War Workers (Exit Permits to Northern Ireland)

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

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

asked the Home Secretary whether he will arrange that Northern Ireland war workers in Britain whose parents are dead, but who have sisters or brothers alive, will receive permits to enable them to visit these friends in Northern Ireland twice each year?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

Persons who have come to Great Britain from any part of Ireland since the outbreak of war for the purpose of engaging in temporary war work can obtain exit permits to enable them to visit their homes or friends in Ireland not more than twice during a period of 12 months, but this concession does not apply to persons who came here before the war, and I regret that I cannot see my way to extend it to them?

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

But if the parents are dead, can brothers and sisters visit one another?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

If they came here since the war they are able to visit their homes or friends in Ireland not more than twice during the 12 months, but that provision does not extend to those who came before the war.

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

Did not the right hon. Gentleman say that it does not apply to brothers visiting sisters and sisters visiting brothers? Was not that the last answer he made on the point, and is it not a fact that many brothers have been refused permission to visit their sisters and sisters to visit their brothers?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

It may be so. There are certain restrictions on visits.

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

Would it not be possible as a practical suggestion to reduce the period of six weeks which the right hon. Gentleman is now allowing before exacting the passport with photograph? Does he not think this is rather too long, and that with advantage that period of six weeks could be reduced?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

I think we had better watch how it works. In the meantime the scheme now in operation has been agreed with the Northern Ireland Government.