Coloured Population

Oral Answers to Questions — Ministry of Health – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 7th February 1966.

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Photo of Mr David Renton Mr David Renton , Huntingdonshire 12:00 am, 7th February 1966

asked the Minister of Health the present estimated size of the coloured population of Great Britain, and what it is expected to be in 1970 and 1980, respectively, if no further net increase in immigration takes place.

Photo of Mr Charles Loughlin Mr Charles Loughlin , Gloucestershire West

I regret that it is not possible to make these estimates.

Photo of Mr David Renton Mr David Renton , Huntingdonshire

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the previous Home Secretary and his predecessors made such estimates and that it is of public interest to know what the position is? Why has he decided to give no answer to this Question, more especially as it was put in the first place not to the Minister of Health but to the Home Secretary?

Photo of Mr Charles Loughlin Mr Charles Loughlin , Gloucestershire West

The Question asks whether we can estimate the size of the coloured population. Any examination of the implications of that question will clearly indicate that the only possible basis on which one could establish any analysis through census would be the basis of the country in which people were born. Consequently, it seems fairly obvious to me that a lot of children may well be born in other countries to white parents when the father is serving in the Forces or who are abroad for other reasons. Conversely a similar problem arises concerning children who are born of coloured people in this country and are registered in Great Britain. It is almost impossible to get this information.

Photo of Sir John Hall Sir John Hall , Wycombe

Is the Minister aware that his answer was so complicated that it was very difficult to follow? [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh, no."] Is it not absolutely true that his predecessor did volunteer information of this kind, and is it not also true that it is essential for a study of the problems which arise out of immigration to have some information of this kind?

Photo of Mr Charles Loughlin Mr Charles Loughlin , Gloucestershire West

No. I think the hon. Gentleman must recognise that there is an essential difference between making an estimate of the immigrants and making an estimate of coloured population. The migration figure will obviously include people who are white or pink, as the case may be, and if the hon. Gentleman wants information in respect of coloured people—which I would not want anyway—but if he does want it, then I say to him that it is virtually impossible to have it.