HC Deb 30 November 1922 vol 159 cc897-8
61. Mr. PENNY

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer as to the desirability of imposing a head tax on alien immigrants with a view to restricting the influx into this country of undesirable pauper immigrants calculated to swell unemployment and to become a charge upon the rates; whether the Government will inquire into the conditions under which in the United States head money is imposed by that country upon aliens settling in America, and consider the adoption for Great Britain of similar conditions?

The SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. Bridge-man)

My right hon. Friend has asked me to reply to this question. I am not aware of any influx into this country of undesirable pauper immigrants, the provisions of the Aliens Order, 1920, being sufficient to prevent it. Suggestions for the imposition of a poll-tax on aliens arriving in the United Kingdom have been more than once carefully considered in all their aspects and in full view of the practice in America, and it has been decided that in the conditions of this country such a tax is unsuitable and impracticable.