HC Deb 16 May 1968 vol 764 cc1381-2
15. Mr. Shinwell

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the result of his inquiry into the representations by immigration officers regarding difficulties experienced by them in the course of their duties.

Mr. Callaghan

The representations made by the immigration officers did not reveal any methods of evasion that were not already known. But they did highlight the tenacity of some of the would-be evaders and the difficulties which confront immigration officers in dealing with them. Nevertheless the immigration officers understand the need for the most scruplous fairness in dealing with would-be immigrants.

Mr. Shinwell

But when this incident occurred, was it not alleged against these immigration officers that they had behaved irregularly? What was the irregularity? If there was none, why was there such a fuss over it?

Mr. Callaghan

At the moment, a series of disciplinary charges are being investigated and I hope that the House will not press me on this matter, in which there is a regular, authorised and agreed procedure for dealing with disciplinary questions of this sort.

Sir D. Renton

While accepting what the right hon. Gentleman said, may I ask whether he will give an undertaking that, as no State secrets were involved, no one will be punished for blurting out the truth? [HON. MEMBERS: "Disgraceful."]

Mr. Callaghan

The right hon. and learned Gentleman is asking me to do what I have already declined to do. Since there is at the moment a proper procedure for investigating disciplinary charges, it would be improper for me to say now either that people would be punished or that they would be exonerated.