HC Deb 23 April 1958 vol 586 cc937-8
10. Mr. Snow

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will make representations to the French Government in the matter of a recent case, details of which have been sent to him by the hon. Member for Lichfield and Tam-worth, so as to ensure as far as is practicable that the levying of summary fines for minor infringements of immigration regulations on young British subjects returning to the United Kingdom from French educational establishments, with the searching of handbags for currency to pay such fines, shall not take place without proper reference to the French educational establishments concerned with whom lies the primary responsibility, and shall be without hindrance to the return journeys of such young British subjects.

Mr. Ormsby-Gore

My right hon. and learned Friend cannot undertake to do what the hon. Member requests. In the particular case to which the hon. Member refers the person concerned was not a minor under French law and was, therefore, responsible for her actions.

Mr. Snow

While one does not want to over-emphasise this sort of thing, is the right hon. Gentleman aware that I have tried to get this matter rectified through the French Consular-General in London, without success; that this young woman's handbag was ransacked on the allegation that she was carrying contraband currency; and that she was otherwise badly treated in front of witnesses, and her journey impeded? Was not the primary responsibility that of the French education authorities and have we not a duty to try to protect young persons travelling in Europe?

Mr. Ormsby-Gore

It is not correct to say that the prime responsibility was that of the French education authorities. If the young lady was of age, the prime responsibility rested on her, but I agree that it would be reasonable for educational establishments in France to take precautions to see that their students are correctly informed about matters of this kind.

Back to