HC Deb 04 December 1946 vol 431 cc327-8
33. Mr. Vane

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what is the purpose of the visit to this country by the German delegation led by Dr. Schumacher; who are the other members of his party; and what is the programme of their tour.

Mr. J. Hynd

Dr. Schumacher is visiting this country at the invitation and as the guest of the Labour Party. He is accompanied by Dr. Victor Agartz, Herr Franz Neumann, Herr Fritz Heine, and Herr Wilhelm Knothe. The party arrived on 29th November and is remaining for about 12 days. The programme for the visit, as in all such cases, is in the hands of the inviting organisation.

Mr. Vane

Will the hon. Gentleman say whether the visit of this delegation has created a precedent and that other private parties from Germany will now be allowed to visit this country, or is that a privilege reserved only for the Socialists' own friends?

Mr. Hynd

No, Sir. The precedent was set many months ago and has been followed on several occasions by many other parties invited to this country by responsible organisations, religious and other, on this side. I think that the Opposition would agree that it would be diffi- cult even for me to refuse the same facilities to representatives invited by the British Labour Party.

Mr. Mikardo

Is the Minister aware that, irrespective of party, all fair-minded people in this country welcome the visit of this great democrat who suffered so much more than anybody in this House for his opposition to Nazism?