HC Deb 21 May 1895 vol 33 cc1711-2

I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade, whether his attention has been called to an article in The Canadian Gazette, of 16th May, in which it is stated that dissatisfaction exists among those concerned in emigration at the inadequacy of the monthly Emigration Returns issued by the Board of Trade; whether he is aware that the increase of 37 per cent., shown by the Returns in the emigration to the United States during the expired four months of the present year, is shown by the steamship companies' records to be largely made up of those who are not emigrants at all, but merely ordinary steerage passengers returning to America after a winter's visit to England; and that a considerable number of emigrants merely pass through United States ports on through tickets to Canadian points, and are not therefore emigrants to the United States, at all; and, whether, in view of the desirability of accuracy in these Returns, he will cause departmental inquiry to be made as to the possibility of recording, as the steamship companies do, the number of bonâ-fide emigrants as opposed to returning steerage passegers, and the real country of destination of those emigrants who hold through tickets to inland points in Canada or the United States?


Yes, Sir; I have seen the article referred to. It is perfectly well known that a portion of the steerage, as well as the cabin, passengers to America are passengers returning to that country after a visit to Europe, but the percentage is not known. Some passengers to Canada doubtless go viâ the United States, and a large number to the United States go viâ Canada. I doubt very much whether the steamship companies know, or can correctly ascertain, the ultimate destination as distinguished from the port of debarkation of the irpassengers, but I will cause inquiries to be made whether they can give any definite information on the point. It would be most undesirable to alter the present returns, which are thoroughly trustworthy.