HC Deb 21 May 1968 vol 765 cc282-3
28. Mr. Ian Lloyd

asked the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Affairs whether he will publish a list of the names of all British citizens, resident in Great Britain, Rhodesia or elsewhere in the Commonwealth, whose passports have been impounded by the British Consular authorities, or other officials acting on their behalf, in Frankfurt since the illegal declaration of independence by Rhodesia.

Mr. George Thomson

There have been only the two cases which I described to the House on 14th May.—[Vol. 764, c. 1041–116.]

Mr. Lloyd

Do not both those instances illuminate with the vividness of a flash of lightning the manner in which the attempt to implement a wholly impractical and unrealistic policy must involve the Administration in an ever-widening series of decisions which, though consistent to the policy as a whole, are individually indefensible, anomalous and utterly ridiculous?

Mr. Thomson

I cannot accept that. The hon. Gentleman has chosen two most unfortunate cases on which to base such a wide generalisation. The House must remember that we are trying to deal with a very difficult problem, which has now become a major international problem, by peaceful means, and the use of passports is one of the weapons in this. It certainly raises difficulties, but it is an effort to solve an international problem and bring it to an honourable settlement without any resort to violence or force.

Sir A. V. Harvey

Does the right hon. Gentleman intend to interfere with the travel of British residents living in South Africa whom the Government know to have aided, directly or indirectly, the economy of Rhodesia?

Mr. Thomson

If the hon. Gentleman has any particular cases in mind, I shall be glad to look at them, as I always am.