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Immigration Rules

Volume 977: debated on Thursday 31 January 1980

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8.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what further representations he has received over the new immigration rules.

We continue to receive representations on various aspects of our proposed changes in the immigration rules.

Are the Government now seriously reconsidering the proposed changes in the immigration rules? If so, would it not be best to resist some of the backwoodsmen on the Conservative Benches and their leading voice in the Cabinet—namely, the Prime Minister—on this issue?

What weight has my hon. Friend given to the high-powered legal evidence that was given recently on male fiances? Is there not a real danger that the Government will get themselves into hot water when the issue is brought before the European Convention? Are we not storing up trouble on an international scale?

No. As my right hon. Friend told the House on 4 December, we believe that we have strong arguments to justify our proposals, if they are challenged.

Does the Minister agree that there is now a complete breakdown between the liaison of the Home Office with the aliens division and local police forces? Does he accept that correspondence taking place between Home Office Ministers and Members of Parliament is now completely ignored by policemen, who now demand that they take action irrespective of the Home Office? Is he further aware that, in reply to my questions, Home Office officials have said that they are completely impotent to intervene in arrests enacted by the aliens division for the police? Is not that evidence supported by the case of a 72-year-old lady in my constituency, who had a bag put over her head, was arrested and taken to Holloway Prison, where she will remain until she leaves this country? Is that not an absolute disgrace? How either the Home Secretary—

Order. The hon. Gentleman should be fair. He has taken a long time. I allowed him extra time, but he has asked enough now.

Order. I remind the House that we have only reached question No. 8. That slow rate of progress is due to long supplementary questions.

I accept that, Mr. Speaker, but there are a number of hon. Members on both sides of the House who have asked extremely lengthy questions In this instance, the whole of our society is at risk and—

Order. I think that the hon. Gentleman has made his question quite clear.

We do not control the operations of the police. It seems that the hon. Gentleman's allegations are completely wild and unsubstantiated.