Undesirable ‘Aliens’: Immigration Control and Deportation
Introduction and Overview
This chapter examines the security controls exercised through immigration law on undesirable ‘aliens’ (foreigners, non-citizens) in terms of refusing admission to the United Kingdom, restrictions on them if admitted, and the deportation of those who, in security terms, prove themselves ‘undesirable’, either as suspected spies for a foreign power, saboteurs, subversive agitators or terrorists. Internment of enemy aliens and sympathizers in wartime has been examined in chapter 2. In this chapter, it is shown that detention for purposes of deportation can, in some situations, effectively become detention without trial where for practical reasons the State cannot secure the deportation of a suspect ‘alien’ to a State that will receive him, as was the case in the Gulf War 1991 with the detention pending deportation from the United Kingdom of persons thought connected to the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) allied with Saddam’s Iraq. The chapter examines the position in immigration law up to 9/11. Use of these powers, however, is a central feature of the Government’s post-9/11 counter-terrorist strategy the interlocking elements of which are examined in chapter 6 and the use of immigration powers in chapters 7 and 9. A number of themes and issues can usefully be highlighted here.
Despite the potential of prerogative powers, the legal regimes deployed since the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars (1793–1815) to deal with undesirable aliens have been statutory. They have all sought to distinguish between ‘desirable’ aliens (those benefiting the economy and the life of the country, those seeking asylum or refuge from persecution) and those who are ‘undesirable’ (criminal elements, terrorists or other threats to public peace and national security). War and the threat of invasion are seen to have been very important in the development of legal restrictions on their admission, restriction and deportation. Apart from such periods of severe threat, until 1905 something of an attitude of laissez-faire prevailed as regards the movement of aliens. The Victorian period is regarded as one in which a liberal and democratic United Kingdom gave refuge to the political opponents of ‘despotic’ regimes elsewhere.1 The First World War, with its dramatic extension of restrictions on aliens, enemy and otherwise, changed all that.2 Although meant to last only for the duration of that War, the Aliens restriction legislation was continued effectively to become a permanent feature of the legal landscape. Empire and its concept of a common status of British subject meant that this regime did not apply; British subjects were not in law aliens. After the Second World War, with the gradual disintegration of that Empire and faced with increasing migration to the United Kingdom from countries of the new Commonwealth (mainly persons of colour), the politics of race and immigration intermingled. The 1960s saw the extension (with some modification) of the ‘alien’ immigration regime to those British subjects without a personal, parental or grandparental connection to the United Kingdom itself (as distinct from its extant and former colonies). Some of its security elements extended from 1973 to Irish citizens, although gaps in it had to be closed with executive measures on exclusion in successive Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Acts (PTAs). And, in turn, the immigration regime itself was limited in its application to citizens of fellow member States by EC (later EU) law, setting stricter limits on the security powers of the State than were applicable generally. Essentially, statute has throughout given the Home Secretary very wide powers (characterizable in some respects as ‘statutory prerogative’ with all that implies about the nature and width of discretion) to deal with undesirable ‘aliens’. He or she now has security powers to prevent their entry to the United Kingdom. Powers to require registration with and regular reporting to the police enable a degree of control once here. Very wide powers – unchanged in terms but extended as regards whom and what behaviours they cover post-9/11 – enable their deportation on ‘public good’ grounds, the ‘national security’ designation within that essentially operating to withdraw their cases from the standard immigration appeals’ regime. While numerically the use of these powers has been small their exercise has typically proved controversial.
The area until 1969 was characterized by a lack of appeal rights. Most of the period since 1973 has administrative challenge in the security area governed by an advisory committee (as it was in principle for a short period in the inter-war years). Legal challenges were mounted by way of judicial review or habeas corpus applications. They were pervaded by the standard deferential or ‘hands off’ approach both as regards substantive and procedural issues. The regime may have been statutory. The shallowness of review parallels that traditionally shown to the exercise of prerogative power prior to GCHQ and, after it, to that accorded the non-justiciable ‘security’ sphere. Litigation at Strasbourg under the ECHR saw, in Chahal v United Kingdom,3 the European Court of Human Rights preclude removal to another State where there was a real risk of serious maltreatment there of the person to be removed and set limits on the time someone could be detained pending deportation. That preclusion and those limits shaped the United Kingdom response to suspected terrorists after 9/11 – detention without trial of foreign national terrorist suspects under the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 (ATCSA) examined in chapter 7. The Court also condemned both modes of challenging an adverse decision, necessitating (given its apparent ‘steer’) the creation in 1997 of appeals to the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) for national security immigration and citizenship matters and to deal with ATCSA detention, procedures central to the post-9/11 story and carried over into the High Court as regards control orders under the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005 (PTA 2005).
This chapter first examines briefly the position prior to 1905. It next considers the Aliens Act 1905, the first attempt at permanent legislation on alien immigration and control. It then analyses in much more depth the statutory regimes of immigration control in the security sphere, operable 1914–73, the coming into force of a single statute, the Immigration Act 1971, largely assimilating controls over aliens and British subjects other than British citizens, which continues to govern the position today. The operation of that Act up to 9/11 forms the final section of this chapter. Each of the periods treated in detail considers the powers and their use, modes of administrative challenge, and the response of the courts to applications for review of these executive measures to deal with terrorism and other threats to national security.
The Position until 1905
Although prerogative power to refuse to admit and expel aliens has been assumed by the courts to exist,4 uncertainties about it and its scope have meant that immigration control, in times of crisis or otherwise, has, since the Revolutionary Wars with France, rested more firmly on a statutory footing. Even though research for Prime Minister Pitt in the 1790s established that action against aliens in Elizabethan England threatened by the Spanish Armada in 1588 was founded on the prerogative, measures of alien control were throughout the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars (1793–1815) embodied in a variety of temporary Acts of Parliament in which can be discerned the origins of modern powers.5 These Acts varied in the scope and degree of restrictions imposed but a number of central features (all only embodied in the more restrictive Acts) emerge in the attempt to distinguish between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ aliens: the requirement that vessels put into designated ports; the ship’s master to give a return listing all alien passengers to the authorities (Customs and the Magistrates) (an early use of carriers as quasi-immigration police); powers in those authorities to forbid or license the admission of aliens; inability to leave the port of entry without a ‘passport’ from the magistracy and a requirement to renew it with each change of residence; those with whom aliens lodged to inform the local authorities (Overseers of the Poor) and provide a description of the alien; the requirement that to leave the country an alien have a passport issued by the Home Secretary and a duty to use it within a reasonable time; a power to forbid an alien to reside in a particular area; the ability of the Home Secretary to order that a suspect alien be taken into custody; and the Crown’s powers to order aliens to leave the realm and to effect their departure.6 There was some concern to protect genuine refugees from Revolutionary France, but also concern about dangers of abuse of asylum.7 With some ebb and flow, legislative restriction became more relaxed in the period 1815–48, and deportation was rarely used.8 Political unrest on the Continent and in Ireland, coupled with the Chartist Riots in 1848, enabled the passage through Parliament in that year of legislation, supplementing the 1836 legislation on Alien Registration, enabling the Home Secretary to remove aliens (other than those resident in the country for the preceding three years or more) where he deemed it expedient ‘for the preservation of the peace and tranquillity of the realm’. The alien was to be given a ‘general summary of the matters alleged against him’ and could appeal to the Privy Council prior to removal. No one was removed under it and the Act lapsed after two years.9 The Aliens Registration Act 1836 stayed on the statute book until its repeal by the Aliens Act 1905 which re-introduced, after Victorian reluctance to have such a power or to restrict as opposed to register alien immigration, a limited ability to deport.10
Statutory Controls 1905–73
Aliens Act 1905
Concern across the political spectrum about alien, particularly Jewish, immigration was reflected in the reports of two Parliamentary Select Committees. and caused the establishment in 1901 of a Royal Commission on the subject. Previous attempts to legislate had been defeated by liberal elements in Parliament, but the recommendations in the Commission’s Report in 1903 were in 1905 carried through into law at the second attempt. Significant concerns brought before the Commission were ones about indigence and health risks, overcrowding, lack of assimilation, and the undercutting of trade and wages. But they also concerned the presence among the alien population of ‘criminals, anarchists, prostitutes and persons of bad character’.
The enactment of the Aliens Act 1905 (AA) ‘was the watershed for aliens’ entry. The liberal tradition of most of the nineteenth century was finally breached and was never to return.’11 It was, however, largely concerned with matters of admission and refusal of entry. ‘Immigrant ships’ had to dock at designated ports and their masters supply the authorities with returns on the numbers and types of alien passengers on board. Immigration officials were able to enter and inspect the ship. The targets were the destitute without and unlikely to obtain their own means of support; those in ill-health (physical or mental, the latter referred to as lunacy) ‘likely to become a charge on the [poor] rates or otherwise a detriment to the public’; criminals convicted abroad of a non–political extraditable crime; and those previously excluded.12 The Home Secretary’s decision on ‘immigrant ship’ and ‘extraditable’ crime were stated to be ‘final’. There were liberal elements in the legislation. Thus,
… in the case of an immigrant who proves that he is seeking admission to this country solely to avoid prosecution or punishment on religious or political grounds or for an offence of a political character, or persecution, involving a danger of imprisonment or danger to life or limb, on account of religious belief, leave to land shall not be refused on the ground merely of want of means, or the probability of his becoming a charge on the rates.13
There were also Home Office attempts to ameliorate the rigidity of the regime with instructions to immigration inspectors to show leniency as regards those fleeing districts where religious or political persecution was known to occur, to allow entry in cases of hardship to women or children or to men in a critical state of health or to people who might be at serious risk if turned away, to give where possible the alien the benefit of the doubt. But relatively few were accepted as refugees: a peak of 505 in 1906 declining steadily to a mere five in 1910.14 Moreover any alien refused entry had to be given grounds for the refusal and a notice of his right to appeal to an Immigration Board based at the port of entry. The Board hearings (generally within 24 hours of the refusal of entry) were open to the Press, the immigration inspector had to be present, and from 1910 the alien could obtain legal representation.15 Each Board was composed of persons with ‘magisterial, business or administrative experience’.16 Each sat with a legally qualified clerk. Many of the panel members on which the Board drew were, like most immigrants, Jewish. Justice, if rough and ready, was speedy. Something like a third of appeals was successful. An exaggerated Home Office perception that the Boards were too lenient probably helps explain their abolition in 1919 and subsequent reluctance, until the late 1950s, to consider reinstating rights of appeal.17
The Home Secretary’s powers of expulsion of an alien in the country were limited and required a court recommendation. This could only be given (a) on conviction of a criminal offence (including prostitution), or (b) where the alien had been found wandering without ostensible means of support, or was living under unsanitary conditions the result of overcrowding, or had entered the country having been sentenced abroad for an extraditable crime.18 Although not repealed on the onset of war in August 1914, the Act was essentially rendered otiose during it19 with the massive extension of executive powers over aliens then embodied both in the Defence of the Realm Act 1914 (DORA) and the Defence of the Realm Regulations (DORR) (see chapter 2) and, more pertinently for this chapter, in the Aliens’ restriction legislation, both primary and secondary.
Aliens Restriction Act 1914
Enacted on 5 August 1914, this ‘essentially gave the Secretary of State a free hand to regulate aliens as he saw fit’.20 Section 1 (‘powers with respect of aliens in case of national emergency’) provided him with powers supplementing existing statutory and prerogative powers.21 It enabled ‘His Majesty, at any time when a state of war exists between His Majesty and any foreign Power, or when it appears that an occasion of imminent danger or great emergency has arisen’ to impose through Order in Council ‘restrictions on aliens’. Specifically, an Order could make provision for the deportation of aliens from the United Kingdom; for requiring them to reside and remain within certain places or districts; conversely, for prohibiting them from residing in any areas specified in the Order, and for requiring aliens present in the United Kingdom to comply with provisions as to registration, change of abode, travelling or otherwise that might be made by the Order. Provision could relate to aliens in general or to any class or description of alien. The burden of proving that a person was not an alien lay on the person who sought to deny it. The Act ‘confirmed the style of UK immigration viz, a skeletal statute supported by detailed rules drafted by the Secretary of State’;22 the details of restriction were set out not in the Act but in the Orders made under it. There was no explicit protection of refugees, but protection was extended during the war, as before, to Armenian refugees from Turkish persecution and, after invasion, to numerous Belgian refugees; the Government would not send a genuine refugee somewhere it was persuaded he or she would suffer persecution.23 Neither Act nor Orders provided any rights of appeal. Indeed, the operation of the Immigration Boards under the 1905 Act was suspended. There is a strong resemblance to the provisions of the Napoleonic era in this illiberal regime (designated ports, quasi-police duties imposed on carriers, requiring aliens to live in particular places).24 Most significantly, the Orders considerably enhanced the powers of the Home Secretary in terms of expulsion. Art. 12 of the Aliens Restriction (Consolidation) Order 1914 and its successors enabled him to ‘order the deportation of any alien [other than a prisoner of war or someone under 14], and any alien with respect to whom such an order is made shall forthwith leave and thereafter remain out of the United Kingdom’. It also conferred power to detain the alien pending deportation. There was no requirement of a court recommendation. Thus with war began the history of executive deportation on ‘public good’ grounds. So too did the requirement for a passport to travel abroad. All aliens, not just enemy ones, had to register with the authorities, making easier their future control. The 1914 Act was a decisive milestone in immigration law:
It finally swept away the vestiges of the traditional laissez-faire approach which had generally prevailed during periods of peace, had flourished in the nineteenth century and was not wholly destroyed by the ill-conceived Aliens Act of 1905.25
The powers were used, for example, after the Russian Revolution to remove Litvinov, a leading Bolshevik émigré who had initially been granted diplomatic immunity for a period as a Soviet representative, to deport after conviction a number of other Bolshevik agents,26 to secure the return to France of persons fleeing military service,27 and to deport criminals unable to be prosecuted for lack of sufficient evidence.28 They were also used in several cases to deport Chinese opium exporters since at the time their activities were not criminal, an omission from the criminal law soon rectified by a DORR offence (40B). Others were given time to leave and did so.29
After the Armistice in November 1918, there were two political pressures for continuing the wartime regime of alien restriction: dealing with enemy aliens; and fear of subversion in terms of the spread of ideas associated with the Russian Revolution, especially as the United Kingdom was involved in the civil war there, aiding through overt and covert action ‘White’ Russians against the ‘Red’ Russians in power.30
The matter of continuance had been considered early in 1918 in a report by the Aliens Committee of the Ministry of Reconstruction’s Reconstruction Committee. It considered that the matter of whether this country should throw open its doors after the war to former enemy aliens was a ‘matter of national policy of the first importance’, one on which Committee members did not feel entitled to offer an opinion. As regards the matter of aliens, generally, however, the Committee was bolder and recommended that there should be a more thorough control on admission and control when here than had been afforded under the Aliens Act 1905, which the Committee thought had not been suited to safeguard against the return undetected of undesirables (‘the foreign prostitute or criminal’) previously expelled. As regards admission,
The substance of our suggestions is that no alien should be allowed to land unless he holds a passport or other document clearly establishing identity and is in a position to satisfy an aliens officer that he is not an undesirable, undesirables being defined (following in this the Aliens Act 1905) as persons who (a) have not the means of decent support, or (b) are lunatics, idiots, or diseased, or (c) are criminals, or (d) have been already expelled from the country. The admission of political refugees should be safeguarded, as at present, by the provision that they are not to be rejected solely for lack of means. In practice these requirements will mean that British subjects also, when returning to this country, will have to carry passports or other documents readily establishing their nationality, so as to facilitate their landing.31
The wartime restrictions (designated ports; examination of all aliens at the port) would have to be retained to avoid ‘a serious invasion of undesirables’ which ‘would place an undue burden both on the police force and on the general resources’ of the country undergoing reconstruction after the conflict.
As regards control after entry, the Committee recommended ‘a general system for the registration of aliens’ so that their movements could be monitored through a requirement to register ‘their residence and other personal particulars with the police’ and one of registration in hotels, boarding and lodging houses on the French model.
The committee also made proposals as regards expulsion or deportation, recognizing that the country’s tradition of political asylum ‘which in earlier periods of our history has had considerable political importance’ could only be maintained ‘insofar as in modern conditions its maintenance is not inconsistent with the security of this country’. It was not ‘fitting’ that the United Kingdom ‘should be made the headquarters of foreign criminals or undesirables’. The 1905 power to deport on recommendation of a court of law was too limited:
It is not advisable that the possibility of removing aliens whose presence in this country is thoroughly undesirable should depend on their being convicted by a court; cases may occur (cases, for instance, of suspected espionage) where prompt action may be very desirable, but there is no prospect of securing a conviction. Further … it will be desirable to give the Secretary of State power to expel a person whose certificate of naturalization has been revoked and who still possesses a foreign nationality. We propose, therefore, that the power of the Secretary of State to expel without a conviction should be continued in peacetime and that it should be exercised where the Secretary of State deems it conducive to the public good to make the order, but that, on the other hand, the Secretary of State should be precluded from making an order for deportation in these cases if the alien satisfied him that in the event of the order being carried into effect he may be subjected to prosecution or punishment in his own country on political or religious grounds.32
The Aliens Restriction (Amendment) Act 1919 enabled the continued operation of the powers in the 1914 Act on a permanent basis by removing from section one of that Act the restrictive words ‘at any time when a state of war exists between His Majesty and any foreign powers, or when it appears that an occasion of imminent danger or great emergency has arisen’, providing for the scheme so to operate for one year, but to be able to be renewed annually through the medium of the Expiring Laws Continuance Act, something done every year so that the scheme only disappeared when the Immigration Act 1971 came into force at the beginning of 1973. The Act and the Order in Council to which it gave breath formed ‘a comprehensive code … to deal with the entry, residence and expulsion of aliens, which took its inspiration from the Napoleonic legislation and the scheme of which [embodied in the Immigration Act 1971 regime] ultimately governed all entrants’.33 Art. 12 of the Aliens Restriction Order 191934 implemented part of the Aliens Committee recommendation on deportation: it empowered the Home Secretary, if he deemed it conducive to the public good, to make a deportation order requiring an alien to leave and remain out of the country and could require such persons to return to the country of which they were subjects or citizens. He could also order detention pending deportation and that aliens be placed on ships leaving the United Kingdom. The ship’s master could be required to take them and Art. 13 allowed the Home Secretary to apply aliens’ own money to defray the costs of maintaining them until removed and the costs of the voyage. The recommended ‘refugee’ restriction, however, found no expression in the legislative scheme. Art. 11 (again to a degree foreshadowing ‘control orders’ under the PTA 2005) empowered the Home Secretary to
… impose on any alien or class of aliens such restrictions (either in addition to or in substitution for the other restrictions imposed by this Order) as to residence, reporting to the police, registration, the use or possession of any machine, apparatus, arms and explosives, or other article, or otherwise, as he may deem to be necessary in the public interest, and any alien in relation to who any such order is made shall comply with the order.
Non-compliance was punishable with a fine and/or imprisonment.35 Visa requirements (applicable to all countries other than Western Europe) saw the establishment abroad of Passport Offices. These, funded by consumer fees, both provided a front for intelligence operations by the growing Secret Service, one vehicle for preventing entry to undesirables on the intelligence ‘blacklist’ and, in conjunction with intelligence services in other countries, a mode of keeping track of the movement of international revolutionaries.36
The further provisions of the 1919 Act, by enhancing powers of internal control over aliens, reflected the grave concern at the spread of the Soviet communist revolution and of foreign and British agitators fomenting and exploiting growing industrial unrest at home. Thus it was made an offence for an alien to cause sedition or disaffection amongst the civilian population or the armed forces or to cause industrial unrest in any industry in which he had not been bona fide employed for two years.37 A bar was placed on alien employment in the civil service,38 on obtaining a pilotage certificate,39 and restrictions put on service in the merchant marine.40 Further restrictions were placed on former enemy aliens.41 In 1920, a new Aliens Order was issued which formed the basis of control of alien immigration until 1953.42 It retained the essential features of the 1919 Order, but made changes with respect to the power of deportation. Rather than rely purely on a broad discretionary power, Art. 12 now specifically provided for deportation upon recommendation of a court. It did so, firstly, in the case of scheduled offences, where a court on conviction or appeal from conviction recommended deportation instead of or in addition to another sentence. Secondly, it enabled deportation where, after proceedings taken within a year of their last entry to the United Kingdom, a magistrates’ court certified that the alien had been found wandering without ostensible means of subsistence, or had made resort to parochial relief, or where they had been sentenced by a foreign court for an extradition crime. The more general power to deport arose as on the 1919 model if the Home Secretary deemed an alien’s deportation ‘conducive to the public good’.
A Home Office Circular just before the entry into force of the 1920 Order drew the attention of Chief Constables to the parallel of the Aliens Act 1905 and reminded them when prosecuting of the need to bring the issue of deportation to the attention of the court, so that the matter was not overlooked. It also gave an indication of when the broader power would be utilized.
Orders will not, as a rule, be made under this power in any case in which allegations are made against an alien for which he could properly be tried, convicted and recommended for deportation, or in which a Court has either acquitted an alien or has declined in spite of a conviction to recommend deportation. In the absence of a recommendation by a court, deportation will, as a general rule, be confined to cases where the alien may properly be regarded as a serious menace to public order or public morals or (in the case of a recent arrival) as likely to become a charge on the rates. Any case of a former enemy alien entering the country without permission or failing to comply with the conditions on which he was admitted, will also be dealt with by deportation.43
A memorandum stressed that this power of deportation without recommendation was reserved for use only in very exceptional and infrequent cases. It would be used only after the most careful consideration.44 Home Office files on deportation orders 1922–40 indicate its use to deport following conviction without a recommendation; for being in breach of a deportation order; for landing without leave or breaching conditions on entry and stay; for being the wife of a principal deportee; and for dealing with a range of other categories of undesirable. These embrace those involved in prostitution, in other criminal activity where prosecution was not undertaken, the destitute and lunatic, and those involved in, or in the arrangement of, bogus marriages for immigration purposes. The powers were used as part of recurrent campaigns to clean up Soho and other ‘clublands’ in conjunction with powers under the Order enabling closure of clubs, cafes and restaurants frequented or recently frequented by aliens where, in the opinion of the chief officer of police (when enabled by the Home Secretary to use these powers), those aliens were of criminal or disloyal associations or otherwise undesirable or where the premises were conducted in a disorderly or improper manner or one prejudicial to the public good.45 They were also used to deal with the occasional spy, sometimes as a supplement to criminal conviction (and thus executed after service of sentence) or an alternative to the prosecution process. In the inter-war years one focus of the ‘security’ powers in immigration law was on the position and role of those in successive Soviet Trade Delegations. There was, for example, concern over Nikolai Bukharin. Was he a Soviet scientist or a political propagandist or agitator? In 1922, instructions were that he was to be refused a visa. In 1931, however, much to the chagrin of the Daily Mail and a questioner in Parliament, he was granted a diplomatic visa to enable him as a professor to attend a scientific conference.46 Security was sometimes thought better served by allowing suspects entry, subjecting them to Special Branch surveillance, and intercepting their messages when here. Prosecution where possible, even in secret trials, seems to have been the preferred policy. A Home Office paper early in the Second World War records that the ‘conducive to the public good’ power was rarely exercised in peacetime and gives as an example that of an alien with slight connection with the United Kingdom who was engaged in criminal activity but had either escaped conviction or, if convicted, a recommendation for deportation.47 Its use in the security sphere proper seems, as in the more recent past, to have been even rarer.
That same paper clarifies inter-war use of the Art. 11 restriction power. It had been used almost exclusively in situations where it had proved impracticable to remove from the country an alien whose deportation had been recommended by a court. The aim of imposing restrictions was to induce the alien to make his or her own arrangements to leave. A typical restriction here was one of daily reporting to the police. If imposing restrictions did not have the desired effect, however, and the alien applied for a relaxation of the order,
it was usual, if enquiry of the Police showed that no other useful purpose was likely to be served by keeping it in force, first to replace the original Order by a less stringent one and eventually to cancel the restrictions altogether. This practice was based on the view that a Restriction Order should not be used as a punitive measure against the individual concerned, but only in the public interest. For the same reason, Restriction Orders were not usually made against long-resident aliens.
As to use since the outbreak of war, the paper stressed the inaptness of such use to induce departure but the suitability of a Restriction Order where there were insufficient grounds for immigration detention, or where someone detained had been released. In either case restrictions such as regular reporting to the police, as to residence, occupation or employment, or even the imposition of ones of a type usually applied to enemy aliens under specific provisions of the amended Order could all be appropriate. Restrictions on occupation and employment should, however, only be imposed where justified in the interests of national security. Wartime amendment enabled detention under the Aliens Order on security and public order grounds.48 In addition, of course, there were available the wartime powers of internment and restriction applicable to alien and British subject alike, analysed in chapter 2.
In the post 1945 period, security powers in immigration law were an important part of defence mechanisms in the Cold War. A new Aliens Order 1953 replaced the 1920 model.49 As before, aliens could only land in the United Kingdom with leave of the immigration officials. Aliens refused leave to land could be detained and the carrier who brought them to the United Kingdom could be required by directions from immigration officers to remove them on the same or on another specified ship or aircraft bound for the country of which the aliens were nationals, the country from which they last embarked or a country which it was believed would admit them.50 As regards deportation, the Order provided for deportation on the recommendation of a court on conviction of a scheduled offence.51 More pertinently for present purposes, it also permitted deportation where the Home Secretary deemed it ‘conducive to the public good’.52 It also empowered the Home Secretary to specify the ship or aircraft which was to remove deportees from the country and to detain them pending removal.53
Deportation was rarely used on grounds other than conviction of a criminal offence or breach of conditions on entry or stay.54 As in the inter–war years, the use of the power on security grounds was even rarer. In 1956 a Greek orthodox priest was deported as a suspected fund-raiser for the Cyprus guerrillas, EOKA.55 The case of Dr Soblen in 1962 provided a cause célèbre of the use of the powers at the height of the Cold War, an illustration of the ends to which they could be put – in this instance a case of ‘disguised extradition’, reminiscent of the attempted use of the Restoration of Order in Ireland Act in 1923 to return IRA suspects to the government of the Irish Free State56 and returning to France during the First World War persons who had fled military service obligations.57