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Volume 892: debated on Friday 16 May 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what criteria he applied in giving his consent to 683 Chilean refugees entering the country.

The last administration, in response to an appeal by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, expressed willingness to consider applications on an individual basis, from those in need of refuge in consequence of events in Chile who wished to be resettled in the United Kingdom. We made it plain on taking office that applications would be considered more sympathetically. The main factor has been, and continues to be, whether the applicant is in need of refuge, since, as I said in reply to a Question from the hon. Member on 14th April—[Vol. 890, c. 24.]—our purpose has been to participate in the relief of suffering in company with many other countries. Personal acceptability has, however, continued to be a requirement in every case.