Immigrants

Oral Answers to Questions — Home Department – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 26th October 1967.

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Photo of Mr John Biggs-Davison Mr John Biggs-Davison , Chigwell 12:00 am, 26th October 1967

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will make a statement about the illegal immigration and attempted illegal immigration of Pakistanis and others.

Photo of Mr David Renton Mr David Renton , Huntingdonshire

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what further evidence has come to light in recent months of the methods used by would-be Commonwealth immigrants to evade the immigration control; and whether he will make a statement.

Photo of Mr David Ennals Mr David Ennals , Dover

Eight men were taken into custody on 22nd August after landing clandestinely on the Kent coast. After enquiries and full consultation with the Pakistan High Commission, they were returned to Pakistan on 10th September. In proceedings before the Bradford City Magistrates on 19th September, evidence was given that another party of immigrants had landed by similar means in May. My right hon. Friend is determined to deal firmly with clandestine immigration and there is close co-operation between the Immigration Service and the police.

Photo of Mr John Biggs-Davison Mr John Biggs-Davison , Chigwell

Could the hon. Gentleman say what proceedings were taken against the British crooks he said were engaged in this attempt to procure the immigration of these unfortunate Pakistanis?

Photo of Mr David Ennals Mr David Ennals , Dover

As a result of what happened in that case, we know a great deal about the existence of an organisation overseas who plan this type of clandestine operation. Information is in the hands of the police and has been passed to Continental police forces and to the Pakistani High Commission. The immigrants are, of course, the victims, though not innocent ones, of the racketeers.

Photo of Mr Raphael Tuck Mr Raphael Tuck , Watford

Does my hon. Friend realise that it is the easiest thing in the world for an illegal immigrant to enter this country via Southern Ireland, then Northern Ireland and then to here? Is it not about time he started making it imperative for passports to be shown on visits from Northern Ireland?

Photo of Mr David Ennals Mr David Ennals , Dover

It is by no means the easiest thing in the world, because the authorities in Ireland have a very effective means of passport control and there is very little evidence at all of those people moving from Ireland into the United Kingdom.

Photo of Sir Knox Cunningham Sir Knox Cunningham , South Antrim

Will the hon. Gentleman not be seduced by his hon. Friend, and will he make quite certain that no restrictions will be placed on any part of the United Kingdom? Might I also ask him whether these immigrants had forged papers when they were found?

Photo of Mr David Ennals Mr David Ennals , Dover

In answer to the first part of the Question, I can assure the hon. and learned Gentleman that there is no intention at all of imposing some form of restriction upon those travelling from Northern Ireland to other parts of the United Kingdom. In answer to the second part of the Question, when the Pakistanis were caught, due to the effectiveness of the police and those who reported seeing the event, they were without any papers at all.

Photo of Mr Duncan Sandys Mr Duncan Sandys , Wandsworth Streatham

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what further steps he is taking to reduce the influx of Commonwealth immigrants including relatives of those already here, and including also persons in East Africa who have no connection with Great Britain but who are entitled to British passports; and what assistance he proposes to give to immigrants in Great Britain who would like to leave.

Photo of Mr Roy Jenkins Mr Roy Jenkins , Birmingham Stechford

The number of Commonwealth immigrants coming here with vouchers for employment is strictly controlled. The great majority of dependants now entering are the wives and children of Commonwealth citizens resident here. They have a statutory right of entry. I have no power to exclude citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies holding passports issued by the United Kingdom Government, wherever resident. Arrangements exist for paying the fare of a Commonwealth immigrant who wishes to return home and is unable to pay the fare himself or obtain it from other sources.

Photo of Mr Duncan Sandys Mr Duncan Sandys , Wandsworth Streatham

Has the right hon. Gentleman anything to say about the suggestion made by the Government of Guyana that the British Government might give assistance to West Indians here who might wish to settle in Guyana? Can he also say how many Asians from East Africa entered Britain in August and September this year?

Photo of Mr Roy Jenkins Mr Roy Jenkins , Birmingham Stechford

On the first point, we are already prepared, as I indicated, to pay the fares of those who cannot obtain them elsewhere and clearly wish to go home, but we must have regard for those who wish to go home. As to the other figures, there has been a substantial increase in the numbers coming here. In August the figure was about 1,400 and in September about 2,600. I am glad to say that the indications are that the October figure will be substantially below the September one. This, as the right hon. Gentleman, above all, should know, because he negotiated Kenyan independence and left this problem, is a delicate problem.

Photo of David Winnick David Winnick , Croydon South

Is my right hon. Friend aware that many of us are nauseated by the sort of racialist propaganda that the right hon. Member for Streatham (Mr. Sandys) makes as his pet theme? Does not my right hon. Friend feel that the constant type of Question that we have had today from the right hon. Member can do nothing but stir racial trouble in Britain?

Photo of Mr Roy Jenkins Mr Roy Jenkins , Birmingham Stechford

I expressed certain views about the previous Question from the right hon. Gentleman which did not appear to command absolutely unanimous support in the House.