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Argentina (Passports, Retention)

Volume 440: debated on Wednesday 16 July 1947

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he is aware that the Argentine immigration authorities take British passports away from British subjects entering employment in the Argentine Republic and retain these passports for 12 months; and what representations he proposes to make to the Argentine Government to prevent the continuance of this irregularity.

I am informed that the Argentine authorities retain the passports of all persons who enter Argentina with tourist visas and do not return them until the tourists leave the country again. Persons who enter as tourists, but who decide to remain, can only regain their passports if they can produce a permanent residence permit, which, I understand, they can only acquire after spending twelve months in Argentina. His Majesty's Government regard as open to grave objection the practice of retaining the passports of British subjects, and representations have been made to the Argentine Government.

Can the hon. Gentleman say when those representations were made? Is he aware that the practice has gone on for some considerable time and that British subjects are being deprived of their passports for the whole 12 months?

Without notice, I cannot give the date of the representation. We are not satisfied with the position and we shall continue doing what we can.

If British subjects have been deprived of their passports, are they receiving any assistance during that time from the Embassy?