§ 1. Captain STRICKLAND
asked the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs whether it has yet been found possible to make arrangements with the Commonwealth of Australia and Victorian Governments for the settlement of the claims of the British settlers in Victoria; and whether he will inform the House what steps are being taken to give effect to the findings of the Royal Commission on migrant land settlement?
The SECRETARY of STATE for DOMINION AFFAIRS(Mr. J. H. Thomas)
I am informed that the Government of Victoria, after careful consideration of the Report of the Royal Commission, are convening a conference to consist of two representatives each of the Commonwealth and State Governments and the representative in the Commonwealth of His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom. Under the agreements between His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom and His Majesty's Government in the Commonwealth, by which the settlement schemes dealt with in the report were brought into operation, His Majesty's Government in the Commonwealth undertook full responsibility for seeing that all proper arrangements were made by the Victoria Government for the satisfactory settlement of the migrant settlers from this country, and it is for those Governments therefore now to take the necessary action to deal with the situation disclosed in the report. In order, however, to afford all possible assistance in the matter, I have authorised the United Kingdom representative to attend the proposed conference, which will meet to-morrow.
§ 4. Mr. MAXTON
asked the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs what has been the total amount expended by this country under the provisions of the Empire Settlement Act, 1922; how much of that has been paid in respect of settlers in the Commonwealth of Australia; and how much on settlement in the State of Victoria?
The total amount expended by His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom, under the Empire Settlement Act, 1922, to 31st March, 1933, is £6,584,529. The amount paid in respect of settlers in the Commonwealth of Australia is £3,454,210, being 21,928,772 for assisted passages, £1,390,887 for land settlement and development, and £134,551 for training and aftercare. Of the sum of £1,390,887 expended on land settlement and development, £216,975 was paid in respect of settlement in the State of Victoria.
§ Mr. MAXTON
Will the British representative at the Conference which the right hon. Gentleman has just announced have power to demand the repayment of that money from the State of Victoria, since the contract has not been carried out?
He will have power to act as the representative of the British Government, and to report accordingly.