HC Deb 04 March 1963 vol 673 cc1-2
1. Mr. Boyden

asked the Minister of Aviation in view of the importance of accurate British migration statistics, when he proposes to introduce the simple card system advocated by the Oversea Migration Board.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Aviation (Mr. Neil Marten)

The Government are at present reviewing the situation in the light of the information obtained from the voluntary sampling scheme.

Mr. Boyden

The Government have been doing this for seven years. Why does the Parliamentary Secretary and his Ministry continue to ignore the advice of the Oversea Migration Board—which includes the Minister of State for Commonwealth Relations and the Colonial Office. Is he quite satisfied that legislation is the only way to get the accurate statistics which this Board wants?

Mr. Marten

It is wrong to say that we ignore the advice of the Oversea Migration Board. It was, of course, because of the views strongly held by the Board and others that this sampling was set up. I think that it would be wise for us to await the result of the analysis of that sampling.

Mr. John Hall

Would not the availability of such information enable a check to be made, for example, on the number of doctors who leave this country for posts overseas, of which my right hon. Friend the Minister of Health seems quite unaware?

Mr. Marten

Yes, that might well be, but I still think that it would be wise for us to wait and see the effect of the sampling. The method of getting the figures which we have now might produce the sort of answer we want.