Report on the Working of the Department of Labour and Emigration for 1967

Emigration

During the year under review, the department continued its policy of providing all possible assistance to those who wished to emigrate o or find employ-ment in other countries. There was a slight decrease in the level of migration from Malta in 1967, the number of migrants for all countries being 3,971 in comparison with 4,340 for the previous year, a decrease of 8.5%. The number of migrants for 1966 had represented a big drop of 46% when compared with the number for 1965 and the further slight decrease registered in 1967 indicates that

The table below shows the number of migrants for the different countries during the last five years:

COUNTRY

1963

1964

1965

1966

1967

Australia

4,152

5,923

5,349

2,258

2,081

United Kingdom  

1,332

1,597

1,444

1,092

856

Canada

905

1,181

1,113

648

752

U.S.A.

92

87

84

282

261

Other countries  

98

199

100

60

21

TOTALS:

6,579

8,987

Another form of movement from Malta was further developed during the year under review. A considerable number of workers, both male and female, left Malta to take up employment for a specified period in the United Kingdom. These contract or seasonal workers were employed by various firms. The large majority of them returned to Malta after completion of their contract. In all, 118 males and 140 females left for the United Kingdom as seasonal or contract workers during 1967. Another country which attracted contract workers from Malta during this year was Libya and it is estimated that well over a hundred contract workers left for this country during 1967. It is worth noting that Libya seems to offer good opportunities to those workers who desire employment for a specified period in a nearby country and the trend this movement takes in 1968 will be of considerable interest and importance. It should be borne in mind that the number of these contract and seasonal workers is not included inb the figures shown in the table above.

The number of officially recorded returnees for the year under review was 36. This showed a very sharp fall compared with the corresponding figure of 193 for 1966. It must be stated however that these figures cannot be relied upon as they are based on the declared intention of the migrants on their return to Malta and it has been clearly shown that this is liable to change considerably. What is practically certain, however, from the department's experience, is that most of those migrants who return to Malta eventually go back to the immigrant country and so, for practical purposes, the official figures for returnees may be quite close to the true numbers. In this respect, one should also mention that there is no record of those returnees who re-emigrate and do not book their passage through the department and therefore these are not shown in the official migration figures.

Year

No. of Emigrants

No. of Returnees

Net Migration Gain

1963

6,579

536

6,043

1964

8,987

495

8,492

1965

8,090

530

7,560

1966

4,340

193

4,147

1967

3,971

36

3,935

For the fifth consecutive year the net migration gain exceeded the net natural increase in the population and thereby helped to lessen the problem of over-population in Malta. However, one must bear in mind that this would not have been so marked had there not been a downward movement in the net natural increase which has declined from 3,691 in 1963 to 2,289 in 1967.

Year

Natural Increase

Net Migration Decrease

Net Population Decrease

1963

3,691

6,043

2,352

1964

3,638

8,492

4,854

1965

2,627

7,560

4,933

1966

2,453

4,147

1,694

1967

2,289

3,935

1,646

The only country which received a higher number of migrants in 1967 than in 1966 was Canada. While 648 migrants emigrated to Canada in 1966 the corresponding figure for 1967 was 752. The special scheme for the recruitment of workers for Manitoba which was launched late in 1966 got under way during the year under rnitoba. A group of 59 migrants left for Winnipeg under this scheme on the 2nd June, 1967. They were accompanied by an official of the Department who stayed on in Winnipeg for several days in order to help out migrants in any initial difficulties. The migrants were met on arrival by the Hon. S. Spivak, Minister for Industry and Commerce of the Provincial Government of Manitoba as well as by various Canadian officials and everything possible was done to make the migrants transition to a different environment in a new country as smooth as possible. In all, 63 migrants proceeded to Manitoba during 1967 and it is known that until the end of the year most of them had remained there and were doing quite well. However, it is felt that only after the hard winter is over, can one form a proper assessment of the degree of success

An important step with regard to migration to Canada during the year was the introduction of a new immigration policy with effect from 1st October, 1967. Under the new policy, which is intended for universal application, Maltese migrants who had under the former policy been classified as 'Sponsored' or 'Un-sponsored', fall under three categories:-

  1. Sponsored Dependents
  2. Nominated Relatives
  3. Independent Applicants

The new regulations formally confirm that Canadian Citizens and permanent residents of Canada have the right to be joined by their dependents - subject to the usual character and medical safeguards - under the Category of ‘Sponsored Dependents'. The second Category of ‘Nominated Relatives' allows the nomination by Canadian Citizens and permanent residents of sons and daughters over 21 years, married sons and daughters under 21 years, brothers or sisters, parents or grandparents under 60 years and nephews, nieces, uncles, aunts and grandchildren. arious factors.

All in all, the new selection standards, especially in regard to ‘Independent Applicants', are less rigid than the old and failure to achieve a high assessment on any single actor will not in itself disqualify an applicant from admission to Canada, provided there are other compensating factors.

Undoubtedly a very important development in the field of migration during 1967 was the launching of the Housing Scheme for Maltese migrants in Australia. negotiations had been going on for some time between the Malta Government, the State Governments of Vitoria and New South Wales and the Commonwealth Savings Bank of Australia regarding the introduction of this Scheme. The agreement appointing the Commonwealth Savings Bank of Australia as agent of the Maltese Government for the purpose of superv..ising the distribution of loan moneys to Building Societies and generally of administering and managing the loans made to such Societies was signed in Sydney on the 8th August, 1967.

It was decided that the Malta Government would make available for this scheme up to $A 1,375,000 (Stg 550,000) over a period of five years starting from the financial year 1967/68 while the Commonwealth States of Victoria and New South Wales and the Commonwealth Savings Bank of Australia will each contribute a similar amount.

By the end of the year under review, about 80 applications for loans under the Housing Scheme had been received and most of them had been accept-ed. The act that so many applications had been made in less than five months since the commencement of this Scheme goes to show that it has been welcomed by Maltese migrants in Australia and that it has already proved a success.

During 1967, officials o this deDuring the Autumn Session, it was decided that only one session would be held in 1968, commencing about the middle of November. The department was also represented at the Council of Europe meetings, i.e. the 18th meeting of the Special Representative's Advisory Committee on National Refugees and over-population - the agenda of which included various items of interest from the point of view of emigration - and the first meeting of the Joint Committee to draw up a European Statute for migrant workers. Both meetings were held in Strasbourg in April and July respectively.

Close cooperation was maintained throughout the year with the Emigrants' Commission, which in various spheres of emigration supplements the work done by the department and also with the International Catholic Migration Ccontinued to provide loans towards the passages of those migrants, generally returnees, who are not eligible for passage assistance from the Government.

During 1967, the well-established trend of family migration was maintained. It can be said that the United Kingdom is the only receiving country where families do not form a substantial part of our migrants. In fact quite a good proportion of our migrants to the United Kingdom are single persons in the 18 to 25 age bracket.ely. (55.83% and 44.17%). It should be pointed out, however, that in recent years there has been a tendency for more females to emigrate.


Australia

Although there was a slight decrease in migration to Australia in 1967 compared with the previous year, in conformity with the general migration movement, Australia took more than halralia in 1967 representing 52% of total migration. This per-centage corresponds exactly to that registered for 1966.

The main reason which makes Australia the choice of so many of our migrants is the large number of Maltese happily settled in that country. The official number of migrants for Australia since the last war is about 67,000 but it is estimated that the number of migrants of Maltese descent in Australia is well over 100,000, and these constitute a certain attraction to their relatives and friends in Malta. Other factors, such as the good employment prospects and the generally favourable climatic conditions, contribute in making Australia the most popular receiving country with our migrants.

Most of the Maltese migrants to Australia settle in Victoria and New South Wales but some of our migrants are also to be found in other parts of Australia.

During 1967, our migrants to Australia proceeded to the different States as indicated hereunder

Victoria

1,143

New South Wales

838

South Australia

35

Western Australia  

27

Queensland

28

Canberra A.C.T.

10

TOTAL

2,081

The Agreement for Assisted Migration to Australia signed between the Governments of Australia and Malta in April 1965 continued to form the basis of migration to Australia in 1967. While the number of migrants receiving assistance from the Australia Government during this year was 893, the number of those mig-rants who did not receive any Australian Government Assistance, including return-ing migrants, was 1,188.

Of the Australian Government Assisted migrants, 90 proceeded to Australia under special schemes sponsored by the Australian Government and referred to as Commonwealth Nomination Schemes, i.e. 48 male woroject" while 34 females travelled under the "Single Young Women Migration Scheme" and the remaining 8 migrants moved to Australia under the "Commonwealth Nominations (Trades) Scheme".

Both sea and air travel continued to be made use of by the department for the transport of migrants to Australia during 1967. This transport was provided through the Inter-Governmental Committee for European Migration. Of the 2,081 migrants for Australia in 1967, 1,235 travelled by air while the remaining 846 travelled by sea. Those migrants travelling by sea were accompanied by a Welfare Officer and a Chaplain who looked after their material and spiritual welfare during the trip. Following the closure of the Suez Canal early in June 1967, the ships carrying our migrants to Australia had to go round the Cape of Good Hope. This meant that the voyage to Australia took about seven additional days.

The processing of applications for emigration to Australia is the operation was maintained with this officer and his staff, with whom the most harmonious relations exist.


Canada

As has already been stated earlier in this report Canada was the only country which in 1967 received more Maltese emigrants than in the previous year and it can be said that at the end of the year the prospects of lowing year appeared quite good.

The number of migrants to Canada in 1967 was 752, which re-presents an increase of over 16% when compared with the previous year. The large majority of these migrants settled in Toronto and the nearby districts. This is to be expected as most of the Maltese Community in Canada are found in these places and they naturally exert a certain influence on any prospective emigrant to that country. However, as can be seen from the Manitobang made with a view to divert the Maltese movement to other districts of Canada.

Nine jet aircraft called at Malta throughout the year to transport migrants to Canada, the first one leaving on the 14th March with the last one proceeding to Canada on the 4th December. As can be seen there were no flights during the winter season as it is the policy of the department not to send any migrants during this period in view of the generally harsh Canadian winter with the consequential lesser opportunities for employment. There was a change in the method of the chartering of these aircraft during the year. It had been the policy of the department for these last years to call for tenders direct from the airline companies for the transport of migrants, but as from June air transport was obtained through the Inter-Governmental Committee for European Migration and use was made of split charters thereby making it possible to have a more frequent flow of m

The processing of applications for emigration to Canada is the res-ponsibility of the Visa Attache' at the Canadian Embassy in Rome with whom this department maintains the closest collaboration and the procedure adopted this year was the same as that for the previous years. A Selection Officer and a Medical Officer from the Office of the Canadian Visa Attache', normally call at Malta every month to examine prospective migrants to Canada after the necessary preli-minaries including medical examiations, have been carried out at the Emigration Division of this department.

A Welfare Officer accompanied the migrants on every flight to Canada. Apart from looking after the migrants during the flight, the welfare officer also assists them on their arrival in Canada in connection with their clearance by the Immigration, Customs and Medical Authorities. He remains in Canada for some days in order to help the newly arrived migrants in settling down.


United Kingdom

The number of migrants for the United Kingdom in 1967 was 856 and compares with 1092 for 1966. As can be seen there was a considerable drop in 1967 but it has to be borne in mind that as already stated, a totl of 258 seasonal and contract workers also proceeded to the United Kingdom this year.

The entry of Maltese migrants into the United Kingdom is regulated by the Commonwealth Immigrants Act, 1962 and the Work Voucher Quota System which was brought into operation as from 1st August, 1965. Malta was allocated a special quota of 1,000 Employment Vouchers per annum for the first two years and in June 1967 it was announced that the present annual quota of 1,000 vouchers was to remain in operation subject to review from time to time. Dependents of holders of Employment Vouchers are also eligible for admission to the United Kingdom.

The acquiring of a voucher means that the migrant has available employment on arrival in the United Kingdom. The prospective employer applies to the British Ministry of Labour for the voucher for tormally forwarded through the Employment Attache' at the Malta High Commission in London, who keeps in touch with those companies in the United Kingdom who could be potential employers of Maltese labour. The Employment Attache' works in close liaison with the Emigration Division of this Department and the efforts o both have resulted in a good number of Maltese being placed in employment in the United Kingdom. During 1967, the Employment Attache' paid two virous of obtaining employment in the United Kingdom. He interviewed well over 200 persons and employment was eventually found for most of them.

The department also maintains close co-ordination with the Passport Officer at the British High Commission in Malta, who is responsible for the issue of entry certificates to the dependents of voucher holders and returning migrants.

During the year under review, a number of United Kingdom firms sent their representativepaigns, which, in general, can be said to have been successful. Some of these firms have recruited workers from Malta more than once, and this goes to show that they are satisfied with the Maltese workers they engaged.

Migrants to the United Kingdom travel on the normal scheduled flights to London and, by arrangements with the Airline Company, at a special reduced migrant fare of Stg.11.10s.0d. The migrant pays one fourth of this fare while the remaining three fourths is provided by the department as passage assistance. Applicants who are not eligible for passage assistance can also qualify to travel to the United Kingdom at the> special migrant air fare.


United States

Migration to the United States was dealt with under the provisions of the new U.S. Immigration Legislation enacted on the 3rd October, 1965 and which will come into full ef

The number of migrants to the United States in 1967 was 261 compared with 282 for 1966. Applications for migration to the United States come under the jurisdiction of the American Embassy in Malta, and those applicants due to be issued with a visa for admission to the States are referred to this department for the carrying out of the necessary medical examinations and other formalities.

After the issue of their visas for admission to the United States, the prospectivents to Canada. Before 1967 these migrants normally disembarked at Toronto with the Canada bound migrants and then continue their trip to their final destination on the normal scheduled flights. However, as from 1967, arrangements were made by the department or the planes carrying migrants to Canada and the United States of America to land at both Toronto and New York.


Other Countries including New Zealand

During the year under review only 21 migrants left for other countries compared with 60 in 1966. Of these, 3 proceeded to New Zealand.


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