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New Zealand (Assisted Immigration Scheme)

Volume 438: debated on Wednesday 4 June 1947

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asked the Under-Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs whether a statement can now be made as to assisted migration to new Zealand.

At the request of the New Zealand Government, negotiations have recently taken place on this subject. The original basis of the negotiations was the conclusion of agreements similar to those made with Australia whereby the United Kingdom Government would provide free passages for former members of the United Kingdom Forces and would share with the Dominion Government the cost of passages for other categories of migrants, less a proportion to be borne by the migrants themselves. In the course of the discussions, however, the New Zealand Government intimated that, in present conditions, they were willing to find all governmental contributions in respect of passages for both categories. They accordingly offered to meet the full cost of passages in the case of ex-Service migrants and the full cost less £10 to be paid by the migrants themselves in other cases. The United Kingdom Government gratefully accepted this generous offer.

The New Zealand Government have now announced their intention of opening schemes on the above basis. For the time being, the schemes will generally be limited to men and women between the ages of 20 and 35 who are either single or widowed and without dependent children and are willing to engage for a period of two years in certain selected occupations. Full particulars as to the schemes, including the date of their opening and the types of migrants desired, will be announced in due course by the New Zealand authorities. The House will, I am sure, be glad to know that these arrangements have been made, and will welcome the very liberal attitude which the New Zealand Government have adopted.

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the burden of this scheme seems to fall exclusively on the New Zealand Government, and are not His Majesty's Government going to make a substantial contribution in order that migration can be further advanced?

The New Zealand Government quite voluntarily made this proposal, and, as I said in my original statement, this generous offer was accepted.