HC Deb 14 November 1927 vol 210 cc626-8
51. Mr. J. B. COUPER

asked the Prime Minister whether any further steps have been taken, in conjunction with the Australian Government, for the appointment of a special Commission to inquire into the development of the resources of Australia as proposed by the Prime Minister of Australia during his visit to this country last year; and, if so, whether the personnel of the Commission has been selected and the terms of reference agreed upon?


I hope to make a full statement on this question at an early date.


Is the Prime Minister aware that the Australian Government have had in existence for more than a year a Development and Immigration Commission, and have the British Government received any Report of their inquiries?


I must ask for notice of that Question. I shall be pleased to answer it.

52. Mr. COUPER

asked the Prime Minister how many British families have been settled in Canada under the 3,000 families' scheme; what percentage of these might be regarded as failures; and what reasons can be ascribed for such failures?


The total number of families settled under the 3,000 families' scheme is 2,545, representing 14,172 souls. Of the 2,375 families who had been settled up to the end of May last 94, or approximately 3 per cent., have left their farms, and it is estimated that from 80 to 90 per cent, of the settlers will ultimately be successful. Such failures as have occurred have been due to a settler or his wife proving unadaptable to farm life overseas, to ill-health, domestic troubles, etc.

53. Mr. COUPER

asked the Prime Minister whether, in view of the urgency of the emigration problem and his own expressed intention of encouraging the flow of British settlers from this country to Canada, he is in a position to make any statement regarding the financial and other steps which His Majesty's Government are prepared to take to stimulate such settlement; and whether he can state what results, if any, followed from the conversations between the hon. Robert Forke, Canadian Minister of Immigration, and the authorities in London during his recent visit to this country?


His Majesty's Government are anxious to co-operate with the Dominion and Provincial Governments of Canada in assisting British settlement in the Dominion, within the powers conferred upon them by the Empire Settlement Act, and in so far as financial and other considerations admit. As a result of Mr. Forke's visit a scheme has been concluded in co-operation with the Dominion Government and the Government of New Brunswick for the settlement of British families in that province, and similar schemes with other provinces are being discussed in Canada. A scheme has also been arranged for assisting British boys who go to Canada as farm workers to become farmers on their own account. The possibilities of a further extension of the policy of Empire settlement will be considered, in consultation with the Dominion authorities, by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs when he is in Ottawa next January.


Has any change been suggested in the existing basis of fifty-fifty?


I must ask for notice of that question.