HC Deb 01 May 1906 vol 156 cc415-6
* MR. MITCHELL-THOMSON (Lanarkshire, N.W.)

I beg to ask the Secretary for Scotland whether his attention has been called to the alarm excited in various districts in Scotland by the incursion of bands of continental gipsies; whether they are permitted to land as political refugees; whether more are arriving in detachments of nineteen or less, so as to comply with the new regulations under the Aliens Act; and whether the Government will take steps to provide for the safety of the public, to expedite the departure of the bands now in the country, and to prevent similar incursions in future.


The gipsies referred to by the hon. Member are not, so far as ray information goes, correctly described as political refugees. They state that they are merely passing through this country with an eye to business on their way to Italy. No question as to their admission or exclusion has arisen, as they have come in parties of less than twenty, the minimum limit affected by the Aliens Act. The Government are alive to the inconvenience caused by such immigrants, and have taken all possible steps to watch and control their proceedings. As regards the future I understand my right hon. friend the Secretary of State for Home Affairs, in whom the administration of the Aliens Act is vested, is making inquiries, and is prepared to take any steps competent under that Act.

* COLONEL LEGGE (St. George's, Hanover Square)

Is there much "business" to be done in the districts the gipsies occupy?


asked whether the light hon. Gentleman and the Home Secretary would take into consideration the question of dealing with these gipsies under Section 3 of the Act as undesirables.


No doubt that question will come before my right hon. friend.

MR. GULLAND (Dumfries Burghs)

Cannot these people be dealt with by the ordinary courts if they break the law in any way?


Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman will point out to them the advantages of Meigle and Forfarshire as places of residence.