§ 21. Sir Richard Acland
asked the Home Secretary whether he will look into the serious restrictions placed on alien seamen and consider whether these can be substantially reduced, particularly in the case of seamen of allied nationality serving on boats which voyage regularly from and to ports exclusively in the British Isles?
§ Mr. Peake
My right hon. Friend sympathises with the view that every reasonable concession should be made to foreign seamen working in the allied interest and arrangements are already in force under which shore leave is freely granted to such seamen subject to certain essential safeguards. Steps have also been taken to facilitate the landing and embarking of alien seamen engaged exclusively in voyages between ports in Great Britain.
§ Sir R. Acland
Would it not be possible, seeing that these restrictions mean that the men cannot travel any distance home on leave, to give them a once-for-all examination and then allow them to move as freely as they want? They are in the war on our side, so why should we not treat them as we treat ourselves?
§ Sir R. Acland
Is this practice of dealing with individual cases really fair on hon. Members? Would it not be right to make it a general matter that alien seamen serving exclusively from British ports should be given a once-for-all examination, and then have as much freedom as British seamen?
§ Mr. Wedgwood
Is it fair to hon. Members to have to receive all these complaints and pass them on and get them settled satisfactorily? Why cannot the matter be dealt with generally?