HC Deb 12 July 1937 vol 326 cc854-5
23. Mr. Benn

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what precise information is being sought from the Ambassador at Hendaye as to the Spanish refugee children in this country?

Mr. Eden

The right hon. Gentleman is doubtless aware that the committee responsible for the care of these refugees has undertaken to arrange for their repatriation as soon as circumstances will permit. His Majesty's Ambassador has been requested to furnish His Majesty's Government with such information as he is able to obtain with a view to assisting them in deciding whether these conditions are now present or are likely to be so in the near future.

Miss Rathbone

As His Majesty's Government have no representatives in the Basque country, or within 100 miles of Bilbao, on what information will the Ambassador base his report, if not on Press reports?

Mr. Eden

Perhaps the hon. Lady did not hear my answer that a consular officer is now in Bilbao.

63. Mr. Crossley

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether, in granting permission to Basque children to land in this country, it was made a condition that on application from their parents for their return their licences to live in this country should be revoked?

The Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. Geoffrey Lloyd)

There was no occasion for imposing such a specific condition. The children were admitted to this country on the general guarantee of the voluntary committee that it would be responsible for their maintenance while in this country and would repatriate them as soon as circumstances permitted. Any request from individuals that particular children may be sent back to Spain would be a matter to be dealt with by the committee.

Mr. Crossley

Is my hon. Friend perfectly satisfied that there are not various amiable people in this country who intend to kidnap these children?

Duchess of Atholl

Is it not the fact that one child has already been sent back by the committee on the result of a bona fide application from its parents?

Mr. Lloyd

I think so.