HC Deb 10 July 1916 vol 84 c23
33. Mr. BYRNE

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he can state the reason why Miss French Mullen, of Dublin, was prevented from travelling to Paris; if he is aware that after a strict investigation she obtained a passport and proceeded to Southampton, where she was detained and examined; if he is aware that she was ordered back to London without her luggage, which has not yet been returned to her; if he will say why the passport was issued and then withdrawn; and when she will be allowed to travel?


This lady was refused permission to embark at Southampton because I considered it undesirable on account of her connection with the Sinn Fein movement that she should be allowed to go abroad. A passport had been issued to her before this decision was reached, but a passport confers no right to embark without the leave of the proper authorities. When stopped at Southampton she was recommended to go to London to explain at the Passport Office the difference between her declared intentions when applying for a passport and her statement at Southampton of the objects of her journey. She was at liberty to make her own arrangements in regard to her luggage. I can hold out no hope that this lady will be allowed to go abroad.


Who is responsible for the blunder of issuing the passport, and will the lady get her luggage, as she is in London now waiting for it?


I know nothing about the lady's luggage. It has not been detained by any official authority. So I am informed. The passport was issued by the Foreign Office. Afterwards it came to our knowledge that the lady was proposing to leave the country and she was informed that she could not be permitted.