HC Deb 30 June 1955 vol 543 c498
46. Mr. Renton

asked the Prime Minister to which Minister Questions about the Government's general policy with regard to emigration from the United Kingdom should be addressed.

The Prime Minister

Questions relating to emigration from the United Kingdom to other Commonwealth and Empire countries should be addressed to my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations, or my right hon. Friend the Colonial Secretary, as the case may be.

As in the past, Her Majesty's Government continue to take a close interest in migration matters. A large proportion of the emigration from the United Kingdom is to the independent countries of the Commonwealth. Her Majesty's Government will always be ready to consider with Commonwealth Governments any particular proposals which may seem mutually desirable.

Mr. Renton

I thank my right hon. Friend for that reply. Can he assure the House that the Government regard this matter as vital for the further development of the Commonwealth? Will he take a personal interest in it?

The Prime Minister

I think there is agreement in all parts of the House as to the importance of this question to the Commonwealth. Though there may be different shades of view, it has always been my view that migration within the Commonwealth family strengthens that family rather than weakens it.

Mr. P. Noel-Baker

Will the Prime Minister arrange for this country to join the Inter-Governmental Committee on European Migration in Geneva, to which Commonwealth Governments belong and to which they attach great importance?

The Prime Minister

As the right hon. Gentleman knows, that is a different question from the one which I have answered.