HC Deb 03 May 1938 vol 335 cc698-9W
Colonel Nathan

asked the Home Secretary what new conditions have been made or are in early contemplation as to the admission into this country of refugees from Germany, including the former Austria?

Sir S. Hoare:

It has been decided that in future holders of Austrian passports who wish to enter the United Kingdom must first obtain a British visa and that a similar requirement is to apply to holders of German passports from 21st May. This step is being taken in order to carry out effectively the policy, which I announced on 22nd March, of offering asylum so far as practicable to persons who for political, racial or religious reasons have had to leave their own country. As I pointed out, it is impossible to admit indiscriminately all persons claiming to be refugees, and if would-be immigrants were to arrive in large numbers, without any preliminary examination, great difficulty would be created at the ports and unnecessary hardship might be inflicted on applicants whom it might be found necessary to reject. The requirement that a visa must first be obtained from a British representative abroad has been recommended by some of the organisations in this country which deal with refugees.