Captain ARTHUR EVANS
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is now in a position to state his Department's decision regarding the case of the 12 coloured seamen residing in Cardiff who claim British national status and whose documents were withdrawn and alien registration cards substituted, to which his attention has been drawn?
§ The SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Sir John Gilmour)
Investigations are being made with regard to the national status of these men. This will probably involve reference to the Governments of the Colonies to which the men are stated to belong, and I am afraid that some little time must necessarily elapse before a decision can be reached.
asked the Home Secretary whether he is prepared to receive, in company with the President of the Board of Trade, a deputation of interested parties in regard to the coloured seamen problem?
§ Dr. BURGIN
I have been asked to reply. My hon. and gallant Friend wrote to the Secretary of State for the Home Department and to my right hon. Friend a short time ago asking them to receive a deputation on the subject mentioned in his question. My right hon. Friend has suggested to him that in view of the discussions which are now proceeding between the interests concerned, the question of the proposed deputation should be postponed.
In view of the grave and depressed condition prevailing among coloured seamen in Cardiff, will the hon. Gentleman suggest to the National Maritime Board and the Seaman's Union that a responsible representative of the 1528 coloured seamen should be allowed to attend these discussions; and will he intimate when they will take place?
§ Dr. BURGIN
I cannot intimate offhand when the discussions will take place, but the importance of the matter is realised by all parties concerned, and I do not think that the hon. and gallant Member need have any difficulty in imagining that a rapid investigation will be pursued.