HC Deb 07 March 1957 vol 566 cc513-4
14. Captain Pilkington

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether, in view of the recent outbreak of violence in Ireland, he will consider introducing a system of travel permits to ensure that persons entering the United Kingdom are not members of illegal organisations and do not have criminal records.

Miss Hornsby-Smith

My right hon. Friend does not think that any advantages that might be gained from a travel permit system between the two islands would be commensurate with the widespread inconvenience that it would involve.

Captain Pilkington

Does not my hon. Friend think that there should be precautions against the possibility of criminals entering the United Kingdom fom a country which apparently cannot control them itself and which is outside the Commonwealth?

Miss Hornsby-Smith

No doubt my hon. and gallant Friend realises that about 1 million passengers travel annually between Ireland and Great Britain and that there would be considerable delay at the ports if there were a permit system. Such a system would also very much hamper the flow of Irish labour, which is a very valuable source of manpower in this country. It would also be necessary to apply the permit system to travellers from Northern Ireland. Otherwise the control could be evaded by crossing the land boundary.

Mr. H. Hynd

Will the hon. Lady do her best to resist the totalitarian tendencies of her hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Poole (Captain Pilkington)?