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Currency Allowance (Usa)

Volume 463: debated on Tuesday 22 March 1949

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he is aware that while his regulations permit parents of American brides to travel to America to see their daughters, it is not permitted for the parents to pay the return fare of their daughters in order for them to visit Great Britain; and if he will take steps to remedy this anomaly.

We cannot as a general rule afford to allow the payment of fares by residents on behalf of nonresidents because of the resulting loss of foreign exchange. My right hon. and learned Friend is, however, always ready to allow exceptions on hardship grounds; in particular he would be prepared in future, where close relatives are concerned, to consider sympathetically such payments in cases where the non-resident cannot afford to pay his or her own fare.

Would my right hon. Friend say what means test would be applied to this? Is he aware that in the case which I brought to his notice both parents desired to visit their daughter in America and were paying British currency to a British shipping company? When they decided to bring their daughter over to this country, and pay British currency to the same British shipping company, they were told that dollars were involved.

Dollars are involved, but in cases of that kind my right hon. Friend would allow the visit to take place.