HC Deb 24 November 1960 vol 630 cc1295-6
23. Lieut.-Colonel Cordeaux

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many citizens of the West Indies entered the United Kingdom during 1959, and up to the latest convenient date in 1960, respectively.

Mr. Renton

The estimated net inward movement was 16,400 during 1959, and 43,450 for the first ten months of 1960.

Lieut.-Colonel Cordeaux

As the figures for this year are going to be about four times as great as for last year, and a good deal greater than in the previous year, would my hon. and learned Friend agree that our efforts to persuade the West Indian Governments to limit this immigration have been completely unavailing? In view of the difficult problem that faces Nottingham and other cities similarly placed as regards housing, and the much more serious problem which may arise if we get only a moderate degree of unemployment, would my hon. and learned Friend look at the matter again and reconsider our immigration policy?

Mr. Renton

Any question on the result of the approaches to the West Indian Governments is for answer by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Colonies, but I can assure my hon. and gallant Friend that the whole of this question is under careful consideration.

Mr. C. Osborne

In view of the fact that my hon. and learned Friend or my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State have been saying for the last five or six years that the matter is under consideration, may I ask when we are going to have a decision?

Mr. Mellish

No doubt, the Joint Under-Secretary clearly takes the point that if there were to be a ban on such people coming in, there is one hospital in my constituency which would virtually have to close down?

Mr. Osborne

Cheap labour.

Mr. Sorensen

That is nonsense.

34. Mr. Lipton

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what are the figures of immigration from the West Indies for each year from 1951 to date; and whether it is still the policy of Her Majesty's Government to allow citizens of all Commonwealth countries to come to the United Kingdom.

Mr. Renton

No figures are available for years before 1955. I will, with permission, circulate in the OFFICIAL REPORT the estimates for 1955 onwards. As regards the last part of the Question, I have nothing to add to what my right hon. Friend said in reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Louth (Mr. C. Osborne) on 7th July.

Mr. Lipton

May I refer the hon. and learned Gentleman to a supplementary question I put earlier today? Will he now take this opportunity to deprecate the aggravation of racial ill-will for party propaganda purposes, whosoever commits it?

Mr. Renton

I am sure that everyone would deprecate the use of racial ill-will for party propaganda purposes. I am not aware of any such thing having taken place.

Following is the information:

The estimates of net inward movement from the West Indies are as follows:

1955 27,550
1956 29,800
1957 23,000
1958 15,000
1959 16,400
1960 (first ten months) 43,500