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Arab Refugees (Un Plan)

Volume 497: debated on Wednesday 19 March 1952

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what contribution Her Majesty's Government have decided to make to finance the plan prepared by the United Nations whereby the Relief and Works Agency shall re-settle in various parts of the Middle East the 800,000 Arab refugees from Palestine.

Her Majesty's Government are contributing £4,452,440 to the first year of the Agency's three-year relief and re-settlement programme. The interest-free development loan of £1.5 million which Her Majesty's Government have recently offered to the Jordan Government will also contribute indirectly to the carrying out of this programme.

While appreciating very much what is being done, may I ask whether the Government fully appreciate how important a solution of this Arab refugee question is for good relations between this country and many of the Arab countries?

My right hon. Friend is very well aware of that point. That is one of the reasons we did everything we could to facilitate the passing of the Resolution at the United Nations, as a result of which we hope that this programme will be speedily implemented.

As sufficient funds are now available for the beginnings of resettlement on a large scale, does not my right hon. and learned Friend agree that, to a large extent, the success of this scheme will depend on the good will and co-operation of the Arab Governments themselves?