HC Deb 23 June 1948 vol 452 cc1336-7
19. Mr. Driberg

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what accommodation he has been able to arrange for the 400 unemployed West Indians who were due to arrive at Southamption on 22nd June.

Mr. Creech Jones

Considerable efforts were made by a number of Government Departments to provide adequate and suitable accommodation for the men arriving. Some 240 of them were given assistance to travel to places to which they wished to go, having made their own arrangements. Of the rest, about 25 men who have volunteered for the Army and Air Force have been accommodated at the Colonial Office Servicemen's Club at 77, Wimpole Street; and the remainder, approximately 200 men, have been put up and are being looked after for the time being at the War Department's deep shelter at Clapham South, pending dispersal to employment.

Mr. Driberg

Would my right hon. Friend convey to his Welfare Department, and particularly to the officer who was on board the ship, some appreciation of the very sensible and imaginative way in which they have handled this problem?

Mr. Creech Jones

Yes, Sir. They have done a very good job.

Mr. John Lewis

In view of the fact that the Colonial Office Welfare Club in Wimpole Street is shortly to close down—according to information received by the people running the club from the Minister's Welfare Department—will the Minister say what steps are being taken to find alternative accommodation for these people?

Mr. Creech Jones

We have reached a decision with the owners of the property that we can occupy it for a period longer.

Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

While the people of South London will make these men in the underground shelter as welcome as possible whilst they are there, will the Minister nevertheless make very early efforts to get them fixed up in more suitable accommodation?

Mr. Creech Jones


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