HC Deb 24 July 1950 vol 478 cc30-1
51. Mr. Bossom

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will publish in the first issue of the OFFICIAL REPORT each month a complete list of all official delegations of foreign visitors invited to this country, stating the dates of their arrival and how they can be contacted.

Mr. Ernest Davies

No, Sir. I am unable to give such an undertaking.

Mr. Bossom

Does not the hon. Gentleman realise that the taxpayers pay for these visits of foreign delegations that come to this country? Why cannot Members know who are coming? Why cannot he publish a list, so that we know who are coming and how we can contact them?

Mr. Davies

In the first place, it is not true that the taxpayer pays for all these delegations. Some come at the invitation of other organisations, or are paid for by their respective Governments. If the work which would be involved were undertaken, it would involve the taxpayer in a considerable amount of money, as far as obtaining the information was concerned.

Major Legge-Bourke

Who is paying for the 71 Japanese at present visiting this country?

Mr. Bossom

Would the Minister not give a list of those for which the taxpayers are paying, so that we can contact them when they arrive?

Mr. Davies

No, Sir. This question has been very carefully considered. It is not considered that any useful purpose would be served by giving the information in the OFFICIAL REPORT.