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Refugees

Volume 446: debated on Wednesday 28 January 1948

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6.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will, in the present conditions of uncertainty in Europe, make it clear that unless there is to be a complete breakdown in the economy of the Western zones of Germany, it is impossible for the British zone to receive any new influx of refugees; and whether he will take farther steps to secure that people do not irrationally leave their homes in the false hope that they may find new shelter and work in this area.

Economic conditions and overcrowding in the United Kingdom and United States zones of Germany make it impossible to accommodate in the British zone, in a civilised and humane manner, any further refugees beyond those whose transfer has already been agreed. My Noble Friend will do all that he can to discourage further influxes of refugees, and I take this opportunity of repeating that no accommodation facilities exist in the British zone.

Will my right hon. Friend give an assurance that those people who fly to our zone are not forcibly sent back?

I am not quite sure that I know what my hon. Friend means. In the answer which I have given, I am not reflecting upon our previous undertaking in relation to political asylum, but I cannot modify what I have said.

Has the transportation of refugees from other zones in trains organised by the Poles and Russians now ceased?