HC Deb 11 December 1922 vol 159 cc2374-5

asked the Prime Minister whether the departure of non-Turkish refugees from Constantinople has been impeded by the Turkish authorities; and what steps have been taken to secure to the non-Turkish population, both of Constantinople and of Asia Minor, liberty to emigrate?


The reply to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. With regard to the second part, this matter is forming the subject of negotiations at Lausanne.


Will it be made a condition of peace that refugees shall be allowed to emigrate without hindrance?


I cannot say. All I can say is that my Noble Friend is making every effort to settle this question satisfactorily.


(by Private Notice) asked the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affaire whether his attention has been called to the facts mentioned in the following telegram from Limassol, Cyprus: Thousand refugees Anatolia arrived. Government allows only land British subjects, Armenians, Cypriots. Thousands Greeks remain small vessels suffering enormously under bad weather. Many dead. Country protested. Archbishop wired Lord Mayor, London, asking assistance; and whether the Government will make arrangements for these refugees to be permitted to land on the island of Cyprus?

The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for the COLONIES (Mr. Ormsby-Gore)

In reply to a telegram urging the High Commissioner to receive as many of these refugee's as possible, Mr. Stevenson has telegraphed to the effect that he had already received or agreed to receive upwards of 10,500 refugees of various nationalities, a number equal to about one-thirtieth of the normal population of the island. He was continuing to receive any refugees who had relations in or connections with the island. Having regard to the available accommodation and resources of the island, the Secretary of State decided that he could not press him to do more than he is doing.


What is to become, then, of those other people who are compelled to remain in the boats, many of them dying from exposure and cold?


I am afraid that the material and resources in personnel of the island of Cyprus are at present being strained to the uttermost to receive the refugees who are arriving.