HC Deb 28 July 1937 vol 326 cc3126-7W
Sir J. Edmondson

asked the Home Secretary the period for which sanction was given for the Basque refugee children to remain in this country?

Mr. Lloyd

I would refer the hon. and gallant Member to the replies given on 24th June to my hon. Friend the Member for Eastbourne (Mr. C. S. Taylor), and on the 12th instant to my hon. Friend the Member for Stretford (Mr. Crossley).

Sir T. Moore

asked the Home Secretary whether, in view of the repeated attacks made on British citizens by refugee Basque children, he will consider, in the interests of the refugees themselves and the safety of our own people, making arrangements for their early return to their own country?

Vice-Admiral Taylor

asked the Home Secretary whether, in view of the riotous conduct of the Basque refugee children, he proposes to take action to repatriate them?

Mr. Hopkin

asked the Home Secretary whether he has considered the complaints concerning the lack of supervision of the Basque children at Brechfa, Carmarthen-shire; and what steps he proposes to take to secure adequate supervision in the future?

Mr. Lloyd

Of the 4,000 Basque children brought to this country in May all but 600 have now been distributed by the Voluntary Committee in groups in different parts of the country. There have been one or two regrettable outbreaks of disorderly and violent behaviour notably at Harwood Dale, near Scarborough and at Brechfa, Carmarthen-shire, but my information is that these have been entirely local in character and have been caused by a few of the older boys, who have not proved amenable to discipline. The Voluntary Committee which is responsible for the maintenance and supervision of the children has informed my right hon. Friend that it has decided to repatriate the boys responsible for the disturbances, about 24 in number, to Spain via France, and it is expected that they will leave before the end of the week.

The Voluntary Committee has also informed my right hon. Friend that it is arranging for the appointment of experienced men at the camps at Harwood Dale and Brechfa to secure that the boys at these camps shall be subject to proper discipline and control. As regards the general question of repatriation of the children I would refer my hon. and gallant Friend to the reply given by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs to the question of the hon. and gallant Member for Cleveland (Commander Bower) on 21st July.