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Jewish Displa Persons, Uganda

Volume 440: debated on Wednesday 23 July 1947

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asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies how many Jewish displaced persons from Iraq are still interned in Uganda; and when it is proposed they shall be released.

Including women and children, between 20 and 30 persons of Jewish race who were transferred from Iraq for internment during the war now remain in Uganda. Those of them who are unable to obtain accommodation elsewhere live in a provided camp, but are subject only to the rules necessary for the organisation of the camp. They are free to accept any employment they can obtain in Uganda and to leave the country. It is hoped that an official of the Preparatory Commission for the International Refugee Organisation will shortly visit Uganda with a view to discussing the problems of these people on the spot, and that, as a result, the Commission will be able to arrange for their settlement elsewhere.

They were taken to Uganda at different periods during the war. A large number of them have now found places in which to live outside of, the country, and they are all free to go, and all possible help is given to them if they go elsewhere.

Will the right hon. Gentleman avoid the use of the term "Jewish race," because, in fact, the Jews are a religious community and not a race?

Has it occurred to my right hon. Friend that most people there would desire to go to the Jewish National Home in Palestine, and has he considered that at all?

In point of fact, the vast majority of Jews amongst these people have already left Uganda. But it is not a Jewish problem only. It is a much larger problem than that.