HC Deb 02 February 1953 vol 510 cc171-2W
54. Mr. Ian Winterbottom

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will take steps to assist the German Federal Republic to solve the problems created by the rising influx of refugees from the Russian Zone of Occupation.

Mr. Selwyn Lloyd

Her Majesty's Government are of course aware of the difficulties created for the authorities of the Federal Republic and of Berlin by the rising influx of refugees from the Soviet Zone of Germany. They have the fullest sympathy, as I am sure the whole House has, for the plight of these unfortunate people who have been driven from their homes by Communist persecution.

Hon. Members will have seen reports that the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees is appealing to member States of the United Nations and to the Council of Europe to support a scheme to provide immediate help to the refugees. The Ford Foundation is making an initial grant. I understand that the High Commissioner's representative intends to hold urgent consultations in Berlin with various voluntary organisations and with a representative of the Council of Europe.

Her Majesty's Government are considering what part they can play in any practical measures for common action to help with this problem.