HC Deb 23 October 1950 vol 478 cc311-2W
132. Mr. Bossom

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many men are employed and how much it costs to issue sailing permits and check passports for passengers between Great Britain and Northern Ireland; and why this is done in view of the fact that neither sailing permits, entry permits nor passports are required for travel to Northern Ireland for British citizens.

Mr. de Freitas

Sailing tickets are issued and checked by the shipping companies in order to minimise inconvenience to passengers at periods when the traffic is specially heavy. The work is done as part of the normal duties of the shipping companies' staff. It is necessary, in present circumstances, to control at ports in Great Britain the movement of aliens travelling to or from Northern Ireland, and it follows that British subjects must be able to establish their nationality. A United Kingdom citizen can do this most conveniently by showing his passport or, if he has no passport, by showing a travel identity card which he can obtain free of cost. Precise figures of the cost of controlling alien travellers to or from Northern Ireland at ports in Great Britain are not available, but my right hon. Friend is satisfied that even if such a scheme were practicable the cost of any adequate system of controlling the movement of aliens across the border between Northern and Southern Ireland would be far greater.