HC Deb 26 January 1897 vol 45 cc503-4

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether the recommendations of the Committee that reported on the re-organisation of the Emigrants' Information Office have been carried into effect; have more suitable premises for the work of the office been secured; and whether more effective measures can be taken to prevent as far as possible intending young colonists being victimised by fraudulent agencies both at home and abroad.


The Treasury have agreed to ask Parliament for an increase of the annual grant for this service from £1,000 to £1,500. Some of the recommendations of the Committee are already being carried into effect, and others will be when the increased grant becomes available in the new financial year. Pending the finding of more suitable premises, the present ones have not as yet been given up; but in the meantime the Office of Works have been authorised to lend a suitable room for the holding of meetings of the Committee. The last subject referred to by the hon Member has been, and still is, occupying the attention of the Board of Trade, the High Commissioner for Canada, and the Colonial Office; but it is not easy to see what can be done beyond issuing warning notices, which is constantly being done by the Emigrants' Information Office. I would also call attention to the report recently issued by the Foreign Office of Consul General Warburton's on the "Distress caused to British Emigrants to California by fraudulent Land Syndicates and Emigration Agencies."