§ Mr. Allen
I beg to move amendment No. 22, in page 8, line 33, at beginning insert—`() Sections 3 to 11 above and section I so far as it relates to those sections shall not take effect until the Secretary of State has laid a report before both Houses of Parliament describing those arrangements which he has made for the consideration of and adjudication upon complaints about the conduct of those within his department engaged upon the work of immigration and nationality.'.
Mr. Deputy Speaker
With this it will be convenient to take the following amendments: No. 26, in page 8, line 33, at beginning insert—
'() Sections 3 and 6 to 10 shall not come into force until the Secretary of State has laid a report before both Houses of Parliament describing the arrangements for the training of those within his department engaged in the examination and interviewing of those who are or who may be asylum-seekers.'.No. 27, in page 8, line 33, at beginning insert—`() Sections 3 and 6 to 10 shall not come into force until the Secretary of State has by order made by statutory instrument specified standards of training and competence for those within his department engaged in the examination and interviewing of those who are or who may be asylum-seekers.'.
§ Mr. Charles Wardle
I can give such an assurance. As I explained in Committee, the complaints procedure is currently under review with the object of examining whether there should be an independent element in the review.
Amendment No. 22 will prevent the main provisions from being implemented until after the results of the review have been placed before Parliament. There is no particular reason why the results should be linked to the commencement of the Bill in such a way. I expect the results of the review to be available in the next month or so. In the meantime, representations from the hon. Members for Nottingham, North and for Islington, North will be welcomed.
The immigration and nationality department of the Home Office places great emphasis on training in so far as it relates to asylum staff and immigration officers. Opposition Members may wish to pursue the idea which the hon. Member for Nottingham, North suggested some weeks ago about a visit to the Harmondsworth training facilities and Croyden to learn more about the operations of the immigration and nationality department of the Home Office.
I hope that the hon. Member for Islington, North (Mr. Corbyn) will take up that opportunity to learn more about the functions of interpreters. He will appreciate that we must deal with 100 languages. The staff face a difficult task. As I said in Committee, we have been reviewing the Department's requirements for interpreters. That review is not quite complete. Some of the improvements which we wish to put in place before the Bill is implemented include better and more consistent procedures for recruiting interpreters and monitoring their performance, together with new guidelines.
§ Mr. Corbyn
The Minister was a little fast on his feet, so I hope that he does not mind if I now follow him. I support the amendments tabled by my hon. Friend the Member for Nottingham, North which will have the effect of delaying the Bill until the review has been completed. Frankly, I see nothing wrong in that. Many of us have complained for a long time that there should be better and more extensive training facilities for those who undertake interviews.
Far more consideration needs to be given to security of those who are employed to do translation work. As the Home Secretary admitted earlier, the revelation of the true identity of a person seeking asylum is a sensitive process. People live in Britain under assumed names because of the threat to their families at home. He should also be aware that for many years secret agents have operated in Britain on behalf of several oppressive regimes, not least South Africa, Iran and Iraq. They pass information back to their Governments which is used as a basis for attacking the families, friends or comrades of those people. It is essential that anyone who is employed as an interpreter will maintain any confidences that are picked up during discussions and in translation work.
Those who undertake interviews should also be given psychiatric training so that they can understand the degree of trauma, disturbance and disorientation which people who seek asylum have suffered. I will certainly take up the Minister's offer to visit the training facilities and discuss what goes on during training. Our constituents and the people seeking political asylum in Britain whom we represent are the ones who suffer if the system does not 729 work properly and those who are supposed to have been trained to undertake interviews do not undertake the work properly.
Therefore, I wish that the Minister had paid slightly more attention to the amendments that we tabled and delayed the introduction of the Bill until such time as the training episode had been thoroughly examined, the report had been received and any suitable changes in it had been implemented.
May I ask through you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, whether the Minister will make a report or statement to the House when the review has been completed so that Members can comment on it at the review stage as well as at the evidence-taking stage which we are apparently in at present?
§ Mr. Wardle
The review is purely internal. I made it clear a few moments ago and in Committee that ideas suggested by Opposition Members and, indeed, other parties would be carefully considered. However, the review is an internal matter.
§ Amendment negatived.
Amendment made: No. 41, in page 8, line 47, after `territory', insert
`but not by reference to race, colour or religion'.—[Mr. Charles Wardle.]