HC Deb 13 April 1964 vol 693 c5
14. Mr. Taverne

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what steps are taken to warn prospective emigrants to South Africa of the political uncertainties likely to await them in South Africa.

Mr. P. Thomas

None, Sir. It would not be appropriate for Her Majesty's Government to seek to advise prospective emigrants to any country on the political conditions in that country. If prospective emigrants approach us, we naturally attempt to answer their questions.

Mr. Taverne

Does not the Minister agree that it is undesirable that many people should leave this country with their families for an area where the bitterest conflict is likely? If he agrees that it is undesirable, will he reconsider the position and find some way of making sure that families seeking to emigrate there do so at least with their eyes open?

Mr. Thomas

I think that it is undesirable for any person or family to emigrate without informing themselves beforehand of the conditions in that country.

Mr. Rankin

Is it known among prospective emigrants that they can approach our own Foreign Office? Is not the usual approach to the Minister concerned with the country to which the person wants entry?

Mr. Thomas

Yes, that may be so, but it would not be appropriate for the Foreign Office or Her Majesty's Government to offer gratuitous advice unless approached. It is up to people who wish to emigrate to ascertain for themselves beforehand, I suggest, exactly what they are letting themselves in for.