§ LORD CONESFORD
My Lords, on behalf of my noble friend I beg leave to ask Her Majesty's Government the second Question standing in his name on the Order Paper.
§ [The Question was as follows:
§ To ask Her Majesty's Government what has been the effect of the provision in the Commonwealth Immigrants Act 1968 that an illegally entering immigrant becomes immune from further proceedings if not required to submit to examination within twenty-eight days from the date on which he landed.]
§ THE MINISTER OF STATE, HOME OFFICE (LORD STONHAM)
My Lords, the noble Lord is mistaken in thinking that an illegal immigrant becomes immune from proceedings after 28 days. The Commonwealth Immigrants Act 1968 extended from 24 hours to 28 days the period after landing in the United Kingdom during which a Commonwealth citizen can be required to submit to examination and can be refused admission if the immigration officer considers that to be the proper course. But the Act also made it a criminal offence for a Commonwealth citizen to land in the United Kingdom without examination by 1138 an immigration officer, and for this an immigrant is liable to prosecution, subject only to the general limitation of six months on the institution of proceedings for summary offences. The Act of 1968 has proved to be a notable deterrent to clandestine immigration. Instances are rare, and there are adequate powers to deal with them.
§ VISCOUNT DILHORNE
My Lords, is it the case that if a prosecution is successful a deportation order can be made?
§ LORD STONHAM
My Lords, it is the case that a deportation order could be made, but it would be entirely a matter for the decision of the Home Secretary according to the circumstances of the case.