HC Deb 07 December 1949 vol 470 cc151-2W
16. Major Beamish

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what reports he has received from the British representative on the International Refugee Organisation regarding sums of money voted by that organisation for the relief of Arab refugees; and how these sums compare with sums voted to assist Jewish settlement in Israel.

Mr. Mayhew

The International Refugee Organisation is not responsible for Arab refugees, who are the concern of the United Nations Relief for Palestine Refugees. Nevertheless, the International Refugee Organisation has not only lent the United Nations relief for Palestine Refugees the services of experienced persons, but has made, and is still making, very expensive gifts in kind out of its own stocks for the benefit of Arab refugees. Negotiations are also in progress for an interest-free loan of 2,800,000 dollars for Arab refugees. Jewish refugees, on the other hand, do come within the mandate of the International Refugee Organisation and the sum of 9 million dollars has been authorised for their resettlement in Israel.

17. Major Beamish

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he is aware that in many Arab refugee camps rations have been barely adequate; and what report he has received regarding the United Nations Palestine Committee's intention to reduce the rations provided for Arab refugees.

Mr. Mayhew

The United Nations Economic Survey Mission for the Middle East has recommended that the present minimum ration scale should not be reduced but that the number of rations issued to the Arab refugees should be reduced by 1st January, 1950, from the present rate of 940,000 to 652,000. The resolution, which has just been passed by thead hoc political committee of the General Assembly, includes an article which "requests the Secretary General, in consultation with the operating agencies, to continue to endeavour to reduce the number of rations by progressive stages in the light of the findings and recommendations of the Economic Survey Mission."