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EUROPEAN FLOOD DISASTERS
13. Mr. Berlis. Following an immediate offer of assistance made by the Canadian Ambassador in The Hague, efforts have been made to speed Canadian aid to Europe and to the Netherlands in particular. The two Houses of Parliament have passed motions offering sympathy and assistance, and the Prime Minister has proposed that the Red Cross set up a national flood relief committee to which a "substantial contribution" would be made by the Government. A troop of field engineers equipped with searchlights and amphibious vehicles was detached on February 3rd from the Canadian 27th Brigade for service in Holland. An RCAF North Star left in the middle of last week for Amsterdam with 1,500 Army blankets, half a ton of shoes and assorted Red Cross flood supplies. Canadian Red Cross representatives are now in the Netherlands, where they are supervising the allotment of further Canadian aid, in cooperation with the Ambassador. As another means of helping out in the present situation, the Government has broadened the assisted passage scheme for immigrants from Britain, Belgium and the Netherlands, formerly applicable to single workers and heads of families only, to include dependents. Other measures to be taken to speed up Netherlands immigration include: priority in immigration examination for inhabitants of the stricken areas, and in particular for farmers who wish to take up employment with Canadian farmers; and selection of non-agriculturalists from these areas according to their employability rather than on the basis of the present list of skills and trades. This latter concession will apply to about 1,000 immigrants. In addition, negotiations are proceeding in order to permit some 50 Dutch farming families to be placed on farms in Canada without requiring that they first be employed by Canadian farmers.