HC Deb 25 October 1939 vol 352 cc1423-5W
Mr. Stokes

asked the Home Secretary whether his attention has been called to the recommendation by Scotland Yard that a Polish woman, named Rachela Schaffer, of Castellain Mansions, Castellain Road, Maida Vale, should be deported; and whether he will see to it that this recommendation is rescinded, in view of the fact that she is staying with her relations and has nowhere else to go?

Sir J. Anderson

The court made no recommendation for deportation in this case: and the woman is not being required to leave the country.

Sir T. Moore

asked the Home Secretary how many cases have occurred in which there has been failure to implement the unconditional guarantees of maintenance given by persons in this country in respect of alien refugees admitted; and how-such failures are being met?

Sir J. Anderson

These guarantees were given by individuals to the voluntary organisations on whose application the aliens concerned were admitted to this country. Any question of the enforcement of a guarantee is, therefore, a matter for the voluntary organisations. I understand that some cases have occurred in which the voluntary organisations have been satisfied that a guarantor ought, owing to a change in his circumstances, to be relieved of his obligation, and in these cases if no substitute guarantor can be found, the voluntary organisations have accepted responsibility for the care of the refugee as a charge on their central funds.

Sir W. Davison

asked the Home Secretary how much of the £4,000,000 given by His Majesty's Government early this year as a gift earmarked to assist refugees from Czecho-Slovakia has been handed over; to what organisations it has been given; what accounts are rendered and to whom; and who are the representatives of His Majesty's Government watching the expenditure of the sums handed over?

Sir J. Anderson

At the end of last Session the sum of £2,500,000 was voted by Parliament as a grant-in-aid of the Czecho-Slovak Refugee Trust Fund, which had been set up under the Trust of the 21st July, 1939, to enable the trustees to continue to provide financial assistance to refugees, pending completion of the arrangements for the unexpended balance of the free gift made to the former Czecho-Slovak Government to be paid to the Czecho-Slovak Refugee Trust Fund, when the amount advanced from the vote would be repaid to the Exchequer. Two sums of £250,000 each were paid by the Home Office to the trustees on 14th and 17th August respectively, but of this total the sum of £176,000 was to enable the trustees to repay advances which had been made to them and to the British Committee for Refugees from Czechoslovakia out of the Civil Contingencies Fund. Three trustees have been appointed by the Home Office to carry out the terms of the Trust which requires inter alia that they shall furnish their accounts, audited and certified by such person or persons as the Treasury may approve, to the Secretary of State and the Treasury. My hon. Friend will find further particulars of the Trust Fund in the White Paper which was issued by the Home Office in July last.

Miss Rathbone

asked the Prime Minister whether, in view of the suffering and danger imposed on many victims of Nazi or anti-Semite persecution by the unwillingness of this country or France to receive further refugees in wartime, he will consider making representations to the Governments of the United States of America, other neutral countries and the Dominions as to whether they will temporarily increase their quota of foreign refugee immigrants?

Mr. Butler

I cannot speak for the French Government, but, in view of the inability of His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom and the British refugee organisations, under wartime conditions, to accept further refugees from enemy-controlled territory, my Noble Friend is not prepared to exert influence on the Governments of the Dominions or of neutral countries in a matter lying entirely within their jurisdiction.

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