HC Deb 17 March 1955 vol 538 cc135-6W
41. Mr. T. Reid

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, in view of the fact that about 40,000 or 50,000 immigrants from the East have settled down in Britain after coming here as members of ships' crews and deserting their ships when in British ports, what steps have been taken to prevent this indiscriminate immigration

Major Lloyd-George

I am satisfied that very few alien seamen deserters succeed in evading the close control which is exercised under the powers conferred by the Aliens Order. I am aware that a considerable number of British seamen deserters from overseas are now resident in the United Kingdom, but I have no information to support the figures given in the Question. While the Merchant Shipping Acts provide for the punishment of deserters and in certain circumstances for their return to their ships, there is no power to prevent British subjects from taking up residencein the United Kingdom.