HC Deb 13 December 1922 vol 159 cc2904-5

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether, seeing that the recent revelations in the correspondence of M. Gounaris prove that the Near Eastern policy of the late Coalition Government was partly responsible for the Greek disaster in Asia Minor, the present Government will consider sympathetically the destitute condition of the Greek refugees and the possibility of relieving their distress?


I cannot accept the implication of the hon. and gallant Member as in any way accurate. His Majesty's Government are already considering with the utmost sympathy the fate of the Ottoman Christian refugees from Asia Minor and Thrace, and are fully aware of their deplorable condition. They have promised a grant of £50,000 to the League of Nations for refugee relief on condition that other countries contribute a similar amount, and £16,000 of this has already been paid. They have also spent some £52,000 on the charter of vessels for the removal of the refugees to places of safety, and granted £10,000 worth of surplus medical stores to British relief societies. In view of the financial stringency at home, His Majesty's Government are unable for the present to incur any further expenditure on behalf of refugees, who are not British subjects, but they are giving all possible support and encouragement to the voluntary organisations which are endeavouring to cope with the problem.

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