§ Mr. R. Carr
I understand that, at its meeting this morning, the Uganda Resettlement Board took stock of its work in the 16 months since it was estabilshed. The board noted that there are now only 40 refugee families temporarily accommodated in the one remaining resettlement centre at West Mailing in Kent and that firm arrangements have been made to provide permanent accommodation for those of them who require it in the next few weeks. It therefore decided that the West Mailing centre should be closed not later than the middle of January.
The board also reviewed what it has been doing to encourage and assist the provision, through the normal agencies, of support required by Ugandan Asian families in the community, and concluded that, once the remaining refugees in its care have been resettled, the board should be disbanded. It has therefore recommended that the board should formally cease to exist on 31st January 1974, and that the Home Office should implement such of its commitments as the payment of grants as are outstanding after that date. I have informed the chairman, Sir Charles Cunningham, that I agree with the board's assessment of the situation, and that I have decided to accept its recommendation.
The Government recognise that some of the refugees living in the community still face difficulties in adjusting to life in this country; local authorities, other Government Departments and voluntary agencies 496W are all being asked to pay particular attention to their needs.
I expect to receive a final report of the board's work at the end of the year, and will lay it before Parlament in due course.
I take this opportunity to express the Government's warmest thanks to Sir Charles Cunningham and his colleagues on the board for all that they have achieved since the expulsion of so many of our citizens from Uganda last year.