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United Kingdom Citizens (Reports to Commonwealth Governments)

Oral Answers to Questions — Commonwealth Relations – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 9th May 1957.

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Photo of Mr Anthony Greenwood Mr Anthony Greenwood , Rossendale 12:00 am, 9th May 1957

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations what facilities for appeal are given by his Department to citizens of the United Kingdom upon whom an adverse report has been submitted to a Commonwealth Government by his Department.

Photo of Mr Cuthbert Alport Mr Cuthbert Alport , Colchester

None, Sir. In such cases it is the duty of the Secretary of State to satisfy himself as to the reliability of any information which may be passed.

Photo of Mr Anthony Greenwood Mr Anthony Greenwood , Rossendale

Is the Under-Secretary aware that, in that case, it is impossible to resist the conclusion that the case of Keith John Miller would not have been satisfactorily cleared up if my hon. Friends the Member for Blackburn (Mrs. Castle) and the Member for Rugby (Mr. J. Johnson) had not raised the matter in the House of Commons? Are we to take it that the position is that the Government deny to United Kingdom citizens upon whom an adverse report has been presented to a Commonwealth Government the same protection that they have promised to industrial workers and civil servants in cases like this, or can it be that, in fact, the hon. Gentleman's Department knows nothing at all about the matter, and that these reports are made by the security authorities to Commonwealth Governments without any reference at all to Departments here?

Photo of Mr Cuthbert Alport Mr Cuthbert Alport , Colchester

The hon. Gentleman is entitled to draw whatever conclusions he wishes. So far as the Question is concerned, I am quite certain that a Secretary of State, with the heavy responsibility which rests upon him in cases of this sort, would carry out that responsibility, whatever Government were in office, with extreme conscientiousness which would ensure a proper presentation of the interests of the individuals concerned.

Photo of Mr Cyril Osborne Mr Cyril Osborne , Louth Borough

Is my right hon. Friend aware that industrial workers in this country have suffered much graver hardships and much greater injustice and that no protests at all have been made by Members opposite?

Photo of Mr Anthony Greenwood Mr Anthony Greenwood , Rossendale

I will not comment on that intervention because these matters have been raised frequently from these benches. Is it or it is not a fact that the Government deny to people in the position of Mr. Miller the protection which they have promised over and over again to civil servants and industrial workers?

Photo of Mr Cuthbert Alport Mr Cuthbert Alport , Colchester

The case is by no means similar.