§ 11. Mr. Quintin Hogg
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether his attention has been drawn to the plight of a number of unaccompanied British children en route for Great Britain who the now stranded at Estoril in Portugal; and whether he will take steps to assist them?
§ Mr. Law
I am aware of the difficulties arising from the accumulation in Portugal of British children unable to obtain further transport to the United Kingdom. The situation has undoubtedly led to difficulties, but I must point out that it has arisen largely through the children, and especially unaccompanied children, being sent without any assurances being obtained that the onward passage would be forthcoming. I am, however, consulting with the other Departments concerned, and investigating possibilities of remedying the situation. Every effort is being made to transport in particular the unaccompanied children, and in the meantime arrangements have been made at Lisbon for volunteers from the British community to see to their welfare.
§ 18. Mr. Hogg
asked the Secretary of State for Air whether his attention has been drawn to the plight of a number of unaccompanied British children en route for Great Britain who are now stranded at Estoril in Portugal for want of air transport; and whether he will take steps to provide them with this?
§ The Secretary of State for Air (Sir Archibald Sinclair)
Yes, Sir, Our resources in both air and sea transport are strained by the urgent requirements of the war, but I will gladly do what I can to help in remedying the situation.
§ Sir A. Sinclair
No, Sir, but I think I ought to say in all frankness to the hon. Gentleman and the House that it will be serious. As the hon. Member knows, operations are going on in the Mediterranean now, we are making a special effort to carry Christmas mails to the troops, the 166 weather at this time of the year is very bad, and, with the best will in the world, I am afraid there will be a long delay.