HC Deb 19 June 1941 vol 372 cc810-1
36. Sir Stanley Reed

asked the Home Secretary whether his attention has been called to the refusal of accommodation, when accommodation was proved to be available, to a distinguished Indian publicist on racial grounds; and whether he will take action to prevent the recurrence of episodes of this character?

Mr. H. Morrison

I understand that this allegation relates to an unlicensed private hotel. The matter is not one in which I have any power to intervene, but if there has been discrimination against a British subject on the grounds alleged, I am sure I shall have the support of the House in expressing the strongest disapprobation of such action.

Mr. Sorensen

Why cannot my right hon. Friend take action with regard to these cases?

Mr. Morrison

Because I have no power to take any action.

Earl Winterton

Is the Home Secretary aware that this incident has caused the greatest resentment among friends and former colleagues of Sir Hari Singh Gour, like myself, and though it may not be possible for him to take any action, will he consider publishing the names of the people guilty of this outrage?

Mr. Morrison

I will consider that, but I can assure the noble Lord that I made most careful inquiries as to whether I could take action, which I would have been pleased to do, but I have no powers. I will look into the aspect to which the noble Lord has drawn attention.

Mr. Gallacher

While approving of the Minister's reply, is it the case that the only people who should be discriminated against are the Communists?

Mr. Morrison

I am very appreciative of the hon. Member's approval, and on the other point which he made, I should be the last person to make any particular discrimination against him or anybody else, whatever his political creed.