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World Youth Conference Delegates (Travel Facilities)

Volume 415: debated on Wednesday 31 October 1945

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(by Private Notice) asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he is aware that in view of the delay caused by inadvertence in issuing visas to the youth delegates of Austria, Rumania and Bulgaria for the purpose of attending the World Youth Conference, no transport facilities have yet been provided for these delegates to reach the Conference which opens today, and if he will take immediate steps to provide these facilities.

I regret the delay, for which my Department was not in any way responsible. It is not within my power to provide transport for any person in a foreign country to travel to the United Kingdom.

Is my right hon. Friend aware of the fact that news has been received in writing from Austria this week to the effect that the responsible authority, the R.A.F. Transport Command, has so far declined to grant the necessary facilities? Will my right hon. Friend be good enough to use his influence to see that the necessary facilities are given?

I have no information bearing out that just given to the House by the hon. Member. I am exceedingly anxious that these people should come to this country. Visas were refused to them by the previous Government, and I reversed that decision and gave visas. It is a matter of regret to me that a slip occurred, which I am trying to trace so that I can deal with the person responsible, but I cannot undertake to provide transport.

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether these delegates will be allowed to remain on in this country in order to see something of the British way of life, or is it true that they are told that they are to go home as soon as the Conference is over?