HC Deb 09 December 1936 vol 318 cc1972-3
4. Lieut. - Commander FLETCHER

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what are the present activities of the High Commissioner for Refugees from Germany; what funds are at his disposal and from what sources they have been obtained; and whether His Majesty's Government are giving him any assistance in his work?


The present activities of the High Commissioner for Refugees from Germany are set forth in a Resolution adopted on 10th October by the Assembly of the League of Nations. As the section of the Resolution which deals with this matter is somewhat long I will, with permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT. As regards the second part of the question, a, suitable appropriation is being provided by the competent organs of the League to cover the administrative expenses of the High Commissioner. The sum required for this purpose for the year 1937 has been fixed at 82,500 Swiss francs. As regards the third part of the question, His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom will continue to give the High Commissioner for Refugees from Germany all the assistance that they properly can.

Following 'is time section of the Resolution referred to:

"The Assembly recommends that a High Commissioner should be appointed until 31st December, 1938, for the purpose of liquidating, so far as possible, the problem of refugees coming from Germany, and that the High Commissioner's duties should include, in particular, the following:

(1)As regards the improvement of the legal status of refugees; to approach Governments in order to obtain their accession to the Provisional Arrangement of 4th July, 1936, and to prepare an Inter-Governmental Conference for the adoption of an international convention on the status of these refugees;

(2)As regards questions of emigration and final settlement; to encourage initiative on the part of private organisations; to support such initiative by negotiations with the Governments of the countries of refuge; and, if necessary, to have definite plans for colonisation and emigration studied on the spot, in agreement with the Government concerned;

(3)To maintain contact with the various private organisations, in particular through the Liaison Committee of an international character which has already been set up;

(4)To submit an interim report to the Assembly at its next ordinary session and, at its session of 1938, to present a report on the situation of the refugees at that moment and on the progress made towards the final solution of the problem, and definite proposals in regard to the future."