HC Deb 27 October 1960 vol 627 cc310-1W
Mr. A. Lewis

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) whether he is aware that many British business firms are losing substantial trade contracts from Eastern Germany due to the fact that East German businessmen are being prevented from travelling to this country to discuss these contracts by the refusal on the part of his Department to grant entry permits; and whether he will change this practice; (2) whether he will make a full statement as to why he refuses to grant entry permits to East Germans anxious to visit this country to place commercial contracts; and by what authority this action is taken.

Mr. Renton

I understand that the hon. Member has in mind the issue of visas by the British Visa Officer in Berlin to East Germans wishing to visit the United Kingdom. As Her Majesty's Government does not recognise passports issued by the East German régime, these visas are endorsed on temporary travel documents issued by the tripartite Allied Travel Office in Berlin. Such documents are being withheld from East Germans at the present moment.