HC Deb 14 June 1945 vol 411 cc1819-20W

The New Zealand Government desire greater population in New Zealand, and fully recognise its importance in the development of the Dominion. At the present time, however, and for some time in the future, they are faced with two major problems. There is first the necessity for rehabilitating men discharged from the New Zealand forces. Secondly, it is essential to remedy tine extreme shortage of housing, which is so considerable that it can only be overcome by extensive and large scale building operations, which will take some time to complete so long as the Dominion is at war. Civil construction work is severely limited by the shortage of man-power and materials, and it may be some little time before the building programme, which was largely suspended on the outbreak of war, can be resumed to the extent needed.

There may be some immediate openings for migrants of particular types, and the possible establishment of new industries in the Dominion should in due course provide openings for an expanding range of skilled workers. The existing obstacles, however, are such that the New Zealand Government cannot contemplate entering on a commitment to assist migration of people from overseas until these have been overcome. They are, of course, ready to welcome migrants from the United Kingdom and other parts of the British Commonwealth who do not require special assistance, financial or otherwise, in establishing themselves in the Dominion.