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Empire Settlement

Volume 319: debated on Tuesday 2 February 1937

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asked the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs whether he is aware that a resolution was passed by an overwhelming majority of the Legislative Assembly of the province of Saskatchewan on 27th February, 1936, urging the Canadian Government to get into touch with His Majesty's Government in Great Britain with a view to putting forward a scheme for the voluntary redistribution of the white peoples of the Empire; and whether, in view of this official expression of opinion from one of the Canadian Provinces, he will reconsider the question of British migration to that country and renew negotiations with the Canadian Government in this connection?

I have seen the resolution passed by the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan last February. As is pointed out in my hon. Friend's question, the Resolution was addressed to the Canadian Government, and it is clearly for the Canadian Government to decide what action, if any, they propose to take in regard to it. As regards the more general issue raised in the second part of the question, as I stated in the Debate on 25th January, the Government here take every occasion that presents itself of discussing this important subject with Dominion Ministers, and I hope that the forthcoming Imperial Conference will provide a further opportunity of doing so.

Could the hon. and gallant Gentleman ask the Canadian Government in the meantime whether they have considered the proposal of the Saskatchewan Government?

I am quite prepared to make inquiries, but it is for the Canadian Government to consider the matter and to take any initiative which they wish.


asked the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs what is the most recent information he has received with reference to the number of settlers in the state of Victoria from the United Kingdom who have been, and are still, in a state of distress on account of conditions not being fulfilled upon which they were induced to emigrate to Victoria and take up land there; and is he satisfied that the agreements bearing on this matter, entered into between His Majesty's Government and the Commonwealth of Australia, have been carried out?

Of the 311 Settlers under the Victoria Land Settlement Schemes whose cases were dealt with by the Royal Commission set up by the Victoria Government in 1930, only about half a dozen, so far as any recent information on record in my Department shows, are still finding difficulty in reestablishing themselves, either in this country or in Australia. I have reason to believe that the settlement adopted by the Government of Victoria, with the concurrence of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth Governments, subsequent to the Royal Commission's Report has been put fully in effect.

Is anything being done to assist the half dozen who have found difficulty in trying to establish themselves?

It is as a result of our assistance that in many other cases the settlers have found satisfactory employment. We have done everything we could in the case of those half dozen when they have asked us to do so, and we are ready to continue giving any help we possibly can.