Ethnic Communities

Oral Answers to Questions — Home Department – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 31st March 1977.

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Photo of Peter Bottomley Peter Bottomley , Greenwich Woolwich West 12:00 am, 31st March 1977

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent contact he has had with representatives of ethnic minority communities in the United Kingdom.

Photo of Mr Brynmor John Mr Brynmor John , Pontypridd

As the Minister with special responsibilities for race relations matters, I have in recent months, on behalf of my right hon. Friend, met a large number of such representatives, both during visits to different areas of the country and at the Home Office. My right hon. Friend, in addition to contact through correspondence, has himself met representatives of local minority groups from time to time and hopes to extend personal contacts of this kind as his other commitments allow.

Photo of Peter Bottomley Peter Bottomley , Greenwich Woolwich West

Will the Minister consult representatives of ethnic minority communities about the positive recommendations of the recent Select Committee report and undertake to ensure that there is a full debate in the House as soon as possible, because the recommendations are worthy of full discussion very soon?

Photo of Mr Brynmor John Mr Brynmor John , Pontypridd

I have discussed the question of West Indian teenages and young people with minority community leaders already, but I shall certainly redouble that in the light of the report that I have just received. On the question of a debate, my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House will be responsible for that but I shall draw the hon. Gentleman's words to his attention.

Photo of Mr Nicholas Budgen Mr Nicholas Budgen , Wolverhampton South West

When the Minister meets the ethnic groups, will he discuss with them the very serious and growing problem of overstaying, and the possibility of introducing some form of internal check to prevent overstaying? If he is not prepared to introduce such checks, what other measures is he prepared to take?

Photo of Mr Brynmor John Mr Brynmor John , Pontypridd

The Home Office is looking at the question of overstaying, as my right hon. Friend promised would be done. However, members of minority communities to whom I have spoken are certainly as conscious as anyone of the damage to race relations that overstaying does.

Photo of Mr Eddie Loyden Mr Eddie Loyden , Liverpool, Garston

In any reassessment of the community relations situation, will my hon. Friend ensure that consideration is given to the areas in which there is a great need for a presence? Will he look at the Liverpool situation, for instance, where there is an intended movement away of part of the CRE offices?

Photo of Mr Brynmor John Mr Brynmor John , Pontypridd

I understand what my hon. Friend has said. Along with other Liverpool Members, he has written to me about the proposed regional structure of the CRE. I have drawn this to the attention of the chairman. As a regional Member myself, I shall press him on the matter.