Orders of the Day — Ugandan Asians

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 6th December 1972.

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Photo of Mr David Knox Mr David Knox , Leek 12:00 am, 6th December 1972

I assure the House that I shall not take as long as the hon. Member for West Ham, North (Mr. Arthur Lewis) has taken—as usual. I commend my hon. Friend the Member for Aylesbury (Mr. Raison) for raising this subject. Like him, I regret that it has not been debated in the Chamber before now. Somehow in the last few months we have got our priorities wrong.

I agree strongly with my hon. Friend's support of the Government in admitting the Ugandan Asians to this country. It was a clear-cut matter—on moral grounds because a previous British Government had given their word; on legal grounds because, as passport holders, they had the right to come here, and, above all, on humanitarian grounds because that is in the British humanitarian tradition. It is all very well for some people to talk about aliens moving into our society; it would have been alien to British humanitarian traditions not to admit these people.