HC Deb 24 March 1938 vol 333 cc1363-4
30. Mr. Arthur Henderson

asked the Home Secretary whether he can now state the nature of the steps to be taken by His Majesty's Government to enable the policy of offering asylum to Austrian refugees to be carried out effectively?

Sir S. Hoare

Instructions have been issued to the immigration staff at all ports to ensure that full effect is given to the policy indicated in the statement which I made on Tuesday last.

Mr. Henderson

Has any provision been made in particular cases, where the local immigration official has decided not to admit, for reference to be made to the Home Office itself?

Sir S. Hoare

I have given explicit instructions on the lines of the statement I made the other day, and I have added to them the further instruction that, where a case is in doubt, it should be referred to the Home Office.

Mr. Graham White

Would the right hon. Gentleman consider the possibility or advisability of giving further publicity to the instructions, so that the difficulty of arriving at a conclusion can be obviated?

Sir S. Hoare

I do not think that that is necessary. I think sufficient publicity has been given to them.

Mr. Wells

Have many applications been received?

Sir S. Hoare

"Many" is a relative term. I would rather not answer that.

31. Mr. Edmund Harvey

asked the Home Secretary whether his attention has been called to the fact that Austrian refugees landing in this country have in a number of cases been immediately sent back by the first available ship or aeroplane without any opportunity for the consideration of their cases by himself or his representative; and whether, in view of the position of these refugees, he will arrange that they shall be given the opportunity of having their cases considered by some higher authority than the local immigration officers before they are definitely refused admission to Great Britain?

Sir S. Hoare

If the hon. Member will send me particulars of the cases he has in mind, I will be glad to look into them. As regards the last part of the question, the period for which an alien can be detained pending consideration of his case, is necessarily limited, but instructions have been given that cases in which special doubt or difficulty arises should be referred to headquarters for decision.

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