HC Deb 19 February 1886 vol 302 c710

asked the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies, If his attention has been called to the serious extent of the distress of the artizan classes which has existed for nearly two years at nearly the whole of the shipbuilding ports of the United Kingdom; if so, whether Her Majesty's Government intend endeavouring to ameliorate the distress, by promoting systematic State-aided Emigration, either with or without the co-operation of the agents-general of the Colonial Government?


in reply, said, his attention had been called to the subject. He had just come from attending a very large and representative deputation which had waited upon the Secretary of State on this subject. Lord Granville, after hearing the views of the deputation, expressed his deep sympathy with the sufferers from the state of things which was described to him, and solicited a more detailed statement of the scheme which the Government were asked to adopt, especially from a financial point of view. Meantime, Her Majesty's Government had not come to any decision upon the question. But the extent and character of the existing distress were the subject of careful inquiry by the Local Government Board, who were also giving their anxious consideration to the various suggestions which had been made for its relief. He might add that the communications begun by Her Majesty's late Government respecting possible means of assisting emigration by the diffusion of information for intending emigrants were being carried on by the Secretary of State for the Colonies in conjunction with the Treasury, with the Colonial Agents General, and with private associations who promote emigration, but that it would be premature to announce any final decision on the matter at present.