Commonwealth Citizens

Oral Answers to Questions — Employment – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 12th November 1970.

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Photo of Mr Sydney Bidwell Mr Sydney Bidwell , Southall 12:00 am, 12th November 1970

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what is his policy regarding varying the present regulations over employment of Commonwealth citizens coming to work in this country.

Photo of Mr Paul Bryan Mr Paul Bryan , Howden

A statement of the Government's policy on immigration was made by my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary in the course of the debate on the Gracious Speech and I have, at present, nothing to add to this.—[Vol. 804, col. 211.]

Photo of Mr Sydney Bidwell Mr Sydney Bidwell , Southall

Is the Minister aware that his Department's evidence to the Select Committee on Race Relations and Immigration in the previous Parliament, the evidence from the Home Office and the evidence from C.B.I. representatives and the T.U.C. alike was that there was no enthusiasm for this change of policy? Is it not, therefore, a costly gimmick, and will it not lead to harassment of coloured people in this country?

Photo of Mr Paul Bryan Mr Paul Bryan , Howden

I cannot agree to that at all. The policy of my right hon. Friend, as laid down in the Gracious Speech, is a general policy to ensure that there is no more permanent large-scale immigration. But side by side goes another policy which I put forward in the very first speech I made as Minister in this Department, which was in Manchester. The point which I tried to make there and the emphasis which I tried to lay was that our whole objective is to create conditions in industry in which Commonwealth immigrants would finally have the same opportunities as citizens of this country.

Photo of Mr James Scott-Hopkins Mr James Scott-Hopkins , West Derbyshire

Would my right hon. Friend agree that many coloured immigrants are working in this country illegally? Will he use his utmost endeavours to see that these people are found out and returned to their country of origin?

Photo of Mr Paul Bryan Mr Paul Bryan , Howden

I do not think that that comes under this Question.