HC Deb 01 May 1935 vol 301 cc349-50

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he has any statement to make with reference to the decision of the Council of the League of Nations concerning the settlement of Assyrian refugees in Syria and the reasons why British Guiana proved unsuitable?


The project of settling Assyrian refugees in Syria is about to be further explored locally by the President of the Committee of the League of Nations Council which is dealing with the matter, in consultation with the French authorities and the Iraqi Government. As regards British Guiana, the President of the Council Committee has addressed to His Majesty's Government a letter in which he explains that the report of the League of Nations Mission of Investigation sent to that Colony has revealed the existence of serious difficulties. These rendered it impossible to form a reliable opinion regarding the number of persons who could be settled satisfactorily in the area contemplated, and in the judgment of the mission would make it necessary, seeing that the Assyrians are accustomed to very different conditions of life, to proceed in the first place by way of an experiment of very limited scope over an uncertain number of years. The President added that the Committee has therefore been reluctantly forced to the conclusion that settlement in British Guiana cannot be regarded as offering a solution of the large and urgent problem which it has been asked to assist in solving.


Will the report be published in due course?


I will make inquiries and inform my hon. Friend with pleasure. I really do not know the answer to that question.

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