HC Deb 24 May 1954 vol 528 c19
28. Mr. Emrys Hughes

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if, following visits to the United States of America of prominent British personalities for the purpose of improving good will between Great Britain and the United States of America, he will arrange to invite distinguished Americans to visit this country.

Mr. Dodds-Parker

Her Majesty's Government naturally welcome visits of distinguished Americans to the United Kingdom: there is no doubt that such visits improve the good will between Great Britain and the United States. Fortunately, however, there is a considerable flow of prominent American visitors to the United Kingdom unimpeded by any currency restrictions, and it has not normally been necessary for Her Majesty's Government to inspire such visits by arranging invitations. There are several non-governmental bodies which interest themselves in promoting good will between the two countries, and many prominent Americans have been invited to the United Kingdom by these bodies.

In cases where distinguished visitors wish for official assistance, the facilities of the Central Office of Information are at their disposal.

Mr. Emrys Hughes

Would not the Minister agree that, following our sending Roger Bannister to America, we deserve a really good, first-class American over here? Is he aware that the Scottish Union of Mineworkers has invited a very distinguished American, Mr. Paul Robeson, to visit this country? Can we have the good graces and assistance of the Foreign Office to see that this famous singer is allowed to sing in this country?

Mr. Dodds-Parker

That is a different question. We shall of course, welcome all visits to this country which are likely to improve international relations.