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Member Of Parliament (Visit To United States)

Volume 411: debated on Wednesday 6 June 1945

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21.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he is aware that the hon. Member for Westhoughton (Mr. Rhys Davies) was recently invited to lecture in the U.S.A. under the auspices of the Society of Friends, at their expense; that the Foreign Office consulted the Ministry of Information and both Departments refused to sponsor such a visit or issue a new passport; that several Members of this House of all political parties have paid visits to the U.S.A. during hostilities to lecture; that Members of the American Congress of all shades of political opinion have visited this country under similar conditions; and, as this refusal violates the rights of a Member of this House and offends a considerable section of American opinion, whether he will reconsider this decision.

The general issue which this case raises has been reconsidered in the light of the changed circumstances. My right hon. and learned Friend the Home Secretary will be making a statement on this subject after Questions to-day.

Does the right hon. Gentleman realise what satisfaction that answer will give to all parts of the House? Does he realise that the hon. Member for Westhoughton is an officer of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, and that his visit to the United States can do nothing else but strengthen the existing friendship between the United States and this country?

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that I am deferring my comments until I hear the statement?