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France And Ruhr District

Volume 161: debated on Wednesday 14 March 1923

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British Travellers


asked the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether British subjects are allowed to enter and travel in the Ruhr district now occupied by the French whether the ordinary German visa or British passport is sufficient for entry into this district or whether in addition any French visa or permission is required; and, as part of the district includes many places in the Rhino district visited by British travellers, can he make any statement on the subject?

No foreign visa but a special endorsement granted by the British Passport Office or a British consular officer abroad is required on a British passport to permit the holder to enter occupied German territory. So far as I am aware, the French authorities have not imposed any conditions on the entry or movement of British subjects in the districts recently occupied by them. On account of the disorganisation of the railway services in the occupied areas and the consequent delays and discomforts to which travellers have been subjected, it has been decided, on the advice of His Majesty's Ambassador at Berlin and the High Commissioner at Coblenz, that permission for British subjects to proceed to the occupied territory should under existing circumstances only be granted for important business or for reasons of exceptional urgency.

British Naval Forces


asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether any British naval forces are employed on the Rhine in the British area of occupation; if so, will he state how many and what craft are used; and can he state what naval forces and craft are employed on the Rhine by the French and Belgian Governments?

Five British motor launches are employed on the Rhine in the British area of occupation. France is employing 5 river gunboats, 2 submarine chasers and 9 Vedette boats, and Belgium 15 motor launches, 2 steam launches and 9 small tugs.