§ 121. Colonel Ponsonby
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he is aware that the agent for an applicant for renewal of a passport, intended in the first place to be used for a visit to Eire, received a message to the effect that he must furnish a duly certified letter from his wife making it clear that she is satisfied with the arrangements for her support during his absence; and whether such an inquiry is made under his authority, since when, and why.
If the hon. and gallant Member will give me particulars of the application I will ascertain whether the circumstances were such as to justify the application to this case of the administrative practice which has been followed for many years. According to this practice a married man who is leaving the country for an indefinite period, or to seek employment abroad, may be asked to show that he has provided for his wife and dependants during his absence. The evidence may take the form of a letter from his wife. If such evidence is not forthcoming passport facilities are not refused, but are merely delayed until the wife has had sufficient time to apply to the courts or to take other action, if she so desires, to ensure that she and her children shall not be left in destitution.