§ 96. Mr. K. Lewis
asked the Minister of Labour whether he will reconsider the basis on which vouchers are issued under the Commonwealth Immigrants Act to applicants who have neither special skills nor jobs to come to.
§ Mr. Hare
The issue of vouchers to applicants who have neither special skills nor jobs to come to has up to now been on the basis of first come, first served, subject to a limit on the total number of vouchers being issued. During the debates on the Commonwealth Immigrants Bill I undertook to watch how this arrangement worked out in practice, and to adapt it if it appeared to be working unfairly. It has become clear, in the light of the very large number of applications received from India and Pakistan in recent months, that some modification of first come, first served is necessary in order to maintain a reasonable distribution of vouchers throughout the Commonwealth. I am therefore putting into operation the following modification to the scheme. The issue of vouchers will in future be subject to the condition that no Commonwealth country shall receive more than one quarter of the vouchers available for issue to applicants without special skills or jobs to come to. Subject to this limit it will continue to be on the basis of first come, first served. The arrangements for priority for those with Forces service will continue.
We have informed all Commonwealth Governments of our intention to introduce this modification and the reasons for it. Vouchers will continue to be issued without delay to applicants who can show they have special skills or jobs 91W to come to. I shall continue to keep the arrangements for issue of vouchers in all three categories under careful review.