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France (Channel Trips)

Volume 476: debated on Wednesday 14 June 1950

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what communications have taken place with the French Government with regard to the possibility of re-establishing at the earliest possible date the pre-war practice of day trips for tourists between British and French Channel resorts.

Does the hon. Gentleman remember that the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs said, about two years ago, that everything would be done to get rid of passports, and would not this be a first effort towards that? Is he aware that already channel steamers have been allowed to be rebuilt to make these tours, but now have to steam just off the coast? This is a very serious matter.

I appreciate the concern felt in many quarters that a renewal of the pre-war practice would be appreciated, but dispensing with passports is, of course, made much more difficult by the necessary existence of exchange control regulations.

Could the hon. Gentleman not do something to organise day cards, if nothing else?

I think it is the necessity of exchange control regulations that make it impossible to dispense with passports.