Aircraft Passengers (Immigration Control)

Oral Answers to Questions — Home Department – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 4th February 1965.

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Photo of Mr Arthur Newens Mr Arthur Newens , Epping 12:00 am, 4th February 1965

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department by what authority an immigration official took the names of passengers who had taken part in a lobby of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation Council meeting in Paris on Tuesday 15th December, when those passengers returned to Gatwick Airport on Wednesday 16th December; and what was the purpose of this official's action.

Photo of Sir Frank Soskice Sir Frank Soskice , Newport (Monmouthshire/Gwent)

No names of any such passengers were recorded by the immigration officer. I am informed, however, that in the discharge of his duty a police officer briefly noted certain particulars connected with this flight.

Photo of Mr Arthur Newens Mr Arthur Newens , Epping

Why was this particular group singled out for this treatment? What was the objective which the police officer had in view? Will my right hon. and learned Friend ensure that this practice is not continued on future occasions of this sort?

Photo of Sir Frank Soskice Sir Frank Soskice , Newport (Monmouthshire/Gwent)

My information is that the passengers in question were not singled out for any special treatment. The officer in question was carrying out purely normal routine duties, and in the course of the discharge of those duties he noted the particulars which he thought might be of some interest.

Photo of Mr Frederic Bennett Mr Frederic Bennett , Torquay

Could not one of the purposes have been in order to help to compile a list of potential future Labour Ministers?