HC Deb 28 October 1912 vol 43 cc28-9

asked if the Prime Minister is aware that during the present year a specific record of emigration and immigration has been for the first time compiled by the Board of Trade from statements made by inward and outward passengers; that statistics thus compiled for the six months April to September, inclusive, show a net loss by emigration in six months of 209,331 persons; and that this number is probably greater than the natural increase of the population in the same period; whether the Government have given consideration to the fact that this unprecedented emigration is occurring in spite of good trade and employment because of the organised emigration of British citizens by British Colonial Governments, and that it may therefore possibly increase during periods of trade depression, and whether, in view of the adverse economic effect of this stimulated emigration upon British economy and the increase in the already large majority of females in the United Kingdom which it is producing, the subject is engaging the serious attention of His Majesty's Government?


The facts appear to be as stated in the first two paragraphs, but during the past twelve months the total net emigration is estimated not to exceed 270,000, while the excess of births over deaths for the same period was over 462,000. A study of the recent records shows that emigration falls off, as a rule, during periods of trade depression, and increases in years of prosperity of trade, such as the world generally is now experiencing. So far as the efforts of the Governments of the British Dominion Overseas have had the result of directing a larger proportion of the emigration from this country to countries under the British flag, I do not think that the effect can be said to be unsatisfactory. The whole subject deserves, and is, receiving consideration.


Are not these people being driven out by Free Trade?

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