§ COLONEL SIR HOWARD VINCENT (Sheffield, Central)
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade if his attention has been called to the fact that last year the immigration of aliens not en routeto any other country amounted to 38,698 persons (exclusive of 10,759 foreign sailors for service on British ships), or nearly 10 per cent. more than in 1896; and, why, under such circumstances, he delays the introduction of the regulatory legislation promised on the part of the Government? At the same time, may I ask also if the right hon. Gentleman is aware that during the past 48 months 130,000 aliens, in addition to 37,000 foreign sailors, have arrived at Eastern Ports in this country as deck or third-class passengers not en routeto any other country, and that of these 130,000, no less than 45,000 Russians and Poles have mainly settled in London?
§ THE PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF TRADE (Mr. C. T. RITCHIE,) Croydon
I am afraid that the problem just put to me by my hon. and gallant Friend is one I cannot answer without making further inquiry. I can only reply to the Question on the Paper that the figures given by my hon. and gallant Friend are substantially correct. More useful legislation is necessarily delayed because of the limited time at the disposal of the Government for dealing with the many subjects requiring legislation. My hon. Friend has, however, I understand, a Bill now before the House on the subject.
§ COLONEL SIR HOWARD VINCENT
Does my right hon. Friend withdraw from the position he took up last Session? I take it he does not depart one iota from the pledges given on this matter?