§ 42. Mrs. Castle
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies at what date the issue of passports to British-protected persons in Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland was transferred to the Federal Government; and why.
§ Mr. Profumo
Responsibility for the issue of passports to British-protected persons in Northern Rhodesia and 1377 Nyasaland remains with the Territorial Governments who decide whether a passport should be issued and w hat endorsement it should bear. The Federal Government carry out only the physical issue of such passports, on an agency basis. This has been the practice in Nyasaland since 1st April, 1957, when the Federal Government took over administration of immigration, and it was convenient for the issue of passports to remain with the same office. A similar arrangement was made in Northern Rhodesia with effect from 1st March, 1958.
§ Mrs. Castle
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that his reply will be a great reassurance, as a rather misleading impression was created by the statement that passports had been federalised? Will he give an assurance that his right hon. Friend will not surrender his power to control the issue of passports for British-protected persons and therefore the right of hon. Members in this House to raise any question of the issue of passports affecting those people?
§ Mr. Profumo
I am most grateful to the hon. Lady for the first part of her supplementary question. I think the second part raises a much wider issue, and I would ask her to put it on the Paper.