HC Deb 14 December 1955 vol 547 cc1201-2
33. Mrs. Butler

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies for what offences exit visas are denied to citizens of British Guiana.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

People leaving British Guiana do not need exit visas.

Mrs. Butler

In view of that reply, will the Secretary of State say why in certain recent cases permission has not been given to citizens of British Guiana to come to this country?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

Of course there are all sorts of other regulations during conditions of emergency or other difficult times, and there are of course restriction orders on movement within British Guiana which apply in certain other cases. Of course as well the Governor has power to withhold a passport from a person where there is clear and cogent proof of Communist connections, but I answered strictly the Question as asked by the hon. Lady. No visas are necessary, but there are restrictions on movement which I am sure we would all hope to see go when a new situation fully exists in British Guiana.

Mr. J. Griffiths

May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether, in view of the hope, which I hope we all share, that some day we shall renew constitutional government in British Guiana, he will consider applications which have been placed before him for visits to this country? Does he not think that such visits might pave the way to an eventual settlement?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

if such a proposal is made to me for British Guiana, I shall look at it with sympathy.

Mr. H. Morrison

Is it not a fact that the right hon. Gentleman gave a misleading original Answer to my hon. Friend the Member for Wood Green (Mrs. Butler)? She asked a perfectly clear question, and the right hon. Gentleman gave a categorically negative reply. Ought he not to have included the reservations he has subsequently admitted?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

I think that the right hon. Member, with the experience he has had of answering Questions, will know that if every possible nuance is provided for in an answer the House will never get on at Question Time. I answered the Question I was asked.

Mr. Gordon Walker

As the right hon. Gentleman knows what we are all talking about, would he consider approaching the Governor about this matter and not wait in this formal way for an approach to be made to him by the Governor?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

I am constantly in touch with the Governor and, like other hon. Members, I saw him a great deal a few weeks ago.