HC Deb 11 December 1958 vol 597 cc486-7
5. Mr. Teeling

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department the average age of immigration officers at London Airport; the age of the youngest working there; and the grade of official to whom they are directly responsible when they refer a case to his Department by telephone.

Mr. R. A. Butler

The average age is 33. The youngest officer is 18; he is under training, and in dealing with passengers works under close supervision by an older colleague. All immigration officers at London Airport work under the control of chief immigration officers. An immigration officer requiring guidance consults his chief immigration officer, who in case of doubt refers the case to the Chief Inspector at the Home Office.

Mr. Teeling

Does not my right hon. Friend think that there could be some reform by not having only young men of 18 to 33 looking after a problem concerning foreigners, who may suffer a good deal and be turned back? As my right hon. Friend will have seen from The Times the other day, there is a strong feeling that there ought to be some kind of further appeal and further authority in what are very serious cases affecting people coming from abroad.

Mr. Butler

It is very difficult for immigration officers whatever age they are. There must be one or two young officers in order that they may learn. The recruitment age is from 18 to 30 and therefore some must be young. When they are young we see that they are supervised by somebody older.

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