HC Deb 19 October 1972 vol 843 cc113-4W
Mr. Arthur Lewis

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department why, by Monday, 18th September, the hon. Member for West Ham, North, had not received a reply or acknowledgment of receipt of his letter of 5th September regarding the Ugandan Asians; and whether he will reply in detail in the OFFICIAL REPORT to this letter and the subsequent one of 18th September.

Mr. Lane

The hon. Member's letters were both acknowledged upon receipt, and I replied in detail on 29th September.

Mr. Redmond

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will take steps to prevent unauthorised collection of Ugandan Asians by private persons who are taking them to areas where no proper reception facilities exist, which causes distress to both immigrants and British people.

Mr. Lane

I have received a report on an incident in which a private person took 23 refugees from the Stradishall resettlement centre to Bolton without arranging for their reception or accommodation. I deplore this irresponsible action. Staff of the Uganda Resettlement Board did their utmost to dissuade the refugees from leaving Stradishall. But in the last resort there is no power to compel a refugee to remain in a resettlement centre, and we must continue to rely on persuasion.

Mr. Rose

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will state the number of British citizens expelled from Uganda now housed in Government centres; and whether he will take urgent action, together with local authorities and voluntary organisations and individuals, to provide accommodation for those in this position.

Mr. Lane

As at 15th October, 8,520 of those who had been admitted to this country were accommodated by the Uganda Resettlement Board in resettlement centres. As my right hon. Friend explained in his statement to the House yesterday, the Government and the Board are taking urgent steps to provide the refugees with accommodation within the community.