Archive – House of Commons1980s


Results 21 to 30 of 95

Local Government Finance (No. 2) Bill

Lords — May 13, 1982

Baroness, Lady Stedman, and by my honourable friend David Alton, and by the honourable Member, Mr. Roberts, in another place. It has been put down so many times, and so many attempts have been made to deal

Squatters

Commons — June 15, 1982

Bill ordered to be brought in by Mr. George Cunningham, Mr. David Alton, Mr. John Cartwright and Sir Brandon Rhys Williams.

Victims of Violent Crimes

Commons — June 30, 1982

Bill ordered to be brought in by Mr. David Alton, Mr. Alfred Dubs, Mr. William Pitt, Mr. Eric Ogden, Mr. David Penhaligon, Mr. Cyril Smith and Mr. James Wellbeloved.

VICTIMS OF VIOLENT CRIMES

Commons — June 30, 1982

Mr. David Alton accordingly presented a Bill to improve the help given to victims of violent crime: And the same was read the First time; and ordered to be read a Second time upon Friday 30 July

The Homeless Young

Ms Inga-Stina Robson

Lords — November 11, 1982

for these people. This lack of proper provision becomes tremendously expensive. My honourable friend Mr. David Alton, who prior to becoming a Member of the other place was chairman of the housing committee

Health and Social Services and Social Security Adjudications Bill [H.L.]

Mr Eric Lubbock

Lords — December 9, 1982

I am sorry; I was distracting my noble friend when the noble Lord was putting that question. I intervene briefly to pay tribute to my honourable friend Mr. David Alton, who introduced a Bill during

Members Sworn

Commons — June 21, 1983

David Patrick Alton, esquire, Liverpool, Mossley Hill.

ENVIRONMENT

Commons — November 18, 1983

Motion made, That Mr. Richard Alexander, Mr. David Alton, Mr. Sydney Chapman, Mr. Reginald Eyre, Mr. Reg Freeson, Mr. Robert B. Jones, Mr. Norman Miscampbell, Mr. Allan Roberts, Sir Hugh Rossi, Mr

ENVIRONMENT

Commons — November 24, 1983

That Mr. Richard Alexander, Mr. David Alton, Mr. Sydney Chapman, Mr. Reginald Eyre, Mr. Reg Freeson, Mr. Robert B. Jones, Mr. Norman Miscampbell, Mr. Allan Roberts, Sir Hugh Rossi, Mr. Chris Smith

Results 81 to 90 of 95

HORSES, PONIES AND DONKEYS (No. 2) BILL

Commons — May 11, 1988

Mr. David Amess, supported by Sir Bernard Braine, Mr. David Alton, Mr. Gerald Bermingham, Mr. Harry Cohen, Mr. Robin Corbett, Mr. Stan Crowther, Miss Janet Fookes, Mr. Harry Greenway, Mr. Ken

ABORTION (AMENDMENT)

Commons — December 21, 1988

Miss Ann Widdecombe, supported by Sir Bernard Braine, Mr. David Alton, Mr. Seamus Mallon, Rev. Martin Smyth, Mr. D. N. Campbell-Savours, Mrs. Elizabeth Peacock, Mrs. Marion Roe, Dame Peggy Fenner

RESALE OF TICKETS

Commons — January 31, 1989

Mr. Menzies Campbell, supported by Mr. David Alton, presented a Bill to prevent the unofficial resale at unreasonably high prices of tickets to events to which the public are admitted: And the same

Empty Property and Community Aid

Commons — March 21, 1989

Mr. Frank Field, Mr. David Alton and Mr. Simon Hughes.

British Nationality (Honorary Citizenship)

Commons — March 22, 1989

Bill ordered to be brought in by Mr. David Amess, Ms. Diane Abbott, Mr. David Alton, Mr. Peter Archer, Mr. David Atkinson, Mrs. Rosie Barnes, Mr. Alistair Burt, Mr. Cecil Franks, Mr. Ken Hargreaves

Unprescribed Spectacles (Health Warnings)

Commons — April 5, 1989

Bill ordered to be brought in by Miss Ann Widdecombe, Dame Jill Knight, Mr. David Blunkett, Mr. David Amess, Mr. D. N. Campbell-Savours, Mr. Robert G. Hughes, Mr. David Alton, and Mr. David Shaw.

Cash Limits

Mr Kenneth Baker

Written Answers — May 25, 1989

Affiliation David Ball Chairman, David Ball Group (Engineering Manufacture) Sir Terence Beckett KBE Former Director General, CBI; Former Chairman and Chief Executive, Ford Motor Co. A. H. Cherry MBE

STUDENT CHARTER

Commons — November 8, 1989

Mr. Simon Hughes, supported by Mr. David Alton, Mr. Malcolm Bruce, Mrs. Ray Michie, Mr. Richard Livsey, Mr. Matthew Taylor, Mr. A. J. Beith, Mr. Archy Kirkwood, Mr. Charles Kennedy, Mr. Menzies

Hong Kong

Mr Francis Maude

Written Answers — November 16, 1989

The list for the current and three previous financial years is as follows:1986–87 Full Sponsorship Mr. Ian Wrigglesworth (Ex-Stockton, South) Mr. Jack Dormand (Ex-Easington) Mr. David Alton (Mossley

Abortion (Amendment) Bill [H.L.]

Mr Arthur Houghton

Lords — December 14, 1989

and other gestational limits. Behind the 24 weeks, with exceptions, were 75 per cent. of the consultants. Only 3 per cent. were in favour of 18 weeks, which was the gestational limit included in the Alton

Results 91 to 95 of 95

Abortion (Amendment) Bill [H.L.]

Ms Beatrice Seear

Lords — December 14, 1989

both the David Steel Bill and the determination expressed last year to defeat the Alton Bill, I must say that of course I do not like abortion any more than the noble Duke. Indeed, in a perfect world

Abortion (Amendment) Bill [H.L.]

Mr Peter Rawlinson

Lords — December 14, 1989

they would say. However, I was flabbergasted to hear the noble Lord and those who support him complain about the rules of procedure relating to private Bills, when I think of what happened to the David Alton

Abortion (Amendment) Bill [H.L.]

Lords — December 14, 1989

by Mr. David Alton. The climax was the release from the roof of the Albert Hall of 2·5 million tiny paper darts each represrenting a fetus aborted since the Abortion Act 1967. I gather that the present

Local Government Finance (Supplementary Credit Approvals) Bill

Ms Maria Eagle

Commons — June 17, 1997

which the Government can and should tackle—the provision of adequate housing. First, I want to refer to three of my predecessors—Eddie Loyden, David Alton and Sir Malcolm Thornton. All have represented

Citizenship

Ms Rosalind Howells

Lords — July 9, 2001

the 1980s and, more recently, in Oldham, we have seen what happens when people, and especially younger people, feel that they have no stake in their society. I say that it is better not to exclude…

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1983 Nationality Bill § Mr. Deputy SpeakerOrder. The Minister is not giving way; he has finished his speech. Mr. David Alton.

§ Mr. HowellOn a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. There is no truth in anything the Minister has said about that matter. Had he given way I should have put the record straight, as I did in the Press Gallery today. There is no truth in the suggestion——

§ Mr. Deputy SpeakerOrder. I call Mr. David Alton.

11.17 pm

§ Mr. David Alton (Liverpool, Mossley Hill)I listened with interest to what the Minister said. It takes us back to the debate on 5 March when we were considering these matters. I am sad that we do not have time to discuss the issues more fully. I suspect that part of the reason for the anger and frustration felt by the Opposition results from the fact that there is so little time left.

The Minister said this evening that the regulations would result in lower fees for the majority of people. I welcome that and believe that all hon. Members should welcome it. He also said that the regulations were a response to the Select Committee’s report. In fairness it has to be said that the Select Committee made a number of other points to which the Minister has not responded this evening.

One of the matters about which the Select Committee complained, and to which the right hon. Member for Birmingham, Small Heath (Mr. Howell) referred, was that the accounting methods—creative accounting, some might call it—which talked about£6 million profit were at the heart of our discussions in the House in March and are at the core of what we are discussing this evening.

The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants contends that the profit was real and was not concealed because of bookkeeping. The council says that the Minister has failed to take account of a grossly inaccurate estimate of applications in 1982 and 1983, which was used to inflate the fees from April 1982. It also claims that a windfall profit of £3.8 million has been written off and that the Government have failed to provide accounts for 1982–83 and are therefore able to deny the existence of profit for that year. The council says that if the old or new accounting systems were applied to 1982–83 it would be seen that the nationality operation clearly made a profit. That point is worth making in view of what has been said this evening about profit and loss. It is a shame that citizenship should be seen in terms of a profit and loss account.

§ Ms. Clare ShortDoes the hon. Gentleman agree that the way in which the Minister talked about British citizenship, as though it was the same as renting a television set, belittles our country, our citizenship, the Government and everyone who seeks to apply for that citizenship?

§ Mr. AltonThe analogy with the television licence was one of the most unfortunate analogies that I have ever heard in the House. It was inappropriate to put citizenship into that context.

497 Citizenship is not a commodity like a special offer in a supermarket. It is not about discounts, driving a hard bargain or getting a good price. It should not be seen through the eyes of a profit and loss account. It devalues the currency of citizenship to link it in that unseemly way to television licences or to see it as part of a Klondike claim. However, that is what has happened since 1981, when 100,000 people have been scared into rushing into getting citizenship because they were frightened that if they did not apply they would lose all chance of being British citizens. Many people are worried that if they do not get their claim in before 1987 they will have no chance of getting citizenship. Many people genuinely cannot afford the chance to become British citizens.

§ Mr. JannerIs the hon. Gentleman aware that in the part of the city of Leicester that I represent many people cannot get citizenship now? They include Mr. Vasani, who is blind and unemployed, and Mr. Ruparelia, who has lost his job.[Interruption.] Much as Conservative Members may jeer at that, we are talking about human beings who are excluded from British nationality because of the refusal of Her Majesty’s Government to follow the unanimous report of the Select Committee on Home Affairs.

§ Mr. Peter Bruinvels (Leicester. East)On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. Is it in order for me to present a list of my constituents in my part of Leicester——

§ Mr. Deputy SpeakerOrder. We have little time left. Such interventions prevent the debate from continuing.

§ Mr. AltonThe hon. and learned Member for Leicester, West (Mr. Janner) made the valuable point that for many individuals it is difficult to become a British citizen. If people are unemployed or on social security, it is difficult to meet the fees, whether it is the original £70 or the present £55.

§ Mrs. Margaret Beckett (Derby, South)Will the hon. Gentleman also acknowledge that the Minister was being somewhat deceitful with the House when he referred to what had happened in the past without drawing our attention to the fact that in the past many individuals had no need to claim nationality? Children born in this country had the right to British citizenship. Many people felt secure about not needing to apply for registration, but under the present Government they have to do so.

§ Mr. AltonI refer the House to an example of a constituent of mine who has been in this country for more than 40 years. He came to fight for this country in the last war. He came from Jamaica; he is a black citizen. He now has to apply for citizenship. He feels demeaned by that process. He says that he cannot afford to pay the fee. His children are here, and he is a British citizen. It is worth bearing in mind that a comparison should be made——

§ Sir John Biggs-Davison (Epping Forest)On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. Is it in order for an hon. Member to suggest that the Minister is being deceitful with the House, as the hon. Member for Derby, South (Mrs. Beckett) did?

§ Mr. Deputy SpeakerI did not hear that.

§ Sir John Biggs-DavisonIt was unparliamentary.

§ Mr. Deputy SpeakerIf any hon. Member was accusing the Minister of being deceitful with the House deliberately, that is not in order, but I did not hear it.

498

§ Sir John Biggs-DavisonBut that is what the hon. Lady said.

Hon. MembersWithdraw.

§ Mr. AltonIt was not I who said it.

§ Mr. Deputy SpeakerOrder. I did not hear it. If any hon. Member made such an accusation it should be withdrawn, but I did not hear it.

§ Mr. AltonIt would be difficult for the hon. Lady to intervene again in my speech to make a withdrawal, so I shall continue.

It is outrageous that this country should charge £55 as a fee, and although I am pleased that it has been reduced from £70, it will still be difficult for many people to pay it. I give the example of a single parent wishing to register himself or herself and the child. It will now cost £110 instead of £105. There is also the matter of non-returnable deposits. Every applicant will have to apply by sending in a £10 deposit. Many people who apply unsuccessfully will lose their £10. That will add to the profit of the Home Office. What has that to do with citizenship?

§ Mr. Harry Cohen (Leyton)Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the Home Office has rejected the reconuneridation of the Select Committee on Home Affairs that those on supplementary benefit and those on family income supplement should not have to pay any fee? That affects many of my constituents, and those of many other hon. Members, who want citizenship. Is it not a disgrace that the Home Office is discriminating against the poor?

§ Mr. AltonThat is the point that I have been making. I think that this speech will go down as having had a record number of interventions. I shall try to finish rapidly.

The fees that are charged in other countries are nothing like those charged here. In the United States, for instance, the fee is £22, in Canada it is £5, and in Australia it is nothing, and that is what it should be here. It should cost nothing for people to become British citizens.

No hon. Member could resent Zola Budd having obtained citizenship. I wish her well. However, I want the same right for my constituents and for those of every other hon. Member. Otherwise, the system of nationality application will be brought into disrepute. It is important that the Government make it clear that the rules that were applied in the Zola Budd case will apply in any other case.

It is also important, in view of the other issues that this raises about apartheid in South Africa, that the Government reiterate their commitment to the Gleneagles agreement and their condemnation of apartheid in South Africa and of those countries which discriminate against some sportsmen and sportswomen purely because of the colour of their skin.

§ Mr. CorbynIs it not disgraceful that the Minister should have spoken at great length about the Zola Budd case and apparently ignored the plight of many who are waiting nationality applications and, above all, failed to inform the House what discussions, negotiations and correspondence went on with the Daily Mail, its editor and the people in South Africa before Zola Budd arrived here, and to reveal the date on which her application was first received by his office and why it was processed so quickly? Should not this information now be made public?

§ Mr. AltonI agree with that. It is unfortunate that the Minister did not give way so that he could answer such 499 questions. I shall happily give way if the Minister wants to reply to the points made by the hon. Member for Islington, North (Mr. Corbyn).

§ Mr. AltonI am afraid that I do not have time.

These nationality fees and regulations create great insecurity in the black community. If the Government and the Minister do not believe that they can give back to those who paid into the profit and loss account the £6 million which the Committee estimated was paid in nationality fees, perhaps they could return it in kind. It is time that the Government looked again at the way in which section 11 of the Local Government Act 1966 operates towards non-Commonwealth citizens, particularly the black citizens, in our inner city areas. If they did so, some of this money in the profit and loss account could be used to the advantage of immigrants—many of them fourth and fifth generation citizens.

§ Mr. HoyleDoes the hon. Gentleman agree that the Minister should not have talked about the petty objection to Zola Budd coming here, when there have been objections from the Church of England, the Bishop of Leicester and the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants—all people who understand? What they are demanding is equal treatment for other immigrants. We have not had that guarantee from the Minister.

§ Mr. AltonLike the British Nationality Act 1981, which in the view of the Church of England Synod offends all Christian ethics, these regulations are totally unacceptable not only to the hon. Member for Warrington, North (Mr. Hoyle) but to myself, my hon. Friends and my colleagues in the SDP. For that reason, we shall vote against the Government.

11.29 pm

§ Mr. John Carlisle (Luton, North)We have been treated to the most disgraceful episodes on the Opposition side of the House, and a gross violation of the House——

§ It being half-past Eleven o’clock, MR. DEPUTY SPEAKER put the Question, pursuant to Standing Order No. 4 (Statutory Instruments, &c. (Procedure)).

§ The House proceeded to a Division: