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asked the Home Secretary whether passports have been issued to the following people: Alexander Ivanovich Mancho, Philip Rabinovich, Leo Rabinovich, Boris Malzmann, Reuben Terakopoff; and, if so, for what purposes they are resident here; whether they are liable for Income Tax; and for how long they have been given leave to stay?
This question appeared on the Paper for the first time on Saturday morning, and it has been impossible, in the short time available for inquiry, to collect the detailed information asked for. I will look into the matter and communicate with my hon. and gallant Friend.
In any case, may I ask why this information should be given? Why is it necessary to explain why visas have been given to people to come here, if the right hon. Gentleman is satisfied? Has he not answered me that he is satisfied in certain cases and that he will give me no information? Why should special information be given to the hon. and gallant Gentleman who has asked this question?
My hon. and gallant Friend has not yet received any information from me. I have told him that I will look into the matter and communicate with him. I do not say what I will tell him.
May I put it to you, Mr. Speaker, that to similar questions in the past information has been refused. We were told that it was the Department's prerogative, and that that was the end of it.
We have just heard from the Home Secretary that he will communicate with the hon. and gallant Gentleman who put this question. If a Cabinet Minister can send on information that is looked upon as private and confidential in his particular Department, it should be provided for any hon. Member. Is it not in the public interest that the information should be given in this House?