Conservative back benchers. I hope in the course of my speech to reply, if only obliquely, to some of the charges made.

    I should like to express my great regret that the Bill has taken so long to reach its present stage. It was first presented to the House on 1st November. Nearly four months have since passed and there has been a great deterioration of the situation in that time. Immigrants have been coming in at the rate of over 10,000 a month since the Bill was first introduced, compared with about 3,000 a month last year. Obviously, had a timetable not been applied to the Bill there would have been even further delay.

    The Bill has been improved in Committee, but not in the manner that hon. Members opposite wish. There was a multitude of Amendments, many designed to nullify altogether the effects of the Bill, and all those were rejected. Some of the minor Amendments have improved the Bill, but there was a mountain of effort which has produced a mouse of a result. I do not want to revive the bitterness that actuated the speeches of hon. Members opposite in the early stages of the Bill. They were resolutely opposed to it and they were irrational in some of their views.

    On the housing question alone, hon. Members must be aware of the really tragic situation in some of our larger cities. It should be realised that this Government's programme for 300,000 houses, introduced ten years ago, was based on an increase in population of 150,000 a year, and now that increase is running at over 400,000 a year. My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary said that net immigration last year was 160,000. If one adds to that the natural increase of 250,000 it justifies the figure I have given. In the last six years the increase of population has exceeded expectations by over 1 million. How can a programme devised many years ago on the basis of a population increase of 150,000 a year possibly cater for the situation which we face today?

    I also greatly deplore the attempts of hon. Members opposite to introduce the question of the colour bar. I have never mentioned colour in any of my speeches. I have addressed large meetings of Africans and have explained the Bill to them, and I have had an extremely good reception. Hon. Members opposite have done the Commonwealth a great disservice by importing into the Bill an argument which had no right there.

    The fact that Australians, Canadians and New Zealanders are treated on exactly the same basis as West Indians, Indians and Pakistanis has, apparently, escaped the notice of hon. Members opposite. Obviously, more coloured people than others will be affected by the Bill, because the Commonwealth is 90 per cent. coloured, but that no more makes it a colour Measure than any law of general application could be termed a class Measure because it must inevitably affect more working-class people than those who are better off.

    One Amendment which I particularly welcome is that concerning students. Its intention was implied in the Bill as drafted, but I very much welcome the specific mention of students in the Bill, because in this direction lies one of the most valuable contributions that this country can make to the development of Commonwealth countries.

    There are one or two features of the Bill about which I am not happy. I am not happy about the deportation provisions—for example, the fact that an immigrant is exempt from deportation if he has been here for five years and the fact that he can claim citizenship if he has been here one year—or, under the Bill, five years—and by claiming citizenship can be exempted from the deportation provisions. That will retain in this country an unduly large number of people who have no right here.

    I cannot help mentioning once more that although I agree that in general there is no evidence that immigrants are more prone to disorder or to break the law than the average citizen, it is a fact that immigrants as a whole are much more prone than others to some of the more distasteful crimes. It cannot be emphasised too much that half the prostitution and living on immoral earnings that occurs in London is due to immigrants. [Interruption.] There were 68 cases out of 132 in the Metropolitan Police District of London. The figures are in HANSARD. The hon. Member for Birmingham, Northfield (Mr. Chapman) can see them without intervening with irrelevant remarks. It is on record that 68 out of 132 convictions in the Metropolitan Police District of London in 1960 were due to immigrants—[Interruption]—18 of whom were, I agree, from Ireland. There were a greater number of these offenders from West Africa than from Ireland or from the West Indies. When I mention Ireland, it is relevant because the deportation regulations apply to the Irish.

    The Bill is extremely moderate in its provisions. It does not affect those who are already here. It even allows their wives, children and dependants to arrive without let or hindrance. It extends the same privilege to those who are admitted later under the Bill. If an immigrant is admitted by a work voucher, there is no obligation for him to leave the country if he is out of work He may have worked for only a fortnight, but for ever after he has a right to remain here.

    Compare that with the provisions in other countries, including those of the Commonwealth, where there is the utmost insistence that an immigrant from this country or from any other part of the Commonwealth shall not risk being, or give rise to the risk of being, a charge on public funds. A deposit must be made to ensure that if that happens, he will be sent back to his own country.

    That contrasts with what happens here, despite the growing unemployment situation among immigrants, with 31,000 out of work at the last count in February. As 8 per cent. of the national average, that means that as these immigrants account for only 1 per cent. of the population, unemployment among them is eight times as great. That, however, is an exaggeration and I will put the figure at four or five times as great, which, I think, is a fair computation.

    Despite its defects, I welcome the Bill. Many of us have urged a Measure like it for years. We have been accused of wrong motives in doing so. We have borne those charges with a certain amount of equanimity. We have not piously said that hon. Members opposite should not inpute to others motives less worthy than their own. Some of us on this side, as well as hon. Members opposite, have the interest of the country at heart. We have urged the case for the Bill for years. I am sorry that regulations were not introduced years ago, when the problem would have been less difficult. It could have been handled with much less commotion than it has today.

    I welcome, however, the fact that the Bill will expire in December, 1963, because I doubt whether some of its provisions will be as efficacious as is hoped. This will give an opportunity also of reviewing the Irish question, in regard to which I share the views which have been expressed here this afternoon.

    Despite its defects, the Bill is a step in the right direction and I hope that it will be given an unopposed Third Reading. If it is not given an unopposed Third Reading, that means that despite their remarks, hon. Members opposite are determined to vote against the Bill and are determined, presumably, should they get into power, to repeal it. If that is their intention, they should state it fairly now so that the country can fully appreciate their attitude to this most important question.

    7.17 p.m.

    I will not spend much time dealing with what the hon. Member for Liverpool, Kirkdale (Mr. N. Pannell) has just said. I say to him in all frankness, because we try in this Chamber to keep personal courtesy at a high level, that there is no bridge between him and one or two of his hon. Friends and, on the other hand, my hon. Friends and myself on this side of the House concerning the Bill. There never has been any bridge and there is no possibility of creating one. By their campaign over the last few years, the hon. Member and his supporters have led to a worsening of race relations in this country; they have done great harm to the Commonwealth; and what is, perhaps, the worst sin of all, by their concentration on the sort of thing that the hon. Member has been talking about tonight—fifty cases of immoral earnings in the West End of London—

    Presently. I have hardly started. By his concentration on fifty cases of immoral earnings in the West End of London, the hon. Member has visited upon 300,000 or 400,000 coloured Commonwealth citizens here the sort of mass blackening by a few that is unworthy of any Member of the House of Commons. Talk about visiting the sins of the fathers upon the children—my God, if that does not come near to it, I should like to know what does.

    I know that the hon. Member wants to look at the matter fairly. The point is that immigrants are responsible for more than 50 per cent. of this crime in the City of London. That is a fact which I wanted to point out. The number of cases that are discovered is only a small percentage of the offences committed. I have urged time and time again that it is in the interest of immigrants generally that the bad eggs who spoil the case for all of them should be sent out of the country.

    The hon. Member has been doing this consistently, and the records of HANSARD and of his speeches throughout the country show that he has not stopped yet.

    The hon. Member asked whether we could have allowed the figures of immigration to continue at their present rate, and in the same breath he said that this was not a colour-bar Bill. I will ask him just one question, to which I know the answer. If last year there had been 113,000 white immigrants from the Commonwealth, all of whom, except for 5 per cent.—which is the normal figure of unemployment among the coloured population—had obtained jobs here, would we have had the Bill?

    I am not giving way continuously, but I will give way once more to the hon. Member presently. The answer to him is that he might still have had a case for the Bill, but he would not have trumpeted it throughout the country in the way that he has done; nor would he have had the scurrilous and vicious support which he has had from sections of our community. That is the terrible thing that the hon. Member has done for the Commonwealth. Not only have he and his hon. Friends expressed a good deal of this themselves, but the hon. Member has stirred up among even less reputable parts of our community the sort of colour prejudice and viciousness which it is our duty as Members of Parliament to try to keep quiet and not help to increase.

    The hon. Gentleman is immoderate in his language, despite his intention to be courteous, which he expressed when he began. I have already replied to the question which he put to me, and in which, apparently, he is not now interested, as he is reading his notes. He asked me whether I would have advocated this Bill if all the immigrants had been white. I answered that on a previous occasion, when I said that if the population of this country was increasing by 400,000 a year, instead of the 150,000 originally estimated, there would have had to be restrictions, even if all the immigrants were white. I have already said that. It is on record in HANSARD.

    I am obliged to the hon. Gentleman, but I answered him before he actually interrupted me. I tried to give the answer that it would never have had the effect on race relations which his unfortunate campaign has had in this country. However, I shall be dealing with the question of the increase in the population in a moment or two.

    May I say one other thing about the speeches we have listened to already? It is how very much I, and I am sure all my hon. Friends, welcome what was said by the right hon. Member for Reigate (Sir J. Vaughan-Morgan). So many of us, I know—and perhaps this is becoming too much of a theme in the course of this Bill—have a very soft spot indeed for the West Indies, and I am sorry if perhaps we intrude this view on the House a little too often.

    It is a fact that most of the West Indian islands are little bits of England cast off and thrown out into the Caribbean. That is the true situation. I am almost embarrassed to find the extent to which the West Indians are British even more than I am, and the extent to which the Queen is on the front pages of the newspapers there. I am almost embarrassed by the extent to which cricket is always in the headlines when the test matches are being played. I am embarrassed at their version of British customs, so proud are they of them.

    I am pleased when I see how very quickly they assimilate into Great Britain. In my part of Birmingham—and this is one part of the answer to the hon. Gentleman—I see young people of student age going about together, coloured and white, with no thought of colour whatever. This problem, which so afflicts the hon. Gentleman, does not affect the minds of that generation, thank heaven. I face it bluntly; the older people are the ones who are mostly the victims of colour prejudice. I look forward to the time when there will be no colour prejudice in this country, judging by the rate of assimilation and the growth of racial friendship that is going on in Birmingham today.

    While I am saying these things about the West Indies, let me say also how I welcome one other thing that the right hon. Gentleman said. I do not know whether the House appreciates the danger in that area, as well as the sentimental reasons which make many of us so concerned. The fact is simply that democracy itself is in danger in Jamaica today—if not in danger of immediate collapse, in danger of being steadily and remorselessly undermined by unemployment and misery in a community which has a Western standard of outlook and is demanding that it should be given a Western-cushioned living, tomorrow and not next week. This immense impatience for matching a Western outlook with a Western standard of living can be the undoing of the West Indies. This is the great danger today, because high unemployment, which migration is traditionally relieving for the time being, could cause the collapse of democracy in Jamaica.

    Indeed, there is another danger. Cuba is ninety miles from Jamaica. Does anybody pause to think how dangerous that is? If Jamaica were to go the way of Cuba, the whole of Central America, and many other British possessions, would be in flames—so that, in addition to the point of view of sentiment and pride in their British outlook, there is the purely narrow self interest of British possessions. We must be careful never to close the safety valve of migration from the West Indies.

    There is one final point about the West Indies that I should like to put to the hon. Gentleman and his hon. Friends. They may, though unintentionally, have done the West Indians a bad turn in lumping them together with many others in our Commonwealth. I do not like to draw distinctions between any particular groups, but I say this for the West Indies. This is one of the things that has always been frightening the hon. Gentleman and causing him to go hysterical from time to time. When they come here, the West Indians have a clean bill of health. They come here disease-free and intensely resistant to disease, and we have every reason to take them out of any criticism about standards of health.

    I said that I should have something to say in my general remarks about the problem of the increasing population in this country, and that, after all, is the big issue which divides us now that we have come to the Third Reading of the Bill. The Government's case for the Bill is that this country cannot absorb a net annual increase in the population on the scale that the recent immigration figures entail. I am sure that the Home Secretary would agree that this is the core of his case for the Bill. Frankly, if one looks at the world situation, this is a confession of economic defeat, taking other countries in comparison with ourselves.

    The nations of Western Europe are expanding rapidly, and they are net absorbers of population on a vast scale, because they have vigorous economies which are striding ahead, creating employment opportunities, and matching those employment opportunities both with immigrants and the houses in which to put them. I do not want to get too far away from the Third Reading debate, but should like to give just one example—that of Western Germany—and I quote from The Times:
    "Meanwhile over the past year the number of foreign workers in West Germany has more than doubled, and now stands at just above half a million. The Italians are the strongest contingent, with about a quarter of a million, the Spaniards and Greeks in second and third place with 50,000 and 44,000."
    The report goes on to say that between January and July, nearly 100,000 additional foreigners have found employment in western Germany.

    We had 100,000 in a year—not six months—and the hon. Gentleman is putting the crisis flags at the mast, and so is the Home Secretary. This is a confession of economic defeat by the Conservative Government. In these vigorous European economies, they are facing the problems of expansion and surmounting them. They are tackling the social problems involved in bringing in immigrants and filling the jobs. This is the right way to tackle this task—not to confess defeat in the miserable Bill which we are asked to tolerate tonight. That, I think, is our main answer, not only to the summary of the right hon. Gentleman's case, but our main answer to this Bill. If the Government had tackled some of the problems which immigration creates in the vigorous spirit which these other go-ahead countries have shown, there would never have been the need for the confession of failure which is involved in this Bill.

    Now, after days and weeks on this Bill during which, perhaps like the Home Secretary, I have spent scarcely an hour away from the Chamber, I am, so to speak, unable to see the wood for the trees. One gets like that at this stage of any Bill. I do not think we can all make sparkling contributions after the hard work we have put in, but there are one or two things I want to say. I want to say something about the voucher system. There is a big danger to which I direct the attention of the Home Secretary. We shall get into a situation in which immigrants will come here for particular jobs carrying vouchers in their hands.

    The grave danger that this country will face will be that we shall not only have a voucher system but "job reservation". We shall have jobs reserved for the poorer coloured. I shall quote from the Economist, which puts this in much better words than I could. That paper said:
    "No doubt it will be said that permits would always be granted liberally for Commonwealth citizens, at any rate in areas that are not already 'overcrowded with immigrants' and especially for jobs for which Englishmen find themselves increasingly too fastidious; already public transport undertakings, hospitals and local authority services could ill do without the West Indians, who perform unsavoury or unpopular duties. But if a 'work permit' system is formalised"—
    This was in July, 1961. The Economist was looking into the future—
    "the logical consequence of it could be job-reservation, differential wages, less favourable treatment of Commonwealth than of European citizens if Britain joins the common market, and all sorts of problems when the particular jobs for which new immigrants have been given work permits run out."
    The point which is being made is that we shall have a class of voucher-possessing coloured migrants labelled to to do the dirty work of our society. That is a very grave danger. I hope that the Home Secretary, in whose professions of liberal sentiment about this Bill I have some belief, if I may say so without trying to patronise, will keep a special eye on this problem. There is a very grave danger indeed once we differentiate between white and black, and differentiation is becoming inevitable between better jobs and dirty jobs in society. If that followed the harm done to the Commonwealth generally it would add another nasty blow to those which the Bill will have given to the concept of the Commonwealth as a whole.

    I put another point to the right hon. Gentleman about the job voucher system. Will he please see that the offer of the Minister of Labour with regard to consultation with overseas Commonwealth Governments is fully taken up to see that the flow of vouchers and information about jobs available in this country works to its fullest extent? Inevitably it will be the task of Commonwealth Governments under this Bill to help their intending emigrants to get in touch with jobs here, to put forward their skills here and in any other way to obtain the sort of vouchers which they will need.

    It is also important that the information possessed by the Ministry of Labour should be funnelled out overseas about skills which are needed here. Secondly, the Ministry of Labour should think about the point I made in Committee. It should co-operate with and coordinate the work of public bodies and public services in recruiting from areas such as the West Indies. This could be the one thing which could help to give the Bill a very good reputation in those parts of the world, if it is seen that we need hospital workers and so on. No one doubts that.

    I was listening to Dr. Joules speaking about Central Middlesex Hospital and telling us that 10 per cent., 20 per cent., 30 per cent. or 40 per cent. of different categories of workers in hospitals are coloured people, mainly West Indians. No one doubts the need to have them. If it is seen that the Ministry of Labour is behind schemes to get proper voucher procedures worked out and that people from the West Indies are put into touch quickly with jobs available in hospitals, public services and work for nationalised boards, that will do a great deal to ameliorate the bad effects of the Bill.

    I have been subjected to some misrepresentation in Birmingham because I moved an Amendment to probe the question of Irish immigration. I have been represented as wanting to keep the Irish out. That is the sort of misrepresentation which goes on by various bodies in Birmingham, some of which I could name. It has had a sort of mushroom and pernicious growth resulting from the activities of some hon. Members opposite. We on this side of the House want to make clear once again that we want the Irish to come in.

    Just as we like to see West Indians helping the National Health Service, we know that parts of the building trade are dependent on Irish labour. Parts of heavy industry in my constituency would be badly off without the strapping Irishmen who do a great deal of work in them. We need them all in, and they should have the opportunity to come while the jobs are available. On the other hand, we say it is monstrous—I say this in my constituency—to allow non-Commonwealth Irish in and to exclude the proud British citizens of the West Indies. How the Home Secretary could surmount that final hurdle of his conscience as related to the Bill is beyond us. I think it is the worst thing of all.

    One thing that has really heartened me has been the reaction to the Bill in the better circles as compared with the way in which the worst circles have made me disheartened. The sort of thing that is happening in Birmingham has got to go on. I have in my constituency a parish magazine which is called The Manor Outlook and is the parish newspaper of St. James's, Aston. It is a special edition of Birmingham Christian News made available in the form of a magazine. Under the heading of "Me and my neighbours" there is an article entirely devoted to preventing the growth of colour prejudice in that part of Birmingham.

    It also has articles about the way in which West Indians live, why we should be friends with West Indians, why West Indians have wild parties at night and disturb the neighbourhood, articles about crime and the extent to which coloureds are and are not to blame, and an article headed, "Disaster without them." The last named article shows how the essential services depend on immigrants.

    There is no doubt that the churches are to be congratulated for doing that kind of thing, but, as my right hon. Friend the Leader of the Opposition said on Second Reading, the Government would have done much better to have spent £500,000 on that kind of thing in Britain than £500,000 in administering this Bill. That would have been a much better way of spending the money in this country at the moment. The forces unleashed by some hon. Members opposite are vicious racialist forces which many of us would like to see countered as much as possible by people such as I have mentioned and by the Government in education and propaganda.

    If we can work the machinery properly—and a number of us intend to bend our backs towards helping the Commonwealth to work this machinery to get the permits flowing and the vouchers issued—I make the guess that we shall get 50,000 migrants a year happily established in this country doing jobs and finding a proper welcome awaiting them. If we do that, the number will be the sort of number which was common in 1955, 1956, 1957 and 1958 and which, incidentally, went down of its own accord when there were no jobs available—and which would go down again if there were no jobs available.

    If we do that, we shall in two years reflect in this way, I suggest. We shall say to ourselves, "What a lot of trouble has been caused, what a lot of harm has been done to the British Commonwealth, what a great inflammation of race relations in this country there has been, and all for what a miserable result in the effect on the numbers of migrants". Would it not be better to leave the matter where it was and not interfere? Would it not have been better, during the last 12 months, if the speeches had been less strident about demanding legislation so that the numbers would not have shot up to over 100,000 but would have stayed at 50,000? Should we not be so much happier in two years with the present view of the British Commonwealth than with our observation of it after the working of the Bill?

    7.41 p.m.

    I am very glad to have an opportunity at this rather late stage to explain my own somewhat spasmodic support of the Bill. I was not fortunate enough to catch the eye of the Chair on Second Reading, and later I was the victim of what, I suppose, the Home Secretary might call the benign movement of the Closure by the Government Whips when we were discussing the Amendment dealing with the Irish question in which I was particularly interested.

    In common, I think, with almost everyone on this side of the House, I dislike the need for the Bill intensely. I am not wholly convinced of its necessity, although I feel that one must recognise that the immigration figures during the past two years have been very alarming. I am not sure that at least a large part of the increase has not been due to the campaign—I do not think that they will take offence if I call it that—which has been conducted by my hon. Friends the Member for Louth (Sir C. Osborne), the Member for Liverpool, Kirkdale (Mr. N. Pannell) and the Member for Birmingham, Selly Oak (Mr. Gurden). There is no doubt at all that, if one studies the pattern of the figures over the past seven or eight years, one finds that they continually seemed to adjust themselves quite naturally to the economic climate in this country until 1960 and 1961, at which time, of course, my hon. Friends' campaign was gaining ground.

    I say frankly that I have been much disturbed by two circumstances surrounding the introduction of the Bill. First, there was the quite obvious lack of genuine consultation between the Members of our Government and the members of Commonwealth Governments. Naturally, I accept that consultation does not necessarily mean going on talking until agreement has been reached, but I do not think that anyone can seriously doubt that the consultation which went on between our Government and Sir Grantley Adams and Mr. Norman Manley was perfunctory, to say the least.

    The other feature which disturbs me is that, despite the various statements which have been made from time to time that the Bill has been on the stocks for seven or eight years, it has been, in fact, produced with every apparent sign of haste and lack of thought. It is astonishing, if the Bill has been on the stocks for all these years, as we are told, that eight years ago some sort of research was not done into the position of the Irish. We are told now that by the time the Bill comes up for renewal in 1963 we shall know a great deal more about the Irish question than we do now. But if the research had already been done the figures would have been available. One cannot deny that, particularly in regard to the Irish, there has been a faint but, I think, perceptible air of musical comedy in the Government's handling of the Bill.

    I think I can claim to be as staunch a supporter of the Commonwealth concept as anyone in the House. During the past year, I have been to no less than eight Commonwealth countries. For obvious reasons, because of my interest in the Commonwealth, I have found the Bill difficult to support. There are two specific aspects of it which I find impossible to condone, and that is why I shall not be voting with the Government tonight.

    First, I cannot bring myself to support a Bill which discriminates in favour of aliens as against British subjects. This seems to me to run absolutely counter to any sort of Commonwealth concept which we have ever entertained and makes a mockery of the whole idea of Commonwealth citizenship. Secondly, I cannot bring myself to support a Measure which appears to discriminate in favour of white people as against coloured people. I shall elaborate these two charges.

    With regard to discrimination in favour of aliens, I invite the House to consider this. On the one hand, there is the Republic of Ireland, a Republic which voluntarily chose to leave the Commonwealth, a country which was neutral in the war, a country which denied us the use of the Treaty ports in the course of the war, the use of which would have been immensely valuable to us at the time, a country of which the present Head of State, President De Valera, actually called on the then German Ambassador to condole with him over the death of Hitler. Many of us have a great many Irish friends, as I have. I heard the speech made by my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Epsom (Mr. Rawlinson) in which he praised the contribution made by individual Irishmen who served in Her Majesty's Forces during the war. I can well remember a most moving tribute being paid to these gallant volunteer allies of ours by my right hon. Friend the Member for Woodford (Sir W. Churchill) in his final broadcast as wartime Prime Minister. The fact remains, nevertheless, that the policies to which I have referred were carried out by the Government of Eire.

    One turns, in contrast, to the West Indies. As the hon. Member for Birmingham, Northfield (Mr. Chapman) has said, the West Indian people have an Intense personal loyalty to the Crown. Mr. Norman Manley has said that, when Jamaica becomes independent in August this year, she has no intention of becoming a Republic. Jamaicans attach great value to the Royal connection. They fought for us loyally during the war. Mr. Manley has said that, when Jamaica becomes independent, there will be no question of her being an uncommitted or neutralist country; she regards her interests as being firmly and securely with the West. More than that, as the hon. Member for Northfield said, West Indians, particularly Jamaicans, the ones I know best, are more English than the English; they regard this country with deep affection as their mother country.

    I just do not see how I can support this Bill in the light of the Government's declared intention that it will not be applied to the Republic of Ireland. I wish to emphasise that I have no hostility towards the Irish people or even towards the present Irish Government. It is essential that we should have good neighbourly relations with them, and therefore it is commonsense to treat the Republic as though it belonged to the Commonwealth, but I am not prepared to support a measure which gives the Irish Republic Commonwealth membership plus.

    As far as apparent discrimination in favour of whites is concerned, it has been said over and over again in the debates on the Bill—and therefore I do not have to spend very much time on it—that there are, as we all know, two basic sources of unskilled immigrant labour coming to this country. One is the Republic of Ireland and the other the West Indies. In 1961, 66,000 came from the West Indies. We do not know the exact figure from the Republic of Ireland. In an earlier debate the hon. Member for Northfield estimated it at 70,000. The Prime Minister of the Republic of Ireland has estimated it at 28,000, while the Home Secretary put the figure at somewhere between the two.

    The fact remains, however, that immigrant labour from Ireland constitutes the second largest total of the immigrant labour coming into this country. Immigrant labour from Ireland, for example, considerably exceeds that which comes from India or Pakistan. Either one takes the argument, which I think was taken by my hon. Friend the Member for Kirkdale that it is the actual weight of numbers which is too great and that we simply cannot accommodate such numbers, whether they are white or black, or one can take the other view and regard this in a strictly colour bar sense. But the Government are saying that, "The numbers are too great, but we will ignore the Irish, even if they are the second largest element, because of the difficulties of controlling them." Yet they are surprised when people turn round and say that the only possible interpretation that the outside world and the Commonwealth will put on this is that it is colour discrimination.

    Members of the Government have explained the Irish position in slightly different ways. The Home Secretary has always, it seems to me, expressed the view that it is desirable to control Irish immigration, but virtually impossible to do so. The Attorney-General, on the other hand, has conceded that it is possible to control Irish immigration but believes that for the time being it is not necessary to do so. I recall a speech he made in this House on 12th December last because it points to what I am saying. The Attorney-General said:
    "Having decided that the time has come when we should take a general power to exercise control over immigration, it is no use taking that power to put a fence round three sides of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland if we do not have power to put up the fourth fence if required …
    If the Republic of Ireland imposed controls on immigration into the Republic similar to those in the Bill obviously it would not be necessary for us to impose controls over traffic from the Republic in order to control Commonwealth immigration. For that purpose, we can rely on our neighbour's fence."
    Later on, my right hon. and learned Friend said:
    "The Bill is right in Clause 1 in taking power to put a fence round Great Britain and Northern Ireland."
    He was then interrupted by the hon. Member for Northfield, who said that this could not be done, and the reply was:
    "Indeed one could do it. … As far as Commonwealth immigration goes, there is no need to do it if the Republic of Ireland legislates …"—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 12th December, 1961; Vol. 651, c 254–262.]
    The implication behind this is twofold. First, that it does not very much matter having an uncontrollable inflow of immigrants from the Republic of Ireland. Secondly, that we are putting the Republican Irish in the position of acting as our agents in keeping out of the United Kingdom subjects of the Crown. That is something which I find intolerable and cannot possibly support.

    I want to ask the Attorney-General certain questions as to why control over immigration from the Republic of Ireland is as impossible as the Government appear to think. First, I do not suppose that anybody would suggest that we could not have immigration control on ships and aircraft coming to Britain from the Republic and, presumably, on aircraft going from the Republic to Belfast. We are now left with the problem of the land border.

    It has been said many times that the land border, at 180 miles long, is one of the shortest in the world. It has somewhat laughingly been compared with the border between the United States and Canada, which is about 5,000 miles long, and with the border between the United States and Mexico. It is, by any standard a land border of quite remarkable smallness in size and content.

    We can surely draw some comparison between immigration control and customs control. I am told that there is a reasonably effective customs control on the Ulster-Eire border. I do not think that it is suggested that so much smuggling goes on that there is no point in having any customs control. Customs control is managed by having, as far as I know, Customs checks on 16 of the main roads from the Republic into Northern Ireland and also at nine railway posts. Why cannot we put immigration control at these Customs points?

    We are told that there are in addition approximately 84 roads, tracks and paths of one kind or another. The Home Secretary said in an earlier debate that the real difficulty about trying to control the border is that the country is extremely rough and difficult. I can see that this does pose problems, but it poses problems to the illegal immigrant as much as to the immigration officer, because, the rougher and more difficult the countryside is, by definition the more hazardous it is for the immigrant to cross it.

    We should be clear in our minds what kind of people we are envisaging as immigrants. Plainly, if the Republic were some sort of concentration camp, then people would make every effort to crawl on their stomachs across extremely hazardous and difficult terrain to get from the Republic to Northern Ireland, but, as many of us know, the Republic is an extremely attractive and pleasant country, and I flatly refuse to believe that immigrants from the Republic who are disposed to enter the United Kingdom illegally are going to put themselves to the extreme discomfort of finding the most inaccessible and difficult part of the border in order to cross from one country to the other. Similarly, by the nature of things, if one is an immigrant and is going to another country to settle permanently, one must presumably take along the necessary luggage and impedimenta, possibly families and dependants. Is it suggested that all of these will be left behind?

    The Government have been altogether too casual in the replies they have given—or, rather, those they have not given—and while one would require reasonable immigration control to make it fairly difficult for someone to slip through, I would have thought that there was a valid comparison to be drawn between immigration control and Customs control. The Government do not need a Maginot Line fortification with every conceivable precaution. Nothing is escape-proof, as was shown by prisoner of war camps. Only reasonable safeguards are necessary, and this is a matter on which the Government have so far failed to give a satisfactory answer.

    I have been trying to follow my hon. Friend's argument carefully, and I am sure that he would not wish to mislead the House. But I recollect the Home Secretary saying that if there was to be control it would be on the United Kingdom border. Surely the Home Secretary must have meant that there would be control on the Northern Ireland border, if there was, indeed, to be control?

    That is precisely what I am asking the Government. Why cannot they have some sort of reasonable control on the United Kingdom border—the border between the Republic and the six counties—taking into account the big roads, where there are Customs posts at the moment, and some of the smaller roads, where some form of immigration control might be introduced? The Government might be able to almost ignore the extremely difficult terrain.

    Having made a number of rather severe remarks about the Bill which I regard—even with what has been said and despite any improvements that might have been made—as an unsatisfactory Measure, I am sure that I speak on behalf of many hon. Members on both sides of the House when I say how greatly we are in the debt of the Home Secretary for the immense patience, courtesy and humanity he has shown throughout our discussions.

    By the instructions which he has issued to the immigration officers and has made available to hon. Members he has, at least, removed from my mind many doubts about the Bill and, however unsatisfactory it may be, I am sure that it will be administered in an enlightened and liberal way. But, frankly, I feel that whatever need there may be to control immigration, if the Irish position cannot be resolved more satisfactorily than it is at present, the Bill had better be dropped and, for that reason, I cannot support the Government tonight.

    8.3 p.m.

    The hon. Gentleman the Member for Lancaster (Mr. Berkeley) has made an extremely powerful speech and, no doubt, an extremely courageous one. He has torn to shreds one of the main features of the Bill, and I certainly do not wish to say anything which might detract from the effectiveness of his speech, even if I could.

    I would only comment on his argument about the distinction drawn in the Bill between aliens and members of the Commonwealth, and his remarks concerning Ireland. His logic is absolutely unchallengeable. If the Government were carrying out the Bill which they said at first they were attempting to carry out, the obstacles to preventing immigration across the Irish border could have been overcome. I do not believe that the Government's excuses hold water. But if the only way the Bill can be made logical is to set up a fresh barrier across the border between Ulster and Ireland it makes the Measure even worse.

    It would be an appalling thing if we set up new barriers to Irish people wishing to come to this country. I understand what the hon. Member for Lancaster said about the last war. No doubt everything he said was true. But the association between Britain and Ireland supercedes anything that happened in the last war, for it is an association going back over many centuries and, if we consider the past, we might think that they have a case against us instead of it being the other way round.

    It would be utterly deplorable if a Measure should be introduced to prevent Irish people from coming to Britain, particularly because of the contribution they have made, apart from other considerations, to our cultural life. If the only way the Bill can be made logical and fair is to introduce some prohibitions or limitations on Irish immigration, then that is a final condemnation of the Bill itself.

    The hon. Member for Lancaster put his case with extreme skill. He has asked for an answer to this Irish question and he adduced his arguments on this issue more effectively than we have so far heard from any hon. Member. That makes it all the more unlikely that he will get an answer to his question tonight. If the Government have not attempted to answer it before it is improbable that they will do so on Third Reading.

    When he began his speech earlier the Home Secretary paid compliments to the Ministers who had assisted him in getting the Bill through, and I am sure that those compliments were well deserved. They all did a hard job, but the performance of the Home Secretary was really the most remarkable. When he started I thought that I had never seen a Minister introduce a Bill on its Second Reading more ineffectively. In fact, I felt that he really did not believe in the Bill. As time has gone by—and as the hon. Member for Lancaster said—the Home Secretary has rescued the situation to some extent by his subsequent speeches, including the one he made today.

    The performance of the Home Secretary reminds me of the story in Victor Hugo's novel "Ninety-three" of the sailor who let loose a battering ram against a ship almost causing total shipwreck but who, at the last moment and by skilful manœuvre, managed to prevent the battering ram from causing irreparable disaster. As a result, the sailor was decorated—and then shot. If I were not an opponent of capital punishment that is the fate I would recommend for the Home Secretary. It would be adequate reward for what he has done for the country over this Bill.

    The chief method by which the Home Secretary has escaped from the worst odium the Bill had surrounding it when it was first introduced has been the publication of the immigration officers' instructions. It was plain to everyone that the Home Secretary did not intend to do that at the beginning at all. That was not in the Government's mind. It was never mentioned on Second Reading or at any time in our first debates. The matter was tossed into the discussion and it was a very subtle manœuvre on the part of the Home Secretary, but an astonishing way of conducting the passage of a Bill.

    I only wish that the Minister of Labour had followed the Home Secretary's example, because the worst and most muddled part of the Bill still is how the voucher system will operate and whether it will work fairly between one Commonwealth country and another. We also require to know how the Ministry of Labour proposes to deal with the many letters which, we understand, will pour in and the basis on which these letters will be selected. Unfortunately, the Minister of Labour has not revealed the details of how he will operate it in the same way as the Home Secretary was eventually persuaded to do by issuing the instructions.

    The Home Secretary said that the Government were having close discussions with other Commonwealth countries about the operation of the voucher system. Perhaps the Government can claim that they did not need to have consultations with Commonwealth countries about the voucher system earlier. I doubt whether that claim is justified, but I can understand it. As the hon. Member for Lancaster said, one of the most serious matters about the Bill is the question of consultation with Commonwealth countries. Nothing which has been said from the Government Front Bench throughout our debates has answered the charge made by the Opposition Front Bench from the beginning that the consultations with the Commonwealth countries were quite perfunctory, if they existed at all. If I were to say that the House has been consistently lied to by Ministers on the subject of consultations, I might be out of order. But I cannot help thinking it. Hon. Members have heard the excuses of the Government on this matter. We have had plentiful evidence contradicting what they say, not only from the West Indies, but from other Commonwealth countries.

    This was an entirely fresh Measure. There was never any need for a rush in introducing the Measure. Even if the Government thought that the Bill was urgent—they have not claimed that—if they proposed to take action which was entirely new in the history of the Commonwealth, they should have been especially careful about it. They should have taken into account all the considerations put forward by hon. Members on both sides, particularly about the West Indies. But there were no consultations.

    I propose to say a few words later about some other aspects as they affect the Commonwealth, but I do not think that anyone can seriously say that the Commonwealth will survive many more consultations like this. If this is to be the pattern of Commonwealth relations on subjects which most intimately concern Commonwealth countries and on which the economic lives of those countries depend, I do not think that any hon. Member would defend it, whatever may be his view about the Bill. I do not believe that the Government would claim that their consultations with the Commonwealth countries before the Bill was introduced were full, adequate and proper.

    My reason for thinking that is not that the Government did not want to consult the Commonwealth. I think that normally they would like to do so. There must have been some compelling reason why they did not do so in this case. This is what makes us so suspicious about the origin of the Bill. They wished to get it ready so that they could announce it at the Conservative Party Conference. Something happened between the debate in February last year, in which the Minister of State made out a powerful case against any form of immigration control, and just before the Conservative Party Conference which caused the Government to change their mind.

    They say that the reason why they changed their mind was the figures. I do not believe that. I know that the figures were increasing, but this has been in people's minds for a long time. If it was merely the figures which caused the Government to change their mind surely they could have said, "Because we think that consultation with the Commonwealth is so important, we will hold up the Bill and not even tell the Conservative Party Conference first about it. We set the interests of the Commonwealth even above those of the Conservative Party Conference". But they did not do that.

    Of all the reasons for the anger which the Bill has provoked, the question of the timing of it is one of the most remarkable aspects. My hon. Friends have referred to the aspect of the West Indies. Did not the Government know when they were introducing the Bill that the future of the West Indies and of the prospects of getting a Federation, or the question of what was to follow when the Federation ended, was uncertain and that it was a most critical moment in the life of the West Indies? Did not that fact weigh with them? Apparently, it did not.

    This Bill, which affects the West Indies primarily, was introduced at the very moment when political circumstances in the West Indies were more critical than they had been at any time since 1945.

    For the record, it is the fact that the break-up of the West Indies Federation was due to the Jamaican referendum, which caused Jamaica to leave the Federation. That was at least a month before this Bill was announced.

    I understand that, but it does not alter my point. Everyone knew that, whichever way the referendum went, the situation concerning the Federation was very critical. As a result of the Federation not succeeding and going forward, many critical problems arose in the West Indies. I should have thought that that was a moment when the Government might have refrained from introducing the Bill. If they really had regard for the West Indies, they should have said, "Even though we think that there is an argument for the Bill, we will refrain from introducing it because of the commotion it will cause". That would have shown a better sense of timing. The Government did not do that. They said, "There is some urgent, passionate interest why we must do this, despite the effect that it may have on the West Indies".

    There is another consideration. The Government know even better than the rest of the House the concern that there is in many Commonwealth countries about what is to happen over the Common Market.

    Order. I think that the hon. Gentleman is liable to get a little wide of the Question. We cannot discuss the Common Market on the Third Reading of this Bill.

    I was not attempting to discuss the merits or demerits of the Common Market. I was merely discussing the timing of the introduction of the Bill, which I think affects the attitude which hon. Members must have to the Bill and to its Third Reading.

    The Government not merely selected a moment to go ahead with the Bill despite the damage that it would do to the West Indies. They selected a moment when relations with this country and a whole series of Commonwealth countries were very difficult. If the Government really cared for the Commonwealth, I should have thought that, even though they believed that there was a case for the Bill, they would have said to themselves, "Because of the difficult relations which we have with many other Commonwealth countries who are already suspicious of what may happen to their interests if we go into the Common Market, we will hold our hand." There was a multitude of reasons why the Government, if they were concerned about the Commonwealth, could have said, "We will refrain from going ahead with this Measure."

    This is not a Bill which is supported by overwhelmingly powerful arguments. The hon. Member for Lancaster has shown that it can be torn to tatters. But even if others do not go as far as the hon. Member for Lancaster, there was still not an overwhelming case for the Bill in view of what the Government said only a few months before its introduction. There were many other reasons for not having it, such as the damage it would do to the West Indies and to other Commonwealth relations, the injury which might be done to the faith which people have in future consultations between Britain and the Commonwealth. All these considerations were swept aside. The Government paid no heed to them. That is a terrible indictment.

    I know that hon. Members opposite sometimes taunt us on this side of the House with being newly discovered supporters of the Commonwealth. But the taunt is not very apt, since so many of the developments which have taken place in the Commonwealth in the past fifteen years have been developments for which hon. Members on this side of the House have argued for twenty, or thirty, or fifty years. Much of the development now taking place in the Commonwealth has been advocated by members of this party, so that there is no inconsistency. In fact, some of us may now think that the taunt is more legitimately the other way round. I do not say that about all hon. Members opposite. Indeed, it would be most ungracious to say so after the speech of the hon. Member for Lancaster.

    But it is true of some hon. Members opposite that, now that the Commonwealth is ceasing to have a colour bar and now that it is formed almost entirely, and soon entirely, of self-governing countries, now that it has become a civilised institution, it begins to lose its fascination for hon. Members opposite and they go whoring after other gods—[Laughter.] It is all very well for hon. Members opposite to laugh at what I am saying, but I do not believe that ten or fifteen years ago a Conservative Government would have introducted a Bill affecting the Commonwealth, as this does, with such perfunctory consultation and with such lack of regard for the other major issues in the scales. I do not believe that time and again we should have heard hon. Members opposite needling the association of the Commonwealth. But that is so today, and the hon. Member for Louth (Sir C. Osborne) is one of the chief offenders. Nothing pleases him more when he is not pursuing the colour bar than to make some snide remark about Canada's refusal to lower tariffs against this country, or something like that. He is only too happy to do it

    A change is taking place and that is why all of us on this side of the House, despite the improvements which have been made to the Bill, still regard it as a most squalid Measure. When it comes to the end of 1963, we shall wish not merely to re-examine it, but to wipe it off the Statute Book altogether. I hope that tonight my right hon. Friend who winds up for the Opposition will say that that is our purpose.

    8.23 p.m.

    I shall try to bring the debate back to earth and I shall not apologise for an hon. Member of this House trying to speak for a moment for this rather than for some other country. The reasons for the Bill are perfectly simple and perfectly sound. It is most regrettable that we should have spent so many days and weeks delaying the Bill's arrival on the Statute Book. The exceptional number of immigrants arriving in recent weeks has focussed the attention of the people of this country on the real problem and on the real necessity for the Bill. It has demanded urgent attention and developments in recent weeks and months must surely justify to an even greater extent the necessity to control—not to exclude—the entry of Commonwealth immigrants.

    I shall not repeat the well-worn arguments which have so long been used, but I should like to pass on to the House one or two facts which I have obtained from personal contact with the sort of people about whom we are talking. Every Monday, I spend several hours in a mill situated between Leeds and Bradford. The queues of men, mainly Pakistanis, going to the mill and looking for jobs are an unhappy and miserable sight. I can well imagine that the hon. Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. M. Foot) in some of his passionate speeches would plead for the miserable, unhappy unemployed, and I am certain that his heart would go out to these folk if he were able to come to the West Riding and see the queues of them who are searching for jobs but not succeeding.

    On Monday of last week, there were twenty-four at this little place looking for jobs, and I believe that a similar state of affairs exists at almost every mill in the West Riding. I asked some of these men whether before coming to this country they realised that the market was already saturated. I asked them why they had decided to come. I got the same answer from most of them and it is perfectly clear that these unfortunate, illiterate people, often unable to speak English, are being grossly exploited by men of their own race.

    When they come here, they very quickly go to the National Assistance Board from which they receive £2 18s. 6d. a week, although they each have to pay £1 4s. for a single bed. I do not know how many men are in each room, but I do know that the beds are often let not only at night, but during the day as well. There has grown up a system by which some men have to pay a orate. I believe that it is £5, because a man at one mill the other day went to the office and asked for an advance on his wages within the first two days of working at the place. The advance was given but, contrary to the management's expectations, it was not to provide food and lodging, but to pay £5 to the entrepreneur—if we can call him that—who had been responsible for bringing him and thousands of others into the country.

    The laxity in the granting of passports to these people is amazing and today there are thousands in Bradford who have faked or false passports. These men are being exploited. They realise that they have to have some sort of document—which they cannot read—and they pay for these false documents, although I am amazed how they get into the country and how they have been getting in. Perhaps my right hon. Friend will have something to say about that later.

    Will the hon. Gentleman tell the House whether he has drawn his right hon. Friend's attention to these facts?

    That has not been necessary. It has come to light as some of these people have amassed some money and sought to go back home. Many of them have been going back, although I suppose not in tremendous numbers. It was only when they realised that their passports were false that the problem arose. I do not suppose that they had realised it until then. They are now taking steps to regularise the position.

    It is the practical problems which the House should consider for a while. The absorption into a mill or a factory of men who have never had any industrial experience, who have come from places where there is no hereditary industrial experience—that counts for a lot, as hon. Members opposite will concede—and who cannot even speak our language, produces problems and headaches for those responsible for looking after these men inside our factories. There is no question of a colour bar in the minds of those who seek to regularise this position. I am thinking of a foreman in a mill who has said, "Rather than accept the responsibility of trying to absorb any more of these people at the moment, I am prepared to give up my job".

    Hon. Members opposite, especially the hon. Member for Ebbw Vale, do a great disservice to this country and those employed in industry. Hon. Members opposite have no conception of the practical problems. Those who have been brought face to face with the problem—and I am one of those people—are quite impatient because it has taken so long. We are glad that this is the last day of this ramble. I am sorry that at least one of my hon. Friends has spoken in a way which displays his complete lack of knowledge of the subject. I assure my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary that most sensible people will welcome the passing of this most necessary Measure.

    8.30 p.m.

    The hon. Member for Pudsey (Mr. Hiley) has made part of our case for us. There is no question of hon. Members on this side not being aware of the difficulties. From the time the Bill came up for Second Reading our contention has been that the Bill is the wrong way to go about tackling them. This is why we are opposing the Bill, even at its last stage on Third Reading. The hon. Member said that my hon. Friends can have no conception of the practical difficulties involved. I invite him to come to my constituency in Willesden at any time. I predict that I have a larger number of immigrants than he has in his native Pudsey. We have been tackling this problem for many years.

    The Bill aggravates the constructive measures we have tried to take over a period of years. This is a further reason why we continue to oppose it. Like my hon. Friend the Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. M. Foot), I welcome the intervention of the hon. Member for Lancaster (Mr. Berkeley). It saves me from taking up the time of the House by talking about the Southern Ireland situation, because the hon. Member put it far more concisely and clearly than I can. The case needs answering when the right hon. Gentleman replies, for this makes it quite clear that the Bill is a colour bar Bill.

    The proceedings on the Bill have been long. I have had the impression from the outset that this is the nearest thing to do-it-yourself that this Government have produced since I have been a Member of the House. We had, especially in the early stages, what seemed to be a considerable amount of brilliant improvisation from the Government Front Bench.

    I join my hon. Friends and hon. Members opposite in paying tribute to the performance of the Home Secretary throughout our discussions. As the Bill has proceeded his performance has become even more polished. Nevertheless, I have had the feeling all the time that the Bill, its implications and its detailed machinery have never been thoroughly thought out. This was most clearly brought out last Thursday when we examined the voucher system. In reply to an intervention of mine, the Minister of Labour said that the Government were still looking into it. I have gained the impression that, even when the House has passed the Bill, a good deal of work remains to be done before this vast and complicated machinery can be effective.

    We on this side have been sad because the latter stages have been under the shadow of the Guillotine, especially since on two occasions when the Guillotine fell the House was operating at its best. We were trying to defend a small individual against the whole rigour of the huge State. On two such occasions, because of the Guillotine we were unable to press the safeguards we were trying to write into the Bill to meet quite detailed but very important circumstances for an individual caught up in this vast machinery which is to be set up at the ports to keep him out.

    Another characteristic of the Committee stage of the Bill was that most of the points we advanced were designed to deal with instances in which the Bill could be unfair. In spite of our best endeavours, it goes through unaffected. It still discriminates. This is shown only too clearly by categories A, B and C. for employment vouchers. It is category C—the most unskilled, the person who perhaps can make a vast contribution to our economy—who is to come in for most of the discrimination.

    I welcome the Home Secretary's suggestion that we shall be able to continue to prod the Government on the matter of the numbers of immigrants by Questions, but it seems to me that we have managed to get more out of the Home Secretary while amending a Bill than ever we do at Question Time. So frequently when he answers my own Questions he seems to understand so clearly what one is trying to get at and seems to identify himself so clearly with the objective and gives such an answer that I sit back glowing to think that I have managed to persuade the Home Secretary to go so far with me, and it is not until I read HANSARD next day that I find that in fact he has not gone very far at all. However, during the stages of this Bill he has been able to amend some provisions, and I think the most important one is that now we are going to look at it again at the end of 1963.

    The crux of the argument against the Bill is that although it is claimed that by limiting the numbers of immigrants we shall then be able to regulate the conditions, social and economic, so as to absorb and integrate the people who come here, I think the Bill does precisely the opposite. True, it touches the matter of employment, but, as everybody who has sat through the proceedings on this Bill knows, it does not touch the much greater issue of housing. Places where employment is high are natural magnets, and, naturally, it is in places where there is the most employment that we get the greatest pressure on housing accommodation, and no part of the Bill touches that problem.

    I think it was the Attorney-General who said at one stage that this Bill was not quite so bad because perhaps four-fifths of the people already coming might still come, but if all those four-fifths come to Willesden, West I shall be in just as much of a problem as now, because there is no question here of dispersing the people and of distributing them evenly to absorb them generally into the economy.

    So the Bill misses an opportunity, and not only does it miss an opportunity, but it means that organisations such as the Willesden International Friendship Council, consisting of 50 per cent. of immigrants and 50 per cent. of local inhabitants, and which is doing work of integration day in and day out, will have to tackle just as many new problems which arise. They find themselves disheartened and dismayed, at the impression this Bill gives that immigrants are not wanted.

    Of course, there is prejudice. Always we have to meet prejudice, but I think it is the first time for many years that a British Government have tried to incorporate prejudice into a Bill. In my own constituency, of course, there is this difficulty. One finds discriminatory advertisements for lodgings. Out of 550 over a period of three months 104, or 18·9 per cent., said: "No coloureds" or "No West Indians". In one case it said, "No coloureds. No Welsh." I do not quite know the relevance of the Principality.

    We have been spending money, time and energy by local voluntary organisations co-operating with local statutory authorities in order to try to solve the problem. We have got that council at work, and the local borough council spends money on employing a welfare officer, and on employing him full time, engaged in this work of conciliation and integration without any colour prejudice. He happens to be a Jamaican.

    If the money which is to be spent on operating the ramshackle machinery of this Bill could be canalised instead into the work of integration, not only could we help solve the problem but we could create the kind of atmosphere which there should be for a family—a family of nations. I share with hon. Members opposite who have spoken about it their affection for the West Indians. I do not know that I accept the view of my hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Northfield (Mr. Chapman), who would like a kind of favoured treatment for them. I think that in a family the essential thing is to make no favourites. This applies to a family of nations. What we should like to see is a clear conception of mutual working together, an integration, of all the nations which comprise the Commonwealth.

    Those of us who have travelled in India have always been astounded, when we have discussed matters with our Indian friends, to hear them talk of "home", Britain, a place that they have never been to. I remember one man in Delhi telling me that he hoped eventually to come home and to live in the cantonment of Portsmouth. They have a feeling, which people in this country do not understand, that Britain is their home, and that the words "Mother Country" mean what they say. They now find that the Bill puts up barriers and establishes first-class and second-class citizens of the Commonwealth. This will inevitably cause the very light and silky bonds which bind the Commonwealth together to stretch almost to breaking point.

    Those of us who are seeking the creation of one world, and of one community or brotherhood, irrespective of race, colour or creed, have hitherto seen the British Commonwealth as one of the main media for practising what we preach—a place in which better relationships between one nation and another can be brought about, a prototype from which the rest of the world may learn. But now, when economic difficulties arise in other Commonwealth countries, at the very first call to "mother" that some of our Commonwealth people make, when they want to come home, "mother" says "Yes, four-fifths of you can come, but a gate will be put up to stop the other one-fifth coming in."

    It is a deplorable state of affairs. It is a black day when this Bill is given its Third Reading. I have said before that those of the hon. Gentlemen opposite who know most about the problem are the most sad about the Bill. It is only those who have come suddenly to it, and approach it from a subjective point of view, who are glad. I hope that in 1963 many hon. Members opposite will agree with us that the Bill should be wiped off the Statute Book, and that we should then bend our energies to tackle the problem in the right way.

    8.42 p.m.

    The House always listens with great attention when the hon. Member for Willesden, West (Mr. Pavitt) addresses it. I doubt whether any hon. Member on either side of the House would want to diverge from that part of the hon. Member's speech in which he rightly reminded us of the immense values of the Commonwealth link. It is from that point of view that I wish to start my speech, and I shall answer some of the points that the hon. Member made as I go along.

    I have a feeling that the hon. Member was in the Chamber when I was fortunate enough to catch Mr. Speaker's eye during the debate on the Gracious Speech. I then made what I realise is an obvious statement, but which I believe bears constant repetition. I said that one of the greatest problems facing us—and perhaps it is the greatest problem in the long-term—is not the question of economic survival, or such comparatively narrow questions as the European Economic Community; it is how to survive in a world dominated by colour On that occasion I ventured to express some views about the Bill which we are now debating, which had just been announced in outline in the Gracious Speech. I was thus one of the first back benchers—certainly on this side of the House—to do so.

    I said—and I have no reason to change a word—that on moral grounds, which I feel very strongly but have no wish to parade, any more than any other hon. Member would wish to do so, and also on grounds of sheer self-interest, deriving from the problem that I sought to outline, I could not bring myself to support legislation which either was or appeared to be discriminatory, in terms of colour. I doubt whether more than a fraction of hon. Members would willingly dissent from that view. That was the standpoint from which I examined the Bill.

    Is it not true to claim that as a people, of all parties, classes and religion, we are singularly free, compared with many others, of racial prejudice? I do not think that any hon. Member has any cause to be ashamed but has every reason to be proud of our contribution to race relations throughout the world. It is true that we have a very small percentage who glory in stirring racial prejudice, whether it be against a Jew or against the coloured, but if we have them they only stand out in sharp contrast with the enormous numbers of their brethren who hold such conduct to be utterly despicable.

    But as a practical people we have to face the fact that ordinary men and women of good will, not persons full of racial prejudice at all, who live in the ordinary homes of the country and particularly in certain parts of the country, are increasingly nervous and fearful of what they believe to be, rightly or wrongly, an increasing build-up of persons coming into the country. I cannot see any reason to deny that some of that fear was concentrated on the immigrant who could be identified because of the colour of his skin. I think that these fears and anxieties led or could have led to panic measures and on at least two occasions, which none of us wants to dwell upon, they led to incidents of a nature which besmirched our whole tradition in these matters.

    I have a reservation to which I want to come in a moment, but the case I want to argue, therefore, is that it is a positive contribution to race relations in this country for the ordinary person upon whom, as the hon. Member for Willesden, West so rightly says, we depend, to feel that the immigration which is henceforth to take place shall be controlled and that he will not be faced with a massive influx which raises in him deep fears and anxieties.

    I believe that the Bill can be argued strongly as a contribution to race relations, and I could not underline more what the hon. Member for Willesden, West has just said and what the hon. Member for Birmingham, Northfield (Mr. Chapman) has strongly emphasised, that it does not rest with the Government or the Opposition or the House or Members of Parliament; it rests with the ordinary units which make up out social life, our churches, our women's clubs and men's clubs to show this in a practical way. Furthermore, the Bill is applied to men and women whether they be white or whether they be coloured.

    I have a note of criticism which I shall strike in a moment, but it should be said by persons like myself who are critical of aspects of the Bill that it was a courageous step on the part of the Government to apply the Bill firmly to Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders and so on equally with Nigerians and Ghanaians. I do not share the view but I can see that there is an argument for saying that it would have been wiser to narrow the control solely to persons of colour. I reject that argument immediately, and the Government have not done anything of the sort. It will come as something of a shock to our brothers and sisters in the white-populated countries when they find themselves subject to the controls in the Bill.

    It was doubtless for the reason that they felt it essential to appear to be, as well as actually, avoiding race discrimination that the Government applied the Bill to Southern Ireland. It must be reiterated that by Clause 1 (4), which many of us have discussed to and fro, both here and elsewhere, Southern Ireland is firmly written into the Bill. To me, that makes it all the more regrettable and all the more difficult to understand that, having taken those powers, it has been the Government's intention to announce in parallel that, at present at least, they do not intend to use them.

    A powerful case was argued by my hon. Friend the Member for Lancaster (Mr. Berkeley), and I certainly do not propose to tread the same ground. I recognise the difficulty of controlling Southern Irish immigration. I am not suggesting that it is an easy matter or something to enter into lightly, but none of the Bill and none of the intricate detailed proposals in the White Paper, which has been widely commended, is easy either. It was a major step to take and this has been recognised.

    I differ from one of my hon. Friends who spoke earlier, in that for my part I accept as out of the question a form of control from Southern Ireland which requires our colleagues and friends from Ulster to have some form of identity card or disc. My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary made it as clear as words can make it that if any form of control is imposed from Eire, it will be between Ulster and Eire, which, as I understand, would obviate the anxieties which, quite rightly, my hon. Friends representing Ulster constituencies feel deeply.

    Therefore, the Government were faced with a difficult matter of balance of judgment. They were faced, on the one hand, with the necessity for showing clearly that they were not motivated, as I accept without question that they were not, by the smallest taint of racial prejudice or by the purely practical difficulty of controlling Southern Irish immigration, on the other hand. I wonder, however, whether the difficulties are so great. I wonder even more after listening to the penetrating analysis from my hon. Friend the Member for Lancaster.

    When I am in doubt in that sort of problem, when I see the difficulties of both sides—and I can see those difficulties—I come down on a policy which carries one a very long way in life. I come down in favour of my friends. I support those who have nobly supported me. It is tragic—and I use the word deliberately—that of all people to whom we should be showing, inadvertently, in this way some form of better treatment, it should be the Southern Irish of all people who stand in that position, a people—a Government at least, and, I believe, substantially a people—who took every opportunity of stabbing at us at a time when we were at our weakest, who willingly left their lights ablaze when merely to extinguish them would have helped, who refused us aid in material ways and who have always, as it seemed to me in subsequent years, sought to get all the benefits of Commonwealth membership without any of its obligations.

    If my hon. Friend is talking about the people as opposed to the Government, I trust that he will not forget the citizens of Southern Ireland who fought with us in the war.

    I am obliged to my hon. Friend, because that was precisely my next note. Apart from his natural abilities, my hon. Friend is clairvoyant also.

    I recall well a contribution on this matter from my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Epsom (Mr. Rawlinson), to which reference has been made and to whom, needless to say, in accordance with the normal courtesies—which have not always been observed on the other side of the House in these debates—I gave notice that I would refer. My hon. and learned Frend made tremendous play about the contribution which the Southern Irish had made and I understand that my hon. Friend the Member for Darlington (Mr. Bourne-Arton) feels similarly. I think that with very honourable exceptions, the men who came did so as hired mercenaries. They did not come here imbued with the spirit in which we are fighting. [An HON. MEMBER: "What is the good of all this?"]

    I do not consider for a moment that the arguments put up in that way obviate or make any difference to the particular case which I seek to put before the House. This is a matter on which, I repeat, I feel very deeply and strongly, just as strongly as, apparently, other hon. Members feel in a different sense. That is why the House will perhaps understand that when I contrast that behaviour and background with those who, at great sacrifice to themselves, not only during wartime but in peacetime and during the time of rationing, as has been well said with authority from the other side of the House by those who were then in office, one does not feel very proud.

    What we have done has been to enter into a compact. It is a quite simple compact. We have said to Southern Ireland, "If you will legislate to control our immigration, we will not operate the powers we have to control yours." This is not a compact of which I am proud, nor one—

    "We" in this sense means the Government. I am making the point that this is a compact which I do not like and which I do not feel able to support.

    I personally believe in the outlined purposes of the Bill, and that is why I think it should be applied, if applied at all, to all and not merely to some. I listened anxiously when the Bill was introduced on Second Reading. I made the strongest representations I could in the ways that are open to hon. Members on both sides, and I was much reassured, as I thought, by the words used, I am sure deliberately, by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour when he replied. That is why I voted for the Second Reading.

    I tried to catch the eye of the Chairman on Clause 1, but, like many of my hon. Friends, I had my head chopped off by my right hon. Friends on the Front Bench. It made obvious good sense, holding the views that I do hold, to vote for Clause 1, because it gave the particular powers which I want operated. I have consistently and positively voted with the Government, and, however inadequately, have tried at various stages to assist in the actual operation of the mechanics of the Bill.

    I have listened carefully to my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary reassuring us, as he has done with great frankness—and with others I pay my tribute to him for the way in which the issue has been handled and the courtesy with which he has always been prepared to listen to representations such as those from me and from others. When I heard him reiterate that it was not the Government's intention to impose the same restrictions and controls as they were imposing on others then, with no sense of pleasure, it was clear to me that this was not a Bill which I could properly support.

    9.0 p.m.

    The hon. Member for Wokingham (Mr. van Straubenzee) began his speech by saying that in this country we have singular freedom from race prejudice. I am not sure that in the remarks which followed the hon. Member quite practised what he preached.

    I rather thought that a summary of his speech could be in the words of the advertisement quoted by my hon. Friend the Member for Willesden, West (Mr. Pavitt), "No coloureds, no Welsh need apply," but I should alter it to, "No Irish need apply." The fact is that we are singularly free from race prejudice, at a distance. So long as people of different races and colours from ours are safely removed from our doorsteps, our streets and, perhaps, our factories, we can be tolerant towards them, but as soon as they come into areas where we are vitally affected in our daily life we find it a great deal more difficult. That is the danger of this Bill. One has either to be on one side or the other. There is no room for being half way. The problem is far too critical.

    I agreed with the hon. Member for Wokingham when he reminded us of what he said in the debate on the Address, that the vital issue facing the country today—and indeed, one might say facing Christian civilisation—is, what is to happen to the new resurgent Afro-Asian countries of the world? That is the great moral issue and this Bill is directly relevant to it. The hon. Member came out on the right side in saying that he would not support the Bill, so I do not want to make things more difficult for him, but I think hon. Members should search their consciences as to whether in the light of these great issues they feel that this Bill is at all needed and practicable, or that it will achieve the job for which I gather it is proposed to use it.

    The hon. Member for Pudsey (Mr. Hiley) and the hon. Member for Liverpool, Kirkdale (Mr. N. Pannell) complained that we have been too long in getting this Bill through, that we have spent from November until now examining it with unnecessary delay. It took us many centuries to build up our Commonwealth. If we are to strike at the roots of the Commonwealth I do not think that from November until the end of February is too long to take to examine the implications of what we are going to do. I should not in any way feel the least guilty about the time we have taken in examining the Bill.

    The hon. Member for Kirkdale is not in his place. Therefore, in his absence, I shall not make some of the remarks I was going to make about him. I shall mention only one thing that he said. I think he showed a surprising change. I felt that the months have not been wasted. The hon. Member seemed to have reformed a little, because he now said there was no ground for saying that immigrants were more criminal than other people. He fell back on the figures he quoted about living on immoral earnings. He went on to say that that includes the Irish, but the Irish can be deported under Part II of the Bill. I believe that is quite nonsense. If we deport the Irish, what happens? They come back on the next boat.

    If we do not have any protection at the Irish ports, and we are told we are not to have that surveillance, of course it is merely bringing the law into contempt. The court will solemnly make a recommendation and pass it to the Minister of State. The Minister of State will get out his quill pen and write, "Let this be carried out", and the unfortunate Irishman will be taken to Holyhead and deported to Dublin. He will go down to the next boat and come back again. How can he be stopped? If there is an answer to that dilemma, the same means by which he can be stopped can be used to prevent others coming in.

    We may say that if he comes up on another offence it will be discovered that he is illegally in the country and can be punished for that, but that sanction applies if someone comes to the country from the Commonwealth without permission. He can be sentenced to six months' imprisonment. Therefore, if it is possible to enforce deportation, it is possible to enforce these restrictions on immigration. That is the dilemma, and, as far as I can see, there is no way out of it for the Government. Either they will seriously enforce Part I of the Bill against the Irish or they will not. We ought to have a clear answer.

    The Home Secretary gave us his answer, but, as someone said on the benches opposite, there is an air of comic opera about the Government's attitude. I thought it rather like the succession to the Kingdom of Barataria. It is perfectly clear that the Irish are either in or out. There is no doubt about that. There is room for doubt about whether they are in or out.

    This is not the way in which one should, in an adult legislature, deal with one of the most important of constitutional Bills, a Bill which takes away rights which have been inherent within the Commonwealth for generations. The matter should not be left in this state of dubiety, when no one knows what is to happen to the Irish people.

    The Home Secretary told us something. We all know that he is the master of the veiled phrase and the delicate innuendo. I thought that the phrase he used today was one of the best he has produced. "This Bill," said the right hon. Gentleman—I can hardly read my own writing; I feel that the right hon. Gentleman deserves better handwriting than mine—"is well designed to serve an inescapable purpose". The purpose of the Bill is like the position of the Irish, just a little obscure. What is this inescapable purpose it is designed to serve? I suspect that the purpose is the muting of Kirkdale, the muting of Louth and the muting of Selly Oak for the sake of party unity.

    I believe that that is what the right hon. Gentleman meant. He meant to say, "I know that the Bill is a strange mixture of inconsistencies, indecisiveness and inconclusiveness, but that does not matter. It will go down all right at the next Tory Conference, and the pinpricks I have been getting will stop". The right hon. Gentleman is too shrewd a manipulator of Parliamentary matters to have lent the weight of his great prestige to the Bill except for that purpose.

    There has been a great deal of talk about housing and about the very serious overcrowding there is in areas associated with immigration. Anyone who lives in one of our big towns knows about it. The Government spokesman—I think it was the Under-Secretary of State—replying to an Amendment moved by my hon. Friend the Member for Brixton (Mr. Lipton), let the cat out of the bag. He advised the House, very sensibly, to reject my hon. Friend's Amendment. I think that he was quite right to do that, but he said that the Bill is to deal with labour and employment, not to deal with housing, and the Amendment was quite inconsistent with the general layout of the Bill. That was said on behalf of the Government, and, of course, it is perfectly true.

    The whole emphasis of the Bill is on the single issue of employment. Health is covered by other legislation and could be dealt with independently. The main purpose of the Bill is to deal with people coming in to compete for jobs. The Government, as has been said so often, have got so bogged down with industry and production in low gear that they now face serious unemployment in large parts of the country.

    The hon. Member for Pudsey told us a heart-rending story about queues of Pakistanis outside the mills waiting for jobs. What he did not tell us was how long they were there before they got a job. Of course, when people come to this country they have to look for work. There is nothing surprising in that. The important question is whether they find it or not. The hon. Gentleman did not tell us. He did say that those who were dissatisfied with conditions in this country went back to Pakistan. The hon. Member explained that it did not matter about these people having forged passports, because, when they wished to go back to Pakistan, the forgeries were discovered and put right.

    This shows that what we on this side of the House say is true. An economic law works in this matter. People do not come from these countries to our cold climate for the fun of the thing. They come to find jobs, to settle down and to bring up their families. If they do not find the opportunity to do these things, they go back to their own countries. That is what has happened in the case of the Pakistanis, and what happened in the case of the West Indians in 1957 and 1958.

    It is clear that the Bill is not really required to deal with unemployment, because that will adjust itself. There may be a case for saying that it is needed to deal with social questions. I do not want to join in throwing bricks at the unfortunate Irish, but nobody can believe that, if we allow free Irish immigration and stop Commonwealth immigration, that will have any effect on the demand on our social services. Whatever demand there is for our maternity services, whatever evidence there is about delinquency or overcrowding—all these problems involved in people coming over are just as great, if not greater, in the case of the Irish as they are in the case of any Commonwealth immigrants. To try to pretend that the Bill is needed to tackle grave social problems by stopping people coming over regardless of the rules by making them obtain job vouchers, while excluding from it the main group of people involved who come here and use our services, makes the whole thing complete nonsense.

    It makes me feel profoundly sad that the Government, instead of putting their great weight behind the principle that we must at all costs preserve the sense of unity and family within the Commonwealth, at this time, of all times—when we are faced with the likelihood of many countries in Africa and Asia saying that white people are hypocrites and exploiters who say one thing and do the other—have chosen instead to strike at the roots of Commonwealth freedom of immigrants. Is there some desperate need for the Bill? It is perfectly clear that there is not.

    I hesitate to ridicule the Bill too much, because I do not think that it is quite true that it will be ineffective. It will work rather like the Rent Act. When it first comes into operation, there will be liberalism and good humour in the Home Office. People will be allowed in easily and they will say, as they did about the Rent Act, "These Labour people cried before they were hurt. It is not really as bad as they pretended it was going to be." After a while, just as they did with the Rent Act, they will begin to feel the pinch, but then it will be too late to do anything about it. In a few years, when this debate is forgotten, they will feel the real pinch and danger of this Measure.

    I hope that many hon. Members opposite, before going into the Lobby to vote for the Bill, will think about the great issues at stake. The Bill is not merely a trivial piece of party manipulation to quieten dissentient voices. I understand the problem of the criticism directed against hon. Members opposite by their supporters. We have the same criticism levelled at us by people who say that we on this side of the House are taking the wrong line. But all hon. Members must set their faces firmly against this insidious kind of surrender. Therefore, I trust that those hon. Members opposite who, like the hon. Member for Lancaster (Mr. Berkeley), have the vision to see the significance of the Commonwealth, will hesitate before they vote for the Bill tonight.

    9.15 p.m.

    I am sure that almost all hon. Members on both sides of the House are now profoundly grateful that the discussions on the Bill are nearly at an end. The people most thankful are probably those, like myself, who are ardent supporters of it, for it is not a particularly easy Bill to advocate.

    As anyone who has listened to the speeches made by the hon. Gentleman the Member for Salford, West (Mr. C. Royle) and the hon. Gentleman the Member for Birmingham, Northfield (Mr. Chapman) this afternoon or on previous occasions will fully recognise, in advocating restrictions on immigration one is accused of selfishness and all uncharitableness, lacking the spirit of the Commonwealth and, worst of all, of colour prejudice. I sometimes feel that while it is comparatively easy to bear these charges when they are levelled against one by people who have some experience of the problems involved, it is almost intolerable when they are levelled—as they often are—by some hon. Members who, I feel, do not really have a proper appreciation of the problems involved in their own constituencies. Even if they have such an understanding they often do not have the experience of living in constituencies where immigration has been most intense during the last five or ten years.

    It is particularly difficult to advocate immigration restrictions for those of us who know something about the Commonwealth and who have travelled in it. I appreciate only too well, as many hon. Members have pointed out, the very great sense of loyalty there is in the Commonwealth among the ordinary people towards the Crown. Many of them look upon this country as their home, even though they have never been here.

    I felt that very much about a year ago when I was a member of a delegation to Sierra Leone and Gambia. When we visited small schools in the remote parts of the Protectorates, it was often the case that the first thing one saw on entering a school was a picture of the Queen on the wall. Often there was also a picture of these Houses of Parliament. Yes, there can be no doubt about that loyalty.

    I always recall a conversation I had with Dr. La Corbiniere, the Deputy Prime Minister of the former West Indies Federation, as I suppose we must now call it. He came with Mr. Manley to Nottingham some time after we had had the racial riots there. I sat next to him at a luncheon given by the Lord Mayor, and we argued about our respective points of view—myself arguing in favour of limiting immigration and Dr. La Corbiniere arguing, equally strongly, against it. I used the well-known argument and said, "Well, after all, almost every country in the Commonweath has restrictions on immigration and they seem to work all right." He replied—and I know that he will not mind my repeating what he said—that I was wrong. "The situation is quite different," he said, and added, "You see, if you cut off a man's arm or leg the man will go on living—but the arm or leg will die." I do not know whether one should follow up that medical analogy too closely, but it illustrates the way in which so many people in the Commonwealth, coloured and otherwise, really look upon Britain as their home.

    I am certain that all hon. Members—and this has been shown during our discussions on the Bill—are imbued with that spirit of the Commonwealth. Where we differ so much is that people who attack the Bill believe that it is a blow against the spirit of the Commonwealth. Those were almost the exact words used by the hon. Gentleman the Member for Widnes (Mr. MacColl) a few minutes ago. People like myself believe, equally strongly, that the Bill is going to do a great deal of good for that Commonwealth spirit. Above all, we believe that not merely will it be of benefit to the people of this country, but that it will be of even more benefit to the immigrants now with us and to those who are still to come here.

    For that reason, I am disappointed that throughout the course of the Bill my right hon. Friends who have been guiding it through its long stages have always prefaced their speeches with apologies for its introduction. I said just now that it is difficult and in some ways distasteful to advocate control of immigration, but that does not mean in any sense that we should apologise for doing so or suggest that the Bill will do anything but good.

    For instance, when my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary spoke on Second Reading, he began in this way:
    "It is only after long and anxious consideration and a considerable reluctance that the Government have decided to ask Parliament for power to control immigration from the Commonwealth."
    When he finished his speech, he said:
    "It would have been perfectly easy just to go on watching the situation, but the Government have preferred, admittedly after hesitation, to take a course which is as distasteful to them as it is to many of their critics."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 16th November 1961; Vol. 649, c. 687 and 705.]
    The same line was taken by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour when he wound up. He began his speech by saying:
    "I think that the right hon. Gentleman knows perfectly well that the Government and others who are prepared to support the Bill do so as an unpleasant duty …"
    When he finished his speech, he said:
    "As I said at the beginning, it is not pleasant to have to introduce this Bill. The Government dislike, but in our opinion must face, the conclusion that we have at last been forced to reach."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 16th November 1961; Vol. 649. c. 803 and 810.]
    Instead of dealing with the Bill in that way, it would be better if people who believe in it as strongly as I do emphasised what we are absolutely convinced are the very good points about it and the great benefits which, in my opinion at least, it will certainly bring to all.

    My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary said that the Government had introduced the Bill
    "… only after long and anxious consideration".
    Certainly that consideration was long. The hon. Member for Salford, West said that the Bill was forced on the Government, to start with, by an unholy trinity of the hon. Members for Louth (Sir C. Osborne), Liverpool, Kirkdale (Mr. N. Pannell) and Birmingham, Selly Oak (Mr. Gurden) and, he added, a few others. No doubt I was one of the few others. Certainly I have been urging the necessity for the Bill for 3½ years—since our trouble in Nottingham. It is certainly untrue to suggest that the Bill has been forced through by the Government or by politicians and that it did not stem from the genuine feelings of the people of this country.

    In that connection, I should like to quote a remark which was made by Mr. Manley when he was here in June. He is reported in the Daily Telegraph of Monday, 12th June, as saying:
    "The anti-immigration movement which has developed in England springs more from the top, from the politicians, than from the people among whom the immigrants live".
    All that I can say about that is that if Mr. Manley really believes that, then he can believe anything.

    I feel that the Bill has been introduced only just in time. We still have in this country, thank goodness, full employment, but the position is not all that happy. I am not sure of the exact figures, but the general unemployment figures in Nottingham recently have varied between 1·9 and 2·2 per cent. So far as I can gather from the inquiries which I have made, unemployment among immigrants is between 7 and 9 per cent. That is a figure which is now beginning to cause some alarm. Until the last few months it had been considerably smaller, but in the last three or four months and since the Bill was introduced there has been a definite deterioration, mainly due to unskilled people, chiefly Pakistanis, who are coming over in increasing numbers.

    In an emotional speech, which we all greatly respected, as we always do when he speaks on this subject, the hon. Member for Salford, West spoke of his fondness for the West Indians and said that he did not want them to be hurt. Nor do I want them to be hurt. I do not know whether the hon. Member for Salford, West has had the experience which I have had of regular visits of West Indians at weekly interviews for constituents. Only two weeks ago a West Indian came to see me who had got the sack. He was in tears in my office. He believed—and nothing would convince him to the contrary—that he had been discharged because of his colour. I do not want that to happen in my constituency or anywhere else, but it is something that is happening increasingly, and if no sort of restriction were imposed now it would happen more and more as time went on.

    If we get even a moderate degree of unemployment on a national scale in this country—and I say this from my knowledge of Nottingham at any rate—the racial riots which we had there three and a half years ago will be as nothing to what will happen. If we get that unemployment, one of two things will happen—either we shall say, "Sack the immigrants" and they will rightly feel that they are being badly treated, or we shall say, "They hold their jobs in competition with our own people", and anybody who has known any knowledge of unemployment in this country knows what would happen.

    I am sure that the Bill will make things happier all round for everyone, ourselves and the immigrants. But when it is passed into law, as I hope that it shortly will be, we have all to play our part and to live together. The immigrants are still with us and more are to come. We are always being urged to try to make immigrants rather more at home in this country and to impart our way of life to them and to ask them to our homes and to introduce them into our ways. I could not agree more with those pleas.

    But at this late stage of the Bill I appeal to immigrants to play their part as well. We all appreciate the kindly services which many of us have had from immigrant nurses in our hospitals and the courteous and efficient behaviour of immigrants employed on municipal transport. On the other hand, we have to realise that off duty the ways of people from other countries are not ours, and they, too, have to realise it.

    In that connection, I appeal to them to avoid noisy night parties, for they do more harm to race relations than can be imagined. I should think that I register about one complaint a week about them. I also say to them that however much they may be provoked at times by some of the worst elements of our own people, I nevertheless hope that they will try to refrain from carrying knives.

    I am absolutely certain that this Bill can do nothing but good. We must emphasise above everything else that it is not merely or even mainly of benefit to our own people, but will be of far more benefit to those immigrants who are now with us and those whom we hope to welcome in the future. I therefore strongly support it.

    9.30 p.m.

    We are now on the final stages of a Bill which history will declare to be a sordid one and unworthy of any Government. During the proceedings on the Bill one feature has appealed to me and to many of my hon. Friends. I say this in no condescending or patronising spirit. It has done my heart good to discern in so many hon. Members opposite the true liberal spirit, the enlightenment, and the progressive outlook which reveal British politics at their very best. I hope that the spirit they showed in their contributions to our debates and the political courage they showed in carrying some of their decisions to the point of abstaining, and in some cases even voting against their own Government, which is never an easy thing to do, will redound to their credit.

    The Bill has a very unfortunate genesis. For three or four years before it reached the House we were accustomed to Friday debates on Motions in which the hon. Members for Louth (Sir C. Osborne) and Liverpool, Kirkdale (Mr. N. Pannell) played a prominent part. No matter what those hon. Members may now say, on the last stage of the Bill, about their freedom from any suggestion of colour prejudice, if they read the speeches they delivered on those Fridays they will understand why we have accepted their protestations with so much doubt and suspicion. The words are in HANSARD. They can never delete them. The hon. Member for Louth has used the word "colour" and said that he has to admit that the prejudice is definitely against colour. That is in HANSARD. He can never delete it. What these hon. Members have said on the later stages of the Bill has been completely unconvincing to us.

    I am sure that the hon. Member would not wish to misrepresent me. I defy him to prove by reference to HANSARD that I have said that I have racial prejudice. What I have said time after time is that we are unwise to ignore the fact that colour brings prejudice with it.

    I am sure that the hon. Member is sensible enough to realise that when he adduces that type of argument the natural reaction in the House is for us to identify him with the argument which he adduces. I am particularly sorry that it is so in his case, because he always speaks with sound common sense on economic matters. He always has the ear of the House when he speaks on that subject. I thought that his experience on Second Reading was one of the most humiliating experiences any hon. Member can have in the House. When he spoke the House literally refused to give him a hearing. I was sorry for him, because I know his excellent qualities in many other spheres.

    I have paid my tribute to the magnanimity and imaginative insight of many hon. Members opposite in expressing their misgivings about the operation and implementation of the Bill in respect of people from the West Indies. I do not think that full weight has been given to the feelings of these people. My hon. Friend the Member for Salford, West (Mr. C. Royle), who has recently returned from the West Indies, was able to tell the House of the real regret and concern, almost to the point of baffled heartbreak—I am sure that I do not exaggerate the situation—at the way the attitude in this country has changed, as revealed by the Bill. I know from the few contacts I have made with coloured people who are so wonderfully serving our nation in these days that they, too, are very aggrieved. They are almost like little children who have received a slap in the face for no known reason. They just cannot understand why.

    In view of their war record, which is exemplary, and which has been referred to by hon. Members opposite, in view of the fact that the most menial tasks performed by any section of the community in Britain today are, by and large, being performed by these people, jobs which now our own people seem to believe are beneath them, and which the immigrants are performing not only effectively but with a vivacity and gaiety which win our hearts and enlist our sympathy, in view of their tremendous contribution to these important services, our transport services and our hospital services, I just cannot understand why that consideration, in and of itself, did not make the Government think again about introducing this type of Bill.

    I do not want to speak at length, and I should like to sit down, but I should just like to say that I was never more convinced of the validity of any argument than I was when my right hon. Friend the Leader of the Opposition, in his great and memorable speech on Second Reading of this Bill, said that the whole question of employment of coloured immigrants in this country of ours depends completely on the actual situation of employment in this country at any given time. The point has been made already tonight by my hon. Friend the Member for Widnes (Mr. MacColl). If we were to run—I do not think we shall—but if we were to run into a period of heavy unemployment, all my instincts tell me that these people would cease coming into this country. Nothing is more certain than that. These bogies, these fears which have been generated in this House throughout the whole process of this Bill about our own people suffering in times of unemployment because of coloured immigration, are, I think, completely without foundation, and completely irrelevant to the facts of the situation. I close on that note, and I am sure it is one final condemnation of this Bill, as the future will prove.

    9.38 p.m.

    I must be very brief because I know that the hon. Member for Leeds, East (Mr. Healey), who is to wind up for the Opposition, wants to get up at ten minutes to ten, and so without elaboration or any supporting argument I should like simply to restate my three basic objections to this Bill, which are also contained in an excellent leading article today in The Times which hon. Members no doubt have seen.

    First, the Bill is prejudicial to good relations between Britain and the coloured countries of the Commonwealth. Secondly, it is prejudicial to good race relations in the world and, thirdly, it could be very prejudicial indeed to the future and to the economy of the West Indies. Having restated those objections, to which I still adhere, I readily acknowledge that the implementation of the Bill, in practice, will be more liberal than that of the Aliens Act, and certainly more liberal than most of us thought when it was introduced.

    That is as it should be, and as the House would wish it to be. Indeed, knowing my right hon. Friend's record at the Home Office, I never had any doubt about his good intentions in the matter, and these have been reinforced by the valuable work done by hon. Members on both sides of the House—and I readily admit that it has been done more particularly by hon. Members opposite—in Committee and on Report. The Bill has been enormously improved.

    In a recent leading article the Daily Telegraph described the Bill as introducing benign discrimination. That is a fair description. To put it at its mildest, the Bill has always contained an element of discrimination. Nevertheless, I gladly acknowledge that that discrimination has become much more benign as it has progressed through its various stages. The period of the initial duration of the Bill has been reduced: the word "student" has been defined, and it has been decided that a person who spends fifteen hours of student study a week comes within that definition. That is not unreasonable; and my right hon. Friend has referred this afternoon to the granting of work vouchers to apprentices as a matter of right—as I understood it. That is a most important point. The instructions to immigration officers have been published, which I am sure was right, and we now know that entry certificates will be procurable in advance; that men who served with us in the war will be given some measure of preference; and that an unmarried woman living in permanent association with a man will be regarded as his wife for purposes of entry.

    All those things are helpful, humane and realistic, and they indicate that the operation of the Bill will be fair and reasonable, whatever some of us may think of the principle. A great deal is still left to the discretion of the immigration officers and medical health inspectors, and that is perhaps unavoidable in a Bill of this kind. Nevertheless, the Bill looks much better to many of us—and certainly to me—than it did on the day it was published.

    I should like to endorse the plea made by the hon. Member for Salford, West (Mr. C. Royle) and express the hope that at some time before the Bill falls to be renewed my right hon. Friend will consider putting it upon the agenda for a Commonwealth Prime Ministers' Conference. I urge that step because this is not only a United Kingdom matter; it is a Commonwealth matter. I am not particularly optimistic about the outcome, but there is just a chance that some Commonwealth countries which have to import manpower will help some of their sister nations who have to export their manpower. It is certainly worth trying, and it is a matter that should be discussed when the leaders of the Commonwealth are all present at the same meeting. If such a step succeeded it would not only make for closer feeling within the Commonwealth but it might also make this Bill unnecessary.

    Although many of us feel that the Bill is a departure from a valued Commonwealth tradition, I acknowledge that there are tenable reasons for it's introduction—because we all know that there is a limit to the number of immigrants this small island could absorb. If they came in their millions from the Asian countries of the Commonwealth there is probably not one hon. Member who would not sooner or later have to say, "Stop". The difference between us arises on the question: at what point on the journey do we have to leave the free entry train? The Government feel that because of the large number of immigrants who have come in in the past year or so they have to leave the train now.

    I believe that last year's numbers were abnormally inflated, partly owing to the campaign carried on by my hon Friend the Member for Louth (Sir C, Osborne) and my hon. Friend the Member for Liverpool, Kirkdale (Mr. N. Pannell), among others. That campaign did much to stimulate the arrival of immigrants. I believe that we could safely have continued the open-door policy. I take the view that the numbers would not have been impossible to cope with, especially as such evidence as we have in relation to the small 1957–58 recession indicates that, when there is not so much employment readily available here, there is automatically a self-imposed restriction upon immigrants coming here.

    I will say, however, and I shall be quite fair about it, that if, despite that view, the numbers had gone on increasing, rising steeply year by year, and if the Government were proved to be right and I was proved to be wrong, I must freely admit that there would have been some point further down the line when I also should have had to leave the free-entry train.

    It is only fair to acknowledge that, and I believe it applies to a good many hon. Members opposite as well as to myself and my hon. Friends, but not perhaps the hon. Member for Salford, West, who is, I think, a last-ditcher in this matter. It applies, as I have said, to many of us, and if we look at the matter in that way there is not so much a difference in principle on the Bill as a difference of degree and of judgment as to when one decides that one must say, "Stop".

    Having acknowledged that, I must still say that I very much dislike the Bill. As hon. Members know, I have always disliked it. Although it is a better Bill now than many of us originally feared it might be, it still contains some elements which are very much open to criticism, notably the nominal inclusion but the actual exclusion of the Southern Irish from the operation of the Bill, about which we have heard so much tonight and particularly eloquently from my hon. Friend the Member for Lancaster (Mr. Berkeley). This is a most unfortunate fact for the Government which has been very widely deplored during our debates.

    It is the misfortune of the Government that their inability or unwillingness—and I understand the reasons full well—to get round the Irish problem has identified their attitude, I think unfairly, in some people's minds with that of my hon. Friend the Member for Louth. I think that that impression is quite erroneous and quite unfair to my right hon. Friends, but it exists both in the Commonwealth and among the migrants who have already come to this country. And nothing that Ministers can now say can eradicate this most unfortunate impression.

    The psychological damage has been done. The image of Britain and, I am sorry to say, of the Conservative Party, has suffered immense harm in the eyes of the coloured nations of the Commonwealth and certainly of the West Indies. This seems to me the greatest possible pity—and I speak now from the point of view of my own party—because this comes at a time when our colonial policy, much criticised in the past, has been so progressive in recent years that even hon. Members opposite have been disarmed and even the hon. Member for Cardiff, South-East (Mr. Callaghan) has sometimes been reduced almost to silence.

    In this context I must say frankly that this Bill has put the clock back. It has revived doubts, suspicions and anxieties which the policy of my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House, when he was Secretary of State for the Colonies, and of my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister, ever since the "wind of change" speech, had done so much to nullify and refute. As a result of the Bill, the atmosphere imperceptibly has undergone a change. This makes me sad, because I cannot feel that the Bill is in accord with what I like to think of as the new Conservative approach to Commonwealth issues.

    It may be a popular Bill in the country, and I think it is. It may make a lot of sense in practical terms. Its operation may turn out to be more liberal and more generous than any of us imagined, and if so I shall be very glad; but I believe that the Bill conflicts with what I hope is the real trend in my party, which I certainly support, and it certainly conflicts with my own sincerely held ideals and convictions.

    I should have liked to have voted for the Bill on Third Reading—of course I would. Any loyal member of any party always wishes to support his Government on the Third Reading of a major Bill. I hope, however, that I shall not be thought either presumptuous or, least of all, "holier than thou", which is an attitude I have always much disliked and found most unattractive, if I say that there is, perhaps, one greater loyalty in this place even than loyalty to one's party, and that is loyalty to oneself. In the final analysis, I cannot honestly feel that I should be true to myself if I went into the Lobby to support this Bill tonight.

    9.50 p.m.

    All of us will have respected the moving speech of the hon. Member for Surbiton (Mr. Fisher), who during the passage of the Bill has done so much to make its provisions more tolerable to those who disagree with its principles. Nearly all of us would agree that the Bill has been considerably improved as a result of our discussions in Committee. It will do less harm than seemed likely in November to Britain's reputation for fair play, it will be easier to operate and we are assured that it will be operated benignly, at least as long as the present Home Secretary holds that office.

    It is worth reminding ourselves of the valuable work done by the House in changing much of the character of the Bill when we hear this House criticised inside and out as being a futile talking shop which is confined exclusively to mock battles between the parties on issues about which they do not really care. The changes which have been brought about in the Bill over the last three months represent the House of Commons at its best, performing the function for which, we believe, it deserves respect.

    Nevertheless, my right hon. and hon. Friends and myself will vote against the Bill tonight, for the same reason as we opposed it on Second Reading three months ago: first, because we believe that it is unnecessary and irrelevant to the problems which is purports to solve, and secondly, because
    "The Bill strikes at the roots of Britain's traditional liberal attitude towards immigration, at the preservation of good Commonwealth relations and at the belief that Britain is without original sin in the matter of colour discrimination."
    Hon. Members will be aware that I was there quoting the words in The Times this morning, words which express views that are widely held among thinking people of all parties and of none.

    There is no doubt, as the hon. Member for Surbiton has said, that the Bill has already done immense harm to the Commonwealth. We are all aware of the statements made about it by leading statesmen in the West Indies, including men like Sir Grantley Adams and Mr. Norman Manley, whose genuine loyalty to the Commonwealth shines as an example in our association of States. I found on a recent tour of West Africa that this view is no less widely held in that part of the Commonwealth, too.

    Quite apart from the damage done to the bonds of sentiment which hold the Commonwealth together by the way in which the Bill was introduced and some of the arguments adduced in favour of it, in terms of interest the Commonwealth is basically held together today, as always, by the fact that this country gives free entry to Commonwealth goods and to Commonwealth immigrants. The tragic fact is that the Government are taking free entry, both of goods and of people, away from our associates in the Commonwealth and simultaneously are proposing to give one or both of these two benefits to our prospective partners in the European Common Market.

    There is no doubt, as The Times this morning again points out, that the Bill was particularly disastrous in its timing and its presentation, coming, as it did, together with the Government's negotiations for entry into the European Market and associated, as the Government are, with the passage last night of a South Africa Bill which degrades the value of the Commonwealth association by giving Commonwealth advantages to a country which has been found unfit for membership of the Commonwealth. I believe that it is profoundly significant that the political commentator of the Sunday Telegraph, which is a Conservative newspaper—

    I agree with my hon. Friend the Member for Deptford (Sir L. Plummer) about that, but some of the most interesting material about the thinking in the Conservative Party is also some of the most boring material, for very natural reasons. Commenting on the Conservative Party Conference at which the Government first announced their intention to introduce this Bill, the political commentator of the Sunday Telegraph wrote:

    "Delegates rightly saw the Commonwealth as a dangerous obstacle to any realistic view of Britain's place in the world."
    I must say in all sincerity to the hon Member for Stroud (Mr. Kershaw) that I know very well that he and many like him in his party sincerely believe that the Commonwealth has a greater function to perform today, now that it is a multi-racial organisation, than it ever had to perform in the past, but the Government whom he supports in the main—I am glad to hear that he is not going to support them in the Lobby tonight—by their behaviour over the last twelve months have thrown very great doubt on the loyalty of the Conservative Party as a whole today to the Commonwealth as it now exists.

    I must warn the Government, as I did when I spoke in Committee, that there is a real danger that they will fall between two stools. There is a growing probability today that the negotiations for British entry into the Common Market will not succeed, and if this is the case, it is no good the Government thinking that they can then take the Union Jack out of the dustbin and wave it around, and expect to be greeted by other members of the Commonwealth as reconverted enthusiasts for Commonwealth association.

    I can support very strongly the suggestion of the hon. Member that the Government should announce now that they propose to invite other Commonwealth Prime Ministers to a conference in London at which they will discuss, not only the questions arising out of Britain's negotiations with the Common Market, but also the whole problem of the Commonwealth Immigrants Bill, as it is now passing through the House. Of course, essentially, as many hon. Members have pointed out, this Bill is not so much an anti-Commonwealth Bill as an anti-coloured Commonwealth Bill. I confess that the bulk of informed opinion in this country agrees with The Times when it said this morning:
    "It was racial prejudices, pressures and jealousies which constituted the support for the Bill."
    Let us be honest. We all know that the reason why this Bill has been introduced by the Government at this time is that there are in some parts of these islands big concentrations of coloured people, and, as a result, considerable social strains. There is no doubt about that. It is the social pressures set up by these local concentrations of coloured immigrants, and these social strains alone, which are responsible for the Government introducing the Bill at the present time. The extraordinary thing is that the Bill, as now amended and as now interpreted by the Home Secretary, does nothing whatever to remove these social strains, or even to guarantee that they will not increase with an increase of coloured immigration to this country.

    Thanks to the Amendments introduced into the Bill in Committee, if the Bill is operated, as the Home Secretary promised us, in a benign and efficient way, it will succeed in its explicit purpose, which is to relate the rate of coloured immigration to the number of jobs available for immigrants to this country. But it will fail in its implicit purpose to reduce the social tensions which arise out of coloured immigration because, unless the Government are even more incompetent in their managing of our economic affairs than we on this side of the House believe, the number of unskilled jobs available for immigrant workers is bound to increase steadily in Britain over the next ten or twenty years, just as it has increased in Germany, in France, in Northern Italy and every industrial area of the world where the economy is developing. In that case, if the Bill is operated, as it is now planned to operate it, the rate of coloured immigration will not fall but will increase parallel with the number of jobs available for those workers.

    It is a little absurd for the Home Secretary in this context to quote the immigration figures which are available. He talked of the impending doom to this country as a result of an increase in net immigration over the last three years from 40,000 to 80,000 to 160,000. He failed to mention that probably of that 160,000 80,000 are Irish and possibly another 40,000 are aliens not from the Commonwealth at all. Over the last ten years the economic growth of France, Northern Italy and Germany has been due to immigration on a far greater scale than we have ever permitted.

    The so-called German economic miracle has been due to the fact that Germany has increased her total population by 25 per cent. in the ten years following the war—by 10 million people. It is absurd to talk, as the Home Secretary did, as if this net increase in immigration forebode economic disaster for this country. It is utter nonsense. What, perhaps, the right hon. Gentleman meant was that included in that net increase is an increase in coloured immigration which might increase social tensions, but that is not what he said. In any case, it is not what the present Bill is designed to prevent.

    There has been a great deal of discussion today about the reason why the Home Secretary has refused to introduce measures which would enable him to control Irish immigration in the way in which he proposes to control immigration from the Commonwealth. I cannot help wondering whether the real reason for this is that if we subject the coloured immigrants to the sort of controls now contained in this Bill and leave Southern Ireland free, the expanding number of jobs for unskilled workers which might otherwise have been shared by coloured immigrants of the Commonwealth will, in fact, go to Irish workers who are able to enter without any control whatever. The result of this Bill will be not so much to reduce coloured immigration as to lead to a tremendous increase in immigration from Southern Ireland—an increase in immigration which, as one hon. Member pointed out, is liable to create far greater social problems in some respects than the increase in immigration of coloured people of the Commonwealth.

    If that is the real purpose of the Bill, to ensure that the growing need for unskilled labour in this advancing country shall be filled by Irish immigrants from an alien country rather than from coloured members of our own Commonwealth, the Government should come out and say so honestly. The plain fact is that the Bill is not only damaging to our reputation, it is irrelevant to these real objectives. In my opinion, there has been only one real gain to the country from the fact that the Government decided to introduce this Bill shortly before the Conservative Party Conference met last year. This is a gain which is in no way directly due to the Government but to the fact that the fight put up against the Bill and against the attitudes behind it, not only by the Opposition in the House, but by some hon. Members on the back benches opposite and by the bulk of the informed Press of this country, has had a profound effect on public opinion in Britain itself and in the Commonwealth as a whole.

    We on these benches no less than hon. Members opposite who have spoken against the Bill know that it was an unpopular fight from the point of view of the bulk of public opinion in this country, and I do not think that anyone who has opposed the Bill has been unconscious of the fact that he may pay personally or through his party some political penalty for it. But what is profoundly encouraging about the fight is that it has succeeded in shifting the current of opinion in Britain on the whole problem of coloured immigration. There is evidence of this in the Gallup polls. There is evidence of it which hon. Members have found when talking to meetings of their own party groups or other social groups in their constituencies. This has been a real example of political leadership, and it has paid in the resultant effect on public opinion. I only wish that the Government themselves had made an attempt to explain the real nature of these problems to the country and given us for once an example of leadership instead of surrendering to small pressure groups within their own party.

    I quote again from the excellent leading article in The Times this morning:
    "In fact, the repercussions"—
    inside the Commonwealth—
    "have not been so serious or so sustained as at first feared. This is not due to the Government. Ironically enough, it is thanks to the vigour and quality of the opposition aroused both inside and outside Parliament."
    There may well be hon. and right hon. Members opposite who do not share that view, but I believe that anyone who has travelled in the Commonwealth, as I have, during the past few months will know that it is literally true. Once again, the opposition of minorities to a popular Government policy within this country has succeeded in limiting the catastrophic damage which might have been done to our reputation in the Commonwealth and in the world as a whole.

    I have been asked by several hon. Members, who, no doubt, thought that they might derive some local political advantage thereby, to say what would be the attitude of the Labour Party towards the Bill when it next won power. Here, let me say how glad I am that the assumption of a Labour victory at the next election is now naturally accepted by hon. Members opposite. I reaffirm tonight what my right hon. Friend the Leader of the Opposition said in the first discussion we had about the Bill on Second Reading.

    We do not believe that the Bill is necessary now. We do not believe that any case has been made by the Government in the last few months to prove the necessity for such a Bill, to prove the necessity for overthrowing the principle of free entry to Britain for the inhabitants of other countries in our Commonwealth. We believe that the Bill should never have been introduced without the relevant information being collected, and, frankly, we find it impossible to understand how the Government could justify as recently as yesterday refusing even to try to collect the information and statistics on which a true judgment about immigration and the need for control must be based.

    If the information collected by a serious survey of the whole problem revealed that immigration control was necessary, we should regard it as essential to consult the other Commonwealth Governments. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh".] I am surprised at hon. Members opposite. They know in their hearts that this was one of the issues on which the Government did the greatest harm to our country's reputation in the Commonwealth and the greatest harm to their own reputation, such as it is, for objectivity in making up their minds on legislation.

    We would consult other Commonwealth Governments to see how this could be achieved with the minimum damage to their interests and to their confidence in our loyalty and good will. This is how we shall act when we win power. [Interruption.] It is very easy for hon. Members opposite to make promises. They do it all the time. They promised last year that they would keep down the rise in Government expenditure to 2½ per cent. this year, but it is already up to 4½ per cent. We are not so irresponsible, [Interruption.] Certainly we are not.

    What we can say is that we can see no grounds whatever at the present time for such a Bill. We do not believe that the Bill will even deal with the social problems which exist as the result of the immigration of coloured people. The reason why we fought, in the end successfully, to ensure that the Bill should be of short duration and that we shall have a chance to review it in eighteen months' time, is that we want the right to reject it in eighteen months' time if, as we feel confident, it proves to be totally inadequate for its purpose as well as extremely damaging to the survival of the Commonwealth and to our reputation in the world.

    We believe, as I think we have proved in the course of the arguments of the last three months, that the Bill is unjustified and is detrimental to our honour and to our interests. That is why we shall vote against it tonight.

    10.12 p.m.

    I have listened with interest to the speech of the hon. Member for Leeds, East (Mr. Healey) and I must say frankly that he disappointed me in one respect.

    . The right hon. and learned Gentleman always disappoints us.

    My hopes were raised by the hon. Member for Islington, East (Mr. Fletcher) who, at the conclusion of his speech, indicated without qualification that his hon. Friend the Member for Leeds, East would answer the perfectly positive question put to him about the intention of the party opposite with regard to the repeal of this Bill. It has taken the hon. Member for Leeds, East a considerable time to frame a sentence with many "ifs" and many conditions which can give no indication of any kind as to the course which the party opposite will take.

    Since this Bill was introduced, we have had many interesting and wide-ranging debates upon it. We had some particularly useful debates in Committee after the introduction of the timetable, and today we have had a serious and thoughtful debate on the Third Reading—at the same time a very good humoured but serious debate, for this is a serious occasion in the consideration of a major Bill.

    I was rather disappointed not to hear anything of the views of any hon. Member from Northern Ireland about this Measure. Of course, we have not been favoured with the views of any member of the Liberal Party, because they have been absent for most of the debate.

    I am sure that the right hon. and learned Gentleman, with his sense of legal training, would always like to be accurate in his facts. If he had been present at the debate a little more than he was, he would have known that it was only for approximately 20 or 30 minutes that Liberals were not manning their bench. I ask him to withdraw his remark.

    I will not withdraw. I saw the hon. Gentleman come in and out. I never saw him rise to his feet to address the House.

    That is not what the Attorney-General said. He is a slippery lawyer. He will get a baronetcy if he carries on like this.

    In this final debate on the Bill as a whole in this House I want to sum up the case for the Bill and, in the course of doing so, to reply to the criticisms which have been advanced. That this is a better Bill now in some respects than it was when first introduced I would not seek to dispute, but it is quite wrong to stigmatise it, as did the hon. Gentleman the Member for Islington, East and my hon. Friend the Member for Lancaster (Mr. Berkeley) thought fit to do—as ill-considered and ill-digested.

    In fact, I make no apology for it. It was introduced after long and anxious consideration. [Interruption.] Any Government considering a Measure of this sort should, before introducing it, give it long and anxious consideration. That the Government did. The detailed examination of a Bill in Committee often, and usually does, leads to improving the Measure, and that, after all, is the object of the Committee's consideration of it. Certainly after the introduction of the timetable that has been the result. It is the usual tactics of an Opposition to seek to claim all the credit for the amendments made. I prefer to say that all hon. Members of the Committee doing their best—including those who accept the principle of the Bill—have tried to make the Measure work as satisfactorily as possible.

    In my belief, the case for the Bill today is even stronger than on Second Reading. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] It is not due, as the hon. Gentleman the Member for Salford, West (Mr. C. Royle) suggested, to any unholy alliance on the part of the hon. Members for Louth (Sir C. Osborne), Liverpool, Kirkdale (Mr. N. Pannell) and Birmingham, Selly Oak (Mr. Gurden), or anything of that sort, but to the trend which the figures suggest.

    My right hon. Friend has referred to the immigration figures and to the Registrar's estimate that the figure for 1961 is likely to be larger than that for 1960. Those figures have a serious significance. As my hon. Friend the Member for Surbiton (Mr. Fisher) said, we all recognise really that there is a limit to the number of immigrants this country can absorb. We may differ as to what that limit is, but that there is a limit few would deny. To allow that limit to be exceeded by refraining from taking power to control immigration is not, in my belief, in the true interests of immigrants, of this country or of the Commonwealth.

    That is the fact I urge the House to accept; that not to take such power would not be in their interests and that there is a limit. That really is the foundation of the case for the Bill. It is not, as is so often represented, our object to stop immigration. My right hon. Friend paid tribute to the valuable work done by so many immigrants in hospitals, on the railways and elsewhere.

    It is not and never has been our intention or desire to stop immigration to this country; only to take power to regulate the flow so that the limit which this country can absorb at any particular time is not exceeded. My right hon. Friend the Member for Reigate (Sir J. Vaughan-Morgan) made a very serious and interesting speech and regretted that we had not taken power to control immigration many years ago. No doubt it would have been easier for us now had we done so. But, that not having been done, the major question is, should we now, as a Government, seek to take that power?

    I am glad that on reflection and, after a great deal of heart searching, my right hon. Friend has reached the conclusion that it is right for the Government to do so. If it is right for the Government to do so—and I recognise only too well that there is a minority who do not accept that—it must be accepted that a control on immigration must interefere, to some extent, with the right of free entry into this country. That is really inescapable. Any hon. Member of this House, wherever he may sit, is reluctant to interfere with that. That is one of the reasons why we gave long and anxious consideration to the matter before venturing to introduce the Bill and because we believed that the time had come when it was necessary to do so.

    If it is necessary now to take power to control immigration, then, in our view, the methods contained in the Bill are the only practical and right methods of doing it. We seek to take power to control the flow of immigration and to achieve the object of the Bill, while interfering to the least possible extent with the admission of immigrants into the United Kingdom. The right of free entry of Commonwealth citizens resident here and of their wives and children is not affected. Students retain the right of admission provided that subsections (4) and (5) of Clause 2 do not apply. Visitors will, of course, continue to be welcomed. Those who wish to work here will, as my right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour explained, have to obtain vouchers. My right hon. Friend explained how that system will work and how flexible it is. It is by the use of this machinery that excessive immigration can be prevented and the flow regulated to that which this country can absorb.

    A great deal has been said in this debate and in earlier debates about the Southern Irish. I believe that the Bill rightly applies not only to all immigrants from the Commonwealth but to all immigrants from the Republic of Ireland. Their position has been contrasted with that of those in the West Indies.

    I should like to say a word or two about the position of the Southern Irish, it has always been a difficult problem, as the right hon. Member for South Shields (Mr. Ede) recognised. The Southern Irish have their special geographical position which really makes special treatment inevitable. That was recognised in 1948 when the British Nationality Act was passed. It really is too late now, even if it were desirable, to put the clock back in that respect.

    Some of the things said today about the position of the Southern Irish seemed to me to relate more to the situation which came into existence in 1948. My right hon. Friend the Member for Reigate referred to the Southern Irish having the glamour of independence and the privileges of membership of the Commonwealth at the same time. If that be right, it is really more a criticism of what was achieved then than it is of the proposals in the Bill.

    Despite all the criticisms which have been made, I maintain that the Government's position, open though it may be to misrepresentation, has always been clear. We take power to regulate immigration by the Southern Irish. It is right that we should do so under the Bill. It may become necessary to exercise that power, although, in the Government's view, it is not expedient to do so now.

    It is clearer than the final passages of the hon. Gentleman's speech.

    Most of the Southern Irish immigration is seasonal and is different in character from immigration from elsewhere. It would be quite wrong to take power to restrict immigration from the Commonwealth and to refrain from taking power to restrict immigration from Southern Ireland, although, as I say, at present there is no intention to exercise that power. It is quite illogical and wrong to seek to represent the Bill, applying as it does to all Commonwealth countries irrespective of colour, as a colour bar Bill just because restrictions will not now be imposed on Southern Irish immigrants.

    Could my right hon. and learned Friend clarify one point about which we should like a little further information? Is it definite that if these restrictions are implemented against immigrants from Southern Ireland, whose entry it may be necessary to control, they will be imposed on the borders of the United Kingdom and at no other point?

    I think that my right hon. Friend used the words, "borders of the United Kingdom." I do not think that even a lawyer could argue as to where the borders of the United Kingdom are. [HON. MEMBERS: "Answer."] That is the answer to the question. [HON. MEMBERS: "Answer."] I think that the answer was perfectly clearly, "Yes". There is no doubt about where the borders of the United Kingdom are.

    I say in conclusion that this is a major Measure. We recognise the difficulties of the introduction of a Measure of this kind. It is easy to attack and easy, perhaps, to misrepresent. We have thought it right to introduce it and to seek to explain it to the House and to the country. In our view, it is an important Measure and one which ought to command the support of the House.

    As I have said, we have had very good humoured debates and I should like to pay my tribute to the hon. Member for Islington, East for the part he has played in these debates. He has carried the battle, leading the Opposition, almost single handed. Indeed, I think that it is right to say that only on one occasion since the timetable was introduced has he had the support of any right hon. Friend of his on the Front Opposition Bench. On one occasion after the timetable Motion had been passed the right hon. Gentleman for Belper (Mr. G. Brown) spoke, but I dare say that he wished that he had not done

    Division No. 110.]

    AYES

    [10.28 p.m.

    Agnew, Sir PeterCritchley, JulianHarrison, Col Sir Harwood (Eye)
    Aitken, W. T.Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col Sir OliverHarvey, Sir Arthur Vere (Macclesf'd)
    Allason, JamesCrowder, F. P.Harvey, John (Walthamstow, E.)
    Amery, Rt. Hon. JulianCunningham, KnoxHarvie Anderson, Miss
    Arbuthnot, JohnCurran, CharlesHastings, Stephen
    Ashton, Sir HubertCurrie, G. B. H.Hay, John
    Barber, AnthonyDance, JamesHeath, Rt. Hon. Edward
    Barter, Johnd'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir HenryHendry, Forbes
    Batsford, BrianDeedes, W. F.Hiley, Joseph
    Beamish, Col Sir Tuftonde Ferranti, BasilHill, Dr. Rt. Hn. Charles (Luton)
    Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gos & Fhm)Digby, Simon WingfieldHill, Mrs. Eveline (Wythenshawe)
    Bevins, Rt. Hon. ReginaldDonaldson, Cmdr. C. E. M.Hill, J. E. B. (S. Norfolk)
    Biffen, JohnDoughty, CharlesHirst, Geoffrey
    Birch, Rt. Hon. NigelDrayson, G. B.Hobson, Sir John
    Bishop, F. P.du Cann, EdwardHocking, Philip N.
    Black Sir CyrilDuncan, Sir JamesHolland, Philip
    Bossom, CliveElliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton)Hollingworth, John
    Bourne-Arton, A.Elliott, R. W. (Nwcstle-upon-Tyne, N.)Hope, Rt. Hon. Lord John
    Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hon. J.Emery, PeterHopkins, Alan
    Boyle, Sir EdwardErrington, Sir EricHornby, R. P.
    Braine, BernardErroll, Rt. Hon. F. J.Howard, John (Southampton, Test)
    Brewis, JohnFarey-Jones, F. W.Hughes Hallett, Vice-Admiral John
    Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. Sir WalterFarr, JohnHughes-Young, Michael
    Brooke, Rt. Hon. HenryFinlay, GraemeHulbert, Sir Norman
    Brooman-White, R.Fletcher-Cooke, CharlesHurd, Sir Anthony
    Brown, Alan (Tottenham)Forrest, GeorgeHutchison, Michael Clark
    Bryan, PaulFraser, Hn. Hugh (Stafford & Stone)Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)
    Buck, AntonyFraser, Ian (Plymouth, Sutton)Jackson, John
    Bullard, DenysFreeth, DenzilJames, David
    Burden, F. A.Galbraith, Hon. T. G. D.Jennings, J. C.
    Butler, Rt. Hn. R. A.(Saffron Walden)Gammans, LadyJohnson, Dr. Donald (Carlisle)
    Campbell, Sir David (Belfast, S.)Gardner, EdwardJohnson, Eric (Blackley)
    Campbell, Cordon (Moray & Nairn)George, J. C. (Pollok)Johnson Smith, Geoffrey
    Carr, Compton (Barons Court)Gibson-Watt, DavidKaberry, Sir Donald
    Cary, Sir RobertGilmour, Sir John
    Channon, H. P. G.Glover, Sir DouglasKerans, Cdr. J. S.
    Clark, Henry (Antrim, N.)Glyn, Dr. Alan (Clapham)Kerby, Capt. Henry
    Clark, William (Nottingham, S.)Glyn, Sir Richard (Dorset, N.)Kerr, Sir Hamilton
    Clarke, Brig. Terence (Portsmth, W.)Goodhart, PhilipKershaw, Anthony
    Cleaver, LeonardGoodhew, VictorKimball, Marcus
    Cole, NormanGough, FrederickKitson, Timothy
    Collard, RichardGower, RaymondLancaster, Col. C. G.
    Cooke, RobertGrant, Rt. Hon. WilliamLangford-Holt, Sir John
    Cooper, A. E.Grant-Ferris, Wg. Cdr. R.Leather, E. H. C.
    Cordeaux, Lt.-Col. J. K.Green, AlanLeavey, J. A.
    Cordle, JohnGresham Cooke, R.Leburn, Gilmour
    Corfield, F. V.Gurden, HaroldLegge-Bourke, Sir Harry
    Costain, A. P.Hall, John (Wycombe)Lilley, F. J. P.
    Coulson, MichaelHamilton, Michael (Wellingborough)Lindsay, Sir Martin
    Courtney, Cdr. AnthonyHare, Rt. Hon. JohnLinstead, Sir Hugh
    Craddock, Sir BeresfordHarris, Reader (Heston)Litchfield, Capt. John

    so. The hon. Member has certainly helped us to do what we could to make the Bill work as well as possible.

    Despite all the threats to fight the Bill line by line, we have now reached the concluding stages. The Bill is better than it was when introduced. The Government would be failing in their duty if they failed to tackle this thorny question now. There can be no doubt that the Bill will be administered in a humane and sensible way. In my belief it will achieve its object of regulating the flow of immigration to this country to the country's capacity to absorb it. I recommend the Bill to the Housee.

    Question put, That the Bill be now read the Third time:—

    The House divided: Ayes 277, Noes 170.

    Lloyd, Rt. Hon. Selwyn (Wirral)Peyton, JohnStorey, Sir Samuel
    Longbottom, CharlesPickthorn, Sir KennethStudholme, Sir Henry
    Longden, GilbertPike, Miss MervynSummers, Sir Spencer (Aylesbury)
    Loveys, Walter H.Pilkington, Sir RichardTalbot, John E.
    Lucas-Tooth, Sir HughPitman, Sir JamesTaylor, Edwin (Bolton, E.)
    MacArthur, IanPitt, Miss EdithTaylor, Frank (M'ch'st'r, Moss Side)
    McLaren, MartinPott, PercivallTaylor, W. J. (Bradford, N.)
    McLaughlin, Mrs. PatriciaPowell, Rt. Hon. J. EnochTeeling, Sir William
    Maclay, Rt. Hon. JohnPrice, David (Eastleigh)Temple, John M. … ….
    Maclean, Sir Fitzroy (Bute & N. Ayrs.)Price, H. A. (Lewisham, W.)Thomas, Leslie (Canterbury)
    Macleod, Rt. Hn. lain (Enfield, W.)Prior, J. M. L.Thomas, Peter (Conway)
    Macmillan, Rt. Hn. Harold (Bromley)Proudfoot, WilfredThompson, Kenneth (Walton)
    Macpherson, Niall (Dumfries)Quennell, Miss J. M.Thompson, Richard (Croydon, S.)
    Maddan, MartinRamsden, JamesThorneycroft, Rt. Hon. Peter
    Maitland, Sir JohnRawlinson, PeterThornton-Kemsley, Sir Colin
    Manningham-Buller, Rt. Hn Sir R.Redmayne, Rt. Hon. MartinTiley, Arthur (Bradford, W.)
    Markham, Major Sir FrankRees, HughTouche, Rt. Hon Sir Gordon
    Marples, Rt. Hon. ErnestRees-Davies, W. R.Turner, Colin
    Marshall, DouglasRenton, DavidTurton, Rt. Hon. R. H.
    Marten, NeilRidley, Hon. NicholasTweedsmuir, Lady
    Mathew, Robert (Honiton)Ridsdale, JulianVane, W. M. F.
    Matthews, Gordon (Meriden)Rippon, GeoffreyVaughan-Morgan, Rt. Hon Sir John
    Maudling, Rt. Hon. ReginaldRoberts, Sir Peter (Heeley)Vickers, Miss Joan
    Mawby, RayRobinson, Rt. Hn Sir R. (B'pool, S.)Vosper Rt. Hon. Dennis
    Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J.Roots, WilliamWakefield, Sir Wavell (St. M'lebone
    Mills, StrattonRopner, Col Sir LeonardWalker, Peter
    Montgomery, FergusRussell, RonaldWall, Patrick
    More, Jasper (Ludlow)St. Clair, M.Ward, Dame Irene
    Morgan, WilliamSandys, Rt. Hon. DuncanWells, John (Maidstone)
    Morrison, JohnSeymour, LeslieWhitelaw, William
    Mott-Radclyffe, Sir CharlesSharples, RichardWilliams, Dudley (Exeter)
    Nabarro, GeraldShaw, M.Wills, Sir Gerald (Bridgwater)
    Nicholls, Sir HarmarShepherd, WilliamWilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
    Oakshott, Sir HendrieSmith Dudley (Br'ntf'd & Chiswick)Wise, A. R.
    Orr-Ewing, C. IanSmithers, PeterWolrige-Gordon, Patrick
    Osborne, Sir Cyril (Louth)Smyth, Brig Sir John (Norwood)Wood, Rt. Hon. Richard
    Page, Graham (Crosby)Soames, Rt. Hon. ChristopherWoodhouse, C. M.
    Page, John (Harrow, West)Spearman, Sir AlexanderWoodnutt, Mark
    Panned, Norman (Kirkdale)Stanley, Hon. RichardWorsley, Marcus
    Partridge, E.Stevens Geoffrey
    Pearson, Frank (Clitheroe)Steward, Harold (Stockport, S.)

    TELLERS FOR THE AYES:

    Peel, JohnStodart, J. A.Mr. Edward Wakefield and
    Percival, IanStoddart-Scott, Col. Sir MalcolmMr. Chichester-Clark.

    NOES

    Ainsley, WilliamEdwards, Walter (Stepney)Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.)
    Albu, AustenEvans, AlbertJones, Rt. Hn. A. Creech (Wakefield)
    Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)Fernyhough, E.Jones, Dan (Burnley)
    Allen, Scholefield (Crewe)Finch, HaroldJones, Elwyn (West Ham, S.)
    Awbery, StanFletcher, EricJones, J. Idwal (Wrexham)
    Baird, JohnFoot, Michael (Ebbw Vale)Jones, T. W. (Merioneth)
    Baxter, William (Stirlingshire, W.)Forman, J. C.Kenyon, Clifford
    Beaney, AlanFraser, Thomas (Hamilton)King, Dr. Horace
    Bennett, J. (Glasgow, Bridgeton)Galpern, Sir MyerLee, Frederick (Newton)
    Benson, Sir GeorgeGeorge, Lady Megan Lloyd (Crmrthn)Lewis, Arthur (West Ham, N.)
    Blackburn, F.Ginsburg, DavidMabon, Dr. J. Dickson
    Blyton, WilliamGooch, E. G.MacColl, James
    Boardman, H.Gourlay, HarryMcInnes, James
    Bowden, Rt. Hn. H. W. (Leics, S. W.)Grey, CharlesMcKay, John (Wallsend)
    Bowles, FrankGriffiths, David (Rother Valley)Mackie, John (Enfield, East)
    Braddock, Mrs. E. M.Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly)McLeavy, Frank
    Brockway, A. FennerGriffiths, W. (Exchange)MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling)
    Broughton, Dr. A. D. D.Grimond, Rt. Hon. J.Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.)
    Brown, Rt. Hon. George (Belper)Hamilton, William (West Fife)Manuel, A. C.
    Brown, Thomas (Ince)Hayman, F. H.Mapp, Charles
    Callaghan, JamesHealey, DenisMarsh, Richard
    Castle, Mrs. BarbaraHenderson, Rt. Hn. Arthur (Rwly Regis)Mason, Roy
    Cliffe, MichaelHerbison, Miss MargaretMendelson, J. J.
    Cronin, JohnHilton, A. V.Milne, Edward
    Cullen, Mrs. AliceHolman, PercyMitchison, G. R.
    Davies, Rt. Hn. Clement (Montgomery)Holt, ArthurMonslow, Walter
    Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.)Houghton, DouglasMorris, John
    Davies, Harold (Leek)Howell, Charles A. (Perry Barr)Mulley, Frederick
    Davies, Ifor (Cower)Howell, Denis (Small Heath)Neal, Harold
    Davies, S. O. (Merthyr)Hoy, James H.Noel-Baker, Rt. Hn. Philip (Derby, s.)
    Deer, GeorgeHughes, Cledwyn (Anglesey)Oram, A. E.
    Delargy, HughHughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire)Owen, Will
    Dempsey, JamesHughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)Padley, W. E.
    Diamond, JohnHunter, A. E.Paget, R. T.
    Dodds, NormanHynd, H. (Accrington)Pannell, Charles (Leeds, W.)
    Donnelly, DesmondHynd, John (Attercliffe)Pargiter, G. A.
    Driberg, TomJanner, Sir BarnettParkin, B. T.
    Edwards, Rt. Hon. Ness (Caerphilly)Jeger, GeorgePavitt, Laurence
    Edwards, Robert (Bilston)Jenkins, Roy (Stechford)Pearson, Arthur (Pontypridd)

    Pentland, NormanSmith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)Warbey, William
    Plummer, Sir LeslieSnow, JulianWatkins, Tudor
    Popplewell, ErnestSpriggs, LeslieWeitzman, David
    Price J. T, (Westhoughton)Steele, ThomasWhitlock, William
    Probert, ArthurStonehouse, JohnWilkins, W. A.
    Randall, HarryStones, WilliamWilley, Frederick
    Rankin, JohnStrachey, Rt. Hon. JohnWilliams, D. J. (Neath)
    Redhead, E. C.Stross, Dr. Barnett (Stoke-on-Trent, C.)Williams LI. (Abertillery)
    Rhodes, H.Swain, ThomasWilliams, W. R. (Openshaw)
    Roberts, Albert (Normanton)Swingler, StephenWilliams, W. T. (Warrington)
    Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon)Symonds, J. B.Willis, E. G. (Edinburgh, E.)
    Robertson, John (Paisley)Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield)Wilson, Rt. Hon. Harold (Huyton)
    Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.)Thomas, Iorwerth (Rhondda, W.)Woodburn, Rt. Hon. A.
    Ross, WilliamThomson, G. M. (Dundee, E.)Woof, Robert
    Royle, Charles (Salford, West)Thornton, ErnestYates, Victor (Ladywood)
    Silverman, Julius (Aston)Thorpe, Jeremy
    Skeffington, ArthurUngoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn

    TELLERS FOR THE NOES:

    Slater, Mrs. Harriet (Stoke, N.)Wade, DonaldMr. Short and Mr. Lawson
    Slater, Joseph (Sedgefield)Wainwright, Edwin

    Bill accordingly read the Third time and passed.