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Lord Thomas of Gresford rose to move, as an amendment to Motion A, leave out from "House" to end and insert "Do insist on its disagreement with the Commons in their Amendments Nos. 1A and 1B to Lords Amendment No. 1; do insist on its Amendments Nos. 37Q to 37T in lieu of Lords Amendment No. 8 to which the Commons have disagreed; do insist on their insistence on Lords Amendments Nos. 12, 13, 15, 17, 22, 28 and 37 in respect of which the Commons have insisted on their disagreement and do insist on their disagreement with the Commons in their Amendments Nos. 37A to 37O in lieu of those Lords Amendments; and do disagree with the Commons in their Amendments Nos. 17H to 17M to the words restored to the Bill by the Commons insistence on their disagreement to Lords Amendment No. 17.
Listening to the noble and learned Lord the Lord Chancellor, I thought of a little trip that I took last week into the hills in Wales. Spring is coming; the hedges are quick and the daffodils are growing. The sheep are on the hillside producing life. It is as though this Government are bleating that the sheepdogs are telling them that there are wolves abroad. We have heard that before. I suppose the sheep are all supposed to huddle into a corner of the field and quiver there.
Lord Thomas of Gresford: My Lords, all I can say is that the people of this country are not sheep. The people of this country have stood their ground. They have stood their ground when there were bombs from the IRA, from terrorists, going on about us in Manchester, Birmingham and London. The people of
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this country have stood their ground during the war, when bombs were raining down on this city. I am old enough to remember that standing alongside us on the ground were people from Muslim communities and people from Hindu communities who came to our assistance. They stood with us and they did not flinch. This is not an occasion to flinch from terrorism, as the Government appear to do by building up a climate of fear to get their legislation through. I beg to move.
Moved, as an amendment to Motion A, leave out from "House" to end and insert "Do insist on its disagreement with the Commons in their Amendments Nos. 1A and 1B to Lords Amendment No. 1; do insist on its Amendments Nos. 37Q to 37T in lieu of Lords Amendment No. 8 to which the Commons have disagreed; do insist on their insistence on Lords Amendments Nos. 12, 13, 15, 17, 22, 28 and 37 in respect of which the Commons have insisted on their disagreement and do insist on their disagreement with the Commons in their Amendments Nos. 37A to 37O in lieu of those Lords Amendments; and do disagree with the Commons in their Amendments Nos. 17H to 17M to the words restored to the Bill by the Commons insistence on their disagreement to Lords Amendment No. 17.(Lord Thomas of Gresford.)
Lord Kingsland: My Lords, the substance of the Motion concerns three matters, none of which was mentioned by the noble and learned Lord the Lord Chancellor in his opening remarksthese are the judicialisation of non-derogating orders, the balance of probabilities and the role of the DPP. On none of them have the Government given any ground at all, despite the plain fact that the judicial role is totally excluded from most of the manner in which non-derogating control orders are made.
Instead, the noble and learned Lord the Lord Chancellor chose to deliver to your Lordships' House an ultimatum about the relative power of another place. I recall earlier today the noble Baroness, Lady Scotland, saying that your Lordships would have to bow to the other place. But we have our constitutional duty in this House, which has been given to us by, among other institutions, another place. It would be wholly wrong for us to shirk it tonight.
There have been many suggestions from the Government Benches here and in another place that, in supporting amendments to the Bill, we on these Benches are in some way encouraging terrorism. We totally repudiate that. What could give greater succour to the terrorists than the permanent suspension of habeas corpus? That is what the Government seek. By refusing to grant us a sunset clause, they are giving themselves an open-ended right never to bring back trial by jury again in a certain class of case. That would be the first great victory of terrorism over our free society.
Lord Lloyd of Berwick: My Lords, I hope that if I say something now it may at least serve to reduce the temperature a little. For my part, I hope that we shall stand firm on the sunset clause. The only argument that I have heard against it is that it would send out the so-called wrong message. That is an argument in which I have never believed. It has absolutely no strength in this context.
Listening to the noble and learned Lord the Lord Chancellor earlier and on previous occasions, to the noble Baroness, Lady Scotland, and earlier today to the extraordinarily eloquent and persuasive speech by the noble Baroness, Lady HaymanI should have thought that it was enough to persuade us all, and would have persuaded the Commons could they have heard itI was reminded of something that I have had the chance to look up in the interval. In his commentaries, Blackstone said,:
That is what I think underlay the speech of the noble Baroness, Lady Hayman, and it certainly underlies my attitude to the Bill. It is, for me, the crucial test. It is inhuman to detain people without trial because of something that the Security Service has told the Prime Minister.
Of course, there is a danger but I believe that it is not as bad as has been made out. I have no recent access to information but I have some experience of the way that the Security Service dealt with matters in the past. I particularly remember the time of the first Iraq war, when dozens or perhaps hundreds of Iraqis were rounded up and put in Pentonville Prison. It was my job then, as chairman of the three wise men, to advise the Home Secretary whether or not they could be let out. In most cases, I am happy to say that they were. There must be better ways of dealing with this problem than this Bill, and that is why, if I can, I shall vote for the sunset clause.
Lord Selsdon: My Lords, I had intended to rise to thank the noble Baroness, Lady Hayman, and to remind her that sunset on 31 March next year will be at 18.32 Greenwich Mean Time. However, I realise that I, probably as much as many of your Lordships, have had experience of dealing with countries such as this, and I have no confidence at all in the statement made by the Government that they are moved solely by information from the security services. I lack that confidence and I have a fear that what the Government are doing now is for political reasons based on Chinese whispers and second-hand information. If they have another motive, that is fair by me, but my own knowledge and experience tells me that the Government are wrong.
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Lord Desai: My Lords, the problem concerning the risk of a future terrorist attack is that the past is no guide. The fact that we got the WMD issue or various other issues wrong cannot be used as a sure guide in saying that the security services are always wrong. Without trying to raise the temperature any further, since Second Reading I have been asking myself the following question. Many of us do not like the idea of incarcerating an innocent person, and that is right. There is that risk to the person and his family and so on. On the other hand, there is a risk that one terrorist could escape and cause multiple deaths. How many deaths would noble Lords balance against the incarceration of one or two innocent people before they changed their minds? I do not know. I am saying that I have struck my balance in such a way
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