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Europe (British Visitors, Accommodation)

Volume 415: debated on Monday 12 November 1945

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will take steps to provide hotel or other accommodation in Paris for British visitors, official and commercial, in view of the impossibility of finding accommodation privately at present prices compatible with the amount of sterling allowed to be taken out of this country; and if he is contemplating arrangements to assist British citizens travelling on urgent business in other European countries, including occupied territories.

I am happy to assure the hon. and gallant Member that arrangements were made some time ago to provide accommodation in Paris for official and business visitors, and I think that, on the whole, these arrangements are working well. I shall be glad to send him any detailed information he may require. In other countries, I am, of course, prepared in appropriate cases to ask His Majesty's representatives to help those who require to travel on urgent business. I must, however, add that in many of the liberated countries the shortage of food, transport and accommodation will inevitably cause difficulties to visitors from abroad.

Is the right hon. Gentleman also aware that consuls are finding it excessively difficult, on their present pay and allowances, to meet their greatly increased burdens, and will something be done to help them?

I will look into that point. It had not been brought to my attention.