HC Deb 01 July 1919 vol 117 cc775-6

asked the Home Secretary (1) whether, in view of the probable influx of commercial travellers from Foreign countries for the exploitation of competing foreign goods in British markets following upon the declaration of Peace, His Majesty's Government will consider the propriety of instituting a system of licences for such foreign travellers, representatives, and agents, with appropriate differentiation between nationals of Allies, neutrals, and countries which have recently been at war with Great Britain; (2) whether he will consider the desirability of bringing into operation a register of all persons entering the ports of the United Kingdom who are engaged in the exploitation of foreign trade in this country, such register to indicate the nationality of the business man, commercial traveller, or agent, as the case may be, the nature of the industry in the interest of which his or her visits to this country are made, and the particular areas in the United Kingdom in which business operations are contemplated; and whether daily or weekly extracts from the register can be circulated to the Press and supplied to Chambers of Commerce and other business organisations?


I regret that I am not prepared to adopt the suggestions. Adequate steps are, and will be, taken. under the Aliens Restriction Order to exclude any aliens who cannot produce satisfactory reasons for entering this country. The hon. Member's proposal would require a great deal of complicated Government machinery, and I am not satisfied that they are either necessary or calculated to assist British trade.


Will the right hon. Gentleman consider the registration of foreign commercial travellers with the necessary details of the firms they represent?


That will be considered.


Will the right hon. Gentleman issue for the guidance of all the necessary qualifications for entrance into this country?