Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Immigration Control (Incidents)

Oral Answers to Questions — Home Department – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 27th April 1967.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr Paul Rose Mr Paul Rose , Manchester, Blackley 12:00 am, 27th April 1967

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what instructions he has given to immigration officers to prevent the repetition of recent incidents, details of which have been sent to him, involving visitors to this country who have been subjected to the arbitrary and immediate decisions of immigration officers.

Photo of Mr Roy Jenkins Mr Roy Jenkins , Birmingham Stechford

I understand that my hon. Friend is referring to the cases of Mr. Jorgen Hansen and Miss Barbro Eriksson. For the reasons given in the letters sent to my hon. Friend on 25th January and 16th March, the action taken by the immigration officer in Mr. Hansen's case was entirely justified, and no fresh instructions are called for in that connection. In the case of Miss Eriksson, the immigration officer acted within the terms of the instructions in force at the time, but I have since adjusted the instructions so that a similar difficulty is less likely to occur in the future.

Photo of Mr Paul Rose Mr Paul Rose , Manchester, Blackley

While thanking my right hon. Friend for that reply, may I ask whether he is aware of the damage done to the image of Britain abroad when visitors are humiliated in this way? Would he look into the detention and deportation procedures, and the wide powers that some immigration officers employ? Perhaps they could be subject to some form of supervision or appeal?

Photo of Mr Roy Jenkins Mr Roy Jenkins , Birmingham Stechford

As my hon. Friend will be aware, the Committee under Sir Roy Wilson is actively considering this matter, and I hope to have its report within a matter of a few months. On the other point raised by my hon. Friend, I am constantly aware of the importance of preserving a welcoming image for this country, but I ask the House also to bear in mind that immigration officers have a very difficult task to perform.

Photo of Mr Marcus Lipton Mr Marcus Lipton , Lambeth Brixton

Is my right hon. Friend aware that among the recent incidents, details of which have been sent to him, is that of the wife of the Deputy Prime Minister of British Honduras, who was subjected to a medical examination at London Airport in the most dubious circumstances? Has not the time come for an independent inquiry into the methods and facilities used for the medical examination of foreign visitors to this country?

Photo of Mr Roy Jenkins Mr Roy Jenkins , Birmingham Stechford

My hon. Friend is presumably asking a supplementary question on Question No. 44, which has not yet been reached. As it appears that it may not be reached, perhaps I may be permitted to answer, and say that my hon. Friend is to some extent misinformed. This lady applied for an entry permit for permanent settlement with her daughter. This entry permit was readily granted, but it is normal to include a medical examination of those arriving for settlement in this country.

Photo of Mr Antony Buck Mr Antony Buck , Colchester

Will the Home Secretary publish the new instructions which he has now given to immigration officers, so that we may know what criteria they are working on relative to the medical examination of people? Perhaps he can also tell me when he will reply to the searching letter on the merits of the case which I wrote to him about 10 days ago?

Photo of Mr Roy Jenkins Mr Roy Jenkins , Birmingham Stechford

I think that the hon. Gentleman will probably have a reply to- morrow, but I thought it more important to answer the Question and inform the House, rather than to inform the hon. Member first, great importance though I attach to doing that. On the hon. Gentleman's other point, it has not been the practice to publish these instructions, but I will consider the matter.