asked the Home Secretary (I) under what conditions are permits granted to civilians to visit Northern Ireland who are not travelling on business or on duty and who have not got parents, husbands or children resident in Northern Ireland;
(2) how many prosecutions have been instituted against persons who having received a permit to visit only Northern Ireland proceed to Eire in breach of faith or in contravention of the conditions of the permit?
§ Mr. Peake
Apart from the classes of case mentioned, permits are granted only where there are some special reasons of a compassionate nature such as, e.g. the critical illness or funeral of a near relative. It is, however, the general policy, to grant permits to Members of Parliament to visit Northern Ireland, on an assurance being given by the Member that his visit is in connection with his duties as a Member of the United Kingdom Parliament. Such permission does not include permission to visit Eire, and this is always made clear to the Member. It has not, however, been the practice to make the permit subject to a formal condition which could be enforced by criminal proceedings, since it has been assumed that a Member of Parliament would recognise that facilities to visit Northern Ireland should not be used for the purpose of leaving the United Kingdom without permission.