HC Deb 19 February 1947 vol 433 cc1170-1
40. Mr. William Teeing

asked the Secretary of State for the. Colonies why the Undesirable Persons Order existing in Sarawak, and which did not apply to a servant or subject of His Highness the Rajah, was used to prevent Mr. Anthony Brooke from entering Sarawak; on what day Mr. Brooke left England; and when was this Order altered and for what purpose.

Mr. Creech Jones

The Order was used for the reasons I gave the hon. Member on 19th December. I am advised that Mr. Brooke was not exempt from its provisions. I understand that he left this country of 6th December. The principal Order was amended by an Ordinance passed by the Council Negri on 3rd December in two respects, the first to amend a description of persons excluded from the Order which had become meaningless with the cession of Sarawak, and the second to correct an apparent oversight in the principal Order.

Mr. Teeling

Does not the Minister agree that this Order did not apply to Mr. Brooke, and that. in actual fact, the Order was deliberately altered to include him; and, further, will the right hon. Gentleman assure this House that, in future, 'British subjects travelling on legitimate business to the Colonies will not have Orders altered to prevent them entering?

Mr. Creech Jones

The assumptions of the hon. Member are completely wrong. For his information, Mr. Brooke gave us notice that he would probably go to Sarawak on 4th November, but, if the hon. Member will turn up the Sarawak Government Gazette, he will there find, on 1st November, the amending Bill printed.

Mr. Skeffington-Lodge

Is the Minister aware that it would have been far better for all concerned if a decision had been made before Mr. Brooke left England that it was undesirable for him to enter Sarawak, rather han later, and after he had half completed his journey?

Mr. Creech Jones

The answer is, of course, that we did not know he was leaving the country, because the representations which had previously been made to us stated that he was taking a certain route which, in fact, he did not take.

Mr. Gallacher

Could the Minister say why no hon. Members opposite protested when I was refused permission to go to India?