HC Deb 20 November 1969 vol 791 cc1499-500
21. Mr. Hunt

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps are being taken to ensure that immigration officers comply with the instruction in Command Paper No. 3465 of 1967 relating to the admission of those in possession of valid entry certificates, following the refusal of admission to Mr. Moussa Balgobin, of Mauritius. at Gatwick Airport on 14th August, 1969.

Mrs. Shirley Williams

I have no reason to think that immigration officers do not comply with the instruction.

Mr. Hunt

Is not there a very important principle at stake here, in that Mr. Balgobin had a quite valid entry certificate and that there were clearly no grounds in law for us to have refused him admission to this country as a visitor? In view of that fact, is it not time that the instructions to immigration officers at Gatwick were made clearer? Did not those officers act quite wrongly in this respect?

Mrs. Williams

One of the provisions of the instructions to immigration officers is that if an entry certificate is obtained by misrepresentation or the knowing concealment of material facts they have a right to refuse admission. In this case inquiry was made of the High Commission in Mauritius, which sustained the view that the entry certificate had been obtained by misrepresentation. As a result, Mr. Balgobin was refused admission. He then appealed to the High Court, and leave to appeal was given. He was offered bail until 21st September, but he returned home before his bail was up or the case could be heard, so it is difficult for the hon. Member or for me—with the best wishes of justice in mind—to reach a final conclusion in this case.