HC Deb 25 February 1942 vol 378 cc226-7W
Major Marlowe

asked the Home Secretary whether he granted exit permits to four British subjects named Buckmaster, Austin, Isherwood and Auden and if so, for what purpose; whether he is aware in what country these four persons are now resident; whether he has any information as to their ages; and whether any of them are engaged upon work on behalf of this country?

Mr. Peake

The exit permit system did not come into force until the outbreak of war and only one of the four persons to whom I presume my hon. and gallant Friend refers has been granted an exit permit. Mr. H. W. Austin was granted an exit permit in December, 1939, to enable him to travel to the United States of America as a representative of the Oxford Group. I understand that he is aged 35 and that he is still in the U.S.A.

Mr. Lewis

asked the Home Secretary whether he will publish the names of those British subjects who, on the outbreak of war, left this country for destinations abroad, promising to return within six months, and who have not yet returned?

Mr. Peake

My right hon. Friend entirely agrees with the principle that British subjects who are liable to National Service should not be allowed to evade these obligations by residence abroad, and he would refer to the reply given by the Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs to a Question on this subject on the 28th January. He does not, however, think that any useful purpose would be served by publishing such a list as is suggested. Apart from the labour involved in searching records, there is the consideration that many such persons have valid reasons for prolonging their stay abroad.

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