I beg to ask the Lord Advocate whether his attention has been directed to the fact that complaints have been made by many Scottish emigrants to Canada that the promises of employment and wages upon which they were induced to emigrate have not been fulfilled; and whether he proposes to take any steps, by prosecution or otherwise, to put a stop to these fraudulent practices on the part of emigration agencies in Scotland.
Complaints of the nature indicated by my hon. friend have recently been brought to my notice and they are being made the subject of careful investigation. The results, so far, are not such as to justify proceedings. I think it right, however, to say publicly that there can be little doubt that the practice alleged, viz., of inducing emigration by fraudulent pretences would, if established, bring the offenders within the criminal law and make them liable to severe penalties under the Merchant Shipping Act of 1906.
was understood to ask if there was not plenty of employment at standard rates of wages for desirable men in England and Scotland.
said he could say nothing as to that.