asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Overseas Trade Department (1) if he will arrange for the Oversea Settlement Committee to get into direct communication with boards of guardians with a view to interesting local authorities in Empire settlement;
(2) if he will state under which Act boards of guardians can contribute £10 towards the expenses of people, who are desirous of migrating; and whether the efforts of boards of guardians in the direction of migration can be co-ordinated with the work of the Oversea Settlement Committee?
The Over-sea Settlement Committee, which is working in close co-operation with the Ministry of Health, is preparing a circular letter to boards of guardians in regard to schemes under the Empire Settlement Act, which will, it is hoped, be issued at an early date. I am sending my hon. and gallant Friend a note of the statutes to which he refers.
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Overseas Trade Department if he is now in a position to state what improvements he proposes to effect with a view to speeding up the machinery of the Oversea Settlement Committee for the migration of those families who wish to settle in the Dominions?
Delays in connection with family migration are not, I think, attributable to any defects in the machinery of the Oversea Settlement Committee, but to two great difficulties, namely, the lack of accommodation for families in the country districts overseas, and the question of providing maintenance for families overseas whilst the breadwinners are obtaining the necessary training in land work. As I have already informed my hon. and gallant Friend, these two questions are engaging my particular attention, but I am not yet in a position to make any statement.
asked the Prime Minister whether he is aware of the existence of the European Settlers' League in Fiji; and whether, in view of the potentialities of this Colony, the Government is prepared to co-operate with that organisation in encouraging British settlement in that Colony?
I am aware of, and sympathise with, the feeling in Fiji in favour of British settlement but I am not at present in a position to give any assurance as to the prospect of His Majesty's Government being able to co-
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Overseas Trade Department if he is in a position to give the names of the gentlemen who are serving on the Oversea Settlement Committee; whether any of them have never visited the Overseas Dominions or Colonies; and, if so, whether he can give their names?
The matter will have to be discussed very carefully with the Governor, in view of the financial position of Fiji, and I am afraid it will take a long time to communicate with him and to get his answer back.
The total number of persons who have proceeded to the three Dominions in question during the 12 months ended the 31st March, 1923, under the free passage scheme for ex-service men and women and the Empire Settlement Act, respectively, is as follows:
The names of the members of the Overseas Settlement Committee are as follow:—
Of these, seven have never visited the Dominions or Colonies. Their names are:—
Major Sir GEORGE HAMILTON:66.
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Overseas Trade Department if he is in a position to indicate what arrangements, if any, have been made by his Department, in conjunction or otherwise with the Oversea Settlement Committee, to extend credit facilities for the purchase of materials necessary for the opening up and development of new areas suitable for settlers overseas?