§ Rear-Admiral Morgan-Giles
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will consider seeking powers to withdraw passports or travel documents from football club supporters who create disturbances in foreign countries; and whether he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Ennals
I have been asked to reply.
It is within the discretion of the Secretary of State to withhold or refuse passport facilities. As has been stated in the House from time to time it is a matter of principle that passports should not be withheld except in certain strictly defined cases. Among these are:
- (a) persons for whose arrest a warrant has been issued in the United Kingdom, and
- (b) in very rare cases, persons whose past or proposed activities are so demonstrably undesirable that the grant or continued enjoyment of passport facilities would be contrary to the public interest.
While I greatly deplore the activities of some football supporters travelling overseas, they are not of a nature to warrant withdrawal of passport facilities.