HC Deb 28 July 1960 vol 627 cc1846-7
7. Mr. Brockway

asked the Minister of State for Commonwealth Relations if he will now provide travel documents to the Reverend Marcus Kooper, now resident in Bechuanaland, to allow him to accept an invitation from the United Nations Committee on South West Africa to give evidence on behalf of his community in South West Africa.

Mr. Alport

No obstacles would be placed in the way of the departure from the Bechuanaland Protectorate of Mr. Kooper whenever he wishes, but on the information at present available about his national status he is not entitled to a travel document from Her Majesty's Government.

Mr. Brockway

Is it not the case that the Rev. Marcus Kooper comes from South West Africa, that he was evicted from his home and from his livelihood in that territory and is a refugee in Bechuanaland? Is it not the case that he has petitioned to be further heard by the United Nations Committee on South West Africa, that this matter has been discussed by the Committee and that very strong views have been expressed because a passport has been refused to Mr. Kooper? Surely the United Nations Committee should have the right to hear evidence from this man?

Mr. Alport

I am not aware that Mr. Kooper has claimed the status of a political refugee. As to his right to appear before the United Nations Committee, there is nothing which Her Majesty's Government are doing which in any way impedes or is in conflict with acceptance that a right exists. The problem is that the man is not a citizen of the United Kingdom or the Colonies or a British protected person, and, therefore, the problem about providing him with travel documents does not rest with the United Kingdom Government.

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