HC Deb 20 June 1951 vol 489 cc492-3
18. Mr. Sorensen

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what progress has been made in providing accommodation for colonial peoples other than, students in London and provincial cities; and what is the estimated present monthly number of entrants of colonial workers into this country.

Mr. Dugdale

On arrival in this country migrants who lack accommodation and funds are looked after by the L.C.C. in London and the local authorities in the provinces. No special accommodation is provided for colonial migrants. No statistics are available of the numbers of migrant colonial workers, but it is estimated that over 1,000 a year are arriving to seek work.

Mr. Sorensen

Is the Minister aware that this problem is becoming increasingly acute and grave in many parts of the country, and that it is spreading to some of the southern suburbs? In the circumstances, does he not think that it is time that special inquiries were made to see what can be done both to control the influx of young men and to provide them with decent accommodation?

Mr. Dugdale

We are concerned to see that proper accommodation is provided and that these people do get adequate protection. I think the present system is providing them with a reasonable amount of accommodation.

Mr. Somerville Hastings

Is my right hon. Friend aware how hard put the L.C.C. are to find accommodation for these people, who arrive sometimes in large numbers with wives and families without any notice at all and have to be accommodated?

Mr. Dugdale

Yes, Sir, I am aware of it.

Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

Is my right hon. Friend aware that in connection with this problem a difficult situation has arisen in Brixton and that the Lambeth Borough Council are going to make representations to him which I hope he will receive with sympathetic and favourable consideration?

Sir H. Williams

Will the right hon. Gentleman travel a little beyond Brixton to Croydon, where a large number of these people are accommodated in the International Language Club?

Mr. Dugdale

It seems that I shall do a lot of travelling.

Mr. Sorensen

Is the Minister aware that the colonial peoples to whom reference is made come here as wayfarers or stowaways and often have no work to go to at all?