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East Africa (Refugees)

Volume 388: debated on Wednesday 7 April 1943

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asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what number of Polish and other refugees have settled in Kenya and Tanganyika; whether such settlement is of a permanent character or whether reconsideration of their country of residence will be given after the war; and what parts of Kenya and Tanganyika have been assigned for the refugees?

The East African Governments have promised to provide accommodation for 21,000 refugees from Persia, of whom the majority have already arrived in East Africa. Owing to the present food shortage the arrival of the remainder has been temporarily postponed. In addition, they have accepted about 1,500 refugees of various categories from the Middle East. All these refugees are being accommodated in East Africa for the duration of the war only. Tanganyika has provided accommodation for 8,000 of the Polish refugees and for about 800 others. They are being housed either in specially built camps or in missions in various parts of the territory. Kenya is to provide camp accommodation for 1,500 Polish refugees but I have not yet been informed whether a site has been selected. The remainder are to be accommodated in Uganda, Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland.

Can the right hon. and gallant Gentleman say where these sites are likely to be? Will they be in the areas assigned for white settlement, or will they be in areas allocated for the use of Africans?

Kenya has not yet selected a site. I am afraid I could not answer offhand the question with regard to Tanganyika. I will let the hon. Member know.

Will they have the option of remaining in East Africa after the war if they so desire?