HC Deb 16 January 1964 vol 687 cc385-6
7. Mr. G. Thomas

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, in view of the action of the Iraqi Government in cancelling their grant to Sherif Youssef Ahmed, a student at the Welsh College of Advanced Technology, so leaving him without any means of subsistence, if he will make it a condition of entry of foreign students to this country that, if their private means are not sufficient, they shall produce an undertaking from their home Government that a grant will be maintained for the whole period of their studies.

The Joint Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Miss Mervyn Pike)

It is the policy of Her Majesty's Government to allow bona fideforeign students to pursue whole-time study in this country, provided they possess, or have a reasonable guaranteeof, adequate funds for their initial period of permitted stay. Their financial position is checked before any extension of stay is granted. It would not be practicable to make it a condition of entry that means of support should be guaranteed at the outset for the whole period of study.

Mr. Thomas

Is the hon. Lady aware that I am deeply grateful to the Foreign Office for the help it has given in this case and the intervention it made? Is she further aware that that gratitude is shared by the Students'Union of the Welsh College of Advanced Technology? However, this afternoon the hon. Lady in her Answer was less forthcoming. May I look to the Home Office to ensure that this man, who has been unjustly treated, I believe—so do the college authorities—will have the support of the Home Office in getting proper maintenance whilst he is here? Will the Home Office tell the Iraqi Government that they cannot play about with the college authorities in this way or places will be taken that somebody else could have occupied?

Miss Pike

As the hon. Gentleman says, the Foreign Office has already protested to the Iraqi Government. I can assure the hon. Gentleman that we will watch the position very carefully.

Mr. Thomas

I thank the hon. Lady very much.