§ 19. Mr. HORE-BELISHA
asked the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs whether any other Dominions besides Canada has deported British subjects on the ground that they had become, or were likely to become, a public charge; and, if so, will he give the figures?
The Commonwealth Immigration Act authorises the deportation of persons not born in Australia who, within three years after arrival in Australia, have become inmates of a public charitable institution, but I understand that deportation under this provision has been in practice mainly confined to individuals suffering from a mental or physical disease which renders them incapable of employment. I have no information as to the number of eases in which deportation under this provision has taken place in recent years, but I have no reason to think that it is considerable. Apart from this the answer to the hon. Member's question is in the negative.
§ Mr. HORE-BELISHA
Does His Majesty's Government take any reciprocal action in similar circumstances?
§ 20. Mr. HORE-BELISHA
asked the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs whether his attention has been called to 215 the action of the Canadian Government in deporting from Canada a number of British persons, some of whom had children born in that Dominion; whether he will give the full facts and figures in relation to this matter; and whether any representations have been made to the Canadian Government?
I presume that the hon. Member refers to the recent deportation from Canada of 107 British subjects on the S.S. "Ascania." I find on inquiry that of these 96 had become public charges, nine had been convicted, and one was a tubercular subject. In the remaining case, no particulars have yet been received. Of the whole number, five were Canadian-born children, 64 were assisted migrants and 38 had proceeded to Canada without assistance. I understand that all these persons were liable to deportation under the Canadian Immigration Law, with the exception of the five children who were born in the Dominion. These children, like all Canadian-born children, were not liable to deportation, but, being of tender years, accompanied their parents back to this country. In reply to the last part of the hon. Member's question I have this subject under consideration.
§ Mr. HORE-BELISHA
Seeing that these British subjects, who were deported from Canada, have been guilty of no crime or irregularity whatsoever, will representations be made to the Canadian Government that this is hardly an evidence of Imperial unity?
§ Mr. T. WILLIAMS
Has my right hon. Friend any power to reciprocate, and, if so, will he consider the advisability of deporting, say, Lord Beaverbrook?
In a case of that kind much would depend upon whether the House as a whole felt that such action was in the public interest.
§ Mr. MUGGERIDGE
May I ask whether one of the cases was not that of a woman who had been married in Canada, who was taken away from her children and husband, was landed at Liverpool without a penny piece in her pocket, and was subjected to all sorts of indignities on the way?
I have no knowledge of that case. Much as one will deplore these facts, it would be equally a mistake for me to condemn wholesale without the facts being fully known. I must not be taken as accepting my hon. Friend's definition.
§ Mr. HORE-BELISHA
What arrangements are the Government making for these people, seeing that they are not eligible for unemployment benefit?
The hon. Gentleman must be aware that we could not introduce a special Act of Parliament because of this abnormal situation, but these facts clearly demonstrate the difficulty, that normally each year there are thousands going to our Dominions, but you see this frustrated by many returning.