HC Deb 31 March 1983 vol 40 cc457-8
14. Mr. Proctor

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will conduct a review of Her Majesty's Government's repatriation schemes; and if he will make a statement.

The Minister of State, Home Office (Mr. David Waddington)

As I told my hon. Friend in answer to his question on 18 March, we are already reviewing the administrative criteria governing the operation of the repatriation scheme under section 29 of the Immigration Act 1971.

Mr. Proctor

I thank my hon. and learned Friend for that reply. Is he aware that there are a number of immigrants who genuinely wish to return to their own countries and who have applied to International Social Service of Great Britain only to find that attempts are made to talk them out of going back and to provide all manner of benefits to help them stay here? What is more, questions are asked about whether there is anywhere for them to go when they return to their own countries. Could matters of this kind be taken into account in the administrative review that my hon. and learned Friend is conducting?

Mr. Waddington

I must tell my hon. Friend that no complaints about poor or unhelpful advice by ISS have been brought to my attention. If any are, I promise to investigate them.

Mr. Dubs

Is the Minister aware that this talk of repatriation is regarded by the black and Asian communities here as a threat to their very lives and existence? Why does not the hon. and learned Gentleman condemn out of hand the tenor of questions such as the one asked by the hon. Member for Basildon (Mr. Proctor)?

Mr. Waddington

The vast majority of members of ethnic minority communities settled here wish to stay and have no interest in repatriation. I agree that it helps no one to pretend otherwise.

Mr. Pitt

In view of the well-publicised distortion of Metropolitan police crime figures by the hon. Member for Basildon (Mr. Proctor), will the Minster consider the inclusion of racist attacks on people and property in the next figures to redress the balance?

Mr. Waddington

That is an entirely different question.

Mr. Richard Shepherd

Does the review referred to by my hon. and learned Friend cover the repatriation of those such as the Romanian citizen, which was the subject of such controversy in recent weeks? Does it not argue for a more open system of review of such cases?

Mr. Waddington

There is another question about the Romanian citizen to whom my hon. Friend referred. The repatriation scheme applies to Commonwealth citizens.