Oral Answers to Questions — Refugees.

– in the House of Commons on 18th May 1938.

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Photo of Mr Emanuel Shinwell Mr Emanuel Shinwell , Seaham

asked the Prime Minister whether he has considered the request from the United States Government that, owing to the serious nature of the problem of political refugees, an international committee should be formed; and what action it is proposed to take?

Photo of Mr R.A. Butler Mr R.A. Butler , Saffron Walden

Yes, Sir. His Majesty's Government have informed the United States Government that they welcome the proposal to set up a special committee of representatives of a number of Governments to deal with the problem of emigration from Germany and Austria. The United States Government have now suggested that this committee shall meet at Evian on 6th July, and the question of the representation of His Majesty's Government is under consideration.

Photo of Miss Ellen Wilkinson Miss Ellen Wilkinson , Jarrow

Do the Government intend to take action at once to help these people who are hunting for a place to rest their feet?

Photo of Mr R.A. Butler Mr R.A. Butler , Saffron Walden

No. We shall go on considering this matter.

Miss Rathbone:

Will the hon. Member not consider the advisability of first formulating a definite British policy in regard to refugees, and setting up a committee for the purpose; and does there not seem to be a complete lack of co-ordination between the different Departments concerned?

Photo of Mr R.A. Butler Mr R.A. Butler , Saffron Walden

I am quite aware of the great seriousness of the problem, and will certainly remember what the hon. Lady has said.