HC Deb 29 October 1970 vol 805 cc178-9W
Mr. Hiley

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he is aware that entry certificate officers at Rawalpindi require signatures of children under 15 years of age seeking entry to the United Kingdom and that the British High Commission refuses to accept signatures of solicitors in England on their behalf; and if he will give instructions that this practice should cease;

(2) if he will end the practice by which entry certificate officers dealing with applications from intending immigrants require proof of intended marriage in the form of a letter from a registrar of marriages in England, in view of the fact that the Registrar General has given instructions that such letters should not be sent.

Mr. Sharples

Practice on both these matters has now been altered. My noble Friend the Minister of State has written to my hon. Friend explaining the position.

Sir G. Nabarro

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will indicate the scale of diminution of immigration into Great Britain in the first nine months of 1970 compared with preceding years; and if he will obtain reports from chief constables as to what steps have been taken since June, 1970 to arrest the rising tendencies for illegal entry of immigrants and smuggled entry, notably of Asiatics via European ports.

Mr. Maudling

Figures for last month are not yet available. During the first eight months, the number of Commonwealth citizens admitted to the United Kingdom for settlement was 24 per cent. less than in the first eight months of 1969 and 44 per cent. less than in the corresponding period of 1968. I am in close touch with chief constables about illegal immigration.

Mr. Arthur Lewis

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department why permission has been granted to Miss Natalie Makarova to immigrate into this country on her request to improve and develop her art and financial position; and how many British Commonwealth citizens have been refused entry on similar grounds.

Mr. Sharples

Miss Makarova's application to extend her stay in this country was granted in accordance with our traditional attitude to such a request by a foreign artiste of international repute. I cannot trace a comparable Commonwealth case.