asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people applying for visas to enter Great Britain as refugees from Chile have subsequently, because of delays in the processing of their applications by his Department, accepted residence in another European country.
I regret that information is not available in the form requested by my hon. Friend. By 31st October 1977, out of a total of 4,482 applications by Latin American refugees for resettlement in the United Kingdom, involving 12,171 persons, applications were withdrawn before a decision on entry clearance had been reached in 593 cases—1,720 persons. There is no indication in these cases of how many applicants withdrew because of earlier clearance by another host country, nor, where this might be the case, whether the host country was in Europe or elsewhere, but it is known that applicants for resettlement outside Latin America commonly apply to more than one country and that speed of entry clearance is not the only factor which decides their ultimate destination.Over the same period, the number of clearances granted was 1,049, involving 2,604 persons, and those known to have arrived in the United Kingdom numbered 2,391. The United Kingdom is among the leaders of countries accepting refugees from Latin America.