HC Deb 11 March 1963 vol 673 cc960-1
36. Mr. A. Henderson

asked the Lord Privy Seal what representations have been received from the French Government with regard to M. Bidault and his associates.

The Joint Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Peter Smithers)

As my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary said on 5th March, the French Government furnished us some months ago with the names of certain people, including that of M. Bidault, whom they said were engaged in activities against the French State. They asked that persons on the list should be refused permission to stay in the United Kingdom, and that any who might be in the United Kingdom should be expelled.

Mr. Henderson

Are we to understand from that reply that no request was made by the French Government for the arrest of M. Bidault and that there was no need for him to have entered this country on a false passport? Does it also mean that there was no reason why M. Bidault should not have entered the country legally and stayed here so long as he did not indulge in anti-state activities against France?

Mr. Smithers

No subsequent request was received from the French Government. The other questions are, in the circumstances, hypothetical.

Mr. Henderson

Is it not a fact that M. Bidault actually came into this country? Therefore, it is not hypothetical to know whether it would have been perfectly proper for him to have come in legally instead of illegally.

Mr. Smithers

It is hypothetical in so far as we did not know of his presence.

Mr. Gordon Walker

Will the hon. Gentleman explain how it was that only the Government did not know that M. Bidault was here? The B.B.C. and newspapers knew of his presence. Only Her Majesty's Government did not know.

Mr. Smithers

That is a matter for my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary.

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