HC Deb 08 November 1966 vol 735 cc1136-7
15. Mr. Moonman

asked the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Affairs how many young people from this country have gone to Australia under the Big Brother scheme; and if he will make it a condition of the grant to this scheme that the young people concerned should be warned before they leave that they will be liable to conscription in Australia.

Mrs. Hart

Since the scheme was founded in 1925, 6,755 youths have gone to Australia, of whom 4,744 have left since 1947. Before they leave Britain both the young people concerned and their guardians are given full information by the London office of the Big Brother Movement about the applicants' liability for military service.

Mr. Moonman

I thank my hon. Friend for that statement, but may I urge her to make representations to the Australian Government asking them to release from national registration in that country those boys who are elegible for call-up and have been sent to Vietnam? The warning was issued only on Wednesday, 10th August.

Mrs. Hart

I think that my hon. Friend will know that the warning has been made very clear to all who would have been likely to have been affected by this. The rest of the supplementary question raises a rather different point, which is one for my right hon. Friend.

Mr. Frederic Harris

Can the hon. Lady say why, in the Government's opinion, more people have emigrated this year than ever before in our history—including emigration to Australia?

Mrs. Hart

The House will agree that that is certainly a different question.