HC Deb 26 June 1947 vol 439 cc656-7
12. Mr. Keeling

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he has completed his inquiries into the case in which a married woman of British birth, whose visit from Germany to her sick sister in England he authorised in December, did not receive an exit permit until May; who was responsible for the delay; and whether steps have been taken to avoid similar delays in future.

Mr. Ede

Although inquiries into this case are not yet complete I understand from my noble Friend, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, that this lady's application for an exit permit did not reach the Entries and Exits Branch of the Control Commission at Dusseldorf until 12th February, that delay then occurred because this Branch was unaware that a visa had been authorised by the Home Office, and that further delay occurred when the application was referred to the Combined Travel Board, the appropriate tripartite authority. My noble Friend is conducting an inquiry in Germany with the object of eliminating delays of this kind and evolving a more simple and expeditious procedure.

Mr. Keeling

As the Home Secretary said a few days ago that the officials in charge of this matter are not under a Minister responsible to this House, will he say whether it is intended to bring them under the control of a Minister responsible to this House?

Mr. Ede

I and my noble Friend are having the whole of this machinery looked at with a view to ensuring that responsibility should be fixed and such delays as I have detailed in this answer avoided in future.