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Illegal Immigrant Ships (Bunkering)

Volume 437: debated on Wednesday 21 May 1947

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64.

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty what evidence he has to show, in the case of ships intercepted while carrying illegal immigrants to Palestine, from what source their bunker fuel was obtained.

Apart from the supplies taken at their port of departure, certain ships have been known to take on coal at foreign ports on the way. The evidence of these cases has been reported by the consular representatives and Lloyds agents. As the ships' papers are invariably destroyed before interception, there is no evidence available from this source as to where they bunkered.

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that I have received reliable information that these ships were bunkered with fuel and coal from Italy through the black market, and that the supplies probably came from U.N.R.R.A. or its successor? Will he ask the British representative on the spot to have a searching inquiry?

Perhaps the hon. Gentleman will send me the information first and then I will naturally inquire into it.

In view of the Mandate laying down that Palestine was to provide a- home for the Jews, how can there be such a thing as illegal immigrants?