British Premier Queried in Commons on Arab Refugee Relief Funds

Prime Minister Douglas Alec-Home declared in Commons today, during debate on the British contributions for the relief of the Arab refugees, that the British Government had taken steps to assure that its contribution reached those whom it was intended to benefit.

He made the statement in reply to a question from a deputy who said there was concern about “over-centralization” of the funds of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for the refugees and asked if the Government could take a new initiative in the UN to make sure that the money went to intended beneficiaries.

The Prime Minister also disclosed that, after the United States, Britain was “far in advance of any other country” in its contributions to UNRWA. He said that UNRWA spent in 1963 $35,186,888 and that the British had contributed 1,928,572 pounds ($3,015,000) to that total.

The Prime Minister also said he did not agree that the Arab refugee problem was a “legacy of the Palestine situation,” a reference to the fact that Britain ruled Palestine under a League of Nations mandate until 1948. He said this is a legacy of the Arab-Jewish quarrel.”

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