HC Deb 24 January 1972 vol 829 cc967-8
29. Mr. Golding

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he will take steps to make it possible for a wife to travel abroad on a passport held jointly with her husband.

Mr. Kershaw

Under an international agreement, which was reviewed in 1963, a wife cannot travel on a family passport without her husband. There appears to be little prospect of reaching universal agreement for a change in this arrangement at this time.

Mr. Golding

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that it is wrong for the Foreign Office to accept an international agreement whereby wives are treated as appendages of husbands? Will the Government do whatever they can to get this regulation changed?

Mr. Kershaw

Wives are not treated as appendages. It is merely a matter of convenience. If a family wants to go together that can be done, by international agreement, on the head of the family's passport. It would not be a service to allow ladies to travel on their husbands' passports. I for one should not like to get a lady into trouble by giving her a passport which might not be recognised.