HC Deb 25 July 1973 vol 860 c1601
14. Mr. Hunt

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs why the United Kingdom has not yet joined the Council of Europe's Resettlement Fund.

The Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Mr. Anthony Royle)

Since the establishment of the fund in 1956, successive British Governments have preferred to provide assistance for refugees and migrant workers through other institutions. They have also given aid on an ad hoc basis in cases of special need. We continue to think that this is the right policy.

Mr. Hunt

Is my hon. Friend aware that that is a rather disappointing and somewhat unconvincing answer? Is he further aware that this fund fulfils a very important social purpose in Europe, particularly, as he has said, concerning migrant workers? Is it not very important for Britain to be seen to be positively identified with the work being done?

Mr. Royle

I think that it is recognised that we are helping refugees and migrant workers in the best way, which is to direct our assistance through the international bodies which I have mentioned. Within the Community similar assistance is available through the European investment Bank and Social Fund.

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