HC Deb 14 February 1951 vol 484 cc384-5
21. Lord Malcolm Douglas-Hamilton

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs how many German youth parties, sponsored by the Tours and Facilities Section of the Central Office of Information, are expected to visit this country during 1951; what is the average size per party and cost per head; and what reciprocal arrangements have been made.

Mr. Younger

Four parties, each consisting of six young Germans between the ages of 20 and 30, will visit this country during 1951 as part of the programme arranged at the request of the Foreign Office by the Tours and Facilities Section of the Central Office of Information. The operational cost of these visits per head will be approximately £2 10s. per day excluding fares to and from this country, but including, apart from food and accommodation, fares within the United Kingdom and all other costs arising from the programme arranged. As these visits are sponsored by His Majesty's Government in order to show young Germans interested in politics how British institutions work, the question of reciprocal arrangements does not arise.

Lord Malcolm Douglas-Hamilton

Will the hon. Member say how much are the fares to get them over and back again? In view of the fact that they are coming over, is it not possible for them to stay a little longer? Does this apply only to German youth parties?

Mr. Younger

As far as I am aware it applies only to Germany—I was only asked about Germany. There cannot be any precisely similar case, and I have explained the purpose of the visit.

Mr. Pickthorn

Can the House be told how these young people are selected and what is done to make sure of their interest in politics?

Mr. Younger

I have not got the precise details, but our authorities in Germany, in co-operation with the German authorities, can no doubt pick suitable parties. I understand, for instance, that there will be included in the first party the chairmen and vice-chairmen of the youth organisations connected with the principal political parties in Germany.

Mr. Ian Harvey

Can we be told why these parties are restricted to young ladies?

Mr. Younger

They are not.

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