Macdonald Urges Entry of Aliens to Dominions As Commons Votes to Spur British Migration

The House of Commons tonight unanimously approved a motion urging the government, in the vital interests of empire safety, to encourage British emigration to the sparsely-settled dominions. Colonial and dominions secretary Malcolm MacDonald, in supporting the motion submitted by john F. E. Crowder, Conservative said the “voice of the British people in the defense of world peace” would be far stronger than it is today if Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the Union of South Africa were more heavily populated.

In what was believed a plea to the Dominions to permit entry of German Jewish refugees on the immigration lists, Mr. MacDonald recommended allowing limited numbers of foreigners to settle in the Dominions, arguing that at present England itself could not supply all the emigrants needed. Dwelling on the possibilities of foreign immigration, the secretary said:

“There are people who say that if you allow too many foreigners to settle in the Dominions, it would alter the whole national character of those Dominions. That is absolutely right if you allow too many to go.

“Take the case of Australia. The population of Australia is 90 per cent British. It would require an enormous flow of foreigners to reduce that percentage to a level at which the robust British character of the Australian nation is going to be seriously altered. The same is true of New Zealand.

“I admit that the position is different in Canada and south Africa. Different considerations come in there. But I certainly would not criticize the Australian Government for doing what they are doing today — giving facilities for the right type of foreigners to go and settle in Australia. Let them try to get some of the best specimens of the best agricultural populations in Europe.”

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