HC Deb 31 July 1941 vol 373 cc1508-9
9. Sir Hugh O'Neill

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will consider modifying the regulations governing permits to persons to visit their homes in Northern Ireland, in view of the fact that, as the definition of home is restricted to the residence of parents, husbands or wives, great hardship is caused in many cases?

The Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. Herbert Morrison)

In my view the existing regulations go as far as is possible, having regard to the interests of national security, in enabling persons to pay visits to their homes in Ireland, and I regret that I see no prospect at present of being able to make any further relaxations.

Sir H. O'Neill

May I ask if the right hon. Gentleman would not give special consideration to a case of this kind, of which I think there are one or two—an Ulster person working in this country, whose parents are dead, whose only home is in Northern Ireland, who may be doing war work in this country, and who, unless there is some alteration, cannot get back during the war on holiday or on leave?

Mr. Morrison

I will, of course, consider any very hard cases, but I really cannot hold out much hope. There are not only shipping matters but security aspects concerned, and there are other Questions on the Order Paper asking me to tighten up security. Northern Ireland Members should make up their minds which way they want me to go. I must be pretty firm on security grounds. Still, I will look into the case that the right hon. Gentleman has put to me.