191. The Scientology leadership, in correspondence with me, has alleged discrimination on the part of many individuals and organisations, which fall broadly into the following categories: -
(a) Departments of Central GovernmentThe course which I have followed in connection with each of these groups, other than the last one, was to write to the body concerned and invite it to tell me whether the allegation was true, what right or power the body claimed to make the discrimination, and what were the grounds relied on. Here again I have regarded myself as prevented, in the absence of a full adversary procedure, from reaching conclusions on disputed allegations of fact. On the other hand where, as in many of these cases, the facts are not in dispute, I have been able to come to conclusions as to whether the body concerned was, in my view, discriminating against Scientology, and, if so, whether that discrimination was justified. These conclusions will appear hereafter.
(b) Local authorities
(c) Individuals and corporations in the private sector.
192. One general conclusion, though, should be stated at the outset. The Scientology leadership consistently complains that Scientologists are discriminated against on the ground of the their religion. I am satisfied that this suggestion is quite unfounded in the case of each of the complaints which I have investigated. In none of these cases has there been discrimination against Scientologists on the grounds, or alleged grounds, of what they think or believe, the objection in each case has been on the grounds of what they do, or are thought to do, to other people.
(a) Government Departments
(i) The Home Office
193. By far the most important of all the Scientologists' complaints to me relates to the current Home Office policy of refusing leave to land to Scientologists from overseas who wish to enter the United Kingdom to study or
194. In fact, I have reason to think that the conduct of Immigration Officers at our ports of entry has been even more stringent than the letter of these measures. For example,
(a) not only foreign nationals, but also a number of Commonwealth citizens, have been refused leave to land when they disclosed themselves as Scientologists, although the relevant paragraph was expressed to refer only to foreigners,195. Let me begin this aspect of the matter with a brief examination of the relevant law. Since time immemorial, the Crown in this country has held, and from time to time exercised, an absolute power to admit or refuse entry to the United Kingdom to all aliens (i e. persons of other than British nationality), and this Common Law power was not restricted in any way. It is a reflection on the world's shrinking liberties that the exercise of the power has become markedly more restrictive in the present century. Until 1905, for example, there were not even any means for discovering who, in a shipload of passengers arriving at a British port, were aliens, let alone whether any of them were "undesirable" for the purpose of admission to the United Kingdom. No doubt most of the aliens who did arrive were, then as now, respectable people coming here for a holiday, or to visit friends, or for business reasons, and no-one seemed to think that we had anything to fear from them.
(b) some Scientologists of foreign nationality have been turned away despite the fact that they came neither to study nor to work (these being the only Categories mentioned in the relevant paragraphs).
196. With the flood of poor immigrants (most of them Russian Jews escaping from Tsarist pogroms) in the early years of this century, this happy situation changed, and Parliament intervened with the passing of the Aliens Act 1905. Under this Act, there was set up the first peace-time system of official immigration control in the history of this country, under which no "immigrant" was allowed to land from an "immigrant ship" without the leave of an "immigration officer". It is notable that the definition of "immigrant" was confined to alien steerage passengers, and that an "immigrant ship" was one which brought more than 20 of these unfortunates to the United Kingdom at a time. Four specific classes of immigrant were termed "undesirable immigrants", and were always to be refused leave to land: -
"(a) if [the immigrant] cannot show that he has in his possession or is in a position to obtain the means of decently supporting himself and his dependants (if any); or
(b) if he is a lunatic or an idiot, or owing to any disease or infirmity appears likely to become a charge upon the rates or otherwise a detriment to the public; or (a) if he has been sentenced in a foreign country with which there is an extradition treaty for a crime, not being an offence of a political character, which is, as respects that country, an extradition crime within the meaning of the Extradition Act, 1870; orand these mandatory categories have survived down to the present day.
((/) if an expulsion order under this Act has been made in his case;"
197. Under the 1905 Act, there was a right of appeal against refusal of leave to land: in fact 51 per cent of the 9,421 aliens who were refused entry during the 8 years in which the Act was in operation availed themselves of this right and 38 per cent of those appeals were successful. (169)
l98. At the outbreak of the First War, Parliament intervened again with the passing of the Aliens Restriction Act, 1914. Since this is the Act which together with what remains of the Royal Prerogative at Common Law, still governs the matter today, it may be useful to quote here its principal provisions:-
"(1) His Majesty may [at any time when a state of war exists between His Majesty and any foreign power, or when it appears that an occasion of imminent national danger or great emergency has arisen] by Order in Council impose restrictions on aliens, and provision may be made by the Order-199. At the end of the First War, the Government of the day was concerned to retain this legislation at least temporarily in force, despite the lack of any "imminent national danger" or "great emergency", and at its invitation Parliament passed the Aliens Restriction Act, 1919. This deleted the words within the square brackets in my citation of Section 1 (1) z \~ hz S u mrce for one year only. That year has(a) for prohibiting aliens from landing in the United Kingdom, either generally or at certain places, and for imposing restrictions or conditions on aliens landing or arriving at any port in the United Kingdom.
(3) Any provision of any Order in Council made under this section with respect to aliens may relate either to aliens in general or to any class or description of aliens.
(4) Any powers given under this Section, or under any Order in Council made under this Section, shall be in addition to, and not in derogation of, any other powers with respect to the prohibition of aliens from entering the United Kingdom or any other powers of His Majesty."
(169) Report of the Committee on Immigration Appeals, Cmnd. 3387, Appendix 11.
Under the powers conferred by the Acts of 1914 and 1919, subordinate legislation under the style of "Aliens Orders" has been brought into existence from time to time. The Instrument currently in force is the Aliens Order, 1953 (170) (as amended), the major provisions of which are these:-
"1. (1) an alien shall not land in the United Kingdom except with the leave of an immigration officer.........
4. (1) Except with the authority of the Secretary of State, an immigration officer shall not grant leave to an alien to land in the United Kingdom unless the alien -(a) is in a position to support himself and his dependants (if any) in the United Kingdom; and(2) Except with the authority aforesaid, an immigration officer shall not grant leave to an alien to land in the United Kingdom-
(b) where he proposes to enter the employment of a particular employer in the United Kingdom, produces a permit in writing for his engagement issued to that employer by the Department of Employment and Productivity.(a) if the alien has been sentenced in a foreign country for any extradition crime within the meaning of the Extradition Acts, 1870 to 1935,5. (1) Leave to land may be granted to an alien under this order subject to any conditions . . . of which notice is given to the alien by the immigration officer."
(b) if it appears to the immigration officer on the advice of a medical inspector or, if no such inspector is available, of any other duly qualified medical practitioner ... that the alien is a person suffering from mental disorder, or that it is otherwise undesirable for medical reasons that he should be admitted.
200. It is noteworthy that under all this legislation, aliens do not have a right of appeal to determine whether a refusal by an immigration officer of leave to land has been in accordance with the rules currently in force, a right which was available to them, and frequently exercised with success, between 1906 and 1914. Those unfortunate enough to have been born in foreign countries of foreign parents have had to wait over 55 years for the restoration of such a right, for it was not until British subjects of Commonwealth citizenship became subject to immigration control in the 1960s that mounting pressure led to the appointment of a Committee on Immigration Appeals under the Chairmanship of Sir Roy Wilson, Q.C., whose Report in August 1967 had this to say:
"The other main argument in favour of an appeal system rests on a basic principle. Its advocates contend that, however well----------
administered the present control may be, it is fundamentally wrong and inconsistent with the rule of law that power to take decisions affecting a man's whole future should be vested in officers of the executive, from whose findings there is no appeal. In our opinion these critics have reached the heart of the matter. Even if, generally speaking, justice is being done under the present system, it is not apparent that this is the case. It is one thing for us, after a protracted inquiry, to express our confidence that the power of final decision entrusted to officers of the Immigration Service is being exercised fairly: it is another thing to expect a newly arrived immigrant, and his relatives and friends at the other side of the barrier, to feel the same confidence.'' (171)201. The Wilson Committee therefore recommended the setting up of an appeal procedure, and its recommendations have now reached the Statute Book in the form of the Immigration Appeals Act 1969, whose provisions have only just been brought into force. It is thus now again possible for an alien who is refused leave to land to test before independent tribunals the question of whether the refusal was in accordance with the policy laid down by the Home Office at the time, but he still has no way of challenging whether that policy itself is right.
202. The legal position has been succinctly summarised by Lord Denning, M.R. in Schmidt and Anor v The Secretary of State for Home Affairs (a case about Scientologists) when he said: -
". . .at Common Law no alien has any right to enter this country except by leave of the Crown: and the Crown can refuse leave without giving any reason. The Common Law has now been overtaken by the Aliens Acts and the Orders thereunder . . .Lord Justice Widgery added:
"The [Aliens] Order thus gives to the Secretary of State ample power either to refuse admission to an alien or to grant him leave to enter for a limited period, or to refuse to extend his stay.
" . . . the Minister can exercise his power for any purpose which he considers to be for the public good or to be in the interests of the people of this country . . .
"[A foreign alien] . . . has no right to enter this country except by leave: and, if he is given leave and comes for a limited period, he has no right to stay for a day longer than the permitted time. If his permit is revoked before the time limit expires, he ought, I think, to be given an opportunity of making representations: for he would have a legitimate expectation of being allowed to stay for the permitted time. Except in such case, a foreign alien has no rights - and, I would also, no legitimate expectation - of being allowed to stay. He can be refused without reasons given and without a hearing. Once his time has expired, he has to go."
". . . The alien's desire to land can be rejected for good reason or bad, for sensible reason or fanciful or for no reason at all."----------
(171) Cmmd. 3387, para 84.
204. But the matter does not end there. In a country such as ours which is governed and administered on a basis of reason, freely and publicly debated in Parliament and the Press, and not on the basis of the whim of a Minister, any power as wide as this is not exercised arbitrarily, but in accordance with a rational policy worked out within his Department, and for which he is answerable to Parliament. The absolute power to exclude aliens from the United Kingdom has been no exception, and has been exercised in accordance with a defined departmental policy for at least the last 50 years. For most of that time, it has not been easy to ascertain precisely what that policy was, but this has become much clearer since the publication in February 1970 of the Home Office's Standing Instructions to Immigration Officers (172). These include the following relevant passages: -
"1. Immigration Officers will carry out their duties without regard to the race, colour or religion of aliens seeking to enter the United Kingdom.----------
4. Aliens have no rights of entry to the United Kingdom under the Aliens Order. They have, in general, to obtain permission to land from an Immigration Officer at the port of arrival. Immigration Officers are required to carry out their duties in accordance with the instructions of the Secretary of State, and these instructions set out the general principles on which the discretion to grant permission to land is to be exercised. Immigration Officers are required by the Order to refuse admission in certain circumstances (see paragraph 58 of these instructions). Except in these circumstances an Immigration Officer will normally grant permission to land if the alien is acceptable under one of the specific heads of policy covered by these instructions. But he may be unacceptable because there are grounds which render his presence in the United Kingdom undesirable; for example, in the light of his character, conduct or associations it may be undesirable to permit him to enter, or he may represent a danger to national security, or he might not be returnable to another country if admitted to the United Kingdom.
11. Aliens coming on holiday or for family, social, cultural or business reasons are welcome as visitors to the United Kingdom.
14. The Immigration Officer should impose a condition limiting the period of the visitor's stay in the United Kingdom. This will normally be for a stay of three months; but a longer, or shorter, period may be appropriate in some circumstances. Permission to land as a visitor does not authorise the taking of employment.
16. Students who wish to fit themselves for careers in their own countries are welcome to the United Kingdom. They are expected to leave when their studies are completed.
(172) Cmnd. 4296.
17. An alien seeking admission as a student will be expected to produce evidence of acceptance for a course of full-time study at a bona fide educational establishment, and evidence of his ability to maintain himself without working during his stay. He may do this in various ways; for example, by bringing in currency or travellers' cheques at the time of arrival, by bank transfer of foreign funds or by means of a scholarship. Full-time study is normally regarded as involving at least 15 hours organised study a week.205. This being the situation, I wrote to the Secretary of State for Home Affairs to inquire on what grounds his Department refused leave to land to
18. A bona fide student should be permitted to land on a condition limiting his stay to an initial period of up to 12 months, depending on the evidence of the intended length of his studies and on his means, and restricting his freedom to take employment. He should be advised that he may apply to the Home Office for an extension or variation of the conditions.
22. As a general rule (for exceptions see paragraph 25) an alien who wishes to take a job in the United Kingdom must have a work permit and produce it to the Immigration Officer at the port of arrival. A permit is issued only for a particular job with a particular employer. The permit is not issued direct to the alien worker but to his prospective employer, who has to apply for it to the Department of Employment and Productivity. The Employer is also responsible for sending the permit to the alien. An alien who requires a work permit but cannot produce one should be refused leave to land.
31. An alien may be admitted if he is acceptable under Part VIII and can show that he can support himself and his dependants in the United Kingdom for an indefinite period without taking a job.
32. Self-employed persons, such as artists and writers, may pursue their vocation in this country, so long as they do not do work which requires a work permit and there is no reason to believe that they will become a charge on public funds.
59. The Immigration Officer has a general discretionary power to refuse permission to land under Article 1 (1) of the Aliens Order. This power may be exercised whenever the alien does not qualify for admission under one of the specific heads of policy set out in these instructions, or if there are grounds which render his presence in the United Kingdom undesirable; for example, if his character, conduct or associations make it undesirable to permit him to enter the United Kingdom, or if he is a danger to national security or if he would not be returnable to another country."
". . . the Home Office policy stems from the statement of 25th July 1968 that scientology is harmful. If foreign nationals want to come here to study or work at a scientology establishment we consider that this would be contrary to the public good.206. On this material, I have come to the following conclusions.
. . . the then Home Secretary fully concurred in the Government statement of 25th July 1968, as is evident from its terms. I understand that the Home Office had received a good deal of information from such sources as documents obtained from scientologists by immigration officers, and also took into account views of other Departments including the Department of Health and Social Security, the Department of Education and Science, the Department of Employment and Productivity and the Scottish Home and Health Department."
207. We pride ourselves that England is a free country. Despite increasing encroachments on the freedom of the individual in an increasingly complex society, we are certainly a good deal more free than the subjects of many other States. At the very least, our freedoms are circumscribed only by laws which require the consent of a majority of our representatives in Parliament, even though these laws may delegate discretions to Ministers of the Crown. Some of these discretions nowadays tend to be wider than many think safe, and other discretionary powers are still available under what survives of the Royal Prerogative.
208. The attitude of the general public in Britain to foreigners - and to a good many other questions - demonstrates conflicting feelings of friendliness and hostility. On the one hand, there is the centuries-old insular tradition of contempt for Dagoes, Frogs, Wops and other lesser breeds without the law, who should be allowed to come here only for brief periods on sufferance, and then go home where they came from and trouble us no more. On the other hand, there is the equally old tradition of welcome and hospitality, founded on a desire to learn from others, to widen our horizons, to enrich our experience and especially to help those who suffer persecution in their own countries.
209. The policy of successive Home Secretaries has been informed, with few exceptions, by the better tradition of friendliness and hospitality which has been the foundation in turn for our long-established policies of tolerance and asylum. The general principle on which the Home Office has in fact (even if not in theory) acted for a very long time is that foreigners should be free to come and go through our ports or entry as they please, unless there is clear evidence that they are likely to do us some specific harm, such as the commission of crimes, political activity endangering national security, the passing on of contagious diseases, putting our own people out of work, or indigence as the result of which we shall find ourselves forced to support them. In my view, such a policy has been right in the past and is right at the present time; as the world becomes smaller and the mobility of its peoples greater, it becomes more rather than less important that we should encourage rather than restrict the free flow of people and ideas.
211. I draw some comfort from the fact that, in another connection, the Home Office itself seems to share this view. When the present Home Secretary, in a letter to Mr. Michael Foot, M.P. dated 25th August 1970, explained why he was not willing to extend the stay of Mr. Rudi Dutschke, he said this: -
"I think it is wrong in principle that people who come to this country should do so on the basis that they refrain from any activities which are lawful for the ordinary citizen" (173)If that is right - and of course I agree - then a fortiori it must be wrong in principle to exclude people from this country altogether on the sole ground that they intend to carry out here "activities which are lawful for the ordinary citizen".
212. In the view which I take, therefore, there is no reason why Scientologists of foreign or Commonwealth nationality should not henceforth be admitted to this country as visitors on precisely the same footing as other people. This would normally entitle them, under current policy set out in paragraph 14 of the Instructions to Immigration Officers, to a stay of up to three months at a time.
213. Again, foreign or Commonwealth Scientologists who wish to come and work here should in my view be granted or refused a work permit on precisely the same criteria as everyone else, and the fact that they or their proposed employers are Scientologists should be regarded as quite irrelevant.
214. The position of students is somewhat different. Under present Home Office policy, they form a privileged class in that they are normally given leave to stay for up to 12 months in the first instance, that is four times as long as an ordinary visitor. One of the necessary conditions for this is acceptance for a course of full-time study at a "bona fide educational establishment " and I am bound to say that on the evidence before me I am not satisfied that Scientology establishments as now organised can be said to fall within that description. However, as appears from the next Chapter
(173) The Times, 16th September 1970.
(ii) The Board of Trade
215. In a letter to me dated 6th November 1969 Mrs. Hubbard complained as follows: -
"In 1967 the Board of Trade made two dangerous stipulations with regard to a vessel we had purchased. The first of these was that the scuppers on the main deck be fully welded shut which would have prevented the drainage of water if the vessel had taken any seas over the side.216. The Board of Trade is of course responsible for the safety of United Kingdom registered ships under the relevant legislation. According to its records, the sequence of events was as follows: -
The second was that the forward and aft hatches be welded shut which would have prevented us from using the kedge anchor and from handling any emergency situation which might have developed in one of the holds.
When we could not get these two restrictions lifted, we were forced to safeguard the vessel and the lives of those who sailed in her by placing the vessel under foreign registry thereby circumventing the necessity to comply."
(1) On 7th November 1967, they received a telephone call from the Solicitor to the new owners of the Motor Vessel called the "Royal Scotsman" (but now re-named the "Royal Scotman") which had previously been used as a passenger / cargo ship on the Irish Channel service. The purpose of the enquiry was to ask whether the vessel could be re-registered as a pleasure yacht and cleared for a voyage to Gibraltar. He was told that re-classification would require considerable modification of the vessel, and that clearance for such a voyage would require (under the Safety of Life at Sea Convention 1960) valid load line, cargo ship construction, safety equipment and radio certificates.
(2) The vessel thereupon put into Southampton, where the owners attempted to clear her with the Port Authorities as a whaling ship. In response to that application, and having regard to her condition, the Deputy Principal Officer there issued a provisional detention
order on 24th November 1967 to prevent her from putting to sea until the necessary safety provisions had been complied with.(iii) The Foreign and Commonwealth Office
(3) The owners next requested clearance for a single voyage to Brest, saying that they intended to have the repairs carried out there. Such a voyage would of course have been comparable with the short runs on which the vessel had previously been engaged.
(4) Surveys for load line and safety construction certificates are in such cases delegated by the Board of Trade to approved Classification Societies, and in the present case these were referred to Lloyd's Register. By 28th November 1967, Lloyd's surveyors were in a position to give the relevant certificates, but limited to a single voyage to Brest and valid until 6th December 1967 only. By that date also, the Board of Trade had been able to satisfy itself that the safety equipment and radio were sufficiently in order for such a short cross-channel run. The vessel would not in her then condition have been cleared for a voyage to Gibraltar.
(5) Accordingly, the "Royal Scotman" was cleared on 28th November 1967 for a single voyage to Brest, and she sailed on the same day. She did not however put in to Brest, but continued to Gibraltar and beyond.
(6) When the owners first requested clearance for a voyage to Gibraltar, they were advised by Lloyd's that this would require the taking of measures to ensure the watertightness of the scuppers and hatches, but not that these should be fully welded shut.
217. The doubts expressed by Lloyd's surveyors about the "Royal Scotman's" seaworthiness when she left Southampton proved to have been wellfounded, for Mrs. Hubbard's next complaint is in these terms: -
"Also in 1967 while outside the Straits of Gibraltar, the steering mechanism of the vessel became damaged during a storm. Although we had in advance arranged to enter the port, we were refused entry when we urgently radioed for assistance and clearance. We were forced to flounder in the open sea in storm conditions with the vessel not under command while we desperately effected repairs."218. In answer to this, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office told me that the Gibraltar authorities could find no reference to the "Royal Scotman" in their records, and that the Captain of the Port was sure that no disabled vessel of any description was refused entry to the port, and left in open sea, in 1967 or - for that matter - at any time. 219. Even this was not the end of the misfortunes suffered by the "Royal Scotman" and her owners. Mrs. Hubbard goes on: -
"While in Corfu in 1968, the British Consul, Major Forte, spread rumours about us to the effect that we held black magic rites aboard ship, were poisoning the wells and were casting spells on the cattle.
The Deputy Prime Minister of Greece, Mr. Patakes, stated that he had had so much pressure put on him by the British with stories that we were under investigation by Interpol for various reasons that he had been forced to ask us to leave. He has since apologized and invited our return.220. At my instigation, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office investigated these complaints also, with the following results: -
A man by the name of Jack Lundin who was staying at the British Consulate in Casablanca represented himself to be a reporter for the "Manchester Guardian" and spread rumours to the Panamanian Consul and to the editor of a local newspaper that we were wanted by Interpol for smuggling hashish to France and South America."
(1) By August 1968, the "Royal Scotman" had been transferred to the Panamanian Register, and once more re-named; she was now the "Apollo". She had been joined in the Mediterranean by another Scientology vessel, the "Athena", also flying the Panamanian flag: this ship too had been removed by her owners from the United Kingdom register, on which she had previously figured as the "Avon River".
(2) Both vessels put into Corfu, and their owners began to negotiate for the purchase of a property there. This brought them to the attention of the local authorities, and the Nomarch sought the views of Major Forte, the Honorary British Vice-Consul. Major Forte, as he was bound to do, told the Nomarch that the Scientologists' presence in Corfu was of no concern to Her Majesty's Government, and referred him to the Government's official statement of policy about Scientology given to the House on 25th July 1968. He volunteered no further information to the Nomarch or to anyone else.
(3) Major Forte also became involved in the repatriation of two British seamen (not themselves Scientologists) who had been recruited in the United Kingdom to serve as engineers in the "Royal Scotman" and who having become suspicious and dissatisfied with activities on board the vessel, left their belongings on board and sought the Vice - Consul' s protection .
(4) On 2nd November 1968, there appeared in the Corfu newspaper "Telegrafos" an article critical of Scientology, stressing that the Greek Government would not tolerate anyone spreading within her territory theories " religious, political, or even of black magic." Major Forte had no connection of any kind with the publication of this article.
(5) In January 1969, the Greek Government made further official enquiries about Scientology, both through the Greek Embassy in London and the British Embassy in Athens. In each case, they were given copies of the issues of Hansard covering the adjournment debate on 6th March 1967 and the statement to the House on 25th July 1968.
(6) By September 1969, the "Apollo" - captained by Mr. Hubbard - had docked in Casablanca. When the Panamanian Vice-Consul boarded her, she was once again found to be unseaworthy, and was detained to have extensive repairs carried out. Her Majesty's Consulate General in Casablanca were not involved. They have no connection with Mr. Jack Lundin, who is thought to be a free-lance reporter from Tangier who had come to Casablanca to follow up a story about the Scientologists.(iv) The Department of Employment and Productivity
221. The Scientologists complained that the Employment Exchanges would not introduce applicants to vacancies in Scientology establishments. The Department tell me that this is quite true: it was decided in 1960, and again in 1966, not to send applicants to Saint Hill Manor because of complaints which had been received about conditions of employment there; and after 25th July 1968 none were sent to any of the Scientology establishments in conformity with Government policy on Scientology as announced to the House on that day.
222. Under the Employment Training Act, 1948, the provision for withholding of the services of the Employment Exchanges is in the discretion of the Secretary of State. Accordingly, the Department was clearly within its rights as a matter of law, and one can hardly blame it for following a policy decision taken by Central Government as a whole. However, in my view the Department should now revert to the policy in force before 25th July 1968, and henceforth judge the suitability of Scientology establishments as places of employment on the ordinary criteria which are applied to all other cases.
(v) The General Post Office
223. Here the Scientologists complain that the G.P.O. refused to accept their advertisements for publication in the telephone directory, having previously done so.
224. The G.P.O's answer was: -
"Scientologists describe themselves as a Church in their letter headings and a spokesman has referred to their beliefs as a religious philosophy. The Post Office does not accept religious advertisements for publication in telephone directories."225. Certainly the previous advertisement, which had been accepted and was published as a full page in the "Yellow Pages" of the Tunbridge Wells Directory, contained nothing to warn the Post Office of the religious nature of Scientology. It ran like this: -
"THE SCIENTOLOGY FOUNDATION
SAINT HILL SAINT HILL MANOR
EAST GRINSTEAD SUSSEX
INVITES YOU TO TELEPHONE FOR
FREE INFORMATION ON THE
Personal Efficiency Course
FOUR EVENINGS STARTING MONDAY AT 8.15 p.m.
EAST GRINSTEAD 24571 (2 lines)".
227. The Scientologists also complain that their telephones have been tapped. Since they say themselves that they "have no direct evidence" other than "various noises and interference on the telephone", I have not troubled to go into this.
(vi) The Ministry of Defence
228. Another complaint put to me by the Scientology leadership was that all mail going into Hobbs Barracks (which is close to Saint Hill Manor) from Scientology was intercepted, and that the addressee was "hauled before the C.O. and told that he must have nothing to do with Scientology and should he persist he would be considered a security risk to his country".
229. When I put this complaint to the Ministry, they told me that since 1968 they had (in conformity with the general Government policy) discouraged employees - both service and civilian - from becoming involved with Scientology. They had given no instructions to intercept mail about Scientology addressed to service personnel, or to suggest that a recipient of such mail should be considered a security risk.
230. However, it seems that Hobbs Barracks was the target of constant approaches and distribution of Scientology literature when it was occupied by the Queen's Regiment, and that in 1967 one of the Officers did intercept a Scientology circular so that its security implications could be assessed. The unit was subsequently warned against any form of tampering with mail, and there is no reason to think that this incident has been, or will be repeated.
(b) Local Authorities
(i) The County Councils of Surrey, East Sussex, and West Sussex.
231. The Scientologists complain that a Mrs. Rosalie Vosper, one of their number, had applied to these three authorities for employment as a schoolteacher, but had been turned down by all of them, despite the fact that she was adequately qualified. Her failure to obtain employment is attributed to the fact - disclosed on her application forms - that she had worked at Saint Hill Manor for three years.
232. I referred the complaint to the County Councils concerned, and received the following answers: -
(a) The Surrey County Council was very perturbed about the allegation, and the Deputy Clerk personally investigated it in some depth. He assures me that his Education Committee has no policy against the employment of persons known to have been involved with Scientology. On the contrary, a number of their teachers have "unusual beliefs or callings", and this precludes neither their employment, nor sympathetic approval of applications for leave of absence in termtime to attend essential observances. Nor is there any evidence of
any policy adverse to Scientology among the permanent staff responsible for administering the authority's schools. As for Mrs. Vosper, the following facts came to light: -(ii) The Greater London Council(1) On 11th January 1969, she wrote to enquire whether there were any teaching posts likely to fall vacant in primary schools in the East Grinstead area.(b) The West Sussex County Council has been unable to trace any application by Mrs. Vosper, but has assured me that its Education Committee has no policy discriminating against Scientologists.
(2) On 14th January, the Deputy Divisional Education Officer wrote to tell her of two prospective vacancies at one school, and sent her an application form to fill in and return.
(3) Mrs. Vosper returned the form on 18th January, but omitted to give her teacher's reference number.
(4) When this had been obtained from her, her application was considered by the Head Teacher of the School concerned, and by that of another where a vacancy had meanwhile become manifest, together with applications from other candidates. In each case, another candidate was preferred.
(5) Although the reasons for preferring one candidate to another are not normally disclosed, the County Council has made an exception in this case and has told me what they were. It is clear from Mrs. Vosper's application form that, except for two terms in 1964, she had not taught for the previous ten years, and that all her teaching experience had been in secondary schools. In the circumstances, the posts were filled by other candidates with more up-to-date experience of primary school teaching methods. Mrs. Vosper's failure was in no way due to her association with Scientology.
(c) Nor does the East Sussex County Council have any such policy; indeed, Mrs. Vosper taught in one of their schools for two terms in 1964. Her name has been on the supply list, together with a number of others, ever since she re-applied in December 1968, and it is open to any Head Teacher who has a vacancy to approach her. The Authority tell me that, until they received my enquiry, they did not even know that Mrs. Vosper was a Scientologist.
233. The Scientologists' complaint here is that they applied to book the Royal Festival Hall for a meeting, but were refused.
234. The Controller of Services of the Greater London Council tells me that the original enquiry in May 1969, was for a "special prayer meeting" on a Sunday afternoon, and came on plain paper headed "Human Rights Prayer Day", signed by Mr. P. Ginever who described himself as "Secretary to the Committee". This first letter disclosed no connection with Scientology, but a subsequent letter from Mr. Ginever was written on paper headed "The Hubbard Scientology Organisation". By that time, both the Government
236. I have not investigated any of these. For some of them - such as libel, or cases falling within the Race Relations Act - the law may provide a remedy which, if the complaint is well-founded, it is open to the Scientologists to enforce, and their leadership has never shown any marked inhibition about going to law where they consider that their legal rights have been infringed. For the rest, people in this country are free to choose with whom they will associate, and with whom they will do business. All this is part of the ordinary give and take of everyday life, and much of society's response to Scientology will depend on the attitudes which Scientology demonstrates to society in the first place.
Last updated 21 February 1997
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