HC Deb 21 May 1946 vol 423 cc178-9
33. Mr. Weitzman

asked the Secretary of State for War why leave has been refused to NO. Pal/30825 Driver Schmukler to visit his sister who is a British subject resident in London, and who is his only remaining relative, all other members of his family having been killed in Poland by the Germans; and whether he will take steps to see that leave is granted to this soldier who voluntarily joined the British Army.

Mr. Bellenger

Aliens serving in the British Army are not allowed to visit this country on leave unless they are domiciled here or unless there are extreme compassionate grounds. I regret that I cannot make an exception to the general rule in this particular case.

Mr. Weitzman

Would it not, in the view of the Minister, be the proper thing, under the terms of the five years' voluntary service, to let this soldier visit this country to see his sister, his only remaining relative, whom he has not seen for 17 years?

Mr. Bellenger

I have considerable sympathy with that point of view, but the matter is not entirely one for the War Office. It is a matter which concerns the Home Office in regard to the conditions under which aliens are admitted to this country.

Mr. Weitzman

Will the Minister use his good offices with the Home Office to see that that difficulty is removed?

Mr. Sydney Silverman

May I ask the Minister whether, if the facts are accurately stated in the Question, this case would not come within the definition of "extreme compassionate grounds," and, if it does not, will he say what his definition of "extreme compassionate grounds "really is?

Mr. Bellenger

Generally, we understand by "extreme compassionate grounds "Illness and matters like that, and these grounds are not evident in this case.

Mr. Quintin Hogg

Quite apart from its application to this particular incident, is the Minister aware that the application of the general rule to those who fought for us during the war is causing very great and widespread resentment?

62. Mr. M. Lindsay

asked the Secretary of State for War when the hon. Member for Solihull can expect a reply to his letter of 27th April, in respect of 14953136 Private Conway, S.G., forwarded to him by the Minister of Labour.

Mr. Bellenger

In order to reply to the hon. Member's letter it was necessary to bring Private Conway before a medical board, which inevitably takes a little time to arrange. I have now received the report of the medical board, and am arranging for a further examination in hospital by a specialist. As soon as I have a final report I will write to the hon. Member.