Identity Cards.

Oral Answers to Questions — Civil Defence. – in the House of Commons on 18th June 1942.

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

asked the Home Secretary whether, since it is made obligatory on every inhabitant of the United Kingdom to possess an identity card, he will adopt such precautionary measures as will prevent anyone from a neutral country entering any part of the United Kingdom without a valid identity card?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

My hon. Friend is no doubt aware that all persons in Northern Ireland are required to be in possession of an identity document which must be produced, to the police on demand. As regards control of entry of persons from Eire into Northern Ireland I would refer him to my Reply to his Question on 14th May.

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

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that in my own constituency at Newry Petty Sessions last week seven young airmen, one a deserter from the Eire Army, were charged with entering Northern Ireland without proper identity cards, and that in their evidence, according to the Press, they stated that they had purchased their identity cards from men at Dundalk. Does he consider the arrangements for crossing the border far too lax and a positive danger to the State?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

No, Sir, I do not think that is suitable, and we do all we can to meet these points, but I do not think the hon. Member's proposal is a wise one. Last week he was asking me to relax the rule of entry to Ireland from Great Britain. He rather turns about from week to week in his security reasons.

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

Northern Ireland is a part of the United Kingdom, and I have pressed for freer travelling facilities between Britain and Northern Ireland, but I deny that I have ever done anything except ask for the strictest care to be exercised in allowing people to cross the border from neutral Eire into Northern Ireland.

Photo of Professor Douglas Savory Professor Douglas Savory , Queen's University of Belfast

Why is it not possible to demand the production of an identity card from every citizen of Eire entering Northern Ireland?

Photo of Professor Douglas Savory Professor Douglas Savory , Queen's University of Belfast

No, Sir, it is a matter for the right hon. Gentleman. Under the Northern Ireland Act, 1920, all entry into Northern Ireland depends on the Home Secretary of Great Britain.

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

I will look into that point. Nevertheless, the Northern Ireland Government have a very efficient police organisation.

Photo of Professor Douglas Savory Professor Douglas Savory , Queen's University of Belfast

It cannot control the entry of aliens into Northern Ireland.