HC Deb 15 December 1988 vol 143 c1077
11. Mr. Dykes

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he has received any requests and representations from representatives of the Kindertransport group in connection with its planned 50-year commemorations in 1989.

Mr. Renton

In November my right hon. Friend received, and officials acknowledged, an invitation from the chair of the Kindertransport committee to open its planned 50-year commemorations in June 1989. My right hon. Friend will not be able to attend as he will be at a meeting of European Ministers of Justice in the Hague, but I am pleased to accept the invitation on his behalf.

Mr. Dykes

I thank my hon. Friend for his and the Home Office's response in encouraging and supporting the venture and for accepting the invitation. Does he agree that it will be a moving occasion—it will take place in Harrow leisure centre in June 1989—when Jewish refugees who were given permission to come into Britain 50 years ago by the then Home Secretary will be commemorating their survival of the evils of Nazism and the fact that the United Kingdom lived up to its honourable tradition of providing a haven for political refugees?

Mr. Renton

I thank my hon. Friend for the remarks at the beginning of his question. I am well aware not only of his work but of that of his wife in helping Jewish communities throughout the world. Like him, I hope that this will be a memorable and moving occasion to commemorate a time when Britain responded to its traditional obligation to look after refugees.