HC Deb 11 June 1942 vol 380 cc1259-60W
Sir G. Jones

asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies how many refugees since the outbreak of war have been allowed to enter Palestine or have been refused admission and from what countries they, respectively, came; what principles are acted upon in deciding whether any particular refugee or class of refugees shall be allowed to enter or be refused admission; and whether any and, if so, what discrimination is made between Jewish and non-Jewish refugees?

Mr. Harold Macmillan

Some 4,000 persons have been admitted to Palestine specifically as war refugees, of whom 2,400 were from Poland, 270 from Germany, 340 from Czecho-Slovakia, and 990 from the Baltic and Balkan States. Of these, 3,000, all of Allied nationality, were received at the request of His Majesty's Government as being persons for whom a temporary asylum must be found. The balance, of whom about one-third were of Allied nationality, reached Palestine under their own arrangements. The 4,000, almost without exception, had left their territory of origin in advance of enemy occupation or severance of relations with Great Britain. Except where previous check had been made by His Majesty's representatives or those of Allied Governments, all persons arriving were subjected to a security check and detained until inquiries had established theirbona fides. Those unable to satisfy the security authorities have remained in detention. There is no discrimination between Jewish and non-Jewish refugees; in fact some 40 per cent. of the 4,000 are actually Jews.