HC Deb 05 April 1889 vol 334 cc1711-2
Major RASCH (Essex, S.E.)

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware that advertisements are being issued by P. Van der Linden, on behalf of the Argentine Republic, offering conditional free passages to South America on payment of a fee of 2s. 6d., and a deferred sum of larger amount, and that, the fee having been paid, nothing further is heard on the subject by the applicant; and whether it is possible to put a stop to this system by communication with the Argentine Government, or otherwise?


I have heard to-day that such advertisements have been issued, and I understand that the person named is in no way an authorized agent of the Argentine Government, who have only one official emigration agency in England—namely, at 22, Great George Street, Westminster, and that solely for the purpose of affording information to intending emigrants. Such information is given without fee. If, therefore, the facts are as stated in the question, the aggrieved persons would presumably have a legal remedy.


May I ask whether it is not a fact that, though the Argentine Republic may not have an authorized agent, there have been numbers of persons representing themselves as agents, and who have received sums varying from 15s. to £1 per head, on the emigrants sent out under their auspices; and whether, therefore, the public may not have been well induced to believe that these persons were acting with authority?


It is not known to Her Majesty's Government that such sums have been received as the hon. Gentleman states; but I told the House the other night that such things had been done in certain foreign countries. It is not, however, for me to say what the Argentine Government should do in view of persons making unauthorized representations on their behalf.