HC Deb 24 July 1935 vol 304 cc1815-6
9. Mr. T. SMITH

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether his attention has been called to the plight of non-Maltese British subjects in Smyrna; whether he is aware that these people were informed, on 25th March last, by His Majesty's Ambassador at Angora that the question of their permanent disposal was receiving the earnest attention of the Government; that pending this decision inadequate monetary help averaging 10d. per head per day is being extended to cases of extreme destitution but that many other needy cases are receiving no help whatever; and whether he can indicate when a settlment of this problem of British subjects living in a foreign country and prohibited from earning their livelihood may be expected?


I am aware of the facts of this matter. The rates of relief being paid to the British subjects concerned were arrived at after careful consultation with His Majesty's representatives in Turkey, and I am satisfied that they are adequate. It has now been arranged that all these British subjects shall gradually be repatriated to this country or to other British territory, and His Majesty's Ambassador in Turkey is in close touch with the situation.


What is the nationality of these individuals who are receiving 10d. per head per day? Where do they come from? They strike me as being of the working-class, not the middle-class or the rich. They are only getting 10d. per day. What race are they? Where do they come from?


They are British subjects, but I cannot say from what part of the British Empire they come until I have made further inquiries.