HC Deb 11 November 1977 vol 938 c306W
Mr. Biggs-Davison

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, in the light of the fact that fugitives from Vietnam have been refused refuge in other countries and, in some cases, turned away and have drowned at sea, if he will initiate action through the United Nations High Commissioner, or otherwise, to succour these victims; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Luard:

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has already appealed to countries in South-East Asia to adopt a more flexible attitude to the reception of refugees from Vietnam. It is clear that some of these countries feel themselves to be already overcrowded with refugees and are reluctant to accept more, even on a temporary basis. Fur their part, Her Majesty's Government agreed earlier this year to accept up to 116 refugees for permanent settlement, and have made representations to a number of Governments when British ships have encountered difficulties in putting ashore refugees who had been rescued at sea. We shall continue to support the High Commissioner in his task of finding a solution to this formidable and distressing problem.

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