HC Deb 01 June 1921 vol 142 cc1023-4
7. Sir J. D. REES

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what progress has been made in closing camps of Armenian and other refugees; and what is the monthly cost now being incurred on this account?


Everything possible is being done to absorb permanently the Armenian refugees in Mesopotamia who are capable of colonising the healthier districts. The remainder will be repatriated as soon as some reasonable guarantee of their personal safety has been received. A telegram was recently sent to the High Commissioner enquiring the monthly cost of their maintenance. No reply has yet been received. The Assyrian camp at present costs 400,000 rupees, approximately, £26,666 a a month. It is hoped to dispose of the inmates at a comparatively early date, partly by repatriation and partly by allotting them land for settlement, together with a small capital for the purchase of stock, etc. Steps are being taken to remove all the remaining Russian refugees from Mesopotamia at a very early date. Approximately, a sum of £9,700 is being incurred monthly on the maintenance of those Russian refugees who are under British control in camps in Egypt, Cyprus, and at Tuzla, near Constantinople. There is a further charge of £10,000 per month for those refugees who have been taken over by the Serb-Croat-Slovene Government. I would refer the hon. Baronet to the reply which I gave to him on 24th February last.

Sir J. D. REES

Does my hon. Friend think that these refugees will ever go away if they are not to be returned until there are reasonable guarantees or provision has been made for them?


The hon. Member is referring to the Armenian refugees. We cannot launch them into the wilderness, and leave them to their fate.

Colonel Sir C. YATE

Are any of the Assyrian refugees in Mesopotamia being enlisted in the local Mesopotamian forces?


I do not know. I would like notice of the question.

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