HC Deb 10 November 1919 vol 121 cc20-1
29. Colonel WEDGWOOD

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether British Consuls abroad have been instructed to refuse visas to foreign passports except an undertaking has been given that the bearer will not seek employment in this country; if so, under what Statute or Regulation is this condition enforced; and is the view held at the Foreign Office that only rich aliens are to be allowed in Great Britain?


The answer to the first and third paragraphs is in the negative. Instructions issued with regard to visas are designed to save foreigners from making fruitless journeys to this country. It is necessary at the present time to prevent an undesirable influx of alien labour into this country. For this purpose, in pursuance of the Aliens Restriction Act, 1914, and the Aliens Order, 1919, made thereunder, leave to land in the United Kingdom must, as a general rule, be refused to aliens who have come here merely to look for work, or who have been recruited by an employer in this country otherwise than with the approval of the Minister of Labour. In these circumstances, it is proper and in the interests of the aliens to prevent them, so far as possible, from starting on the journey, and instructions with regard to visas are framed accordingly.


Does that mean that French or American people are not allowed to come to this country to look for work, and that thus no poor people can come except under contract with employers?


I do not understand the hon. Member's distinction between poor and rich, and the rest of the question is answered in the reply already given.


Do not the United States exercise even more rigid regulations?


Will any of the men now to be deported from the United States be allowed to come into this country?


That question does not arise.

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