§ 99. Mr. Gammans
asked the Minister of Transport how many applications have been received on behalf of the wives and families of Europeans who wish to go to Malaya and Hong Kong, respectively; the average time during which they have been waiting for passages; and when he expects that passages will be provided for them.
§ Mr. Barnes
4,897 persons, being wives and families of Europeans, have applied for passages to Malaya during the last two years. Passages have been provided for 3,125 persons; 1,772 await passage. Recent experience is that three or four months has elapsed between the time of application and the provision of passage. For Hong Kong the applications in respect 209W of wives and families of Europeans total 1,564. Passages have been provided for 909, and 655 still await passage. The waiting period is generally between six and eight months.
Provision is being made for about 300 berths for civilian passengers under sponsorship of the Colonial Office for United Kingdom to Malaya early in January, and a small number of berths will be available for Hong Kong early next month. Every effort is being made to provide accommodation for these passengers, as for those for other destinations, within the limits imposed by our resources of ships.