HC Deb 19 December 1928 vol 223 cc3020-4W

asked the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs whether, in the agreement between the Government and the British steamship companies to carry migrants from this country to Canada at a passage rate of £10, any arrangement has been made as between the steamship company or the Government and the migrant binding him to reside in Canada for a certain number of years; and, if not, what does the terms "permanently reside" mean, in view of the opportunities to, and the number of British subjects who do, leave Canada for the United States of America?


Persons who avail themselves of the £10 British migrant rate to Canada will be required to sign a declaration that it is their intention to reside permanently in Canada. On arrival in Canada, they may be required to repeat this declaration under oath.


asked the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs whether he is now in a position to make any further statement with regard to the future arrangements for migration to Canada?


As the House is aware, the question of migration has been the subject of most anxious attention by the Government here during the last few months—particularly in relation to Canada. My Noble Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs made a special visit to the Dominion in August and September, and the schemes which he discussed with His Majesty's Government in Canada have been carefully examined since the conclusion of his visit. These discussions have not in some cases reached a stage where it is possible to make any definite statement, but it will be remembered that on one most important point, viz., the passage rates to Canada, I was able to make announcements in the House on 7th December and 17th December which show a considerable advance. A statement which summarises the position in regard to passage rates and also indicates the progress made in other directions, is appended.

I would add that His Majesty's Government have been so much impressed with the need for strengthening the machinery in this country for supervising and coordinating migration arrangements that it has been decided to appoint a Chair-of the Oversea Settlement Committee who will be able to devote his whole time to the work. I am happy to be able to announce that my Noble Friend the Par- liamentary Under-Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs has been asked by the Prime Minister to undertake the task, and has accepted. As the House knows, he has, unfortunately, had a temporary breakdown in health caused by the strain of his recent tour, but I am hopeful that he will be able to commence work again soon after the New Year.

Following is the statement:


(a) Special £10 rate for British Migrants.

As a result of negotiations with the steamship companies the third class ocean passage rate for all British migrants proceeding to Canada has been reduced from £18 15s. to £. Any person who is in a position to pay this rate can proceed to Canada without any formality other than that of a medical examination before leaving this country to ensure that there will be no difficulty in his admission to Canada upon arrival. It is anticipated that the reduction in the ocean rate will lead to a substantial increase in the number of persons proceeding to Canada without Government assistance.

The arrangements under which all migrants proceeding to Canada are medically examined free of charge before leaving this country have been modified, so that the migrant may if he so desires be examined free of charge by one of approximately 500 private doctors in addition to the official doctors of the Canadian Government.

(b) Assisted Passages.

Assisted passages at the rates prevailing last year (i.e., from £2 to £8 according to the destination in Canada) will be available for families proceeding to work on the land (with free passages for all members of such families under 19 years of age) and to women household workers. Boys under 19 years of age accepted under any Government scheme for juvenile farm workers or proceeding under the auspices of a recognised voluntary society, and girls up to 17 years of age proceeding to household work under the same arrangements gill receive free passages and free rail` ay fares in Canada.

The wives and children of men who were satisfactorily settled in Canada before June 6th last will receive assisted passages, even though the head of the family is not settled on the land, at the rate of £3 15s. for adults with free passages for children under 17 years of age.

There will be no assisted passages under the Government scheme for single men next year in view of the reduced flat ocean passage rate.

In cases where single men are not in a position to provide the whole of the rate it is proposed that the British Government should provide loans to approved agricultural workers, i.e., to approved workers proceeding to Canada to take up agricultural employment.

Family Settlement:

(a) Government Land Settlement Schemes.

Under the Land Settlement Scheme arranged between the British Government, the Dominion Government and the Government of New Brunswick 100 families will be placed on improved farms in that Province next year. The farms are purchased by the New Brunswick Government, advances up to £300 are made by the British Government, and the settlement arrangements are under the supervision of the Dominion Government.

The Dominion Government scheme for the settlement of 3,000 families on the land in Canada has been extended for a further year and 350 additional families will he settled under that scheme next year.

(b) Boys' Land Settlement Scheme.

The scheme under which the British and Dominion Governments have agreed to make advances up to 2,500 dollars to British boys who have settled in Canada as land workers when they reach the age of 21 is being adopted by the Provinces of Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick. Applications for settlement under this scheme are now being received and actual settlement will commence next year.

(c) Cottage Schemes.

To meet the need for housing accommodation for families in rural districts in Canada 100 cottages are to be erected in the Province of Ontario for occupation by British families. The cost of erection will he shared jointly between the Dominion Government, the Provincial Government and the British Government.

Schemes for the erection of cottages are being discussed with the other Provincial Governments and with certain voluntary societies.

A scheme has also been arranged between the British Government and the Canadian Pacific Railway for the erection of 100 cottages.

(d) Voluntary Societies.

Voluntary societies working in close co-operation with the British and Dominion Governments will it is hoped make increased efforts in regard to migration under their auspices and in particular it may be mentioned that the Navy League of Canada are undertaking to place a number of families in Canada next year and that the United Church of Canada are making special arrangements to receive and place 600 youths and 400 single men in farm work.

Training Overseas.

Training Schemes for Youths and Young Women in Alberta.

The Alberta Government have agreed to receive 190 young men and 200 young women in the spring of next year, to provide them with an intensive course of training at the Provincial Agricultural Schools in farming or household work, and at the end of the period of training to place them in employment and to look after them for a year. The tuition will be free but the students will have to provide their own board and lodging during the month's training.

Training in the United Kingdom.

Increased facilities for providing training for farm work for single men are being provided by the Ministry of Labour.

Centres for providing training in domestic work for women intending to settle overseas are being established at Newcastle, Glasgow, Liverpool, London, and in South Wales. Additional centres for providing preliminary training in farm work for boys on the lines of the Newcastle Training Hostel have been established at Liverpool and Bristol, and further centres will shortly be opened in South Wales, in Hull and in Glasgow.