§ MR. BYRON REED (Bradford, E.)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the Alien Act of William IV., which provides for aliens on their arrival at British ports producing their passports and making a declaration as to their names, nationality, &c., is still in force; and whether, if these provisions are enforced, a Return can be laid upon the Table, founded thereon, showing the nationalities and number of such aliens as come to this country?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. MATTHEWS,) Birmingham, E.
I am informed that the officers of Customs do not require the production of any passports which may be in the possession of aliens, but the declaration required by the 2nd section of the Act is always made at certain ports and forwarded to the Home Office under Section 5. These declarations are sent by the Home Office to the Board of Trade, and the information they supply is tabulated by that Department, and appears in the Statistical Tables relating to emigration and immigration which are presented to Parliament from year to year. There will be no objection to a Return giving the number and nationalities of destitute aliens who have arrived in this country without through tickets to America at certain ports during any particular month or months of the present year, and I shall be happy to confer with my hon. Friend as to the exact form of his Return.
§ MR. J. W. LOWTHER (Kent, Isle of Thanet)
May I ask whether the right hon. Gentleman's attention has been called to the fact that these Returns are usually very imperfect, and whether, if the powers of the Government are inadequate, further powers will be asked for?
§ MR. J. W. LOWTHER
Then I beg to give notice that I will put a further question to the First Lord of the Treasury on the subject.