HC Deb 11 February 1946 vol 419 cc8-9
30. Flight-Lieutenant Haire

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs on whose authority. Major Randolph Churchill was given a permit for his present visit to Spain; whether he was given priority travel facilities; and whether he is performing any official mission.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Works (Mr. Harold Wilson)

I have been asked to reply in the absence abroad of my right hon. Friend the Minister of Information, whose Department is concerned. A request was made to the Ministry of Information by an American news-agency for help in securing transport facilities in Europe for Major Churchill, who was employed by them to write a series of articles. Exit permits are not now required for travel abroad, but routine assistance in the matter of transport facilities was provided for journeys by Major Churchill to a number of countries including Spain. Similar assistance has been given to many other journalists. He is not, of course, on any official mission.

Flight-Lieutenant Haire

Is my hon. Friend aware that in at least one other country which Major Churchill visited, he is alleged to have said to His- Majesty's Ambassador in that country that his self-imposed mission abroad was to discredit as much as possible the Socialist Government in England?

Captain Sir Peter MacDonald

Is not the visit of Major Churchill at least as desirable as the visits of Professor Laski, who tours the whole world?

Mr. Wilson

With regard to the first supplementary, I do not think my right hon. Friend was aware of the statement made by my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Wycombe (Flight-Lieutenant Haire), and I am sure that if he were aware of it, he would agree that Major Churchill had a very difficult task.