HC Deb 25 October 1954 vol 531 cc1592-3
42. Mr. Janner

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will now give the result of his representations to the Government of Iraq on the discriminatory regulations which it has imposed against British nationals of the Jewish faith travelling to Iraq, or other destinations via Iraq, by requiring them to hold special visas.

The Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Sir Anthony Eden)

Yes, Sir. The Iraqi Government have replied that the instructions in force do not permit foreign Jews to enter into or pass through Iraq except in special cases which must be referred to the Iraqi authorities in advance, and approved by them. The Iraqi Government have been left in no doubt that Her Majesty's Government deplore discrimination against British subjects of a particular religion or racial origin. We shall continue to represent this to them.

Mr. Janner

While thanking the right hon. Gentleman for the latter part of his reply, may I ask if he will be good enough to see that this disgraceful discrimination is dealt with rapidly, and, if it cannot be done by us unilaterally, see that the matter, which is quite contrary to the elementary principles of the United Nations Charter, shall be dealt with by the United Nations?

Sir A. Eden

I have considered the last possibility the hon. Member mentioned, but there is no internationally recognised right which these regulations can be said to contravene. We deplore it, but unfortunately a number of countries do discriminate in certain circumstances in this matter as against particular categories of foreign nationals. We do not like it, but it does exist. I believe that in this case the solution really lies in bringing about better relations between Israel and the Arab States. I ought to add that no case of a British Jew being stopped in transit through Iraq has come to my notice.