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Powell and Britain’s future

September 30th, 1985

A letter to the Sunday Telegraph which was published on 30th September 1985.

In your editorial last Sunday you say that Mr Powell’s proposal for re-emigration of a proportion of the New Commonwealth immigrant population has a disturbing vagueness.  In fact, government-promoted emigration goes back at least to 1822 when the then Under-Secretary for the colonies advocated State-aided emigration as a remedy for unemployment.

Gibbon Wakefield’s later scheme was of course the basis of settlement in New Zealand and South Australia.  In the present century the Empire Settlement Act of 1922, together with heavy government promotion formed the basis of State-aided emigration.  Clearly if the emigration of native British people has been so encouraged there can be no moral objection to profitable emigration to countries of their own race for minorities who have for the most part been established in England for less than 25 years.

Those member of the ethnic minorities who have settled in peacefully and industriously would presumably not want to re-emigrate, but others may well wish to take advantage of a properly organised and publicised scheme.

At a time when schemes for spending £5 billion or more per annum on public works are canvassed almost daily, the same sum paid once might resettle a quarter of a million families, say one and a quarter million people, in countries which would thereby gain the biggest injection of capital they are ever likely to have.  The unemployment figures here would tumble; relief would be given to our hard-pressed social services; those who find life among English people uncongenial would have an alternative.  All except those with an interest in stirring up touble would benefit.  So my question, following Mr Powell’s is: why do the politicians and the media refuse even to discuss the idea?