HC Deb 12 March 1947 vol 434 cc1307-8
42. Mr. Geoffrey Cooper

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he will give the total number of men and women who have made application since the end of the war to emigrate to all parts of the Colonial Empire.

Mr. Creech Jones

I would invite reference to the reply given by the Lord Privy Seal to a Question by my hon. Friend the Member for Bedford (Mr. Skeffington-Lodge) on 3rd March regarding applications for emigration facilities. No official statistics of the number of persons who wish to emigrate to Colonial territories are available. A limited scheme for Government-assisted settlement in Kenya is in operation. One thousand nine hundred and forty-seven inquiries have been made in this country regarding this scheme, and they resulted in 228 applications suitable for consideration by the selection boards. Of these, 139 have, so far, been approved.

Mr. Cooper

I found it difficult to hear the latter part of my right hon. Friend's reply, but if I give him longer notice of this Question would he then be able to obtain this information? Will he not agree that, in view of the serious manpower problem in this country, and the fact that many well trained technicians wish to go overseas, the position needs to be watched carefully?

Mr. Creech Jones

Yes, Sir, but there are few opportunities inside the Colonial Empire for immigration. So far, there are only two schemes, one of which has not yet been approved, the other being the one to which I have referred.

Mr. Astor

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether the number of applica- tions is increasing, whether it is higher than prewar? This is information which the House ought to have.

Mr. Creech Jones

The number of applications from men wishing to go to East Africa is considerable.

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