HC Deb 24 November 1936 vol 318 c217
41. Mr. AMMON

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, in view of the large number of coloured seamen recruited by shipping companies abroad and left stranded in home ports, he will seek powers to ensure that such seamen be repatriated; and to what extent his Department do, under the existing law, endeavour to arrange for the repatriation or re-engagement of these seamen?


I have no reason to think that any appreciable number of coloured seamen are recruited by shipping companies abroad and left stranded in this country. As regards the repatriation of any such as may be left behind, I understand that a very strict control is exercised under the Aliens Order of 1920 over the entry of any who are not of British nationality. There is, however, no power to enforce the repatriation of British subjects. My information is that the main problem arises from the presence in this country of coloured seamen who first came here many years ago and are domiciled here, and that there will be no delay in carrying out the examination of this question, which, as I have already stated, is receiving the attention of the Departments concerned.


As a committee has been sitting for three years, cannot the right hon. Gentleman give us any idea when it will report?


No, I cannot do so without notice.