HC Deb 11 June 1959 vol 606 cc1147-8
2. Mr. G. H. R. Rogers

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies how many immigrants from the Colonies have arrived in this country during the last six months; and what steps have been taken to encourage them to live in areas best fitted to provide them with homes and employment.

Mr. J. Amery

The estimated total of arrivals from all Colonial Territories in the six months ending 30th April was some 11,500; for the same period the estimated total of departures was some 7,500. The net intake was thus some 4,000. These figures include students and temporary visitors.

The local offices of the Ministry of Labour endeavour to place immigrants in the most suitable areas. In particular, information about employment prospects is given to the Migrant Services Division of the Commission for the West Indies. This provides intending immigrants from the Caribbean territories with guidance about relevant aspects of conditions in the United Kingdom.

Mr. Brockway

Can the hon. Gentleman say how many of this small number are women and families who are joining men who have come to this country?

Mr. Amery

I cannot say offhand, but I will certainly look into that point and let the hon. Member know.

Mr. Fisher

I hope that my hon. Friend will be able to follow up the question of the hon. Gentleman. Do these researches confirm that the latest figures for West Indian immigrants to this country reveal a higher percentage of women and children in relation to men than in previous years, and, if so, would my hon. Friend agree that this is a welcome trend in achieving a more balanced migrant population and, consequently, in lessening the friction arising from the association of coloured men and white girls?

Mr. Amery

I will certainly look into the point. It is also the case that the estimate I have given is about one-third of the estimate of the previous six months.