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Evacuated Maltese (Settlement)

Volume 436: debated on Wednesday 30 April 1947

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asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he has assumed responsibility for the resettlement of Maltese who were evacuated from Turkey and the Balkans at the beginning of the war and are now housed in a camp at Coimbatore in South India; how many persons are concerned; where it is proposed to resettle them; what the cost is likely to be; and by whom it will be borne.

His Majesty's Government have accepted the responsibility for the return to normal life of the British subjects of Maltese descent, numbering some 700, who were evacuated to India from Turkey and the Balkans in 194I. Their resettlement presents very great difficulties, and, while the matter has received and is receiving urgent consideration, it has not yet been possible to formulate final plans. Any cost to public funds will, like the cost of maintenance to date, be borne by His Majesty's Government, but its amount cannot be determined until it is known where and how the persons concerned can be settled.

Could the right hon. Gentleman say which Department is to assume responsibility? Is he assuming it himself?