HC Deb 01 December 1958 vol 596 cc837-40
35. Mr. Randall

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he has considered Recommendation 170, 1958, of the Consultative Assembly of the Council of Europe inviting member Governments to make available to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees facilities for the use of large transport aeroplanes for the transport of refugees of European origin, now at camps in Hong Kong; and if he will make a statement of his policy in this regard.

Mr. Selwyn Lloyd

Yes, Sir. I am glad to be able to inform the House that, under arrangements made with the Air Ministry, a number of these refugees will shortly be flown to this country on their way to resettlement in Europe.

Mr. Randall

While thanking the Foreign Secretary for that reply, and being sure that his response to this imaginative proposal of the Council of Europe is welcome on both sides of the House, may I ask him if he would use his good offices to urge other Governments to follow the proposal, too, and could he say if any commercial airlines are proposing to adopt the proposal?

Mr. Lloyd

As for the first part of the supplementary question, we are very glad we have been able to have been of some help. I will certainly explore the idea of seeing whether there are other Governments who can help. I should like notice of the hon. Member's Question "about commercial airlines.

Mr. P. Noel-Baker

Are transport aircraft available to overseas Commonwealth or other countries where refugees may settle, or only to Europe?

Mr. Lloyd

The people we are helping to move are people for whom definite arrangements have been made in Europe. They are going to particular places. It has all been planned. So far as the other matter is concerned, I am afraid I have no information to give.

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