HC Deb 16 April 1973 vol 855 cc15-6
11. Mr. Selwyn Gummer

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether he will take steps to enable the tourist boards to provide an efficient welcoming service to foreign nationals arriving in the United Kingdom before they pass through passport formalities.

Mr. Chataway

The tourist boards and the authorities concerned have cooperated to provide information services at the major points of entry and the provision of services is planned at others.

Mr. Selwyn Gummer

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the function of immigration officers is to scrutinise people coming to this country and to keep some people out? Since we are advertising for tourists and since tourism is our second largest industry is it not a fact that such officers are unable to welcome tourists in the way that we would like? We need to make tourists feel that they are welcome when they arrive here, but that is not the case at the moment. Does my right hon. Friend agree that the tourist boards ought to take this on their shoulders, since the immigration department is unable to do so?

Mr. Chataway

The tourist boards make widespread provision for welcoming and informing tourists at points of entry. The conduct of immigration officers is a matter for my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary.