HC Deb 05 June 1947 vol 438 cc389-91
63. Major Beamish

asked the Secretary of State for War why it is impracticable to arrange for members of the Polish armed forces who neither wish to return to Poland nor to join the Polish Resettlement Corps to emigrate to countries other than Poland.

Mr. Bellenger

There is nothing to prevent any of these Poles emigrating, provided they can make their own arrangements. It has not been possible so far to obtain more than a small proportion of vacancies under official schemes for Poles who wish to emigrate, and it is only reasonable that they should be allotted in the first place to members of the Polish Resettlement Corps, as the recognised instrument for the resettlement of Poles.

Major Beamish

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that two Poles who wished to go to France, and who could have made arrangements to do so, but who did not wish to join the Resettlement Corps, were, in fact, deported to Germany recently?

Mr. Bellenger

We are only too willing to assist and facilitate those Poles who wish to emigrate, but they have great advantages if they do so through the Polish Resettlement Corps.

Earl Winterton

Has there been any consultation with the official body, the Inter-governmental Committee for Refugees, and have they been informed of the extraordinary policy of the Government which has just been enunciated?

Mr. Bellenger

The policy of His Majesty's Government embraces the Intergovernmental Committee and bodies of that sort.

Earl Winterton

The right hon. Gentleman does not understand the question. The Inter-governmental Committee for Refugees, of which His Majesty's Government is a member, is the official body for dealing with refugees. Have they been consulted?

Mr. Bellenger

His Majesty's Government take full responsibility.

Mr. Eric Fletcher

Will my right hon. Friend give an assurance that the Poles who express a desire to emigrate to some country other than. Poland will not be sent to Germany?

Mr. Bellenger

Yes, Sir, we are only too willing to facilitate the emigration of these individuals.

Viscount Hinchingbrooke

In view of the widespread interest of the House in this and the preceding Question, and the difficulty of getting the Adjournment in a reasonable period, will the right hon. Gentleman make a considered statement on the whole problem before the end of the week?

Mr. Bellenger

No, Sir, I could not consider making a considered statement before the end of the week. I have given what I regard as a reasonable answer to the Question.

Mr. Hector Hughes

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that Poles against whom orders of deportation are wrongly made can have recourse to the courts of justice by way of habeas corpus or otherwise?

Mr. Bellenger

Very well then, they must take that procedure.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

Will the right hon. Gentleman permit those Poles whom he has sent to Germany to emigrate to other countries if they so desire?