§ 2. Mr. ANDERSON
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he can state on what ground a passport was refused to 144 Miss Margaret Bondfield, a fraternal delegate from the Parliamentary Committee of the Trades Union Congress to the American Labour Convention; and if he will state on what principle his Department grants or refuses the issue of passports to ladies proceeding from this country to the United States?
The application of Miss Bondfield was considered by the Passports Committee, who decided that there were no circumstances of such urgent necessity or national interest as would warrant an exception under the Regulations restricting women and children from travelling overseas.
§ Mr. ANDERSON
Will the right hon. Gentleman answer the second part of the question as to the principle on which his Department decides these matters?
It is largely an Admiralty question to decide whether in certain cases there is a sufficient reason for allowing women and children to travel overseas in ships which will have to be protected.
§ Mr. ANDERSON
Do I understand that it is largely a question of the personal safety of these ladies?
§ Mr. OUTHWAITE
May I ask why that principle was not adopted as regards Mrs. Pankhurst? Why allow her to go and prevent Miss Bondfield?
I really am quite incapable of drawing these interesting comparisons between one lady traveller and another.
§ Mr. LEES-SMITH
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that Mrs. Pankhurst is now spending her time in advocating armed intervention by the Allies in Russia?
§ Mr. SPEAKER
We are getting a very long way from the question on the Paper. If the hon. Gentleman will look at it, he will see it has no reference to Mrs. Pankhurst.