HC Deb 05 June 1946 vol 423 cc1995-7
46. Mr. Stokes

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster whether he is aware that U.N.R.R.A. field directors in the British zone in Germany has been officially informing those displaced Poles who refuse to be repatriated that they will shortly be dispersed and left to fend for themselves; and whether this represents His Majesty's Government's policy.

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Mr. John Hynd)

I am aware of only one such instance, the posting of an unauthorised notice in the displaced persons assembly centre at Fallingbostel. This notice was promptly repudiated and withdrawn.

Mr. Stokes

Is my hon. Friend aware that I made no allegation against the members of U.N.R.R.A.? Is he also aware that some members of the Military Government are inclined to impose their views on U.N.R.R.A. and to disregard the instructions from his office? Will he stop it?

Mr. Hynd

This is an isolated instance which, as I say, was immediately repudiated. Instructions were issued to our people and to the U.N.R.R.A. officers of steps that must be taken before any notices are posted dealing with this subject in future.

47. Mr. Stokes

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster for what reasons it has been decided to liquidate the existing Polish London Liaison Organisation, leaving the Warsaw representatives in exclusive control over displaced Poles in the British zone in Germany, seeing that this policy was rejected by a high majority of the United Nations General Assembly in its resolution on refugees and displaced persons of 12th February, 1946.

Mr. J. Hynd

The action which has been taken follows naturally from His Majesty's Government's recognition of the Polish Provisional Government in Warsaw. It does not conflict with the resolution of the United Nations General Assembly of 12th February but is rather supported by it in that the resolution stipulates that displaced persons should receive adequate information from the governments of their countries of origin. Liaison officers only assist in administration, welfare and repatriation. Control over displaced persons is in the hands of the British authorities, who, acting in cooperation with U.N.R.R.A., are in a position to ensure that His Majesty's Government's policy is carried out in the assembly centres in the British zone.

Mr. Stokes

But is my hon. Friend aware that the resolution to which I have referred clearly lays down that when persons have made up their minds that they do not want to go back, no undue influence shall be imposed upon them to make them go back; and that the effect of this change is that these wretched people, who have been badgered about from pillar to post, are now being bullied by people who ought to be fighting in their interests?

Mr. Hynd

On the contrary, the liaison officers in the camps have always been responsible to the Government they represent, and their duties are limited, as I say, to the administration of the work in the camp—to welfare work, and so on. It was, in fact, a very difficult situation when you had two sets of Polish officers in the same camp, and that situation has now been put right.

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