HC Deb 16 January 1979 vol 960 c735W
Mr. Lee

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what guidance he has issued to the Government of Hong Kong regarding the reception of Vietnamese refugees; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Luard

My right hon. Friend is in constant contact with the governor over the problem of refugees from Vietnam. The Government fully support the Hong Kong Government's generous and humane attitude towards refugees and displaced persons from Vietnam. Since 1975 the Hong Kong Government have assisted some 4,800 former residents of Vietnam to rejoin their families in Hong Kong. A further 5,700 who made their own way to Hong Kong have been allowed to settle, although they had no claim on the territory, because there was no possibility of returning them to their home country at the time when their presence came to light. In addition, the Hong Kong Government are prepared to give temporary shelter to all survivors of shipwrecks picked up at sea by vessels whose first scheduled port of call is Hong Kong, as well as all those who make their way to Hong Kong in their own boats, until they can be resettled by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in other countries. Over 5,100 refugees in this category were allowed to land in Hong Kong in 1978 alone, and a further 1,110 have arrived since the beginning of 1979. Although some have been resettled elsewhere, the great majority are still in Hong Kong.

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