HC Deb 28 February 1940 vol 357 c2051
29. Mr. David Adams

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what numbers of refugees are now domiciled in British Guiana; and when it is expected that settlement may become available there for large numbers of refugees?

Mr. M. MacDonald

My latest information is that up to 30th September last about 40 persons who might be classified as refugees had obtained admission to the Colony. With regard to the second part of the Question, as I indicated in replies to questions on this subject on 20th September and 25th October last, owing to the war the refugee organisations have been obliged to suspend action in regard to the experimental scheme which was suggested by the Commission which visited the Colony in the early part of last year.

Mr. Adams

Is the Minister aware that six months have elapsed since that experiment began, and that the refugee problem ought to be dealt with more energetically if it is to be solved?

Mr. MacDonald

The difficulty is that the voluntary organisations which were concerned find it impossible in the present circumstances to raise their part of the money for the scheme.

Mr. Edmund Harvey

Are the Government providing a motor road to the highlands, which is absolutely essential if this scheme is to succeed?

Mr. MacDonald

No, Sir. The Government did express their willingness to finance the making of that road, but only if that initial experiment in settlement indicated that settlement would be a success and the road of practical use.

Mr. Davidson

May we first have some decent roads in the Scottish Highlands?