§ SIR BARRINGTON SIMEON (Southampton)
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been called to the increase in the number of aliens arriving in the United Kingdom who are not stated to be en route to other countries; and whether it is the intention of the Government to carry out without further delay the pledge given by them in the Queen's Speech in 1896, by introducing legislation upon the subject.
§ MR. RITCHIE
Yes, Sir, I am aware that there has been an increase in the number of aliens alluded to by the hon. Member, and a much larger one in the number of aliens passing through this country; both these tendencies being, doubtless, encouraged by the activity of trade here and in the United States and the demand for labour. The matter is one the importance of which has not been lost sight of. Legislation on the subject is surrounded with difficulties which I hope may be overcome, but I fear we shall be unable to make any proposals to the House this session. I may say that we hope the census about to be taken may clear up some matters at present obscure.