§ 68. Sir W. Wakefield
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what are the reasons for the delay in the renewal of passports; and why it takes ten days or a fortnight to renew a passport by post.
§ Mr. Ian Harvey
I cannot agree that there is delay in the renewal of passports. Despite the fact that the Passport Office is handling 40 per cent. more applications than last year, which in itself was a record year, the great majority of passports are issued or renewed within the seven days stipulated on the form of application. Only in those cases where queries arise owing to the failure of the applicant to complete the form of application properly or to submit the proper supporting documents does it take longer than seven days.
Applications submitted by post involve a greater percentage of queries than those submitted through Employment Exchanges or lodged by hand at the three Passport Offices, and it would be of great assistance to the Passport Office if applicants would take more care to fill in the applications correctly and submit the 78W proper supporting documents. I am satisfied that the Passport Office is doing a very good job of work under extremely heavy pressure.
§ Captain Kerby
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs how many citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies at present hold more than one valid British passport issued to them by his Department or by Her Majesty's Consular officers overseas; and what action he is taking to end the circumstances which lead to British citizens holding more than one valid British passport simultaneously.
§ Captain Kerby
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs in what foreign countries, and in what circumstances, it is necessary for British subjects who wish to travel freely throughout the Middle East to be issued with a second valid British passport; and what representations he has made to the countries in question to bring to an end forthwith this restriction on the free movement of British travellers.