HC Deb 21 March 1904 vol 132 cc238-9
GENERAL LAURIE (Pembroke and Haverfordwest)

I beg to ask the President to the Board of Trade whether his attention has been called to the inaccuracy in the Emigration Returns, due to the fact that all passengers carried to an Atlantic port in the United States are shown as emigrants to that country, although a large number are known to be destined for Western Canada; and whether he can arrange that more accurate information shall be furnished; or, if the present record is in accordance with the Merchant Shipping Act, 1894, whether he can take steps to obtain an amendment of the Act in this particular.


The point raised has frequently come under my notice. The Returns published by the Board of Trade are not inaccurate, as they give what they profess to give, viz., the countries in which passengers contract to land. There is no power under the Merchant Shipping Act to require the shipping companies to supply information as to the ultimate destination of passengers, and the practical difficulties of securing accurate information on this point, even if fresh legislation were enacted for the purpose, would be very great. The matter, however, will not be lost sight of.


Would it not be possible to obtain fuller information from the companies as to the ultimate destination of passengers who hold through tickets?


I am afraid I have no power to require it, and I do not know that it would be very useful.

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