HC Deb 29 March 1944 vol 398 cc1410-1
7. Miss Rathbone

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether the Turkish Government is co-operating with the efforts which are being made to save refugees escaping from enemy countries; and whether, in view of the increasingly grave situation of these refugees, still further co-operation can be expedited.

Mr. Eden

I should like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the co-operative attitude of the Turkish Government over refugees who succeed in reaching Turkish territory from enemy countries. The scope of the work of rescue is unfortunately very limited on account of the small number of persons securing exit permits. His Majesty's Ambassador at Ankara is, however, in constant and active consultation with the Turkish Government and responsible refugee organisations, and I am confident that in the circumstances alluded to by the hon. Lady such measures of further co-operation as the Turkish authorities can take will be forthcoming as required.

Miss Rathbone

While thanking the right hon. Gentleman for his reply, and expressing satisfaction with the assurance he has given, may I ask whether he realises that public opinion has had in the past a good deal of reason for uneasiness and dissatisfaction over the attitude of the Turkish Government, which seems much less helpful towards refugees in terrible danger than we might have expected from a friendly Government?

Earl Winterton

In addition to the representations made by the Government, a representative of the inter-governmental committee is in Ankara discussing matters with the Turkish Government.