HC Deb 11 May 1905 vol 146 cc47-9
MR. EMMOTT (Oldham)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many aliens arrived in this country in 1904; how many left this country; and how many of the aliens who arrived were sailors; and whether he has any information he can produce to the House to show that of the 82,000 aliens not described as transmigrants who arrived the greater proportion probably settled in this country.


The Board of Trade Return, which is in the hands of hon. Members, shows that the figures are as follows:—194,986 aliens arrived in this country from Continental ports, 99,278 of these were stated on the lists to be en route to other countries; 12,863 were seamen (only very few of whom can be prospective settlers). Deducting these two last figures from the first, we have a remainder of 82,845. Of these 7,697 were subsequently ascertained by officers of the Customs to be, in fact, on their way to other countries. Deducting these latter, we obtain a net remainder of 75,148 to be accounted for. It must not be inferred, as the Board of Trade point out, that these figures represent the total number of alien immigrants who actually settled in this country. Among them there is no doubt some drifting back to Europe, and some moving onward to America, but the known extent of this does not amount to more than 2,000 or 3,000 (chiefly cases assisted by the Jewish Board of Guardians). Probably some of those stated to be en route to other countries in fact stay here, temporarily or permanently. These figures relate only to arrivals from Europe, and do not include arrivals from America, etc., whether rejected European aliens or original immigrants from America.


The right hon. Gentleman has not stated how many aliens left this country.


There is no possibility of obtaining information as to the exact number leaving. All we can ascertain is the number of transmigrants.

MR. LOUGH (Islington, W.)

Is there any reliable means of knowing how many are transmigrants?


We have the actual number who come here described as transmigrants. All that can be ascertained is the number of transmigrants, and the number of those who to the knowledge of the Customs officers leave after staying here for a short time.


How do they get those figures?


By inquiring at the ports. But it is impossible to say exactly how many leave after a short settlement, as they depart in small numbers and are returned as ordinary passengers.

MR. JOHN ELLIS (Nottinghamshire, Rushcliffe)

Then we are to take it that the right hon. Gentleman's figures are to a large extent uncertain?


I have stated all through the debates on the aliens question that it is impossible to obtain all the figures with exact accuracy. But the Board of Trade state in their Report that the figures which I have quoted can be relied on.


Is it not the fact that the Board of Trade in their Report do give the total number of the aliens who leave this country, whether recent arrivals or old arrivals, which is the Question of my hon. friend, and the Question the right hon. Gentleman says he cannot answer?


If the hon. Gentleman has got the information I do not see why he should ask the Question.