HC Deb 12 April 1948 vol 449 cc599-600
12. Mr. Driberg

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he is aware that German civilians visiting this country officially to study the workings of democracy are being offered hospitality by, among others, a woman who was a leading member of the British Union of Fascists, "The Link," and other antidemocratic organisations; and if, while ensuring reasonable social freedom for these visitors, he will endeavour to protect them from politically unsuitable contacts of this kind.

Mr. Mayhew

Since my right hon. Friend received notice of this Question, one such case has been brought to his attention and he has investigated this and all other cases of persons who have given hospitality. These investigations show that the lady in question is the only case of this sort. Our practice has been to accept offers of hospitality from local authorities and, so far, we have relied on them to ensure that the persons chosen as hosts are suitable. As to the second part of the Question, my right hon. Friend will certainly endeavour to protect German visitors from contacts with any persons who have shown that they cannot represent to the visitors the value of our democratic institutions.

Earl Winterton

Will the hon. Gentleman take particular care to protect them from contact with crypto-Communists? May I have an answer to that?

Mr. Mayhew

I think a good deal can be left to the good sense of local councils.

Mr. Hector Hughes

When Germans visit this country what supervision, if any, is there over their political activities? Are they allowed to link up with antidemocratic parties?

Mr. Mayhew

Perhaps my hon. and learned Friend will put that question on the Order Paper.