HC Deb 13 July 1955 vol 543 c1927
35. Mr. Gower

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what progress has been achieved in reaching agreement with the authorities in Colonial Territories in West Africa, the West Indies and elsewhere to enable persons domiciled in the United Kingdom to visit those territories without as many undertakings and formalities as hitherto.

Mr. Hopkinson

I have nothing to add to the reply given to my hon. Friend on 2nd March last.

Mr. Gower

Is it not unreasonable that it should be so much more difficult for United Kingdom citizens to go to these territories than for their citizens to come here, and, indeed, more difficult for United Kingdom citizens than for American citizens to go there? Does my right hon. Friend recall that Lord Chandos, when he was Secretary of State for the Colonies, promised to do all in his power to get that altered?

Mr. Hopkinson

I am not aware of any promise of that kind made by my noble friend Lord Chandos. These are very largely matters of local competence and it has been the practice of Secretaries of State in the past not to interfere with them unless it was absolutely unavoidable. Of course, the principle of reciprocity arises to a certain extent, and that was the question which my noble Friend said he would consider.