HC Deb 22 August 1945 vol 413 cc645-6W
Sir J. Lucas

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether special funds will be made available for the rehabilitation of civilian internees in the Far East, some of whom have received no pay during the war and are destitute; and if he will make a statement on the position.

Mr. Dalton

The Government have every desire to deal as sympathetically as possible with the problems of these victims of Japanese aggression. Plans are already in hand under which, at the cost of United Kingdom or Colonial Funds, British internees will be assured of free transport to this country, free medical treatment where necessary, and grants to assist them to set up homes in this country, or alternatively, free return passages to the Far East. In the matter of pay pensionable employees of H.M. Government will be eligible for their full accrued pay, and I understand that in the case of Colonial Government servants a similar policy will be adopted. Employees of private concerns must, I think, look to their own employers, but in cases of need the Government will accord them the full benefits of the assistance machinery available in this country for all citizens of this country who have suffered destitution as the result of the war.

In these circumstances I do not consider that the provision toy the Exchequer of a special fund such as the hon. and gallant Member has in mind is necessary, but the Government propose to ask Parliament to vote a contribution to the Far Eastern Relief Fund, which is the chief non-Government agency to which recourse may be made for special assistance not covered by the Government scheme.