HC Deb 18 June 1959 vol 607 cc618-20
2. Mr. K. Robinson

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will arrange for the acceptance of a limited number of refugees who are suffering from tuberculosis, and their families, as a practical contribution by Great Britain to World Refugee Year.

8. Mrs. L. Jeger

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether, to mark World Refugee Year, he will consult with the Minister of Health with a view to admitting tuberculous persons from refugee camps for treatment in superfluous tuberculosis beds in this country.

The Joint Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Miss Patricia Hornsby-Smith)

My right hon. Friend will be prepared, in consultation with my right hon. and learned Friend the Minister of Health and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland, to give sympathetic consideration to specific proposals by the General Committee of the World Refugee Year.

Mr. Robinson

While thanking the hon. Lady for that reply, may I ask her if she would agree that we in this country are very fortunate in having tuberculosis under control and that we could make this gesture in World Refugee Year without any serious risk to the health of our own people, which would be a most welcome gesture on the part of this country?

Miss Hornsby-Smith

I sympathise with the hon. Member's suggestion, but there are various categories in which the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees is interested. I think we should await specific proposals before we come to any ultimate decision as to which category we may feel able to help.

Sir J. Duncan

Has my hon. Friend had her attention called to the suggestion I made recently to the Secretary of State for Scotland for the treatment of patients in Scotland, but not necessarily involving the entry into this country of the rest of their families, which would, I think, when the patients were cured, enable their families in the camps in Europe to be available for transfer to any country in the world? Would my hon. Friend consider that suggestion?

Miss Hornsby-Smith

I will certainly consider that suggestion, but so far many of the recommendations have been to the effect that families wishing to emigrate here were prevented from doing so because one member of the family had tuberculosis. I think we must consider all these problems in the light of what direct proposals are received from the United Kingdom Committee for World Refugee Year.

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