HC Deb 31 January 1939 vol 343 cc20-2
43. Major Stourton

asked the Home Secretary whether his attention has been drawn to the growing public indignation against the policy of admitting further refugees into this country, in view of the fact that there are already nearly 2,000,000 unemployed on the live register; and what steps he proposes to take to meet the situation?

Sir S. Hoare

No Sir. As I have previously explained it is possible by a policy of selection and control to admit a number of refugees without aggravating the unemployment problem. For example refugees can be admitted for domestic service. Again some foreigners have started new industries which have given employment to substantial numbers of our own people. Amongst the refugees admitted are many who are being maintained by relatives or charitably-minded people until they can make their way to some other country.

Major Stourton

Is my right hon. Friend aware that there is vast scope for settlement of refugees in South America, and that these islands are already overcrowded?

Mr. Gallacher

Does not the Minister recognise that the best way to deal with this problem would be to get a Government that would solve the problem of unemployment?

Mr. Leach

If increase in population means an increase in unemployment, would it not be better if we had complete birth control?

76. Mr. Joel

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what progress has been made with regard to any scheme for the immigration of refugees to British Guiana?

77. Mr. White

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what progress has been made with the proposals for settling Jews and other refugees in British Guiana?

The Secretary of State for the Colonies (Mr. Malcolm MacDonald)

By agreement with the Co-ordinating Committee for Refugees, an expert Commission of six members has been selected by President Roosevelt's Advisory Committee on Refugees to proceed to British Guiana to carry out the survey of the areas which we have in mind. In addition, His Majesty's Government are nominating one or two British members to serve on the Commission, and their names will be announced shortly. The Agricultural Chemist to the British Guiana Government is also being especially attached to the Commission in an advisory capacity, and in general the Commission will have the co-operation and assistance of the Government's officers in the Colony. The Commission are proceeding to British Guiana in the early days of February.

41. Major Stourton

asked the Home Secretary whether he will state to the nearest convenient date the number of adult and child refugees admitted into this country from Germany and Czechoslovakia since June, 1938?

Sir S. Hoare

Between 1st July, 1938, and 27th January, 1939, there have been admitted into the United Kingdom 3,897 adults and 2,843 children from Germany and Austria, and 650 adults and 160 children from Czechoslovakia.

Colonel Nathan

Is the right hon. Gentleman able to say how many of these refugees entered on transit?

Sir S. Hoare

I cannot say without notice, but if the hon. and gallant Member will put down a question, I will see if I can give him the answer.

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