HC Deb 15 May 1933 vol 278 cc27-9

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the persons of German nationality, who are members of the Nazi or Fascist party using the Park Gate Hotel as a meeting place, have been requested to give an undertaking not to engage in Fascist propaganda in this country; whether they have been granted passports for an unlimited period; and can he inform the House how many German nationals who are members of this Fascist organisation possess passports enabling them to remain this country?

The SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Sir John Gil-mour)

This question is based on a misunderstanding of the principles on which the Aliens Act is administered. Every day throughout the year on an average about 900 foreign visitors, including about 100 Germans, come into this country for visits of varying length. It is not the practice to inquire to what political party these visitors belong, or to ask them to give any undertaking as to political propaganda. For the purpose of the administration of the Aliens Act the political views of foreign visitors are only of importance in those comparatively rare cases of aliens whose political creed includes the over-throw by violence of constitutional government in the United Kingdom, and who, if allowed to come here, will use the opportunity to advocate and organise disorder, rioting and insurrectionary methods in this country. Of the views which an alien holds as to the Government of his own country it is not usually necessary or practicable to take account, and I do not know how many of the several thousand Germans who are at the present moment in this country are members of the Nazi party. As I stated in reply to a question on the 11th instant, the leader and secretary of the Group, who are representatives of German business firms, have been in this country Since 1927 and 1925 respectively.


Are we to understand that only Communists are invited not to indulge in propaganda, and that the modern democrat known as the Nazi is admitted without any obligation at all?


I have made it quite clear that only those whose political creeds obviously are declared to be the violent upsetting of orderly government are ever excluded from this country.


Does the right hon. Gentleman regard the representatives of the Nazi movement as people who do not insist upon violence as their basic method of conducting business 1 Mr. MORGAN JONES: Do they not boast of upsetting the existing constitutional regime?


If anyone advocates these things in this country, then we shall have reason to take steps.


Will the right hon. Gentleman be good enough to tell the House, for its information and education, whether he discriminates between a Communist and a member of the Nazi movement?


Does not the Nazi Government claim to have achieved a revolution in Germany, and do they not extol the use of force against constitutional method? Is not that the case?


Having regard to the Home Secretary's reply, if I renew my application for the admission of Mr. Trotsky, will he reconsider his negative reply in the light of the reply that he has given to-day?


No, Sir. I have always explained to the House that each individual case will be considered on its merits. I had good reason for refusing that application.


Will the right hon. Gentleman explain what are the merits of the Nazi Government and the Nazi party?