HC Deb 30 June 1955 vol 543 cc505-6
58. Sir F. Medlicott

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he is aware of the present unsatisfactory position whereby it is not known in this country how many migrants arrive from other parts of the Commonwealth and Empire; and if he will set up a fact-finding investigation into this problem.

Major Lloyd-George

As the law stands there is no power to require British subjects arriving in the United Kingdom to provide the information necessary for the compilation of complete statistics. There is, however, available reasonably full information about those categories of British subjects who arrive in substantial parties with the intention of remaining here, and this information is being collated to facilitate further study of the general question by the Departments concerned.

Sir F. Medlicott

Is my right hon. and gallant Friend aware that a good deal of unnecessary prejudice is being caused against immigrants, especially coloured immigrants, by exaggerated statements as to the numbers involved, and should we not inform ourselves very fully as to what is the size of this problem?

Major Lloyd-George

In so far as it can be obtained without taking powers which would be very extensive indeed, the information is available. That information is now being collated and, if necessary, I can give my hon. Friend an idea of what it is. He will appreciate that to get complete statistics would mean extending to every British subject, including residents in the United Kingdom, the power which is allowed today only in the case of foreigners.

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