HC Deb 26 November 1941 vol 376 cc726-7
8. Mr. Bellenger

asked the Secretary for Foreign Affairs why permission has been given by him allowing the Italian Prince Torlonia to travel to the United States of America via British territory; and what are the special circumstances for the granting of this permit?

11. Mr. McNeil

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he can make a statement on the facilities extended by this country to an Italian citizen, Prince Alessandro Torlonia, who is visiting his sick mother in New York?

Mr. Eden

A request was made to His Majesty's Embassy in Washington on behalf of Prince Torlonia's mother, who is a United States citizen and who is dangerously ill in the United States of America, that her son should be allowed to visit her. This request was supported by quarters in Washington which left no doubt as to its bona fides. The usefulness or otherwise of the proposed journey-to the enemy's war effort was examined, and the conclusion was reached that it would in fact be of no assistance to the enemy.

Mr. Bellenger

In considering similar cases, if he is approached in future, will the right hon. Gentleman consider not the advantage to the enemy but the advantage to our cause? Has any principle been laid down on which he can judge future cases if they arise?

Mr. Eden

I think the hon. Member is fully justified in his suggestion, and I will accept it in principle. I do not intend that there should be frequent departures of this kind.