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Volume 84: debated on Wednesday 30 October 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will grant exemption to the husbands of women settled in the United Kingdom before 1973, equivalent to that given to the wives of men settled in the United Kingdom before 1973.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many Bangladeshi nationals arrived at Heathrow airport in July, August and September, and how these figures compare with the same period in 1984.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if, in view of low staff morale, increasing delays in interview casework and lengthening queues of incoming visitors from abroad, he will increase the resources devoted to the immigration service generally and at Heathrow airport in particular, and if he will make a statement.

[pursuant to his reply, 24 October 1985, c. 208]: We share the right hon. Member's concern at recent, and current, pressures on the immigration control, and on staff, especially at Heathrow terminal 3. We have discussed these with staff and some staff representatives. Additional staff have already been transferred to Heathrow terminal 3 and to the ministerial correspondence unit at Harmondsworth. More will be allocated there from 3 November, and two training courses for new recruits have been arranged to enable more staff to be allocated to operational duty before Christmas. We believe these measures will assist in tackling the problem of delays, and we shall keep the staffing position under close review.The right hon. Member has written on these and related matters and we shall be replying to that letter in due course.