Exit Permits to Northern Ireland.

Oral Answers to Questions — Civil Defence. – in the House of Commons on 22nd January 1942.

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Photo of Reverend Dr James Little Reverend Dr James Little , Down

asked the Home Secretary whether, in the case of serious illness or death in the families of persons from Northern Ireland residing and working in their respective callings in Great Britain, he will give instructions to passport officials, on presentation of a recall telegram, to have travel permits granted at once?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

I am naturally anxious that genuine applications of this kind shall be dealt with sympathetically and swiftly, but unfortunately experience has made it necessary to require that such applications shall be authenticated by a medical certificate or by a telegram or certificate from the police authorities in Ireland. There is no delay in the grant of exit permits when the facts have been verified.

Photo of Reverend Dr James Little Reverend Dr James Little , Down

Surely a few hours should be sufficient to verify any telegram by application at once to the police in Northern Ireland?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

The hon. Member often presses me to be careful about security methods affecting Ireland, and sometimes he presses me, as now, to go the other way about. As an instance of the neces- sity of verifying the authenticity of applications I can give a case in which the censor observed a letter in which the writer said, "When you receive this letter put father to bed"—a warning against the visit of the police to verify the facts.