HC Deb 24 February 1955 vol 537 cc1435-6
18. Mr. Osborne

asked the Minister of Labour how many British immigrants into this country have been called up in the last two years; and what special arrangements he has made with the Service Departments for the Armed Forces to receive them.

Mr. Watkinson

Separate statistics, distinguishing between immigrants and other British subjects called up under the National Service Acts, are not available, nor have any special arrangements been made with the Service Departments regarding their call up.

Mr. Osborne

May I ask my hon. Friend two questions? First, is it clear that immigrants into this country are liable to do two years' National Service, like the native-born people here, and, second, if that is a fact, will he make that knowledge available in the Colonies from which immigrants are coming?

Mr. Watkinson

All immigrants into this country are liable for National Service, but only when they are known as ordinary residents, which is after two years' residence in this country. They have to have two years' residence here, and then they are fully liable for National Service in just the same way as anyone else.

Mr. Collins

The Minister will recall that, in replying to a similar question which I addressed to him some time ago, he promised to look specially into this question of encouraging the recruitment of Colonial immigrants? Can he say what has been done in that matter?

Mr. Watkinson

That is a different question. I take it that it relates to Regular recruitment. I am now dealing with liability under National Service.

Mr. Burden

I am sorry, Sir. On a point of order. Is it not a fact that that applies only to British citizens and not to immigrants generally?

Mr. Speaker

That is not a point of order.

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