HC Deb 30 November 1938 vol 342 cc383-4
2. Mr. De la Bère

asked the Prime Minister whether he will now consider bringing in regulations as regards stamping on passports, alongside the signature, the print of the right thumb of the holder of the passport, solely for the purpose of identification when travelling abroad?

Mr. Butler

As my hon. Friend was informed by the late Foreign Secretary on 1st December last, there are, apart from the objection which exists in the mind of the public to any requirement of fingerprints, many insurmountable difficulties in the way of the adoption of such a system. My Noble Friend is not convinced that any substantial public benefit would accrue from its adoption.

Mr. De la Bère

Is my hon. Friend aware of the existence of large numbers of forged passports on the Continent of Europe and elsewhere; and does he not think that this would give the authorities some means of curtailing these forgeries?

Mr. Butler

I should want further evidence that the statement which my hon. Friend has made represents the position.

Mr. Gallacher

Will not the Government withdraw the passport system altogether?