§ 7. Mr. HACKING
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what 408 countries in Europe have, within the last few years, forgone the payment of visas for American tourists; and whether he has considered the advantages to be gained by adopting a similar policy in this country?
Mr. A. HENDERSON
As the list of European countries which have abolished visas or visa fees in the case of United States citizens is rather long, I will, with the right hon. Gentleman's permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT. AS regards the second part of the question, I need hardly say that the most careful consideration has been given to this aspect of the matter.
§ Mr. HACKING
If this list is a long one, and there is a large number of other countries which have seen fit to abolish all visa charges, surely they have only done it because it is to their advantage to do so, and, if it is to their advantage, why should it not be to ours also?
I have already informed the right hon. Gentleman that the whole of the circumstances were considered, and that for financial reasons we were not in a position to take the step at present.
§ Mr. A. M. SAMUEL
Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that this is a clog on the "Come-to-Britain" movement, and that more money is lost by keeping visas on and visitors out than by taking off the visa charges?
That is one of the considerations that have been examined, and still we have come to the conclusion that for financial reasons we cannot do what our predecessors did not do.
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
Is my right hon. Friend able to give the reasons why his predecessors did not abolish these visa charges?
§ Sir A. POWNALL
Will the right hon. Gentleman say what is the sum of money that would be lost if we were to forgo these visas?
§ Captain EDEN
Have the Government of the United States shown any sign whatever of being prepared to meet us part way?
I have already had a conversation with the Secretary, which I am going to continue, I hope, before he leaves.
§ Captain EDEN
Will the right hon. Gentleman assure us that he will not give way unless he gets some quid pro quo?
§ Following is the list:
§ European countries which have abolished visas or visa fees in the case of United States citizens:
§ Albania, Belgium, Danzig, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Lichtenstein, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland.