Oral Answers to Questions — Aliens (Visas)

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 7th July 1949.

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Photo of Mr Stephen Swingler Mr Stephen Swingler , Stafford 12:00 am, 7th July 1949

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department why he has refused to extend beyond 8th July the visa of V. Plawinski, a political refugee of whom particulars have been sent to him by the hon. Member for Stafford; and if he will reconsider his decision.

Photo of Mr James Ede Mr James Ede , South Shields

I have carefully and sympathetically considered this case, but I regret that I am not prepared to extend the visa of Mr. Plawinski and his wife, who were allowed to come here on a short visit for private purposes.

Photo of Mr Stephen Swingler Mr Stephen Swingler , Stafford

Is it a fact that this man was invited to come here from Germany by a high-ranking British officer, and was given to understand that he could stay here? Will my right hon. Friend consider extending this man's visa so that the matter can be more fully investigated?

Photo of Mr James Ede Mr James Ede , South Shields

No. This gentleman applied for a visa for a visit of one month to allow him to come here to visit his mother. He brought his fiancee with him, and since they have been here they have married, but I know of no reason for extending the period for which this man can stay here once he has had his honeymoon here.

Photo of Mr Thomas Reid Mr Thomas Reid , Swindon

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department why Mr. Averame, who arrived at Dover from Italy on 14th June with a return ticket, was repatriated by his officers without being allowed to land, although only intending to make a temporary visit for which all the necessary guarantees had been obtained; and what compensation he proposes to make to Mr. Averame.

Photo of Mr James Ede Mr James Ede , South Shields

This alien was refused leave to land because the immigration officer, after questioning him and his host, Mr. Beales, reached the conclusion that his object was not to make a temporary visit but to establish himself in this country. In view of Mr. Beales' protests to the immigration officer it was arranged that the alien should not be sent back until the following day in order to give Mr. Beales an opportunity of communicating with the Home Office. A firm of London solicitors who telephoned to the Home Office on behalf of Mr. Beales early on the following day were informed that the decision of the immigration officer must stand; and the alien was sent back on the boat which left at 12.15 p.m. I can find no grounds for the payment of compensation.

Photo of Mr Thomas Reid Mr Thomas Reid , Swindon

Is it not a fact that he was given permission to stay, after having been refused permission?

Photo of Mr James Ede Mr James Ede , South Shields

No, Sir. He was refused permission to land. It was then suggested that if higher authorities were consulted, permission might be granted. The immigration officer said that he would give the man permission to land while application was made, but he would have to leave the next day, and that procedure was followed. I think that the immigration officer was exceedingly helpful in this case.

Photo of Mr Samuel Silverman Mr Samuel Silverman , Nelson and Colne

Can my right hon. Friend say what information the immigration officer had at his disposal which was not at the disposal of my right hon. Friend or the Foreign Secretary, whichever it is, when the visa was granted; and if objection was to be taken would not it have been better to take it before the man went to the expense of making his visit here, and not give the visa at all?

Photo of Mr James Ede Mr James Ede , South Shields

No, Sir. Unfortunately, my experience is that a number of these people, when they apply for a visa, tell a story about the length of time which they wish to spend in this country, but when the person is questioned here by the immigration officer it is disproved. In this case the man obtained a visa on the ground that he wanted to come here for a short stay; but it was revealed at Dover that he was, in fact, coming here for a permanent stay.

Photo of Mr Thomas Reid Mr Thomas Reid , Swindon

Is not it a fact that Mr. Beales, a prominent resident of Swindon, had given a guarantee that the man would return to Italy?

Photo of Mr James Ede Mr James Ede , South Shields

No, Sir. When asked by the immigration officer if he would give such a guarantee, he pointedly declined.

Photo of Colonel Sir Alan Gomme-Duncan Colonel Sir Alan Gomme-Duncan , Perth

Is it due to the hon. Member for Loughborough (Mr. Follick) that Mr. Averame's name is pronounced "Beales"?

Photo of Mr James Ede Mr James Ede , South Shields

I think that the hon. and gallant Member is confusing the alien with the person he was coming to visit in this country.