HC Deb 15 May 1986 vol 97 cc513-4W
Mr. Tom Cox

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the pesent number of (a) men and (b) women waiting for interview for entry into the United Kingdom in India and Pakistan; and what the numbers were on 1 January 1985.

Mr. Waddington

Information on husbands, wives and fiance(e)s is given in the following table: corresponding data separately identifying men and women are not available for other categories.

Persons awaiting a first interview for their application for entry clearance to the United Kingdom
Husbands, male fiances Wives, female fiancees*
End December 1984 1,000 180

Husbands, male fiances Wives, female fiancees*
End December 1985 800 340
End December 1984 1,300 1,000
End December 1985 1,700 1,400
* Before 26 August 1985 female fiancees were not required to have entry clearance in order to enter the United Kingdom.

Mr. Kaufman

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the reason for the delays in the interviewing by the immigration service of passengers arriving from Pakistan at terminal 3, Heathrow airport, on Saturday 10 May; how many passengers were affected; what was the average delay, the shortest delay and the longest delay; from which other countries arriving passengers were subject to similar or comparable delays on that day at Heathrow; and what steps he intends to take to prevent a recurrence.

Mr. Waddington

The reason for a build-up of delay on the immigration arrivals control at Heathrow terminal 3 on 10 May was the large number of passengers arriving in the early morning period. The Pakistan International Airline flight which arrived at 1100 was the 24th international arrival at terminal 3 that morning. An additional cause of delay was a bomb alert which resulted in no passengers reaching the control between 0815 and 0900. Approximately 1,300 passengers who arrived between 0800 and 0915 were subject to delay because of this incident.

On 10 May nationals of the following countries were required to submit to further examination at terminal 3:

Ghana 25
Nigeria 24
India 18
Pakistan 12
Zimbabwe 1
Turkey 1
Tanzania 1
Seychelles 1
Kenya 1
Iraq 1
Ecuador 1

For the 12 Pakistani nationals, the shortest period of time involved, including the time spent in interviewing, was 1 hour 15 minutes; the longest, 11 hours 15 minutes; and the average 5 hours 20 minutes. The periods of time in respect of other nationals required to submit to further examination were similar.

On 10 May immigration service resources were sensibly deployed to handle scheduled aircraft arrivals and the expected mix of passengers. Staff will continue to make every effort to minimise the length of delays despite the increased pressures on the control.