§ MR. HAROLD COX (Preston)
I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board whether he is aware that the normal increase in the population of England and Wales, through excess of births over deaths, is more than 400,000 a year; whether he is aware that there is a large demand for British workmen and workwomen in Canada, and a growing demand in Australia; and whether he will consider the desirability of making such legislative or administrative changes as may be necessary to enable boards of guardians and distress committees to apply a larger portion of the funds under their control to assisting suitable men, women and children to emigrate from this con- 554 gested island to the sparsely-peopled continents included within the Empire.
§ THE PRESIDENT OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD (Mr. JOHN BURNS,) Battersea
I am aware of the facts mentioned in the Question. I fully realise the importance of the subject to which my hon. friend refers; and am ready to consider any suggestions with regard to it. I may point out that boards of guardians and distress committees have by no means exhausted their existing resources in this matter, and I do not at present contemplate any legislative changes in the direction indicated.
§ MR. KEIR HARDIE (Merthyr Tydvil)
Is it correct to say, according to the Question, that this is a "congested island"?
§ MR. PICKERSGILL (Bethnal Green, S.W.)
In dealing with this Question will the right hon. Gentleman have regard to the declared policy of the Prime Minister to colonise our own country?
§ [No Answer was returned.]
§ MR. JOHN BURNS
I cannot promise particular attention to any particular scheme, but I will consider them all on their merits.