HC Deb 23 October 1967 vol 751 cc1342-3
45. Sir C. Osborne

asked the Minister of Labour if the 200,000 Kenya Asians who are leaving Kenya, and who want to emigrate to the United Kingdom seeking jobs, will be included in the 7,500 limit imposed by the Commonwealth Immigration Act 1962.

The Joint-Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Labour (Mr. E. Fernyhough)

Persons of Asian descent resident in Kenya and wishing to come to the United Kingdom for employment do not require vouchers if they hold United Kingdom passports which exempt them from control under the Commonwealth Immigrants Act, 1962. I do not, however, accept the hon. Member's account of the present position or his estimate of the numbers involved.

Sir C. Osborne

The estimates of the numbers involved were given by The Times, which is a reputable newspaper. As we have the highest unemployment in this country for 30 years, is it not madness to bring in a lot more new labour to flood an already overcrowded market? Would not the hon. Gentleman look at the matter from that angle?

Mr. Fernyhough

The hon. Gentleman has been in the House long enough to know that immigration control comes under not the Ministry of Labour but the Home Office. If he has any questions on it, he should refer them to the Home Secretary.

Mr. Biffen

If the hon. Gentleman denies the figure of 200,000 contained in this Question, could he give us the estimate of his Department of the number of Kenya Asians who will be entitled to come to this country?

Mr. Fernyhough

I agree that maybe 200,000 are entitled to come, but the numbers which have come over in the last two years do not indicate that anything like even a small percentage of the 200,000 intend to take advantage of the facilities available to them.