HC Deb 02 May 1938 vol 335 cc493-4
22. Miss Rathbone

asked the Prime Minister whether any financial contribution, and, if so, how much, has been paid or promised by His Majesty's Government to the Nansen office since its establishment under that name; how many refugees with Nansen passports have been admitted to this country; and whether any of these refugees have been maintained or partly maintained out of public funds?

Mr. Butler

The total of the annual appropriations made since 1930 inclusive in the League Budget for the administrative expenses of the Nansen International Office is 2,502,000 Swiss francs. It would not be possible without considerable research to give the proportion of this sum contributed by His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom, since the percentage which His Majesty's Government's contribution bears to the total of the League Budget varies annually. As regards the second part of the question, no passenger statistics of persons holding Nansen certificates are kept. Such persons admitted to this country in recent years consist almost entirely of business or pleasure visitors, who leave the country after a short stay. The last part of the question does not, therefore, appear to arise, but no statistics on the subject are available.

Miss Rathbone

Is it not the case that most of the other European democracies have received a certain number of Nansen refugees at their own expense; and have not His Majesty's Government considered the practicability of doing the same?

Mr. Butler

I will look into that question.