HC Deb 25 November 1974 vol 882 c54W
Mr. Lee

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many refugees from the present Chilean régime have up to the present time sought refuge in British diplomatic premises in Chile since the overthrow of the Allende Government; how many have been admitted thereto; haw many have been refused admittance; and if he will make a statement on the reasons for refusal in cases where this has occurred.

Miss Joan Lestor

It is assumed that the Question refers to applicants for diplomatic asylum at Her Majesty's Embassy in Santiago.

Her Majesty's Government are not a party to the Latin American conventions on asylum. On 11th December 1973 the Chilean Government announced that they would refuse safe conducts to anyone given asylum at the missions of countries which are not party to those conventions.

Prior to that date and following the overthrow of the Allende Government, at least 23 requests for asylum at Her Majesty's Embassy in Santiago were received. Her Majesty's Embassy was instructed to refuse them. Since 11th December other inquiries have been made to the embassy about refuge. These inquirers have been told sympathetically that, if they stayed at the embassy, it might prove difficult to obtain safe conducts for them to leave Chile. All the inquirers decided of their own free will to leave the embassy when this point was made clear to them. Most of them have since been able to leave Chile and some are in this country.