HC Deb 05 February 1918 vol 101 cc2152-3W

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether it is the rule of his Department to refuse at present all passports to women going to our Dominions and to foreign countries on account of the risks of sea journeys; whether, when exceptions are made, prospective brides are far down on the list and have practically no chance of getting passports; and whether he can see his way to give a preference in future to these women?


The restriction on women and children travelling overseas save in exceptional cases of urgent necessity, was laid down with the approval of the War Cabinet. Cases which are claimed to be exceptional are adjudicated upon by the Department concerned, according to the destination, e.g., for India the India Office, for the Colonies the Colonial Office, for foreign countries the Passport Office. In dealing with applications it is considered necessary to give preference to nurses and other ladies engaged on Government service, and to ladies who are domiciled in the Dominions or abroad, and who have urgent need to return to their homes. The number of such cases is so large that it has not been found possible at present to give special consideration to cases such as those referred to in the hon. Member's question.