HC Deb 01 February 1940 vol 356 cc1268-9
66. Major Sir Jocelyn Lucas

asked the Home Secretary what is the objection to promising a British visa to an aged Polish couple to enable them to go to relations in a neutral country; and whether the fact that Poland is an Ally, that this couple's daughter is a British subject in British Government employ, and that the son-in-law is serving in the British Army, will now be considered as weighing heavily in their favour, and as sufficient reason for helping them since they are known to be in great danger and distress?

Sir J. Anderson

A British visa is not granted to facilitate a journey to any country other than this country. I understand, however, from correspondence which has passed between my hon. and gallant Friend and the Home Office, that the object of this couple is eventually to come to this country. I have given careful and sympathetic consideration to the representations made on behalf of the persons referred to, but I regret that in present circumstances I cannot authorise the grant of facilities to enable foreigners to proceed to this country from enemy territory or from territory under enemy occupation.

Sir J. Lucas

In view of the fact that this couple do not want to come to this country but to go to a neutral country, where they have relations, and where they will be allowed to stay more or less indefinitely if they have a British visa, cannot a visa be granted?

Sir J. Anderson

No, Sir. A British visa canot be granted to enable foreigners to go from one foreign country to another.

Miss Rathbone

Is it not possible to grant a visa to enable a refugee to go first to a neutral country and then to come on here, or vice versa?

Sir J. Anderson

I dealt with that Question in my answer.