HC Deb 16 February 1948 vol 447 cc821-2
33. Mr. Law

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he is aware that the B.B.C.'s application for a visa for their Balkans correspondent, Mr. Kenneth Matthews, has been refused by both the Yugoslav and Bulgarian authorities; and whether he proposes to make representations in the matter.

Mr. McNeil

Yes, Sir. Applications for visas for Mr. Matthews have been refused by both the Yugoslav and Bulgarian Governments. No representations have been made on this specific case in Sofia. His Majesty's Ambassador in Belgrade spoke to the Yugoslav Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs about it on 8th January but without result.

Mr. Law

Is it not a fact that Mr. Matthews is a very experienced and a completely objective correspondent? Is it not a most scandalous thing that those Governments should not grant visas to this correspondent? Will the right hon. Gentleman make representations to those Governments about it?

Mr. McNeil

I think it is unfortunate and irregular. But the B.B.C., of course, will now be forced to depend against its will on sources outwith its control. My right hon. Friend, I think, for the sake of Mr. Matthews's reputation, and in order to try to ensure that we have reasonably authoritative information from those countries, will continue to press the matter.