HC Deb 11 June 1953 vol 516 cc429-31
17. Brigadier Medlicott

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations how many emigrants went from Britain to Australia during the years 1946 to 1952, inclusive; and how many British emigrants returned from Australia to Britain during the same years.

The Under-Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations (Mr. John Foster)

In the period mentioned 272,916 migrants of Commonwealth citizenship travelled direct by sea from the United Kingdom to Australia. The total number of immigrants into the United Kingdom from Australia for the same period is 47,585, but statistics of immigration into the United Kingdom do not distinguish between those who are emigrants from this country returning here and others.

Brigadier Medlicott

In view of the importance of encouraging the migration of people between various parts of the Commonwealth, can the Minister say whether this subject received a prominent place on the agenda for the discussions between the Commonwealth Prime Ministers and whether a statement is likely to be made in the near future?

Mr. Foster

I cannot say.

Mr. A. Henderson

Have we got rid of the considerable backlog which existed during the immediate post-war years owing to the shortage of shipping?

Mr. Foster

Yes, Sir.

Mr. de Freitas

Will the hon. Gentleman take advantage of the visit of the Australian Ministers to this country to point out that there is a large and unfulfilled world-wide demand for emigrants from this country and that Australia will get her fair share only if conditions are made sufficiently attractive?

Mr. Foster

I do not agree with the hon. Member.