HC Deb 20 May 1957 vol 570 c842
15. Mr. Reeves

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs the number of refugees living on British registered ships; the average length of time of their sojourn there; and what steps he is taking in the United Nations or elsewhere to reduce or eliminate entirely the number of such people on British ships.

Mr. Ian Harvey

I would refer the hon. Member to the reply given on 27th February by my right hon. Friend, the Home Secretary to a Question tabled by the hon. Member for Meriden (Mr. Moss). In view of the terms of that reply, I do not consider that any action in the United Nations or elsewhere is called for.

Mr. Reeves

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the present Nobel Prize-winner stated recently that there are literally thousands of seamen in this unfortunate position? Could not something be done, because they are virtually prisoners on board ship? Is it not an outrage that such a thing should occur?

Mr. Harvey

I have not actually seen that statement, but my information is not quite to that effect. In any case, the matter is one for my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary.