HC Deb 26 October 1949 vol 468 cc1304-5
7. Mr. Skeffington-Lodge

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs how many Germans have come here from the British zone for re-education, how many on compassionate grounds, and how many as visitors since the regulations permitting their entry here in these categories have been in force.

Mr. Bevin

It is not possible to give exact figures for visits for educational purposes, since private individuals and organisations have also been responsible for such visits. Since 1945, about 5,000 Germans have been brought under official auspices to this country from the Western zones and Berlin for educational visits. During the same period 426 women, 111 men and 44 children have come for an indefinite stay on compassionate grounds. Seventeen thousand Germans visited this country for periods of less than six months since the scheme for visitors was introduced in May, 1948.

Mr. Skeffington-Lodge

Is my right hon. Friend aware that, in regard to the coming of visitors to this country, the regulations are largely made a dead letter now in the case of those Germans who cannot afford to pay their own fares because their hosts are not allowed to help in regard to paying the fares? Will my right hon. Friend look into that aspect of the matter, because it makes it impossible for many folk to come here who otherwise could?

Mr. Bevin

That does not exactly arise out of the Question, but I will look into it.

Mr. Dumpleton

Could my right hon. Friend say whether it is possible to increase the numbers of people engaged in local government in Germany who come to this country to study English local government methods?

Mr. Bevin

I will look into it, but I cannot answer that question now.