HC Deb 23 May 1924 vol 173 cc2564-6W

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Overseas Trade Department if he will state the number of persons who have left this country under the various assisted schemes of emigration and overseas settlement agencies during the latest complete years for which returns are available; the approximate cost of passage per head; the total cost involved; what proportion of the cost falls upon the Exchequer; to what extent that cost is recoverable; and what is being received?


The number of persons who proceeded overseas under the Government free passage scheme for ex-service men and ex-service women, which operated from the 8th April, 1919, to the 31st December, 1922, was as follows:

Canada 26,905
Australia 37,576
New Zealand 13,349
South Africa and Rhodesia 6,064
Other parts of the Empire 2,133
Total 86,027

The total expenditure by the Imperial Government was £2,418,263 and the average cost of passage per head was approximately £28.

The number of persons assisted to proceed overseas under the Empire Settlement Act, 1922, and the expenditure of the Imperial Government up to the 31st March last was as follows:

Imperial Government Expenditure.
Number of Settlers. £
Canada 7,957 48,300
Australia 38,779 341,400
New Zealand 8,287 70,200
South Africa 13 200
Totals 55,036 £460,100
Of this sum, £103,998 was advanced by way of loans to migrants and recoveries up to the 31st March last amounted to £4,051.

The basis of the expenditure incurred under the Empire Settlement Act is that the contribution of His Majesty's Govern- ment shall not exceed one-half of the cost of the scheme concerned. Detailed information is not, however, available as to the amounts expended by the Dominion Governments on the settlers under the Act. It should be added that the figures given include certain schemes arranged between the Imperial Government and philanthropic societies in this country, in which the Dominion Governments do not share.

The fare for assisted passages per adult is as follows:

  • Canada, £16 (with rebate of £3 from 1st March to 31st October, 1924,
  • Australia and New Zealand, £33.
The portion of the fare paid by the Imperial Government varies in each case, according to the amount of loan required.