HC Deb 12 January 1978 vol 941 c783W
Mr. Arthur Lewis

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department why the sponsors of the chess tournament at Hastings who applied early in December for visas for competitors from East Europe were told that such visas had been granted and later were asked for further details after these competitors had been barred from entry.

Dr. Summerskill

Applications for visas were made in Moscow on 2nd December on behalf of two contestants from the USSR and were granted on 15th December after the chief controller of the congress had provided a list of the contestants. The organisers of the congress were informed, and at no stage was it necessary to seek further information from them.

On 8th December Mr. Hort, a Czechoslovak participant, applied for a visa for travel on 27th December and this was authorised on 16th December. It was collected on 22nd December. On 13th December Mr. Suba, a Romanian participant, applied for a visa to travel on 24th December. This was available for issue by 20th December but it was not collected until 30th or 31st December. Mr. Sax, a Hungarian contestant and a substitute, did not seek a visa until 27th December and this was available on 29th December.

No application for a visa was refused, and all applications were dealt with expeditiously.