HC Deb 04 February 1954 vol 523 cc525-6
1. Mr. Hurd

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations to what extent Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom are co-operating in the proposals lately announced by Her Majesty's Government in Australia to encourage British immigration to Australia.

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

The United Kingdom Government are co-operating with the Australian Government in encouraging British migration to Australia, both financially, under the Assisted Passage Scheme, and in other ways, such as publicity, recruitment and the provision of sea transport.

Mr. Hurd

May we take it that Her Majesty's Government recognise that the investment of British people in Australia is just as important as the investment of British capital?

Mr. Foster

We recognise that it is very important that emigration should be encouraged to the fullest possible extent.

Mr. Noel-Baker

Has the hon. and learned Gentleman succeeded in persuading the Government to join the Inter-Governmental Committee on Emigration, in Geneva, to which the Australians attach so much importance?

Mr. Foster

I think that that question should be addressed to the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.

Mr. Noel-Baker

Is not the hon. and learned Gentleman very much concerned in the matter, since the Australians so much desire that we should join that Committee?

Mr. Foster

Yes, but that is another question.

3. Mr. Sorensen

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations what restrictions are imposed by the several Governments of the Commonwealth in respect of emigration and immigration between the other members of the Commonwealth and this country and its dependencies; and, in particular, as between the Union of South Africa and the Central African Federation.

Mr. Foster

There are no powers for restricting British subjects or British protected persons wishing to enter or leave the United Kingdom. While I cannot undertake to give a detailed account of the practice of each Member of the Commonwealth or of the Rhodesia and Nyasaland Federation in this matter, I can say that in most cases the Governments concerned have powers to restrict the movement of persons between their countries and other countries, including the United Kingdom and its dependencies.

Mr. Sorensen

Is the hon. and learned Gentleman aware of any restriction that has been imposed by the Central African Federation against the immigration of citizens from the Union of South Africa?

Mr. Foster

I have not sufficient knowledge about that, but I could try to get the information for the hon. Member.