HC Deb 19 March 1923 vol 161 cc2139-40W

asked the Minister of Agriculture how many schemes formulated by the Overseas Settlement Committee for land settlement overseas have been submitted to his Department for consideration; how many skilled agricultural workers have been settled overseas under schemes approved by his Department; whether the literature now being circulated to agricultural workers, describing their prospects overseas as compared with their outlook in this country, has been brought under his notice in connection with the Government's programme for home rural development; and when such programme is likely to be disclosed?


A scheme for land settlement in Western Australia was sent to my Department for consideration by the Overseas Settlement Committee last year, and I understand that that is the only land settlement scheme, so far, agreed under the Empire Settlement Act. Apart from that scheme, three schemes of assisted passages have been arranged by the Committee to Australia, New-Zealand, and Ontario, and the total number of persons (including women and children) assisted to proceed overseas, under these schemes, up to the end of February was 13,470. It is not possible to say how many of these persons could be described as skilled agricultural workers, but 2,660 of them are stated to have had previous experience in agricultural work. Copies of the literature issued by the Overseas Settlement Committee have been furnished to my Department. No special literature has been prepared for circulation among agricultural workers, and it is not the case, as suggested in the question, that the schemes of the Committee have to be approved by my Department.

Viscount SANDON

asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies if the delegates of the Overseas Settlement Committee will definitely make recommendations as to any changes in immigration procedure at the Australian end if they feel such to be desirable; and if their Report will be published?


With reference to the first part of the question, I would refer my hon. Friend to my reply of the 16th March. The question of the publication of the Report of the delegation will be considered when it has been received.