§ Mr. Fisher
asked the Minister of State for Commonwealth Relations what plans Her Majesty's Government have for maintaining at the present level or increasing the migration of United Kingdom citizens to the Commonwealth: and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. R. Thompson
Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom recognise the value to the Commonwealth connection of a steady flow of emigrants to 57W other Commonwealth countries and are as anxious as in the past that people from the United Kingdom should play a full part in the development of other Commonwealth countries. It continues to be their policy to encourage migration from this country to other parts of the Commonwealth. It will, however, be appreciated, as my hon. Friend the Minister of State said in reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Chigwell (Mr. Biggs-Davison) on 3rd December last, that the level of migration from the United Kingdom to other Commonwealth countries is in the last resort dependent on the voluntary decisions of individuals. These are influenced in large measure by economic circumstances and by arrangements made by the Governments of the receiving countries to attract migrants. The formulation of plans for maintaining or increasing the flow of migrants from the United Kingdom is thus primarily a matter for those Governments but the United Kingdom Government are very glad to collaborate with those Governments to this end.