HC Deb 08 April 1937 vol 322 cc338-9
36. Mr. Gallacher

asked the Home Secretary on what date Father Henry Gabana, a priest of Spanish nationality, was allowed to enter Great Britain; whether any conditions were imposed for his observance during his stay; whether any complaints have been received that he is addressing political meetings of which the chief feature is attacks upon the Governments of Spain and Catalonia; and whether His Majesty's Government propose taking any action to restrict his activities in this direction?

Sir J. Simon

This individual arrived in this country on 5th July last for a few months' holiday and remained until 7th January when he left for the Continent. On his return on 18th January he was allowed to land on his statement that he wished to prolong his stay until the Spanish trouble is finished. No complaint was received with regard to him during his first visit, but my attention has now been drawn to his activities in addressing meetings on the subject of Spain. He is being warned that if he wishes to continue his stay in the country it can only be on the condition that he abstains from engaging in activities directed to furthering the cause of either side in the Spanish struggle.

Mr. Gallacher

Arising out of that answer, and in recognition of the fact that this propaganda has been going on, would the Home Secretary not be prepared to consider withdrawing the ban from representatives of the Government side and allowing all to have an opportunity of stating their views? Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that I have no objection to this priest being allowed to state his views, if the same opportunity is extended to others?

Mr. Logan

Arising out of the question put by the hon. Member for West Fife (Mr. Gallacher), is it not a fact that Father Gabana took asylum in this country and that he has been speaking to his Catholic co-religionists in this country; and is not the pernicious propaganda of the hon. Member for West Fife to be accounted as worse than the propaganda of this father?