§ MR. S. SMITH
I beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether his attention has been called to a statement in the Russian newspaper, Vedomosti, that a Society has been formed to assist the emigration of the poorer class of Jews to the United Kingdom, and that the Society is negotiating with a Baltic steamship line for carrying an immense number of Jews from Libau and Riga to London; that, it is calculated that with four steamers constantly engaged 60,000 Jews can be landed in the Thames before the close of navigation in the Baltic; and whether the Government will take means to learn the truth of this statement, and propose legislation to protect our overcrowded population from this addition to their numbers?
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY (Mr. W. H. SMITH,) Strand, Westminster
I have no communication to make on this subject, except that we have telegraphed to the Consul at Riga to inquire whether there is any foundation whatever for the statement quoted in the question. I have not seen the newspaper to which the hon. Member refers. I shall be obliged to him if he will send me a copy. I believe it, however, to be impossible that such an intolerable abuse of the system of emigration can be contemplated.
MR. J. LOWTHER (Kent, Thanet)
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that, apart altogether from the circumstances referred to in this particular question, there is a very strong popular feeling in this country with reference to the immigration of foreign paupers, and will the right hon. Gentleman undertake to consider this subject in all its bearings, and the expediency of taking some steps before allocating finally all the remainder of the time at the disposal of the House?
§ MR. W. H. SMITH
I wish it were in the power of the Government to allocate finally all the remainder of the time at our disposal this Session. I have 1618 always understood that the matter rested rather with the House itself. But I have no doubt that if it appears to the House desirable that this question should be discussed an opportunity will be found for doing so.