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Army Bill

Volume 205: debated on Friday 13 March 1992

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

Not amended (in the Standing Committee), considered. Order for Third Reading read.

3.51 pm

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

The decision to merge the Ulster Defence Regiment and the Royal Irish Rangers was especially important because it affects regiments that have stood for more than 20 years in the front line of the battle against terrorism. The decision is not a criticism of the UDR or of the Royal Irish Rangers. There is no conspiracy here and no hidden agenda.

The aim is to create in the home service battalions of the new regiment an even more professional, effective and flexible security force which is capable of playing an even more decisive role on behalf of all law-abiding people of Northern Ireland in bringing about the defeat of terrorism. The agenda is very much in the interests of Northern Ireland, of the UDR and of its members.

The UDR is about 6,000 strong with a roughly 50:50 ratio between full-timers and part-timers. We expect to maintain the home service battalions of the Royal Irish Regiment at about the same total strength and with a part-time element of about the same size. Obviously, we are not going to commit ourselves to precise figures, but I can give the House a reassurance. Part-time service is a vital and cost-effective feature of the UDR and we expect to retain it at about its present level.

The home service battalions will, of course, be only one element in our total security forces deployed in Northern Ireland, which amount to about 17,000. The total number of troops deployed may vary in the future, depending on the security situation, just as it has varied in the past.

We are still working on the detailed terms of service for the new regiment. We recognise entirely that members of the UDR did not join to travel the world but joined to serve locally the people of Northern Ireland. We shall acknowledge that in the new terms of service for the home service battalions. Those terms will limit the service that is required to service within Northern Ireland.

For some, however, the opportunity to volunteer for a tour of duty or training with the general service element of the regiment may be attractive. It may enhance their military proficiency and chances of promotion. We certainly believe that for some, training or duty outside Northern Ireland will be to their wider benefit.

The principal cost element to which the Bill relates is military manpower. We shall continue to give the House the information about numbers in the home service battalions which we provide about the UDR at present. I commend the Bill to the House.

3.54 pm

It is greatly to be regretted that, in the dying hours of this Parliament, we should be giving the Bill its Third Reading. The matter is highly controversial in Northern Ireland. Anyone who listened to a show on local radio last night will understand that. The charges made were very serious indeed.

I cannot accept—I wish that I could—what the Minister of State for the Armed Forces said. I would merely ask him about the poll carried out by the Ulster Defence Regiment to ascertain the opinion of the regiment and of people in Northern Ireland. At a meeting at which the Minister was present, elected representatives of Northern Ireland found out for the first time that a public relations job had been done. We were entitled to know who did it. We were also entitled to know the sample that was taken and the attitude of members of the regiment. Some of them went public and said that they had been handed documents by their superior officer and told that, when on television and speaking to the press, they were to follow the official line that the officers were taking. They were told that if they did not take that line, and if they made television appearances or talked to the press, they would be subject to Army discipline. I do not think that that is the way in which to get a good response from loyal men who take their lives in their hands every time they put on their uniform or if they are known to be members of the UDR.

I utterly deplore the fact that Northern Ireland representatives have not had the opportunity to discuss the Bill as it should be discussed. I was promised that there would be representatives of all parties in the House when the Bill went into Standing Committee. The opportunity to serve on a Committee considering the Bill was denied to my party and to the Social Democratic and Labour party, which is interested in having the regiment abolished, as its representatives have always said.

We must have full democratic discussion of matters relevant to Northern Ireland. We must be able to probe the Government and table amendments, yet, as a representative of Northern Ireland, and representing a Northern Ireland party, I have had no opportunity to move any amendments to the Bill. Is that what democracy is coming to? We are told that there is much support for the Bill. Even if that is so and I am in a tiny minority, I should be allowed to exercise my democratic rights through the institutions of the House established for that purpose.

I feel strongly that it would have been better had the Government withdrawn the Bill at this stage. If the Conservatives are in government after the election, they could bring it back. As the Labour party agrees with the Bill, a Labour Government could also bring it back. We could then have a full and proper discussion in Committee and Northern Ireland Members could table amendments to make the Bill more in keeping with what they wish. That opportunity has been denied to us and, late on Friday, the Government are pressing on regardless in an attempt to get the Bill on the statute book as quickly as possible.

In the name of those whom I represent and in the name of the vast majority of members of the Ulster Defence Regiment, I must protest. The question has been asked: why do not members of the regiment resign if they are unhappy with the proposals? Why should they? They volunteer to stand by and to serve their country. Yet people say, "There have not been many resignations from the regiment, so all its members must be happy." That claim is illogical and unjustified. As I said, a man who joins the UDR puts himself and his family at risk. The men who do that are loyal men who want to defend their country against the acts of terrorism that are taking place there.

There is one word on the lips of the people of Northern Ireland in respect of the Bill and it is "betrayal". Those people include the highest to the lowest parts of society. Why do they say it? Hon. Members seem to think that Ulster people say "betrayal" when they have no arguments to put. However, when one studies the history and how the thought of the Bill was born in the Government's mind, one sees how justified Ulster people are. The thought of doing away with the Ulster Defence Regiment did not start in the House or with the Government; it started with the Irish Republic. It started on the very day on which the Anglo-Irish Agreement was signed. I have with me a statement by the then Prime Minister of the Irish Republic. He said:
"When we get into the conference we will put forward Irish views and proposals for the progressive establishment of a new security system which would obviate the need for the UDR to be involved in local security. This will be pursued sensitively, carefully and firmly."
Here we have the blueprint for the very thing that the House is asked to do. We must compare that statement with the statement that was made in the House. We were told that we are not abolishing the UDR but are making a better Army career structure for the UDR. That is exactly what the Taoiseach suggested—that the way to get rid of the UDR was to obviate its place in the security of Northern Ireland.

I must put a salute firmly on record. The obituary that was written by the Government does not take into account everything that has happened in respect of the UDR. More than 200 UDR men have been killed by terrorists, 44 former members have been murdered by the IRA and 377 have been seriously wounded. The Ulster Defence Regiment has given value for money. It costs £1·5 million a week, whereas the RUC costs £1·5 million a day. No other aspect of the security forces is so cost-effective. In 20 years, the UDR has trained 40,000 members. Of them, 17 have been convicted for murder. Four are having their appeals reheard. The UDR is responsible for only 0·28 per cent. of all deaths in Northern Ireland. Republican terrorists have killed 250 times as many people as the Ulster Defence Regiment in carrying out its statutory duties.

That is part of the record of this regiment. It ill becomes me not to pay the highest tribute to the men who left their homes, their children, their wives and their businesses to go on to the streets of Northern Ireland when the House could find no one else to do the job. Those men were recruited when the House, in its folly, abolished the Ulster Special Constabulary, a gallant body of men who defended Ulster so well that the official historian of the IRA has said that as long as they were there the IRA could not do the task that it wanted to do in taking over Northern Ireland. That was written by Tim Pat Coogan in the official biography of the IRA. It is a fine tribute.

History is now repeating itself. The UDR is a gallant regiment which the House should honour. In fact, a few weeks before the guillotine fell on the regiment, Her Majesty the Queen gave her colours to four of its battalions and spoke in the highest possible manner of the gallantry of those men. There has been and there continues to be, however, a vicious and diabolical campaign of slander against the regiment. We have had all cries. The greatest cry has come from the IRA. It has cried out, "Get rid of the Ulster Defence Regiment."

If the Minister of State for the Armed Forces believes that he is giving the right message to the people of Northern Ireland by pressing the Bill through today, he is gravely mistaken. It gives the wrong message at the wrong time to the people of Northern Ireland and those who have their backs against the wall under terrorism. I appeal to the Minister. Nothing will be lost if he withdraws the Bill tonight. Let it come back to the new House of Commons. Let us have a further discussion on the matter and put it to a Committee in which those who represent Northern Ireland can move the necessary amendments. That is the way in which it should be done.

As I said, history is, sadly, repeating itself. The Bill tells us that all members of the Ulster Defence Regiment will cease to be members of that regiment. It amounts to an abandoning of the regiment. The briefing paper that Tory Members of Parliament received said that the Bill was the end—the word "end" was used—of the Ulster Defence Regiment. No amount of assurances or talk from the Government Front Bench could do away with that fact. The Bill destroys the Ulster Defence Regiment.

The only reason why we have the Bill is that the regiment was brought into existence by a Bill becoming law. The Government thought that they could achieve their purpose in another way. When we told them that they would have to come to the House, they discovered that primary legislation would be necessary. If it had not been necessary, the measure would have been steamrollered through long before and we would not even have had this debate. That is why many people in Northern Ireland feel that Northern Ireland legislation should be dealt with properly, with Bills being announced, going through the House and becoming Acts.

It seems ironic that the Government praise the Ulster Defence Regiment when they intend to do away with it. I read the Committee proceedings on the Bill, which lasted barely an hour. I read all the praise and sympathy for the UDR. Many hon. Members said, "Yes, we know how you feel." The people in Northern Ireland do not want any sympathy. They want tangible expressions from the House that it has taken cognisance of what is happening in Northern Ireland and is prepared to do something about it.

Passing the Bill will not achieve what the Minister tells us that he is trying to achieve—peace and a better way to handle security in Northern Ireland. I know people on the border whose only defence is the Ulster Defence Regiment. I know how they feel about the Bill. I know how the lonely families in South Armagh, Fermanagh and South Tyrone, the Londonderry border and South Down feel about the Bill. The last line of their defence is to be taken away from them. They deserve that defence and the House has a responsibility to give it to them. But today the House will take it from them.

No amount of appeals or assurances and no amount of lectures from the Government to representatives in Northern Ireland which do not tell them the things that they want to hear can alter the fact that fear is in the hearts of the people who have looked to the Ulster Defence Regiment and who received protection from it in the sad and bad days in the past which, although we do not want to prophesy, we are sure will continue.

The Bill is opposed and needs to be opposed. In discussions on the Bill I have been staggered by the way in which the measure has been sold to the people. I do not think that anyone in Northern Ireland, or even the Minister during his brief introductory statement to the Third Reading debate, has ever suggested that the Ulster Defence Regiment was like any other regiment in the British Army. It was called into existence to do a specific job, not to create professional soldiers or to give them a career in the Army but to enlist them for the defence of their homes, their families and the country that gave them their birth. That is why it is called the Ulster Defence Regiment.

The Bill will delete the name of Ulster, although the Ulster Defence Regiment has held an honoured place among the regiments of the British Army. Ministers tell us that they want to introduce an Irish dimension into the Army. The largest part of Ireland—26 counties—is no longer part of this United Kingdom and therefore is not especially interested in it.

The explanatory note to the Bill says that the new regiment will be called the Royal Irish Rangers. It seems to me that if the Government had wanted to put the word "Royal" in the name and had wanted to give continued assurance and some respite in the fear in the hearts of the people in Northern Ireland, they could have called it the Royal Ulster Regiment.

Why is there such bitter hatred and why does the Army want to delete the name "Ulster" from its records—records which have brought honour to men who fought in the regiment—and put "Irish" in its place? That is the question that the Minister has to ask.

As I said in a previous debate, the Minister's boss, the Secretary of State for Defence, made it clear to my hon. Friend the Member for Belfast, East (Mr. Robinson) and to me that never again would Ulster be used in the name of any regiment in the British Army and he said, "You know why."

What is the reason? It is because of opposition from Dublin to that name. The Bill was born out of the Anglo-Irish Agreement and the Taoiseach of the Republic at the time made it crystal clear that it was his aim to see to it that that regiment was eventually disbanded. That is what will happen as a result of the Third Reading of the Bill.

At every Anglo-Irish Agreement meeting since the agreement was signed, the Foreign Minister of the Irish Republic has made a statement attacking the Ulster Defence Regiment. So, their propaganda went on and on.

At the last meeting—the first meeting under the new Irish Government—Mr. Andrews, the Foreign Minister, said that the Ulster Defence Regiment would be the first subject that he would raise at the Anglo-Irish Conference. There has been a well-orchestrated, well-planned campaign of propaganda to discredit the men of the Ulster Defence Regiment.

I should like to take the House to Castlederg. I should like to take hon. Members through the cemetery gate, turn them to the right-hand side and show them every plot in that graveyard where lie the bodies of UDR men murdered in that area by the IRA. I should like to do something else; I should like to tell hon. Members that when I sat in a room with the Chief Constable of Northern Ireland, Mr. Hermon, the body of men there said, "Sixteen of our colleague UDR men have been murdered. Now count us and come back in a year's time and see how many are left." I went back a year later, not Mr. Hermon, and those ranks were seriously depleted. Instead of men, there were vacant chairs. Some hon. Members may not want anybody to speak of these matters. Others may want to get away, and I can well understand why, but we will fail in our duty to represent Northern Ireland if we do not put these matters firmly on the record.

This matter goes down into the very depths of the Ulster people. We are dealing with life and death. We are dealing with something that the Government said that they would do for the people of Northern Ireland when they abolished the old Stormont Parliament and took responsibility for security from the elected representatives there: they said that they would safeguard our homes and lives—that they would defend us. They recruited this regiment of Ulster men who were prepared to put their lives on the line to give their fellows on both sides of the religious divide security and defence. How have they been treated?

This is no good day for the House, for the Minister of State for the Armed Forces or for the people of Northern Ireland. We need to face up to that. I know that our voices will be like those of one crying in the wilderness. Nevertheless, those voices must be raised strongly and loudly in the House today. What is going to happen in Northern Ireland?

Some weeks ago we had a most distressing, terrible, heart-rending period of violence. There were a number of atrocious, diabolical, tit-for-tat killings. What happened? The Secretary of State called out the UDR. That poured oil on the waters. A couple of weeks later we had comparative calm and peace in that area of the city of Belfast. Only recently, the Secretary of State called out the regiment to alleviate the distresses of Ulster in the midst of its agony, and it was successful. Yet, at the same time the Government were pressing ahead to destroy the regiment. I see that even the Minister paid tribute in some Government papers and the Committee to its ability to do such a task. Why, then, does the Minister put his hand to abolishing a regiment that has done particular good recently in the war-torn Province that my colleagues and I have to represent?

The past 21 years have been hard years for everyone in Ulster. Violence and terrorism have been on the increase. One thing has been highlighted month in, month out over those terrible years—the Government's inability to give the death blow to the men of violence. There has been an increase in the growth of terrorism and counter-terrorism. The UDR soldier has never ceased to be a target. In many cases he has been not only a target but a victim of IRA violence.

Members of the IRA do not come out, declare themselves and say, "Let's fight it out", but perhaps four or five of them wait for that man when he goes off duty, having done his stint to defend the people of Northern Ireland, and shoot him in cold blood. Sometimes, when he is coming home from earning money to keep his family and children, they shoot him, perhaps in his own yard before his children and his wife. Hon. Members should be on their feet today defending the Ulster Defence Regiment, instead of acting as they are.

The other day, on the border, four IRA men attacked one UDR man who had a handgun. He demonstrated his bravery and fought off the four of them. He shot one and the other three fled to the safe sanctuary of the Irish Republic, to be released later by the authorities there. That was an up-to-date incident. More than 45 members have been killed and 377 members have been seriously wounded, both on and off duty. I would challenge any hon. Member who questioned the gallantry and loyalty of members of the Ulster Defence Regiment.

It has been said to me, "Haven't those men done things that they shouldn't have done?" Of course they have, but have not members of other regiments from other parts of the United Kingdom also done things that they should not have done? Have not they, too, been charged with murder in the courts and found guilty? Why do not we make an even comparison between all the regiments that serve in Northern Ireland? Why must the Ulster man be pilloried? Why must the Ulster Defence Regiment soldiers be picked out to be treated in that way? I make a plea in the House that all our men who serve in those regiments should be defended. If one, two or more people do something wrong, the law takes care of them, but that does not challenge the integrity of the other regiment members.

The Government appear not to take account of the sacrifices that have been made. They are not prepared to say to the Ulster Defence Regiment, "You have done a good job; you will keep your name and we shall put 'Royal' before it. Why shouldn't you be honoured with that title? Why shouldn't the name of the only part of Ireland that is now in the United Kingdom be the name of one of our regiments?" Instead of that, the miserable little Bill is presented to the House today as the House is about to close down, and we are told that it is imperative that it is passed. I appeal to the Minister of State for the Armed Forces to think again. The people in Northern Ireland are saying, "All this is rubbing the noses of the suffering UDR members into the dirt. They would be better treated if they had not given their lives and paid the ultimate price in loyalty to defend the people of Ulster."

We are told that the Ulster Defence Regiment is sectarian. How can it be anything else when the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic church tells its people that they should not join it, and the cardinal tells his people that the Ulster Defence Regiment should be done away with? We cannot expect Roman Catholic people to join it. If they do so, they have to leave their homes and live away. Their parents have to visit them in safe houses. Do hon. Members realise that police officers and members of the Ulster Defence Regiment who are Roman Catholics—I salute their loyalty and bravery—cannot go to their own homes? Their parents have to meet them in secret, safe houses in the city of Belfast or elsewhere, so they are cut off. We cannot expect people to serve in those circumstances.

No greater hardship has been suffered by any member of Her Majesty's forces than has been suffered by members of the UDR. They have borne the burden and the heat of the day and their share of hardship. The regiment, totalling 6,000 full-time and part-time members, is facing a crisis. The Minister cannot tell the House what will be left of the part-time sector of the regiment. It has been said that there might be 3,000 members. I noticed from the Committee Hansard that he said that he hoped that the forecast by the hon. Member for Fermanagh and South Tyrone (Mr. Maginnis) was right, and that 3,000 part-time members would be retained, but it is the part-time part of the regiment that is most important. It needs to be strengthened, not weakened, but the Minister cannot deny that when the Bill comes into force the regiment will be further weakened.

If the Government are honest when they say that the part-time element of the regiment should be increased, why has there been no intensive campaigning on its behalf? Why was there not a call-up asking people to join the regiment on a part-time basis? To emphasise only the career structure of the new amalgamated regiment is to miss the point, which is that there should be a determined effort to ensure that part-timers are not only kept at their present level but increased. The Government are not doing that. I will go further and make a prophecy, based on what the Minister said—the number of part-timers will be reduced more and more.

I am glad to say that it is acknowledged by those who are opposed to the Ulster Defence Regiment that it is not part of the problem. On Second Reading, my hon. Friend the Member for Newbury (Sir M. NcNair-Wilson) referred to a television programme, saying that it was unfair that the programme-makers should pillory the UDR and say that it was part of the problem that it had been brought into being to solve. No greater slander could have been made against the regiment.

The hon. Member for Foyle (Mr. Hume), the leader of the Social Democratic and Labour party, said at his party's conference that only 0·28 per cent. of violent deaths in Northern Ireland had been caused by the UDR and that 67 per cent. of those deaths had been caused by the Irish Republican Army or its associates. Put that 67 per cent. beside that 0·28 per cent. and take from the latter those who were killed because they were doing something that they had to be stopped from doing and the result shows that the UDR has the best record on killing of all the services in Northern Ireland. It is difficult to find any justification for what is happening today.

The UDR has been maligned by intrusive comments from successive foreign Governments of the Irish Republic. The Government, by their actions, show that they care nothing for the security of the Province. They are content to play the Republican green card of continuous criticism, ignoring the consequences of such catcalling. It was the signing of the Anglo-Irish Agreement which brought about the problem and gave rise to the proposed disbandment of the UDR, via a merger.

The Minister says that there is no conspiracy, no hidden agenda, and that we should not believe such rumours. He should come to Northern Ireland, where I would take him to homes that I have visited, with their curly-headed little boys and girls who have no father tonight. I would like him to speak to the wives so that they could tell him what they suffer when even the memory of their loved ones is maligned and attacked on television by those whose one aim is to blacken the name of the regiment. The House should wake up to the fact that if we keep blackening the names of our friends and those who are prepared to stand for law and order and decency, and to give their lives in defence of that, we shall be sowing the wind and one day we shall reap the whirlwind. That will happen because of the Bill.

The House should remember that under the terms of the Anglo-Irish Agreement there is an obligation on the conference that at its every meeting it should consider the security position, and thus provide an opportunity to deal with policy issues, serious incidents and forthcoming events. The policy issue that has been hammered and hammered by the Irish Republic is the UDR. One would not think that the IRA was carrying out any murders. At every meeting an announcement is made that, once again, the UDR must be put under scrutiny. Once again, there must be an assurance that the police will accompany UDR members. Once again, we must agree to prevent the UDR from having any contact with members of the general public.

How can the UDR carry out its duties if it cannot deal with the general public? There has been a campaign to isolate the regiment and, that campaign having succeeded in the propaganda war, the way has been prepared for the regiment's final destruction. The will of the Government of the Republic to effect change in Northern Ireland and in the UDR was evident even before the defence review of Her Majesty's forces was announced. We saw it coming. I was relieved when I heard the Secretary of State for Defence say that there would be no change to the UDR. Suddenly, the greatest of all changes was announced—the regiment is to be disbanded. The Bill makes that perfectly clear. Even if we were to accept that the merger is a military proposal in which both regiments will be fully absorbed, as the Minister said, we could not accept that the will of the Government of the Republic did not influence the decision to bring about that merger.

The very fact that the Government of the United Kingdom would even consider the suggestions of a hostile and foreign Government—who make an illegal claim to Her Majesty's jurisdiction—is in itself a negation of responsibility. As I said in the House after the Anglo-Irish Agreement was signed, it was an outrage that the first thing said by the Taoiseach was that there would be the demise of a regiment of the British Army as a result of the signing of the agreement. Dr. Garrett Fitzgerald said
"The UDR has a core of competent, professional military officers"—
or will the Minister claim that it is not competent and professional, down to company level?—
"as well as an adequate number of experienced NCOs."
When was the regiment lacking in those NCOs? He added:
"The part-time membership of the UDR should be disbanded"—
and we are seeing that happen—
"and better control of UDR operations should be ensured."
That was the Prime Minister of a foreign country dictating what should happen to a British Army regiment. When one considers the Bill's proposals, it is clear that the requirements of the then Taoiseach are being met.

The proposed UDR career restructuring is an attempt to hide the motives behind the merger, which is to get rid of the unacceptable face of security, as it is painted by the Irish Republic and others, and to change the UDR's ethos.

The emergency situation in which the regiment is even more evident today. Shame on successive Governments for not dealing with that emergency in the correct way. The current development originated in a campaign against the Royal Ulster Constabulary that suddenly switched to one against the UDR. Now that that regiment is to be done away with, opposition to the RUC is growing, with more and more criticism of its activities, accusations that it is a sectarian force, and questions about why more Roman Catholics are not to be found in its membership. So it will go on.

Northern Ireland's unique security situation calls for a unique force such as the Ulster Defence Regiment. Only the UDR can provide the manpower to assist the RUC in its fight against terrorism. Its Deputy Chief Constable told me, "We as police could not do anything about the security situation if we did not have the assistance of the Ulster Defence Regiment. If it is disbanded, how can we train men to take its place? How could we set up an adequate security apparatus to take its place? It cannot be done."

The men who serve in the UDR could have joined other regiments that have closer associations with the Province, but they chose to join the UDR—to fight not for Ireland but for security, peace, and harmony in Ulster itself. The regiment's membership is an indication of its desire to serve for peace in that beleaguered Province.

The proposed merger will have many side effects, but the overall concern is the detrimental effect that it will have on security and on the morale of the regiment's members.

I wish to make it clear that I am not party to calling on people in Northern Ireland to leave the Ulster Defence Regiment. That is not what I advocate. I know how men feel. I am aware of how they have been treated. I know of those who were arrested and had false charges laid before them. I know that millions of pounds had to be paid to buy them new houses and to relocate them under the terms of the Stevens inquiry. Those men persevered in their membership of the UDR because they were dedicated and loyal men.

If the merger takes place, a force in which there is so much will lose its identity. Why should the regiment have to suffer in this way? If it had done something disgraceful and besmirched its good name, one would understand, but that, of course, is not the position. Even its detractors, as they come with glee to bury it, are prepared to pay fulsome eulogies to its members, the way they have served and the sacrifices that they have made.

The Government's proposals will add nothing to the overall effectiveness of the British Army's counter-terrorist role in Northern Ireland. Instead, they will detract from the implicit moral driving force that attracts men and women into the ranks of the UDR. The proposals will do nothing to improve security. Indeed, security will take a terrible hammering. That is because people are losing faith in what should be done. The enemies of our Province will be well pleased.

What of the proposed title of the regiment? Men have died because they joined the UDR. Men were murdered because they associated with them. Men were murdered even after they had done their stint and had returned to civvy street. They were killed for being British Ulster men and women. They were unprepared to swallow Irish rule. They died for the cause of Ulster, not for that of Ireland. They did not die to give an Irish dimension. They died because they chose to be part of the United Kingdom and its jurisdiction. The proposal to name the regiment the Royal Irish is a laughable attempt to grab orange with green—a vain attempt to inflict a hybrid name of Irish society upon the people of Ulster.

Why do the Government not wake up to the realities? The empire is dead and only British Ulster is British. The Irish have forsaken the Union. Why do the Government not honour those who wish to maintain the Union and are prepared to die for its preservation? They should rename the UDR the Royal Ulster Defence Regiment to give credit to those to whom credit is due.

If the Government honestly believe that calling the regiment the Irish regiment will attract support from the Social Democratic and Labour party, the Roman Catholic church, the Irish Government and the security forces, may God almighty help us. Since the announcement was made, the SDLP, the Roman Catholic hierarchy and the southern Government have not said, "Join the new regiment that is about to be formed." That is the proof of the matter. Why do we not hear those who were the detractors of the UDR making a clear call—not an ambivalent one—in support of men and women joining the new regiment? Instead, we hear them say, "No, we shall not commit ourselves." When will they commit themselves? The answer is that they will never commit themselves to anything that is aimed at retaining and maintaining the Union.

Can the Government give a guarantee to the UDR that the merger will not result in removals, redundancies, transfers and demotions? They cannot do so, because the removals, redundancies and demotions have already begun. The thinning out process is in hand. Any officer can say to a man, "You can appear on the media, provided that you say this, but if you do not say that but say the opposite and oppose the merger, we shall take disciplinary action against you." The part-time element of the Ulster Defence Regiment is already understaffed and being phased out by natural wastage. At a time when Ulster is the victim of so many sectarian atrocities, instead of strengthening the armed forces the Government are pulling the carpet from under the feet of the UDR. If the Government continue to pursue this merger, it will have an unsettling effect on the family life of current UDR members. The Government must remember that if certain members of the UDR, for their own reasons, do not join the new merged regiment, they will still be marked men.

The tragedy is that a policy has begun to withdraw the personal weapons that members of the UDR were given with which to defend themselves when off duty. It is bad enough to have served in the security forces and therefore to be a marked man. It is bad enough to know that one's only hope of protection is one's own ability and a personal weapon. But what will happen when people find that they are no longer members of that regiment and that personal weapon is taken away from them? Is that the sort of treatment that should be handed out to men who have marked themselves out because by taking a stand and joining the regiment? They will lose both earnings and protection.

There will also be loss of employment. The Ulster Defence Regiment represents the greatest value for money in terms of security costs that the Province has ever seen or is ever likely to see. We hear every day about cuts. These continuous cuts will affect the money available to make the war effective against the enemies of Ulster. The proposals will undoubtedly set in motion the means by which the part-time element of the UDR will be reduced to a lower level than ever before in its history.

In November 1991 the ferociousness of the IRA's terrorist campaign necessitated the first call-up of those part-time men. Since November last year an emergency situation has prevailed in Northern Ireland. More troops have had to be brought into the Province. A law-abiding community has been able to say over and over again, "Thank God for our security forces, thank God for our police, and thank God for the Ulster Defence Regiment, because they have stood between us and the enemy." For some time now the British authorities have viewed part-time Ulster Defence Regiment membership as unacceptable by their career standards, but the very ethos of the UDR was to be a unique arm of the security forces in a unique situation. I can now see the demise of those part-time soldiers—not immediately, but in the long term. Their numbers are going down already.

Terrorism in Ulster can be thwarted only through the civil power of the Royal Ulster Constabulary backed up and supported by a locally recruited Ulster Defence Regiment. The auxiliary forces must be drawn from and must interlock with the Northern Ireland community. The Ulster Defence Regiment offers the best network of intelligence within the community that it serves, and the only way in which terrorism can be destroyed is through intelligence. Who better to gather intelligence and to spearhead the strength of intelligence than those who live and go in and out of the community? Who better than those who use their eyes and ears to defend themselves and who in so doing can defend others? That is all to be sacrificed. It would be more advisable for the Minister of State to appeal to every Irish Member in the House to support the security forces and to appeal directly to the Social Democratic and Labour party to support the security forces.

As I have said, the lack of Roman Catholic members in the UDR is the responsibility of the IRA, who pick them out to murder them, but it is also the responsibility of their Church and their political representatives in the SDLP.

I apologise for interrupting my colleague so early in his contribution, but this relates to the role of the Social Democratic and Labour party. Is there not a strange irony in the fact that a political party which, since its inception, has done everything possible to undermine the security forces in Northern Ireland and to withhold its support from them and which, in recent years, has withheld support from the Ulster Defence Regiment and called for its disbandment is not in its place this evening to see the dawning of the hour that it sought?

All I can say to my colleague is, when the British Government does that party's work so well for it, it does not need to be present. Even in its death throes, the House is eager to pass this mean little Bill and to add its insult to the UDR, so the SDLP does not need to be present.

The attitude of the Social Democratic and Labour party towards the Ulster Defence Regiment is of course all on record, as the hon. Member for Antrim, North (Rev. Ian Paisley) says. However, is not it also on record that the SDLP is wholly opposed to the Royal Irish Rangers and that it campaigned against that regiment ever serving in Northern Ireland? As that is the SDLP's background, is not it natural that it will campaign against the new Royal Irish Regiment which is to be the successor to the Royal Irish Rangers and the UDR?

It is of course on record that the SDLP campaigned against any of the Irish regiments in the British Army serving in Northern Ireland. It insisted—indeed, dictated—what regiments should come to Northern Ireland to serve. I think that it was only under a Conservative Government that the regiments eventually came. I may be wrong about that but, certainly for a long time during the troubles, none of the regiments were permitted to come. They were not considered acceptable in Northern Ireland by the SDLP. There is no doubt about that.

I see that I have the approval even of the Minister. We need the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church to say that it will support the regiment, and the SDLP to call on its people to support it. At a meeting in Downing street when the Prime Minister talked to the four leaders of the constitutional parties, as they are called, I told him that it was not true that the four leaders were one when it came to supporting the security forces. The leader of the Social Democratic and Labour party did not support the security forces. He does not call. There is a great difference between saying to one's people, "If anything happens to you, go to the police," and saying, "Join the police. Support the police by becoming a member of the police."

That is what is happening in Northern Ireland. No nationalist or republican elected politician says, "Join the police. Put your emphasis on the police by joining them." Yet I still repeatedly hear them say that we shall achieve peace only when everybody can give his allegiance to the police. There is no country in which all the people give their allegiance to the police. Those who want to break the law do not give their allegiance to the police, and the IRA will not do so—neither will those who support it.

It is a sad fact that the proposals in the Bill are before us. It is all too easy, as hon. Members hasten away to the coming election, for a number of them to wait here and vote the Bill through. But they will not reap any of its harvest. They will go to bed tonight in the comparative peace and safety of their homes on this side of the water. They know nothing of the worry of the woman on the border with her family, and the family on the border who can no longer live in their own home. At night they have to live in an outhouse, where both the father and the mother have shotguns in their hands. Hon. Members know nothing about that. The House is ignorant of what is happening in Northern Ireland—ignorant of what one sees when one goes to a farmhouse, and the wife and the father take one to the outhouse and show one the bedding on the floor and the guns stacked against the wall, and say, "That is how we have to live, because our house could be attacked at any time". Those are the people who now live in more fear, because people in those areas have looked to the Ulster Defence Regiment for their defence.

That is why I say to the Government and to every Member of the House, "Some day you will have to remember—your conscience will remind you—and you will say, 'Yes, I voted for that.'" It is easy to vote for a Bill, but what will the end product be?

The trouble with the Bill is that, in one sweep, it says:
"Any person who is a member of the Ulster Defence Regiment at the commencement of this Act shall cease to be a member at that time and, if his term of service with the Regiment would have continued after that time…
he shall continue to be a member of the armed forces until the term of service current at that time expires or is otherwise brought to an end, and…
he may be transferred"—
it does not say "shall be transferred"—
"to another corps in the same way as a member of the regular forces serving in a corps other than the Ulster Defence Regiment."
With one sweep, those three little paragraphs completely wipe away the whole membership of the Ulster Defence Regiment, and the regiment itself. It is the end of the road for the regiment. Would any hon. Member in similar circumstances not feel deeply aggrieved if that were the sentence of execution passed by the House? Does the House not feel that that is bound to be intolerable to members of the regiment, especially in view of their sacrifices?

What will the end of the story be? After the debate concludes and the House divides on Third Reading, the word will go back to Northern Ireland that this is the end of the UDR. People in our Province remember the day when the House did the same with the Ulster Special Constabulary. They will have more despair in their hearts at the end of this debate than they have had for many long years. They hoped and trusted that at long last the Government and the Prime Minister would take the matter in mind. Instead, they find that once again their hopes have been dashed. Those who have served well in the UDR have got their come-uppance, which they do not deserve. They have been treated in a manner that I put on the record as disgraceful.

I cannot accept the arguments that I have been given, although I should like to accept them. It is far easier to live at peace than to live at war, and it is far easier to conform than not to conform. However, when one is elected to office, one has a responsibility to ensure that the electors give their views. Having balanced those views and found them to be absolutely honest and trustworthy, one has a duty to put those views in the place to which one has been elected. Whether the House wishes to hear them and whether that man receives scorn from the people to whom he speaks, he must say what the people have convinced him is right. Having talked to UDR officers, to UDR men, to a prominent general in the British Army and to others related to military service, I am convinced—

Does it concern my hon. Friend that, in every contact with the Minister he has said with absolute conviction—I do not doubt him for one minute —that the UDR wants the change? Does it disturb my hon. Friend that the Minister actually believes that? I can see that the Minister is not interested in listening, although he will have plenty of time later in which to listen.

Is it not disturbing that the Minister clearly believes that the UDR wants the Bill? We who come from Northern Ireland know that the UDR wants nothing to do with the Bill and that the grass roots, the men who serve on the streets and roads of Northern Ireland, want the measure defeated.

I do not expect the Government to listen. The only time they listen to Northern Ireland is when they are in trouble. They then run to the leaders from Northern Ireland saying, "Please help us." The hard-pressed people of Northern Ireland say, "In God's name, help us. You are not helping us tonight by what you are doing."

It is no use the Government bluffing their way and saying, "Everything will be all right." Everything will not be all right. The Minister has the evidence. I put it to him again. I see a person in the Box who was present at the meeting at which it was revealed to us that the Government had spent money on a survey—an opinion poll—which came out overwhelmingly in favour of the Bill. The Minister should now tell us when the poll took place, what money was spent on it, how many officers, NCOs and privates were questioned. What was the breakdown, and what was the result of that poll?

My hon. Friend said that the poll was of the officers and men of the Ulster Defence Regiment. Was it not also of the officers and men of the Royal Irish Rangers, and did not the Minister suggest that there was a less enthusiastic response from the Royal Irish Rangers when they were asked those questions—even though the sample was clearly geared to get the best result for the opinion poll?

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. As the hon. Member for Antrim, North (Rev. I. Paisley) said more than an hour ago, the future of the UDR is very important to us in Northern Ireland. My party tabled an amendment in Committee, but it was defeated by the Government. We have not had a full and proper debate at any stage in the Bill's proceedings. The debate is now getting off the ground, and many hon. Members wish to take part in it. There is a rumour that the Government are about to curtail the debate. Can we have a ruling from you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, on how long we have available to continue?

The right hon. Gentleman and the House know full well that the occupant of the Chair cannot deal with hypothetical questions. I have to deal with the situation as it proceeds.

Further to the point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. May we have an assurance that the debate can continue for as long as you are satisfied that hon. Members wish to voice their opinions on Northern Ireland, and that those opinions will be heard. I was told by those in the Table Office that the debate could continue for as long as there were people who were prepared to speak. If that is not so, I should like to hear it contradicted; if it is so, I should be happy to hear you say so.

I can add nothing to what I have already said. As long as the hon. Member for Antrim, North (Rev. I. Paisley) is in order, he is entitled to proceed.

Let me take this opportunity to warn the Government not to try to gag Northern Ireland Members tonight. It does not matter to me if they curtail our proceedings; it would suit me because I have plenty of other things to do in Northern Ireland. But I can tell the Minister that, if the Government do that the people of Northern Ireland will realise the lengths to which they are prepared to go to gag Northern Ireland's public representatives and prevent us from speaking.

We do not enjoy the opportunities available to hon. Members representing seats in Wales, Scotland and England. In Great Britain, legislation is implemented by way of Bills which have stages—Second Reading, Committee, Report and Third Reading. Our laws are passed in one and a half hours in a series of Orders in Council. It is amazing that I can move an amendment to a law affecting the people of England and Wales but that I cannot amend a law affecting those who sent me to the House. Our opportunities for debates are limited, and if we do not have a full opportunity to debate Bills that affect Northern Ireland, the people of Northern Ireland had better know that we are limited in that way. We have no forum in Northern Ireland to which we can take matters.

The House should remember that it is always dangerous to stifle debate. If debate is stifled, frustrations will break out in another way. If that is what the Government are about, let them do it. That will be all right, but they will reap in Northern Ireland what they are sowing. This debate is open ended, but if the Government had wanted, they could have guillotined it. They thought that the matter would never be seen on the Order Paper and that it would be nodded through.

It will not be nodded through. I have already told the Minister of State that it would be better to withdraw the Bill and bring it forward again. What has he to fear? Is he not going to return to this place? If he returns, he will have the opportunity to do that. If he does not return, Labour Front-Bench Members, who are in favour of the Bill, can bring it back for him. The Minister of State can join them in a new coalition. He did not withdraw the Bill, so 1 shall continue. I thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, for the opportunity to do so.

Will my hon. Friend say something about the consequences of this measure becoming law, in particular the lessons that will be learned by the Provisional IRA, which campaigned for the removal of the B Specials? It was successful in persuading the House to remove the B Specials because of IRA propaganda. IRA propaganda has concentrated on the Ulster Defence Regiment, and the Government have again responded to IRA propaganda. Is there a lesson that the IRA will draw from that?

Yes. The lesson that I have learnt is that I have to talk on and on, because I have discovered that the Government intend to move a closure motion when I sit down. That leaves me no option but to continue to speak on this matter. I deeply regret that attitude. It will have a sad reaping in my Province. The Minister of State should go the second mile on the issue. He is not even prepared to listen. He has been doing his correspondence and talking to his hon. Friends. He wants to silence the person to whom he is not prepared to listen. That is not democracy at all, it is the worst form of dictatorship.

Please, for the sake of the widows, orphans and memory of the Ulster Defence Regiment, let the House debate the matter. If nobody but Northern Ireland hon. Members want to take part in the debate, they should be heard. This is our only opportunity to debate the matter.

I am sorry to disturb the hon. Gentleman's brief remarks, but may I refer to something that he said a few moments ago? He said that other hon. Members are not aware of living under the threat of violence. We all appreciate that the threat in Northern Ireland is serious, but some hon. Members are living under the same threat. Their names have appeared on lists. Of course, hon. Members have been murdered. Two lists were discovered. One was in Limerick. It was discovered by the Garda six months ago. Other hon. Members who are not Northern Ireland Members were on that list. I remind the hon. Gentleman as gently as I can that the terror and fear are shared by many other hon. Members and their families.

I do not know of any case on this side of the water of a family having to leave their own home at night and go into a lonely outhouse—a cowshed—and stretch out their beds, with the father bolting the door and putting two cartridges into a double-barrelled shotgun. I do not know of any part of the United Kingdom where a man goes out ploughing and his wife has to lie up against a hedge with a gun in her hand. I know and appreciate that there is fear among people. There is fear on both sides of the Community. I am aware of that.

In my other capacity as a minister of religion, I have to visit the hospital. When I visit the Royal Victoria hospital it takes 20 police officers to get me in and out safely. One of the Ministers visited the hospital the other day. It took 200 members of the security forces to get him in and out safely. Does the House realise the continual pressure that we are all under?

It is important to clarify the issue of fear. The hon. Member for Newport, West (Mr. Flynn) limited fear to the fear among elected Members of Parliament here in Great Britain. Of course a handful of Members of Parliament in Great Britain live in fear. But that is not the issue that the hon. Member for Antrim, North (Rev. Ian Paisley) was addressing. He was not worried about Members of Parliament. He was rightly worried about the fear that has spread across the ordinary people of Northern Ireland. It is the people of Northern Ireland who live in fear. Ordinary Members of Parliament here in Great Britain still do not understand what the fear is like in practice in Northern Ireland.

The right hon. Gentleman is right. I must say to the House that people who go into public life in Northern Ireland take their life in their hands. We all know that. The IRA attempted to kill the right hon. Member for Strangford (Mr. Taylor). I remember visiting him in the hospital shortly after he received all those bullets in his face. I am warned continually that I am on the danger list and could be murdered. My wife has been attacked. I have been shot at. But if one chooses to take a stand and be a public representative in Northern Ireland, no matter who one is and what one's convictions, one will always be under threat. But that is not what I seek to convey to the House about the Bill.

The ordinary people in Northern Ireland who go about their daily business, whose name is never on the front of the newspaper, who are unknown, who bring up their children, send them to school and do their best to rear them and give them a chance in life, are living in fear. It is a fear that goes across the religious divide. Protestants are afraid and Roman Catholics are afraid. The fear enters into the gut of the people. There is great fear. If the Bill is passed tonight, there will be more fear. The Bill will not lessen but build up fears.

The right hon. Member for Lagan Valley (Mr. Molyneaux), the leader of the Ulster Unionists in the House, told the Prime Minister when we met him that there was a perception that the British Government would pull out of Northern Ireland. That perception leads to fear among not only Protestants but Roman Catholics, who do not know what will happen if the Government pull out. We have a super-abundance of fear.

Some people in the House may be cynical and say that the fears are unreal, but even if they are unreal, they are real to the people who have them. We must emphasise that to the House. The House should take cognisance tonight that there are real fears in the hearts of people.

Apart from the fear of terrorism, is there not a real fear in Northern Ireland as a consequence of legislation such as this? It creates fear that a Government who introduced the Anglo-Irish Agreement moved directly at the behest of Dublin to start making changes such as the removal of the Ulster Defence Regiment. Has my hon. Friend read the memoirs of Dr. Garrett Fitzgerald? In them it says that, during negotiations on the Anglo-Irish Agreement, Dr. Fitzgerald and his colleagues pressed the Government of the United Kingdom to do away with the UDR. He says that there was less than a solemn defence of the Ulster Defence Regiment from the British Government during that time. Will the people of Northern Ireland not fear that there is a sell-out by the Conservative Government over the Ulster Defence Regiment, just as they sold out Northern Ireland over the Anglo-Irish Agreement?

I must confess to my colleague that I have not read that large book—the memoirs of the Taoiseach—but I have read extracts from it, which made it clear that Garrett Fitzgerald entirely got his own way. As my hon. Friend said, he also put on record that he was amazed that representatives of the British Government did not defend the position of people in the north of Ireland and almost readily accepted his charges.

I emphasise that, when the Anglo-Irish Agreement was signed, the whole attack was aimed at the Ulster Defence Regiment. Some hon. Members told us that the agreement would not make any difference, that the sovereignty of this country over Northern Ireland was more secure than ever before, and that the Dublin Government would have little interest. The Dublin Government has since had continual influence in Northern Ireland.

Where was this Bill born? It was not born in the hearts of the Government, but at an Anglo-Irish Conference meeting. It was born when the Dublin Government put on pressure to get rid of the Ulster Defence Regiment.

Winston Churchill said that appeasement never pays. You can appease and appease crocodiles, but eventually they will swallow you up. That is what will happen to the Government if they go on appeasing.

On the relationship of the Anglo-Irish Agreement and how that has led the Conservative party to recommend the abolition of the Ulster Defence Regiment, there is confusion in the political arena in Ulster tonight, confusion created by the British Conservative party. Although the Conservative party imposed the Anglo-Irish Agreement, Conservative candidates in Northern Ireland say that they are opposed to it. Although the Conservative party is promoting what are known as the Brooke inter-party talks, Conservative candidates have said that they will campaign against those talks during the election.

Can the hon. Member for Antrim, North (Rev. Ian Paisley) at least help the Conservatives to clarify the confusion about the Ulster Defence Regiment? The Conservatives are abolishing the Ulster Defence Regiment in this House, but will Conservative candidates in Northern Ireland campaign to preserve it?

I find it amusing, because a Conservative candidate says that he will fight against me in Antrim, North. He is welcome to do so if he wants to lose £1,000 for central office. In my constituency, he says that he is against the Anglo-Irish Agreement. Why does he say that? Because he knows that he would not stand any chance of anyone listening to him if he did not say it. That is absolutely dishonest, and that man is either a pirate, or he has the approval of central office to say something different in Northern Ireland from what is said on the mainland. That is what the issue is about.

On the Brooke talks, the leader of the Conservative party in Northern Ireland, Mr. Kennedy, says that the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland is responsible for IRA murders because he called those talks. The other day, he was received at a meeting for candidates, and he met the Prime Minister at a candidates' reception. Yet when he got back to Northern Ireland, he said that the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland was responsible for those killings.

So far, Conservative candidates have been mute on the subject of the Ulster Defence Regiment, but after this debate they will all be saying, "We are for the Ulster Defence Regiment." Those candidates are against the Anglo-Irish Agreement, which is a child of this Government who helped to beget it. They are against the Brooke talks, which I happen to be for. It was through the honourable leader of the Unionist party and myself that these talks came about. We have been pleading with the Government to go ahead and have these talks, but the Government are against them and now they are to be against the UDR.

How can the people of Northern Ireland think that the Conservative party is serious when its candidates say that the direct opposite in Northern Ireland to what the Government say from the Front Bench here? Let us have some decency, some honesty. If a candidate—

rose in his place and claimed to move, That the Question be now put.

Question put, That the Question be now put:—

The House proceeded to a Division:

(seated and covered): On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. Perhaps you can help me. Does this mean that, if the Bill is passed now, the House will have no other opportunity of commenting on it? Does this bring the debate on it to an end?

I am dealing with the Division on which the House is engaged. We must see what the result of the Division is.

The House having divided: Ayes 250, Noes 13.

Division No. 113]

[5.25 pm


Alexander, RichardBowis, John
Alison, Rt Hon MichaelBoyson, Rt Hon Dr Sir Rhodes
Allason, RupertBraine, Rt Hon Sir Bernard
Amess, DavidBrandon-Bravo, Martin
Arbuthnot, JamesBrazier, Julian
Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham)Bright, Graham
Ashby, DavidBrooke, Rt Hon Peter
Aspinwall, JackBruce, Ian (Dorset South)
Baker, Nicholas (Dorset N)Buck, Sir Antony
Baldry, TonyBurns, Simon
Batiste, SpencerButler, Chris
Bellingham, HenryButterfill, John
Bendall, VivianCampbell-Savours, D. N.
Bennett, Nicholas (Pembroke)Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln)
Bevan, David GilroyCarrington, Matthew
Blaker, Rt Hon Sir PeterCarttiss, Michael
Body, Sir RichardCash, William
Bonsor, Sir NicholasChalker, Rt Hon Mrs Lynda
Boscawen, Hon RobertChannon, Rt Hon Paul
Boswell, TimChapman, Sydney
Bottomley, PeterChurchill, Mr
Bowden, Gerald (Dulwich)Clark, Rt Hon Sir William

Clarke, Rt Hon K. (Rushcliffe)Knight, Greg (Derby North)
Colvin, MichaelKnight, Dame Jill (Edgbaston)
Coombs, Anthony (Wyre F'rest)Knowles, Michael
Coombs, Simon (Swindon)Knox, David
Cormack, PatrickLatham, Michael
Couchman, JamesLennox-Boyd, Hon Mark
Critchley, JulianLester, Jim (Broxtowe)
Curry, DavidLilley, Rt Hon Peter
Davies, Q. (Stamf'd & Spald'g)Lloyd, Sir Ian (Havant)
Davis, David (Boothferry)Lloyd, Peter (Fareham)
Day, StephenLord, Michael
Devlin, TimLuce, Rt Hon Sir Richard
Dicks, TerryLyell, Rt Hon Sir Nicholas
Dorrell, StephenMcCrindle, Sir Robert
Dover, DenMacGregor, Rt Hon John
Dunn, BobMacKay, Andrew (E Berkshire)
Durant, Sir AnthonyMaclean, David
Dykes, HughMcLoughlin, Patrick
Evans, David (Welwyn Hatf'd)McNair-Wilson, Sir Michael
Fairbairn, Sir NicholasMcNair-Wilson, Sir Patrick
Farr, Sir JohnMadel, David
Fenner, Dame PeggyMajor, Rt Hon John
Finsberg, Sir GeoffreyMalins, Humfrey
Fookes, Dame JanetMaples, John
Forman, NigelMarlow, Tony
Forsyth, Michael (Stirling)Marshall, John (Hendon S)
Forth, EricMarshall, Sir Michael (Arundel)
Fowler, Rt Hon Sir NormanMartin, David (Portsmouth S)
French, DouglasMates, Michael
Fry, PeterMawhinney, Dr Brian
Gale, RogerMaxwell-Hyslop, Sir Robin
Garel-Jones, Rt Hon TristanMayhew, Rt Hon Sir Patrick
Gill, ChristopherMills, Iain
Glyn, Dr Sir AlanMitchell, Andrew (Gedling)
Goodlad, Rt Hon AlastairMitchell, Sir David
Goodson-Wickes, Dr CharlesMoate, Roger
Gorst, JohnMorris, M (N'hampton S)
Grant, Sir Anthony (CambsSW)Morrison, Sir Charles
Greenway, John (Ryedale)Morrison, Rt Hon Sir Peter
Gregory, ConalMoss, Malcolm
Griffiths, Peter (Portsmouth N)Moynihan, Hon Colin
Ground, PatrickNelson, Anthony
Hamilton, Rt Hon ArchieNeubert, Sir Michael
Hamilton, Neil (Tatton)Newton, Rt Hon Tony
Hampson, Dr KeithNicholls, Patrick
Hanley, JeremyNicholson, David (Taunton)
Hannam, Sir JohnNorris, Steve
Hargreaves, A. (B'ham H'll Gr')Onslow, Rt Hon Cranley
Harris, DavidOppenheim, Phillip
Haselhurst, AlanPage, Richard
Hawkins, ChristopherPaice, James
Hayes, JerryPatnick, Irvine
Hayward, RobertPattie, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey
Heathcoat-Amory, DavidPawsey, James
Hicks, Mrs Maureen (Wolv' NE)Peacock, Mrs Elizabeth
Hicks, Robert (Cornwall SE)Porter, David (Waveney)
Higgins, Rt Hon Terence L.Portillo, Michael
Hind, KennethPrice, Sir David
Hordern, Sir PeterRaffan, Keith
Howard, Rt Hon MichaelRaison, Rt Hon Sir Timothy
Howe, Rt Hon Sir GeoffreyRathbone, Tim
Howell, Rt Hon David (G'dford)Redwood, John
Hughes, Robert G. (Harrow W)Renton, Rt Hon Tim
Hunt, Rt Hon DavidRiddick, Graham
Hunt, Sir John (Ravensbourne)Ridsdale, Sir Julian
Hunter, AndrewRoberts, Rt Hon Sir Wyn
Irvine, MichaelRossi, Sir Hugh
Jack, MichaelRowe, Andrew
Jackson, RobertRyder, Rt Hon Richard
Janman, TimSackville, Hon Tom
Janner, GrevilleSainsbury, Rt Hon Tim
Jessel, TobySayeed, Jonathan
Johnson Smith, Sir GeoffreyScott, Rt Hon Nicholas
Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N)Shaw, David (Dover)
Jones, Robert B (Herts W)Shaw, Sir Giles (Pudsey)
Jopling, Rt Hon MichaelShelton, Sir William
Kellett-Bowman, Dame ElaineShephard, Mrs G. (Norfolk SW)
Key, RobertShepherd, Colin (Hereford)
King, Roger (B'ham N'thfield)Shepherd, Richard (Aldridge)
Kirkhope, TimothyShersby, Michael

Sims, RogerTrippier, David
Skeet, Sir TrevorTrotter, Neville
Smith, Sir Dudley (Warwick)Twinn, Dr Ian
Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield)Vaughan, Sir Gerard
Soames, Hon NicholasViggers, Peter
Speed, KeithWalden, George
Spicer, Michael (S Worcs)Waller, Gary
Squire, RobinWard, John
Stanley, Rt Hon Sir JohnWardle, Charles (Bexhill)
Stevens, LewisWarren, Kenneth
Stewart, Allan (Eastwood)Watts, John
Stewart, Andy (Sherwood)Wells, Bowen
Stewart, Rt Hon Sir IanWheeler, Sir John
Sumberg, DavidWhitney, Ray
Summerson, HugoWiddecombe, Ann
Taylor, Ian (Esher)Wiggin, Jerry
Taylor, Sir TeddyWilshire, David
Temple-Morris, PeterWolfson, Mark
Thompson, Sir D. (Calder Vly)Wood, Timothy
Thompson, Patrick (Norwich N)Yeo, Tim
Thorne, NeilYoung, Sir George (Acton)
Thurnham, Peter
Townsend, Cyril D. (B'heath)

Tellers for the Ayes:

Tracey, Richard

Mr. David Lightbown and

Tredinnick, David

Mr. John M. Taylor.


Banks, Tony (Newham NW)Paisley, Rev Ian
Clwyd, Mrs AnnRobinson, Geoffrey
Cohen, HarrySkinner, Dennis
Cook, Frank (Stockton N)Wareing, Robert N.
Flynn, Paul
Garrett, Ted (Wallsend)

Tellers for the Noes:

Haynes, Frank

Mr. John Taylor and

Livingstone, Ken

Mr. Peter Robinson.

Oakes, Rt Hon Gordon

Question accordingly agreed to.

Question put accordingly, That the Bill be now read the Third time.

The House divided: Ayes 254, Noes 3.

Division No. 114]

[5.36 pm


Alexander, RichardCarlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln)
Alison, Rt Hon MichaelCarrington, Matthew
Allason, RupertCash, William
Amess, DavidChalker, Rt Hon Mrs Lynda
Arbuthnot, JamesChannon, Rt Hon Paul
Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham)Chapman, Sydney
Ashby, DavidChurchill, Mr
Aspinwall, JackClark, Rt Hon Alan (Plymouth)
Baker, Nicholas (Dorset N)Clark, Rt Hon Sir William
Baldry, TonyClarke, Rt Hon K. (Rushcliffe)
Banks, Tony (Newham NW)Clwyd, Mrs Ann
Batiste, SpencerCook, Frank (Stockton N)
Bellingham, HenryCoombs, Anthony (Wyre F'rest)
Bendall, VivianCoombs, Simon (Swindon)
Bennett, Nicholas (Pembroke)Cormack, Patrick
Bevan, David GilroyCouchman, James
Blaker, Rt Hon Sir PeterCritchley, Julian
Body, Sir RichardCurry, David
Bonsor, Sir NicholasDavies, Q. (Stamf'd & Spald'g)
Boscawen, Hon RobertDavis, David (Boothferry)
Boswell, TimDay, Stephen
Bottomley, PeterDevlin, Tim
Bowden, Gerald (Dulwich)Dicks, Terry
Bowis, JohnDixon, Don
Boyson, Rt Hon Dr Sir RhodesDorrell, Stephen
Braine, Rt Hon Sir BernardDover, Den
Brandon-Bravo, MartinDunn, Bob
Brazier, JulianDurant, Sir Anthony
Bright, GrahamDykes, Hugh
Brooke, Rt Hon PeterEvans, David (Welwyn Hatf'd)
Bruce, Ian (Dorset South)Farr, Sir John
Buck, Sir AntonyFenner, Dame Peggy
Burns, SimonFinsberg, Sir Geoffrey
Butler, ChrisFlynn, Paul
Butterfill, JohnFookes, Dame Janet
Campbell-Savours, D. N.Forman, Nigel

Forsyth, Michael (Stirling)Marshall, John (Hendon S)
Forth, EricMarshall, Sir Michael (Arundel)
Fowler, Rt Hon Sir NormanMartin, David (Portsmouth S)
French, DouglasMates, Michael
Fry, PeterMawhinney, Dr Brian
Gale, RogerMaxwell-Hyslop, Sir Robin
Garel-Jones, Rt Hon TristanMayhew, Rt Hon Sir Patrick
Gill, ChristopherMills, Iain
Glyn, Dr Sir AlanMitchell, Andrew (Gedling)
Goodlad, Rt Hon AlastairMitchell, Sir David
Goodson-Wickes, Dr CharlesMoate, Roger
Gordon, MildredMorris, M (N'hampton S)
Gorst, JohnMorrison, Sir Charles
Grant, Sir Anthony (CambsSW)Morrison, Rt Hon Sir Peter
Greenway, John (Ryedale)Moss, Malcolm
Gregory, ConalMoynihan, Hon Colin
Griffiths, Peter (Portsmouth N)Neale, Sir Gerrard
Ground, PatrickNelson, Anthony
Hamilton, Rt Hon ArchieNeubert, Sir Michael
Hampson, Dr KeithNewton, Rt Hon Tony
Hanley, JeremyNicholls, Patrick
Hannam, Sir JohnNicholson, David (Taunton)
Hargreaves, A. (B'ham H'll Gr')Norris, Steve
Harris, DavidOnslow, Rt Hon Cranley
Haselhurst, AlanOppenheim, Phillip
Hawkins, ChristopherPage, Richard
Hayes, JerryPaice, James
Haynes, FrankPatnick, Irvine
Hayward, RobertPattie, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey
Heathcoat-Amory, DavidPawsey, James
Hicks, Mrs Maureen {Wolv' NE)Peacock, Mrs Elizabeth
Hicks, Robert (Cornwall SE)Porter, David (Waveney)
Higgins, Rt Hon Terence L.Portillo, Michael
Hind, KennethPrice, Sir David
Hordern, Sir PeterRaffan, Keith
Howard, Rt Hon MichaelRaison, Rt Hon Sir Timothy
Howell, Rt Hon David (G'dford)Rathbone, Tim
Hughes, Robert G. (Harrow W)Redwood, John
Hunt, Sir John (Ravensbourne)Renton, Rt Hon Tim
Irvine, MichaelRiddick, Graham
Jack, MichaelRidsdale, Sir Julian
Jackson, RobertRoberts, Rt Hon Sir Wyn
Janman, TimRossi, Sir Hugh
Janner, GrevilleRowe, Andrew
Jessel, TobyRyder, Rt Hon Richard
Johnson Smith, Sir GeoffreySackville, Hon Tom
Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N)Sainsbury, Rt Hon Tim
Jones, Robert B (Herts W)Sayeed, Jonathan
Jopling, Rt Hon MichaelScott, Rt Hon Nicholas
Kellett-Bowman, Dame ElaineShaw, David (Dover)
Key, RobertShaw, Sir Giles (Pudsey)
King, Roger (B'ham N'thfield)Shelton, Sir William
Kirkhope, TimothyShepherd, Mrs G. (Norfolk SW)
Knight, Greg (Derby North)Shepherd, Colin (Hereford)
Knight, Dame Jill (Edgbaston)Shepherd, Richard (Aldridge)
Knowles, MichaelShersby, Michael
Knox, DavidSims, Roger
Lennox-Boyd, Hon MarkSkeet, Sir Trevor
Lester, Jim (Broxtowe)Smith, Sir Dudley (Warwick)
Lilley, Rt Hon PeterSmith, Tim (Beaconsfield)
Livingstone, KenSoames, Hon Nicholas
Lloyd, Sir Ian (Havant)Speed, Keith
Lloyd, Peter (Fareham)Squire, Robin
Lord, MichaelStanbrook, Ivor
Luce, Rt Hon Sir RichardStanley, Rt Hon Sir John
Lyell, Rt Hon Sir NicholasStevens, Lewis
McCrindle, Sir RobertStewart, Allan (Eastwood)
MacGregor, Rt Hon JohnStewart, Andy (Sherwood)
MacKay, Andrew (E Berkshire)Stewart, Rt Hon Sir Ian
Maclean, DavidSumberg, David
McLoughlin, PatrickSummerson, Hugo
McNair-Wilson, Sir MichaelTaylor, Ian (Esher)
McNair-Wilson, Sir PatrickTaylor, John M (Solihull)
Madel, DavidTaylor, Sir Teddy
Major, Rt Hon JohnTemple-Morris, Peter
Malins, HumfreyThompson, Sir D. (Calder Vly)
Maples, JohnThompson, Patrick (Norwich N)
Marlow, TonyThorne, Neil

Thurnham, PeterWatts, John
Townsend, Cyril D. (B'heath)Wells, Bowen
Tracey, RichardWheeler, Sir John
Tredinnick, DavidWhitney, Ray
Trippler, DavidWiddecombe, Ann
Trotter, NevilleWiggin, Jerry
Twinn, Dr IanWilshire, David
Vaughan, Sir GerardWolfson, Mark
Viggers, PeterWood, Timothy
Walden, GeorgeYeo, Tim
Waller, GaryYoung, Sir George (Acton)
Ward, John
Wardle, Charles (Bexhill)

Tellers for the Ayes:

Wareing, Robert N

Mr. David Lightbown and

Warren, Kenneth

Mr. Neil Hamilton.


Garrett, Ted (Wallsend)

Tellers for the Noes:

Robinson, Peter (Belfast E)

Rev. Ian Pailsey and

Skinner, Dennis

Mr. John David Taylor.

Question accordingly agreed to.

Bill read the Third time, and passed.

Statutory Instruments, &C

Industrial And Freight Transport


That the draft Industrial and Freight Transport (Rateable Values) (Scotland) Order 1992, which was laid before this House on 11th February, be approved.—[Mr. Sackville]

Mines And Quarries


That the draft Mines and Quarries (Rateable Values) (Scotland) Order 1992, which was laid before this House on 11th February, be approved.—[Mr: Sackville.]

Supplementary Estimates 1991–92

Motion made, and Question put forthwith, pursuant to Order [12 March],

That a further sum, not exceeding £241,460,000, be granted out of the Consolidated Fund to complete or defray the charges for Civil Services for the year ending on 31st March 1992, as set out in House of Commons Paper No. 341.

Question agreed to.

Estimates 1992–93

Motion made, and Question put forthwith, pursuant to Order [12 March],

That a further sum, not exceeding £109,478,692,000, be granted out of the Consolidated Fund to complete or defray the charges for Defence and Civil Services for the year ending on 31st March 1993, as set out in House of Commons Papers Nos. 273, 274 and 275.

Question agreed to.

Consolidated Fund (Appropriation) Bill

Bill ordered to be brought in upon the two foregoing resolutions by the Chairman of Ways and Means, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr. David Mellor, Mr. Francis Maude, Mr. John Maples and Mrs. Gillian Shephard.

Mrs. Gillian Shephard accordingly presented a Bill to apply certain sums out of the Consolidated Fund to the service of the years ending on 31st March 1992 and 31st March 1993, to appropriate the supplies granted in this Session of Parliament, and to repeal certain Consolidated Fund and Appropriation Acts: And the same was read the First time; and ordered to be read a Second time upon Monday next and to be printed. [Bill 15].