§ MR. T. F. HOGAN () Tipperary, Mid
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether it comes within the recognised duty of the Emigrants' Information Office to make inquiry into the credentials of agricultural settlements that are extensively advertised in the British Isles as being under the control and management of Colonial Governments; whether he is aware that the irrigation Colonies at Mildura, in Victoria, and Renmark, in South Australia, now in liquidation, were so advertised in Great Britain and Ireland for years; that a large number of persons were induced to emigrate on the strength of the alleged Governmental guarantee; that many of them are now ruined through the failure of the promoters to fulfil their promises and obligations; and that it transpired, in the course of evidence before the Select Committee of the Legislative Assembly of Victoria, that these settlements were in no sense regulated by Government, as advertised all over Great Britain and Ireland, but were entirely in the nature of private speculation; and 626 whether any effectual steps can be taken to put a stop to such fraudulent practices?
§ MR. J. CHAMBERLAIN
It would not be possible for the Emigrants' Information Office to inquire, in the absence of any special complaints, into all the various settlements and enterprises advertised to attract intending emigrants. All that can be done, as a rule, is to issue warnings, when necessary, and to answer as far as possible specific inquiries. The Secretary of State is not in a position to express an opinion as to the special cases referred to by the hon. Member.