HC Deb 23 July 1934 vol 292 c1528
43. Wing-Commander JAMES

asked the Minister of Labour whether, in view of the facts disclosed by the recent social survey of Merseyside that Irish immigration to Merseyside is at the rate of about 6,000 a year, and that these immigrants are swelling the ranks of casual labour and of those in receipt of public assistance, he has taken any steps to check this influx, or what steps the Government have in contemplation?


The figure which the hon. and gallant Member quotes appears to be an estimate, based on information not derived from official United Kingdom sources, of the net passenger traffic for the years 1927–29 between Ireland and the port of Liverpool, with some allowance made for persons from Ireland proceeding overseas via Liverpool. The report makes it clear that the figure does not purport to represent the number of immigrants from Ireland who settle on Merseyside. In this connection, the census reports show that, both in Liverpool and in Great Britain as a whole, there were fewer Irish-born persons in 1931 than in 1921. There is no power to restrict the entry of British subjects into the United Kingdom.


In view of the desire of Mr. de Valera that Southern Ireland should be a self-contained entity, will representations be made to him for the return of these persons to Southern Ireland, or else that he should reciprocate with regard to the large unemployment of ex-service men in Southern Ireland?