HL Deb 17 June 1965 vol 267 cc192-3

3.8 p.m.


My Lords, I beg leave to ask the Question which stands in my name on the Order Paper.

[The Question was as follows:

To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations have been made to the Government of the Republic of South Africa regarding the deportation of Mr. J. W. Blundell, a British subject, who has been acting as the chairman of the Cape Town Committee of the Defence and Aid Fund.]


My Lords, on June 8 the South African Government served notice on Mr. John Walmsley Blundell, a United Kingdom citizen resident in Cape Town, that he should leave South Africa within ten days, failing which an order for his removal would be made under Section 22(3) of the Admission of Persons to the Union Regulation Act, 1913. Her Majesty's Embassy in Cape Town asked the South African authorities for a statement of the reasons for this action, and they have replied that the Minister of the Interior considers it to be in the public interest. The Embassy also made representations in support of Mr. Blundell's request to be granted more time in which to attend to his affairs. The South African Government have informed us that the period during which Mr. Blundell can depart voluntarily has now been extended to July 2 next.


My Lords, while thanking the noble Lord for his reply, and expressing appreciation of the action which has been taken by our representative in South Africa, may I ask, first, whether there is any suggestion that any other offence had been committed by Mr. Blundell than that he is chairman of the Committee of this Fund; and, secondly, in view of the fact that this is a Government-aided fund, to which Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, India and Pakistan either are contributing or intend to contribute, would the Government, not only on our own behalf but also on their behalf, make further representations on this matter?


My Lords, so far as the first part of the noble Lord's supplementary question is concerned, the answer is that the South African authorities have simply said that, in the opinion of the Minister of the Interior, the removal of Mr. Blundell is in the public interest. They have given no further reasons. As the South African Government are within their legal rights under South African law, I regret that there is no further action that we can usefully take.