HC Deb 20 April 1891 vol 352 cc902-3
MR. HOWARD VINCENT (Sheffield, Central)

I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade if the Alien Act will continue to be enforced at the 23 ports frequented by poor foreign immigrants, and having regard to the importance of the question and the declaration of the Select Committee of 1889, That they contemplate the possibility of restrictive legislation becoming necessary in the future, in view of the crowded condition of our great towns, the extreme pressure for existence among the poorer part of the population, and the tendency of destitute foreigners to reduce still lower the social and material condition of our poor, if the statistics on the subject can be laid upon the Table at least every three months; and if he is in possession of any definite information concerning the ultimate destination of the 13,333 aliens who arrived last year in London by cheap sea routes from Amsterdam, Antwerp, Bremen, Bremerhaven, Gothenburg, Hamburg, and Rotterdam, and declared themselves as not en route to America, and particularly concerning the 4,000 arriving by one line trading between Hamburg and Tilbury, of whom the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis reports " 80 per cent. appeared to be quite destitute "?


Yes, Sir; it is intended to continue enforcing the Alien Act at the 23 ports where alien lists are now obtained, and, if any general expression of opinion on the part of Members of this House should reach me to the effect that statistics should be issued quarterly instead of yearly, I shall be prepared to give instructions accordingly. As regards the second paragraph of my hon. Friend's question, I have no further information than what is given in the report.