HC Deb 19 January 1984 vol 52 c441
13. Mr. Proctor

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he has now completed his review of the administrative criteria governing the repatriation scheme under section 29 of the Immigration Act 1971; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Waddington

The review of the criteria has been completed arid we propose to make a number of changes. We shall shortly be issuing a revised circular to local authorities and other interested bodies describing them. In consultation with the DHSS, we have also completed a review of the feasibility of combining the section 29 scheme with similar arrangements operated under supplementary benefit legislation. We have decided that there should be a single principal repatriation scheme based on the section 29 scheme. The effects of this change will also be described in the new circular.

Mr. Proctor

I congratulate my hon. and learned Friend on his political courage in reviewing these schemes, but may I press on him the importance of ensuring that the schemes are administered by a Government Department?

Mr. Waddington

I cannot give my hon. Friend the answer that he wants. The ISS has long experience of immigration welfare work. If we did not use the ISS, we would have to provide finance and staff for a separate unit within central Government.

Mr. Bidwell

Will the hon. and learned Gentleman make it clear, whenever he addresses his mind to this issue both inside and outside the House, that there can be no opportunity for mass repatriation of Asians or West Indians, and that those people should be encouraged to take British citizenship as fast as they can? We are talking about the third generation—the babies of the babies—and pure racism lies behind the supplementary question of the hon. Member for Billericay (Mr. Proctor).

Mr. Waddington

I agree with the hon. Gentleman that it is quite wrong to give those who are lawfully settled here the impression that they are unwelcome and that we want them to clear off. However, it is right to give help to those who genuinely want to go but cannot afford to do so.