HC Deb 09 November 1937 vol 328 cc1565-7
20. Mr. Lambert

asked the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs the net immigration for the past two years from the Irish Free State into this country; whether the evidence and findings of the Departmental Committee will be published; and whether the Government propose to restrict such immigration in the future?

Marquess of Hartington

Regarding the first part of the question, I have no precise information, but according to the available figures the net immigration by sea into this country from the Irish Free State was about 14,000 in 1935 and 24,000 in 1936. These figures would include any net migration to or from the Continent of Europe via this country. Migration over the land boundary between the Irish Free State and Northern Ireland is not recorded. As to the second part of the question, this matter is under consideration. As regards the last part of the question, I have nothing to add to the reply

Marquess of Hartington

The hon. Member had better put that question on the Order Paper.

Following are the figures referred to:

The number of British subjects who were recorded in the passenger lists furnished to the Board of Trade as leaving permanent residence in the United Kingdom (by which is understood residence for a year or more) to take up permanent residence in the undermentioned Dominions in the three successive periods of 12 months ending 30th June, 1937, and the numbers of such persons who were recorded as leaving permanent residence in those countries to take up permanent residence in the United Kingdom in the same periods are as follow:

given by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour to the hon. Member for Hallam (Mr. L. Smith) on 3rd June.

Mr. Lambert

When may we expect a decision as to the publication of the findings of the Departmental Committee?

Marquess of Hartington

Various Departments have to be consulted, but perhaps the right hon. Gentleman will put a question to my right hon. Friend after he comes back from Brussels.

Mr. Logan

Will the Government take into consideration the fact that many of these immigrants joined the British Army, and that if there is no agreement there will be no more Irishmen in the British Army? Am I to understand that there are to be no more Irish in the British Army?

Sir William Davison

Is the Under-Secretary aware that for a long time the Minister has said that he is unable to answer questions on this matter pending receipt of this report? Is it not desirable that the report should be published as soon as possible?

Mr. Logan

Can I have an answer to my question of Irishmen joining the British Army? It is a most important point?

Mr. Speaker

The hon. Member's question deals with Irishmen joining the British Army, and the question on the Paper deals with immigration from the Irish Free State into this country.

Mr. Logan

The question of immigration covers my question as well?

Mr. Kirkwood

Can the Under-Secretary give us any explanation why the Irish and those overseas in the Dominions are so anxious to come back to this country?