§ 71. Mr. Orbach
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware that a British immigration officer working on the ss. "Queen Elizabeth" inquired from a U.S. citizen 235W his political affiliations; whether questions of this kind are asked under instructions from his Department; and for what reason.
§ Mr. Ede
I understand that this Question relates to a visitor who claimed to be a free-lance journalis and was asked on what subjects he proposed to write. This inquiry was intended to elicit the object of his visit and not his political affiliations, which would be of no interest. It is not the practice to inquire into the political affiliations of foreign visitors and no instructions have been given to make such inquiries.
§ 72. Mr. Orbach
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware that a U.S. citizen travelling on the ss. "Queen Elizabeth" recently had his visa, issued in New York for a six months' stay in Britain, cancelled and a three months' visa issued in its place; what is the reason for an action of this kind; and what instructions are issued to immigration officers with regard to the encouragement of visitors from hard currency countries to stay in this country.
§ Mr. Ede
My hon. Friend is mistaken in thinking that a British visa is a permit to land or to stay for any particular period. It rests with the immigration officer to decide whether leave to land may properly be given and whether any time limit or other condition should be imposed, but such a condition can subsequently be varied on application to the Home Office, if good reasons are shown. Desirable visitors are welcome from all countries, and immigration officers are amply instructed on the point.