HC Deb 01 May 1923 vol 163 cc1154-5
96. Colonel Sir CHARLES YATE

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Overseas Trade Department whether his attention has been called to the description in the Press of the departure from Stornoway of 320 emigrants to Canada, 300 men and 20 women, after being examined by the Board of Trade's medical officer; and whether arrangements can be made to send a more equal number of men and women?

Lieut.-Colonel BUCKLEY

My attention has been called to the departure of migrants from Stornoway, and I am aware that in this, as in many other cases, the number of male migrants largely exceeded the number of female migrants. I invite my hon. and gallant Friend's attention to the Report of the Oversea Settlement Committee for 1922, Command 1804—especially pages 13 and 14 from which he will see that the Committee are fully alive to the importance of female migration, but that special difficulties attach to it. I can assure him that every effort has been and will be made to increase the number of women migrants.


Is it fair to send 300 of the best men from the Highlands, and leave behind all the girls forlorn?


The hon. and gallant Gentleman is as good a judge as anyone of that.


In view of the official statement in the Canadian Parliament that from 15 to 20 per cent. of the Canadian farmers went out of business owing to failure during 1922, will the hon. and gallant Gentleman consider reducing the number of male emigrants to equalise with the females?


That does not arise out of the question.

Lieut.-Colonel CROFT

May I ask the hon. and gallant Gentleman whether the Government will give any indication that should there be any of these women who desire to go to Canada in order to marry these emigrants when they are established, that the Government will give them their first consideration in regard to passage money?

Lieut.-Colonel BUCKLEY

Oh, certainly!

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