HC Deb 31 October 1947 vol 443 cc136-7W
Sir W. Smiles

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies how many Gibraltarians are now left in camps in Northern Ireland; what assurance has been given to the Gibraltar evacuees about their removal from Northern Ireland before this winter; and why all suitable camps in England have been earmarked for foreigners such as Poles and Lithuanians, so that no accommodation remains now for the Gibraltar British subjects.

Mr. Rees-Williams

There are now 1,359 Gibraltar evacuees in the Northern Ireland camps. With regard to the second part of the Question, the evacuees were informed by an official Colonial Office announcement on 11th November that a limited amount of accommodation had been obtained for them in England and that it was hoped that a number of evacuees would be transferred to this country before the winter: it was not possible to state when the transfer would begin nor how many would be moved, but efforts would be made to find sufficient accommodation to enable the camps in Northern Ireland to be closed. Since this announcement was made, the evacuees have been informed that transfer to hostels in London will begin during November, but that it will not be possible to complete the transfer before the early part of next year. With regard to the third part of the Question, I am informed that there are no suitable camps in England for the accommodation of complete family units. Sufficient hostel accommodation has, however, now been found for the great majority of the Gibraltar evacuees who are still unable to return to Gibraltar.