§ 41. Mr. Brockway
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what limitations are placed by the Government of the Republic of South Africa on citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonial Territories who wish to pass through its territory in transit to another Commonwealth country.
§ Mr. R. A. Butler
This is primarily a matter for the South African Government, and their regulations are not published, but, so far as citizens of the High Commission Territories are concerned, I understand that in normal circumstances no limitations are placed on their movements.
§ Mr. Brockway
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that I have evidence that persons holding valid British passports are required, when asking for transit permits, to fulfil five conditions, one of which is that they shall state the purpose of their going abroad? Is he also aware that it is the practice of immigration officers to require them to submit to fingerprints at the point of entry? Ought we to tolerate this on behalf of British citizens?
§ Mr. Butler
The exact position is that what are known as "belongers" to the three High Commission Territories are generally exempt from the requirement to obtain permits and so forth, but the South African Minister of the Interior has the power to withdraw from any particular person or persons an exemption so granted. I am afraid that I cannot influence or speak on behalf of the South African Government, but if the hon. Gentleman would like to give me any particulars, I will certainly look into them.