HC Deb 27 July 1896 vol 43 cc682-3
MR. JAMES RANKIN (Herefordshire, Leominster)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Colonies, whether he has now had the opportunity of considering the report of the subcommittee, appointed by the committee of management of the Emigrants' Information Office for the purpose of inquiring into the working of that office; and, if so, whether he has sanctioned the recommendations made in the report referred to; also, if he will permit the publication of the report?

MR. J. F. HOGAN (Tipperary, Mid)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Colonies, with reference to his con tern plated reorganisation of the Emigrants' Information Office, whether he will consider the advisability of locating the office in the group of buildings in Victoria Street, Westminster, now occupied by the Agents General for the Colonies; and, whether, with a view to increasing the efficiency of the Emigrants' Information Office, he will invite the active co-operation of the Agents General, as the official representatives of the Colonies, in its future management and control?


I have communicated the Report on the working of the Emigrants' Information Office to the Agents General for self-governing colonies and am considering their replies, but the whole of them have not yet reached me. The Committee have throughout received much valuable assistance from these gentlemen, and are able to look forward with pleasure to the continuance of their co-operation which they promise to give. But the addition of ten more members to the committee of management is a matter which would require much careful consideration, for large committees do not constitute the best machinery for dealing with a business which largely consists of details, and I should be afraid of diminishing the efficiency of a body which is now working admirably. Many of the recommendations made by the committee meet with my concurrence, and as soon as Treasury approval has been obtained for the increased expenditure I shall be in a position to give effect to such of the recommendations as are desirable. The Report, with a few other papers on the subject, shall be given to Parliament with as little delay as possible. The question of the premises to be occupied by the office will have to be dealt with shortly, but the buildings occupied by the Agents General are not Government property, and the rent of adequate accommodation there would, I much fear, be prohibitive.