HC Deb 14 November 1933 vol 281 cc724-6
16. Mr. HANNON

asked the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs if he can make a statement on the policy of His Majesty's Government with regard to emigration and settlement of migrants from this country to various parts of the overseas territories of the self-governing Dominions?


The question of the policy to be adopted by His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom when opportunities for any considerable migration arise again is at present under consideration. I am not yet in a position to make any statement on the subject.


Is not my right hon. Friend aware that for years this important question of migration within the Empire has been occupying the attention of successive governments, and can he say when we shall have a declaration of a practical policy in regard to the matter?


My hon. Friend must be aware that before you give any encouragement to people in this country—I may say that we have thousands ready to go—the Dominions themselves must be equally ready to receive them. The Government are not going to be responsible for sending people to the Dominions unless the Dominions themselves are ready to give them a fair chance.


Does the right hon. Gentleman contemplate any early negotiations with the Dominions to bring this question into the region of practical politics?


Every opportunity is taken to discuss the matter with the Dominions. At the last conference, when representatives of the Dominions were here, discussions took place. In addition, I have a committee sitting continuously to consider this subject, but it must be fully considered and dealt with when there is real practical work to do.

Brigadier- General Sir HENRY CROFT

Is it not a fact that if any great scheme of migration is worked out it, will take at least two years to prepare the plans, and, in view of that fact and in view of past deplorable results of migration, will the right hon. Gentleman not give us same encouragement to believe that the Government are now thinking two years ahead in the matter?


Yes, I unhesitatingly say that the Government are now considering it, but I only emphasise the harm that would result from an announcement that there was likely to be migration now. That is the point that I wanted to emphasise, in justice to the Dominions as well as our own people. Larger plans will be considered on a much broader and wider basis than anything that has ever been considered before.

25. Brigadier-General NATION

asked the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs whether, as a result of the communications that have passed with his Department during last summer concerning the Hornby scheme, settlers are likely to proceed to Canada in the near future?


No, Sir. I understand that in the papers which he has circulated regarding his scheme, General Hornby makes it clear that he does not advocate any immediate migration to Canada from this country?

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