§ Sir M. CONWAY
asked the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether the sum of £120,000 estimated as the annual cost of the staff employed in issuing visas in New York Consulate would be entirely saved if visas were abolished, or whether it covers also the cost of issuing passports?
The sum of £120,000 mentioned by hon. Friend is the estimated annual cost of the Passport Control staff, not only at New York, but throughout the world. Passports are not issued by this staff, but, so far as they are issued abroad, by Consular Officers. The cost of the staff engaged in passport control would, no doubt, be saved if visas were abolished, but, on the other hand, the abolition of British visas would entail a loss of fees which, as stated in my reply to my hon. Friend on the 16th instant, amounted to £95,000 in the half-year to the 30th September last.
§ Sir M. CONWAY
asked the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he can state, approximately, the amount of revenue derived as profit from the issue of British passports and visas in the United Kingdom?
The estimated amount of the revenue from the Passport Office for the year 1920–21 is £100,000 The provision for the salaries of the staff in the Estimates for the current year is660W £47,977, to which must be added the expenditure by the Office of Works for the upkeep—cleaning, lighting, and heating, etc.—of the Passport Offices in London and Liverpool. There will also be the rent of the latter office, and some allowance should also be made for interest on the capital expenditure incurred in the erection of the Passport Office building in London. The cost of stationery is borne by the Stationery Office. As regards British visas, which are not issued in the United Kingdom but only abroad, I would refer my hon. Friend to my answer to his other question of to-day.