§ Mr. Mulley
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will state which categories of Hungarian refugees can still be admitted to this country and what the procedure is in each category; and how far there is a special procedure in the case of a wife and minor children in which the Hungarian refugees themselves can act as sponsors.
§ Mr. R. A. Butler
The bulk immigration of Hungarian refugees into the United Kingdom ceased with the arrival of the 5,000 from Austria who were admitted to replace those whom the Canadian Government had agreed to take from the United Kingdom. The categories of refugees now coming here are those accepted under the Distressed Relatives Scheme and others where the compassionate circumstances are such as to warrant exceptional treatment.
The procedure in these cases is for the relative in the United Kingdom to invite 160W his relative by letter to make his home with him in this country. This invitation should be taken or sent, together with the application for a visa, to the British Embassy or to the nearest British Consul in the country in which he is living.
It has been agreed that the British Council for Aid to Refugees may accept responsibility for the accommodation and maintenance of the wives and children of Hungarian refugees whose re-settlement they have undertaken. A Hungarian refugee who is not in a position to act as sponsor because he is not yet self-supporting or able to provide accommodation for his wife and children should therefore apply to the Council. The Council are also prepared, where visas are granted, to help in arranging for the movement of these relatives to the United Kingdom and for their reception at the port on arrival.
§ Mr. Mulley
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department to what extent relatives other than a wife and minor children can be brought over under the Distressed Relative Scheme; whether in these cases the sponsorship of a British subject is required; what exactly is involved in such sponsorship; and how far these conditions apply to relatives, who have hitherto been prevented from leaving Hungary, who now believe that they are able to do so provided they can get admission to this country.
§ Mr. R. A. Butler
The categories of relative who may be admitted under the Distressed Relatives Scheme are set out in the Answer given to the hon. Member for Leeds, South-East (Miss Bacon) on 13th November, 1945, when the scheme was introduced. The main features of the Scheme remain unchanged, but it is the practice to grant applications in respect of relatives outside the categories laid down where there are special circumstances which justify exceptional treatment. This applies to relatives from Hungary as from other countries.
Sponsors need not be British subjects but must have been accepted as residents in the United Kingdom and (except in the circumstances referred to in my Answer to the hon. Member's other Question) must be in a position to provide accommodation and maintenance out of their own resources.