HC Deb 12 June 1939 vol 348 cc911-3W
Wing-Commander James

asked the Prime Minister, whether the promised answers have now been received from the Governors of Colonial Dependencies anent areas available for refugee settlement; and what number of possible settlers are envisaged?

Mr. M. MacDonald

I have been asked to reply. I assume that my hon. and gallant Friend has in mind the communications to which my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister referred in reply to a ques- which they are payable do not provide for the payment of fixed annual amounts. It should also be noted that in certain cases the basis of subsidy payments and the conditions under which they are made have been varied since the commencement of the subsidy.

tion by my hon. Friend the Member for Wolverhampton, Bilston, on the 28th November; that is to say, the communications which were addressed by me to the Governors of a number of Colonial Dependencies other than those which my right hon. Friend had previously stated had been selected for the investigation of the possibilities of large or small scale refugee settlement. The latter group of territories comprised British Guiana, Northern Rhodesia, Nyasaland, Tanganyika Territory and Kenya. The other Governors were asked whether there were areas in their territories which could be leased or made available to the voluntary organisations concerned with the welfare of refugees, under suitable conditions for such refugees and without detriment to the interests of the existing populations.

From the replies so far received it appears that only in one or two cases might some such settlement be possible. All the information received has been communicated to the Co-ordinating Committee for Refugees. In the same despatch I asked the Colonial Governments concerned to give the most sympathetic consideration they could to any individual applications from actual or potential refugees which indicated that the applicant was a person who was likely to become a good and useful citizen, provided of course that he was able to comply with the requirements of the immigration laws and regulations of the territory. I am glad to say that many Colonial Governments have responded to this appeal and that up to the 31st of March over 2,000 refugees have obtained temporary or permanent refuge in the Colonial Dependencies, three quarters of these during the last six months prior to that date.

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