HC Deb 10 October 1946 vol 427 cc328-9
2. Mr. Benn Levy

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will reconsider the case, to which his attention has been called by the hon. Member for Eton and Slough, of a young woman who, having served four years in the A.T.S., is now, together with her British baby, separated by immigration regulations from her husband who served in the British Army, was for four years a prisoner of war in Germany, and is now serving as a Government welfare officer in Palestine but has been refused permission to join his wife and child in this country.

Mr. Ede

In this case the husband, who was of German nationality, settled in Palestine in 1934. In 1945, while he was temporarily in England, he married before returning to Palestine, a woman who was of Austrian nationality, and she, I understand, is unwilling to go to Palestine to join her husband. I cannot regard the birth of a baby in British territory as a reason in itself for allowing the father to settle here, and should only feel justified in agreeing to his admission if he can obtain an offer of employment here and the Ministry of Labour were prepared to grant a permit.

Mr. Levy

At a time when thousands of willing immigrants are being refused admission to Palestine, is it good sense to exert pressure on unwilling immigrants to go and live there? Moreover, is it creditable to this country that we should avail ourselves of the services of such people as these in our hour of danger, and then lock our doors on them when the danger is over?

Mr. Ede

The answer to the first part of my hon. Friend's supplementary question is that that is not what is happening. Nor is what my hon. Friend has said, in the second part of his supplementary question, a fair comment on the situation.

Mr. Sydney Silverman

Can my right hon. Friend say whether it is the policy of His Majesty's Government that if a Jew wants to go to Palestine he cannot, and if he wants to come out he cannot do that either?

Mr. Ede

No, Sir. I have said in my answer that if this man can obtain an offer of employment in this country, and the Ministry of Labour are willing for him to take it, I shall be perfectly willing to admit him; neither of the principals in this matter is a British subject at the moment.

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