HC Deb 26 July 1979 vol 971 c415W
Mr. Grylls

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether it is intended to introduce machine-readable passports.

Mr. Luce

Her Majesty's Government, together with some other countries, are currently studying a recommendation to the secretariat of the International Civil Aviation Organisation for the adoption of a machine-readable passport to a uniform specification which is intended to facilitate travel by reducing delays at ports of entry. This is a matter which also concerns my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Home Department who is responsible for the scrutiny of both British and foreign passports at United Kingdom ports of entry. In view of the wide public interest in matters relating to passports, we intend to give maximum publicity to the proposal for the introduction of documents which are machine-readable and to invite public comment. Until this has been done no decision will be taken to introduce a British machine-readable passport.