HC Deb 06 June 1946 vol 423 cc2137-8
15. Mr. Nally

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what were the circumstances determining his decision to grant an entry permit to Frau Maria Holy; whether at the time of granting such permit he was aware that it had been applied for to enable this lady to marry a British Regular Army officer; and if equally sympathetic consideration will be given to applications for an entry permit made for the same reason by other Austrian women of equally good character.

Mr. Ede

When a British subject who is resident in this country wishes to marry a foreign woman, it has been the settled practice not to refuse her admission to the United Kingdom, provided there is satisfactory evidence that there is no legal obstacle to the marriage and there is an assurance that it will take place as soon as possible after her arrival. There have been several cases in which members of the Forces after returning to this country and being demobilised have applied that a German or Austrian woman may come here for the purpose of marriage, and such applications have been granted; and the same policy is followed in respect of men still serving in the Army, whatever rank they hold, provided they are serving in this country and not merely on leave from the Occupation Forces.

Mr. Nally

Am I to understand from my right hon. Friend's reply that in the case of a Serviceman being demobilised and returning to this country, his Department will look favourably upon an application from that demobilised ex-Serviceman for a permit for an Austrian or German woman to enter this country for the purpose of marrying the demobilised soldier?

Mr. Ede

I have to be satisfied that both parties are free to contract a marriage. A gentleman recently applied to my office who was obviously intending to perpetrate bigamy, and I refused permission for the woman to come to be made the victim of such a conspiracy. When I am satisfied on that score, and with the fact that security considerations are also safeguarded, permission is granted.