Report on Emigration for 1954
Maltese migration is principally directed to Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the U.S.A.
The improvement in the economic situation of Australia which followed the trade recession of 1952 was steadily maintained and during 1954 Australia received a record number of migrants from Malta, mainly, 8,470, as compared with 1,376 during 1953. The previous highest figure was 5,563 in 1950.
This unprecedented movement led to a great deal of improvisation and to a big strain on the limited resources of this Department. It was possible only because of the financial assistance received from the Government of Australia and the United Kingdom, of the unstinted co-operation received from the Australia Legation in Rome whose Selection Teams, displaying much understanding and sympathy, interviewed a continuous flow of migrants, to the Inter-Governmental Committee for European Migration in Geneva which provided much valuable shipping space, and to the team-work and unfailing sense of duty of my staff.
It is not generally realised that for a every migrant who sails from Malta at least three more persons are processed in exactly the same way. These represent relatives who stay behind and a few who fail to make the grade or change their minds. So that when looking at the figure of documentation in accordance with the regulations governing immigration into that country.
Since 1948 an Agreement has been in operation between Australia and Malta under which the two Governments provide assistance towards the cost of passages to Australia. The Agreement expired on the 31st December, 1950, was extended to 30th June, 1951, and then renewed, with minor amendments, to the 30th of June 1953. In 1953 it was again renewed to the 30th June 1955 and negotiations are nowssisted passages amounted to Stg 141,459 compared with Stg 26,734 during 1953. Since the Agreement came into operation in 1948 Australia has contributed a total of Stg 469,000.
In 1953 the United Kingdom Government granted assistance towards emigration from Malta on a two-thirds basis up to a maximum of Stg 200,000 a year for four ybution to migrants in such a way as to reduce their contribution to only Stg 10 whether they proceeded to Australia or Canada, b) to make an allowance of from Stg 20 to Stg 30 to the dependents of migrants proceeding ahead of their families to tide over the period of the voyage, c) to provide for the appointment of Migration Officers and Agents in Australia to do welfare work and open up new areas for Maltese setive in Canada.
Following the improvement in the employment situation in Australia it became apparent early in 1954 that the United Kingdom grant of Stg 200,000 for 1954/55 would be inadequate. It was also felt that further consideration should be given to the implementation of a scheme, proposed as far back as 1950, for the vocational training of prospective migrants. Discussions were held with Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom in May 1954 by a Delegation composed of the then Prime Minister, the then Minister of Education & Labour, the Deputy Attorney General and myself. Her Majesty's Government agreed to increase their contribution for 1954/55 towards assisted migration from Stg 200,000 to Stg 427,000 and to make a supplementary contribution of Stg 400,000 under the present Colonial Development and Welfare Act to finance the vocational training for prospective migrants. In November, 1954, following arranr the provision of shipping, there was scope to increase the movement still further and Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom again agreed to make a further grant of Stg 142,000, bringing their total authorised contribution towards assisted migration for the financial year to Stg 569,000.
The cost of the migration programme for 1954-55 was actually borne by the Government of Australia, the United Kingdom and Malta in the following proportion:
In addition the United Kingdom Government made, as already stated, a grant of Stg 400,000 to finance the vocational training of prospective migrants.
In 1950 Ithere recognised as being grave and urgent no less than that of other countries in Western Europe. One of the direct results of that Conference was the setting up of the Inter-Governmental Committee for European Migration " to preserve the stability of many European nations who, through no fault of their own, are burdened with surplus populations, by assisting large segments of their peoples to resettle in the vast, unexploited regions of the Western World."
Practically all the countries represented at the Paris Confere latter countries are Australia, Canada and the U.S.A. which, as already stated, the three principal countries to which Maltese migration is traditionally directed.
The United Kingdom Government is not yet a member-country but last year I had the honour to attend the Committee's Eighth Session in the capacity of a jointalta. Important statements were made by delegates of the immigration and emigration countries and important aspects were discussed. Furthermore important contacts were made with representatives of the immigration countries from which Malta is bound to derive, as it has already derived, much benefit.
A tentative programme to provide shipping to move 5,000 migrants from Malta to Australia during the first six montovement.
During the year under review Canada received 963 migrants compared with 770 during the previous year. The employment situation was less favourable than in previous years with the result that no fewer than 135 migrants returned to Malta as against 48 in 1953.
Except for those who have been hit by the adverse employment situation, our settlers are generally enthusiastic about Canada where they have settled with ease in spite of the marked difference in the climatic conditions of the two countries. Canada has now embarked on a considerable expansion of her great resources and in 1955 her employment position is bound to improve.
As I said in my previous report complete understanding on the question of migration from Malta to Canada still has to be reached with the Canadian Government.
On the 24th December, 1952 the United States Government enacted the McCarran-Walter Act which practically barred for the first time a traditional outlet for migration from Malta. Until the Act was enacted Malta could make an unlimited use of the unused balance of the United Kingdom quota, but the Act restricted to 100 a year the use of such balance.
Many of the migrants who proceeded to the U.S.A. before the enactment of the Act had left e joined by their relatives.
Representations made in Washington during the last two years for an amendment of the Act have so far been unsuccessful. In the course of the Eight Session of the Inter-Governmental Committee for European Migration, of which I have referred earlier, I was struck by the humanitarian spirit shown by Member-Countries, partin Malta who were unable to join settlers in the U.S.A. The Delegation showed keen interest and requested details of these relatives in order to see if the position could be remedied.
Accordingly, all relatives were invited to register at this Department and within three weeks it was possible to send to Washington lists giving the names and addresses of their sponsors in the U.S.A. The relationship to the sponsors was as follows:
The matter is now receiving attention in Washington.
The need for the vocational training of prospective migrants has always been strongly felt. A Migrants' Training Centre was maintained on a small scale at the Government Experimental Farm at Ghammieri up to 1939 and the results achieved were very satisfactory. After the War a programme of evening courses was launched and during 1954 an average of 440 prospective migrants attended the following:
This instruction is obviously inadequate. While in Paris attending the Migration Conference of Experts in 1950 I approached the International Labour Organization and invited them to send experts to Malta to study the whole question. The experts arrived shortly afterwards and, after a thorough investigation , submitted their recommendations for the early initiation of a scheme for the training of prospective migrants, E.C.A. providing 50% of the capital expenditure, besides other assistance in the way of I.L.O. instructors and training of Maltese personnel to take over from those instructors, etc. However the cost of the recurrent expenditure was then considered to be beyond the means of the Government.
As I stated earlier in this Report the whole question was discussed by a Ministerial Delegati the I.L.O.
Accordingly a further visit was paid to Malta by two other I.L.O. experts in October 1954 who were accompanied by the Technical Adviser to the Australian Government whose advice was sought as to the trades in which the trading should be undertaken.
The Experts' recommendations have now been referred to the Governments of Australia and Canada. Canada has already replied and as soon as advice is received from Australia steps will immediately be taken to implement the scheme.
For the first time in the history of migration from Malta, the population was last year substantially reduced through migration. As against a net natural increase of 5,920 there was a net exodus of 1055. The only other years when migration exceeded the natural increase were 1950 with 1,167 and 1951 with 1,426. The net natural increase since 1946 has been 60,583 against the net migration of 46,873, leaving a net increase in the population of 13,710. In other words, the average yearly increase in the population since 1946 has been kept at only 1,520 through migration as may be seen from the following statement:
It will be seen that Australia received 53% of the total movement since 1946, Canada 12%, The United Kingdom 23%, the U.S.A. 11% and "Other Countries" 1%.
Returning migrants during 1954 averaged 5% of the total movement. The following are the percentages in respect of each country:
The percentage for Australia shows the extent to which our settlers have been successful in that country. It is probably the lowest for any nationality.
The considerably higher percentage for Canada is due to the less favour-able employment position in that country during the year as stated earlier in this report.
In the case of the United Kingdom the percentage of returnees is always high, the main reason being the serious housing shortage in that country.
As regards the U.S.A. the figure is the highest on record for any country because of the operation of the McCarran Act which prevents relatives from joining their breadwinners many of whom are thus forced to return to their country.
The composition of the migrants who proceeded to the various countries during the last nine years was as follows:
These figures give an indication of the extent to which migration has helped during these nine years to ease the employment situation in Malta. The number of 26,085 men who migrated during these years is equivalent to one-third of the present gainfully occupied male population of Malta.
These figures also show that the number of women migrating every year continues to fall considerably short of that of the men. The cumulative effect over the last nine years is that as many as 15,426 more men migrated than women over 14 years of age and that the proportion in the population between men and mowen over the age has been correspondingly altered.
The following statement gives details of the migrants who proceeded under the Passage Assistance Agreement with Australia and the amount expended by the two Governments:
Owing to the increase in the cost of passages to Australia the Malta Govern-ment in 1954 made a special grant to nominated migrants over and above that provided under the Agreement. This further grant cost the Malta Government Stg 177,561 or Stg31. 10. 0d. per head.
Assisted migrants who sailed under the Agreement with Australia represent-ed 66% of the total number of migrants who proceeded to that country last year. The remaining 34% were made up of 323 full fare paying passengers and 2,421 assisted by the Government of Malta only. These latter migrants received a total of Stg 228,054 or Stg 94 per head. Employment for these was readily available in Australia but they had no friends or relatives in that cle them to qualify for assistance under the Agreement.
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