HC Deb 20 May 1982 vol 24 cc464-6
18. Mr. Marlow

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will review immigration policy in the light of the continuing trend of increase in the proportion of the population from ethnic minority groups of non-United Kingdom origin, in London and other major areas.

Mr. Raison

There has been a reduction in the number of immigrants accepted for settlement and we remain committed to firm immigration control.

Mr. Marlow

Is my right hon. Friend aware that of the 32 London boroughs, in one, two-thirds of the births are to mothers of foreign origin, in six, over half the births are to mothers of foreign origin, in 13 over 40 per cent., in 19 over 30 per cent. and in two-thirds over 20 per cent.? Since this has massive implications for the identity of the capital city of this country, and since there is massive public concern about this issue, will my right hon. Friend reassure the House and the country that the Government are aware of these facts and intend to introduce policies that the country wants and needs?

Mr. Race


Mr. Raison

We carefully follow social trends. I have told my hon. Friend that we have tight immigration control and that the numbers of immigrants are falling. That is important. At the same time, I think that the figures referred to by my hon. Friend show the equal importance of a positive race relations policy.

Mr. Alexander W. Lyon

Does the Minister agree that so long as black women have black babies, and so long as ethnic minorities are disproportionately younger than the existing population, it is clear that there will be a slight increase until the black population stabilises at about 3–3 million at the end of this decade and that, thereafter, it will remain stable unless there is new immigration?

Mr. Raison

It is obvious that the demographic factors to which the hon. Gentleman referred are important in this area.

Mr. Tilley

Does the Minister agree that any increase in the black population of our inner cities is not a cause for alarm, or for further racist immigration policies? Does he further agree that it is a cause for urgent Government action to ensure that black youngsters do not suffer the disadvantages, particularly in education and employment, that young people in the inner cities are now suffering?

1977 1978 1979 1980 1981
Recommended use of Royal Prerogative in order to—
grant free pardon remit remainder of 169 91 177 270 161
custodian sentence 1 2 0 2 1
remit fine or other monetary penalty 16 25 206 75 57
Referred case to Court of Appeal under s. 17 of the Criminal Appeal Act 1968 2 6 3 3 1
Mr. Raison

I have already told the House that it is important when looking at these matters to have a positive approach to race relations. The Government have that positive approach.