HC Deb 17 March 1955 vol 538 cc1442-4
37. Mr. Teeling

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will make a statement about the discussions between his immigration officers and the representatives of Messrs. P. and A. Campbell Limited, concerning no-passport cross-Channel day trips.

38. Mr. Awbery

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what answer he has given to the deputation which met his officials recently on the subject of permitting cross-Channel trips without passports when taking day trips.

Major Lloyd-George

In the light of the discussion with my officers, Messrs. P. & A. Campbell Limited has represented that during the forthcoming season it should be permitted to operate no-passport excursions from Newhaven and Eastbourne only. In order to facilitate further consideration of this proposal, I have arranged for my officers, together with Customs representatives, to hold a further meeting with the company at Eastbourne on Monday, so that they may ascertain whether suitable accommodation could be provided on the pier for the purposes of immigration and Customs control.

Mr. Teeling

I thank my right hon. and gallant Friend for his answer, but can he tell us whether we shall get a definite answer which will make it possible to publicise these day trips in the rest of England during the next week or two?

Major Lloyd-George

I am hopeful that, as a result of Monday's meeting, we shall come to some conclusion. I am fully aware of the need for an announcement one way or the other as soon as possible, because I know the difficulty about making arrangements.

Mr. Awbery

Is the right hon. and gallant Gentleman aware that preparations have to be made now if agreement is reached? Will he hurry the matter on in order to help the people who want to make preparations?

Major Lloyd-George

I think I can say that no time has been lost since we started looking into the matter. As I said in the first instance, tremendous difficulties are attached to it. We are most anxious to do what we can, and we are proceeding with all possible speed.

Mr. Fell

Is my right hon. and gallant Friend aware that very considerable disappointment will be caused to Great Yarmouth and the people of the Midlands who use Great Yarmouth as a holiday resort if the facilities do not also apply to Great Yarmouth, where they applied before the war, particularly as the facilities exist now, and there is also a shipping company to carry out the arrangements.

Major Lloyd-George

I cannot accept that full facilities exist, because the question of personnel becomes very important, particularly in view of the very different circumstances in which immigration control has to work compared with before the war. This is an earnest endeavour to secure some relaxation, as a result of which we hope to be able to go even further later.

Mr. Fell

Will my hon. and gallant Friend consider the possibility at Great Yarmouth?

Mr. Rees-Davies

Will my right hon. and gallant Friend also consider the claim of Ramsgate? Ramsgate had a very substantial part of the traffic before the war. I am not quite clear whether the difficulty is that Ramsgate is not an approved port within the terms of the approved ports Order. I understand that the facilities which now exist are the same as those which existed before the war. Will my right hon. and gallant Friend give some assurance that he will bear Ramsgate in mind?

Major Lloyd-George

I have borne in mind as many cases as there are hon. Members representing the various ports. The difficulty is that there is a limit to the staff which can be provided, especially if the trade is for a very short period of the year. I am doing everything I possibly can to make arrangements which will give the greatest possible advantage to all the ports concerned. As a result of any experience we gain if an experiment is tried, we shall see what more can be done later.