HC Deb 06 February 1947 vol 432 cc1936-7
3. Mr. Price-White

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what conditions were attached to the visas of the artistes of the San Carlos Opera Company of Naples on their recent visit to this country; on which artistes such conditions were imposed; and what steps he takes to prevent entry into this country of artistes who have been found to have had active connection or sympathy with the former Fascist regime in Italy.

Mr. Ede

Conditions, if any, are attached, not to the grant of a British visa, but to the grant of leave to land. In the case of this party, numbering about a hundred, the conditions were that they all registered at once with the police, accepted only approved engagements and left the country within a specified period. The part) was not known to include persons having active sympathy with the Fascist régime.

Mr. Price-White

While I appreciate the steps which have been taken, may I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he is aware that the celebrated tenor, Signor Gigli, who accompanied the San Carlos Company as a guest artiste, as recently as 1943 wrote and published a book entitled, "Why I am a Fascist"? Were steps taken to ensure that this gentleman had changed his views before entry to this country in competition with our own artistes?

Mr. Ede

I was not aware of those detailed facts, but I will inquire into them, so that, if the work mentioned by the hon. Member proves to be other than a work of fiction, we can take appropriate steps if he attempts to land.

Mr. Rhys Davies

Is my right hon. Friend aware that Gigli is the greatest tenor alive? Is it suggested that Welsh singers should be prevented from going to sing in Italy because they supported Tory candidates?

Mr. Ede

Unfortunately, I am tone deaf, so that I cannot distinguish between one tenor and another I am not responsible for the admission of people to Italy.

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