20. Miss Rathbone
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he is in a position to make a statement regarding the work of the Inter-Governmental Refugee Committee and the share which His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom proposes to take in it?
§ Mr. Law
The Inter-Governmental Committee is an international committee 861 composed of a number of Member States of which Great Britain is one. It will be recalled that its activities were revived and extended as a result of the recommendations of the Bermuda Conference. This country is represented by my Noble Friend the Member for Horsham and Worthing (Earl Winterton), who was chosen as Chairman of the Executive Committee by his colleagues on it. The Committee is now at work with a directorate and secretariat. Its Executive Committee holds periodical meetings and will, I understand, shortly issue a statement regarding its activities. I anticipate that the House will be asked to vote the funds for His Majesty's Government's share in the expenditure of the Committee. Hon. Members will thus have the opportunity of obtaining further information about the participation of His Majesty's Government in the work and projects of the Committee.
Is there any intention to re-constitute the executive of the Inter-Governmental Committee in view of the fact that it was elected seven years ago and does not contain representatives of several of the countries most closely concerned with refugees, both as countries of persecution and as countries of rescue?
§ Mr. Silverman
Which nations are now represented on the Committee and which members have seats on the Executive Committee?
Is it not curious that the question whether the Committee should be strengthened should be left to the Committee, because it obviously concerns countries most of which are not represented and therefore the Executive Committee can hardly be held to be impartial?