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Passport Applications (False Particulars)

Volume 526: debated on Wednesday 7 April 1954

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether improved arrangements have now been made to prevent the issue of British passports to persons giving false particulars on their application forms.

Is the Joint Under-Secretary aware of such abuses as were revealed in the case of the late Mr. Chesney who held several passports in different names and other cases where faked names were used, even for clergymen and others authorised to recommend applicants? Would he give an assurance that the new precautions will eradicate such abuses?

We shall certainly take every step open to us to eradicate all abuses. A proper sense of proportion must be maintained in this matter, and I would point out that the number of passports obtained by means of false declarations is only a small fraction of 1 per cent. Our passport system is the envy of many foreign countries, and I would not wish to impair that reputation by adding unnecessarily to the formalities involved.