HC Deb 05 October 1939 vol 351 cc2072-3
36. Mr. Raikes

asked the Home Secretary what steps are being taken to implement the repeatedly given assurances that the thousands of Jewish refugees admitted to this country since the Nazi regime came into power were admitted for temporary refuge pending re-emigration?

Sir J. Anderson

The practical aspects of the problem of the re-emigration of refugees on a large scale have clearly been changed entirely by the outbreak of war. Before the outbreak of war many of those admitted for temporary refuge had emigrated, and there will still be individual cases in which it may prove practicable and desirable to arrange for refugees to proceed to overseas countries which are willing to receive them. As regards many others—whose ultimate destination cannot be settled at present—it is proposed in the meantime to utilise their services in ways which will be advantageous to the national effort and will not conflict with the interests of British subjects.

Mr. Mander

Will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind that there are probably no people in the world who are more anxious to oppose the Nazi regime than these unfortunate refugees?

37. Mr. Raikes

asked the Home Secretary whether the large increase, both relative and absolute, of persons of German Jewish origin among the 2,158 aliens to whom, as disclosed in the recently published Return, he granted naturalisation in 1938, indicates any departure from the assurances given that refugees were only to be given shelter pending re-emigration; and, if not, what accounts for the rise recorded?

Sir J. Anderson

In 1938 there were 294 Germans naturalised, as against an average figure of 144 for the four years 1934 to 1937. Those naturalised in 1938 were persons who had been here for live years or longer. Among them were persons who came to this country in consequence of the political changes in Germany in the years 1930 to 1933. Some of them are persons doing valuable work here in professional and academic spheres. None of the persons naturalised in 1938 were persons who came here under the recent arrangements for the temporary admission of refugees with a view to re-emigration.

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