MR. FOLEY'S TASK
By DONAL MUSGRAVE
MR. MAURICE FOLEY, chairman of the new Ministerial committee on immigration, this week pledged the Government to throw its _full resources behind a drive to integrate immigrants into British society.
In an interview with the CATHOLIC HERALD, Mr. Foley said his chief aim was to create a climate of tolerance at "root level" throughout Britain. He expressed the strong hope that the whole issue of immigration would be taken outside the partypolitical arena.
The announcement of Mr. Foley's appointment was made in a special Commons statement by Mr. Wilson on Tuesday. The Prime Minister stated that the Government was urgently reviewing the various aspects of immigration, and said it would work
with local authorities and voluntary bodies to supervise the
integration process and abolish all racial discrimination in this country. Discussions will be held with Commonwealth Governments on evasions of the Commonwealth Immigration Act.
Mr.Foley will head a cornmittee of junior ministers probing the problem of integration on a national level. He will be personally responsible for the co-ordination of Government activity in the field and for keeping contact with local authorities and other bodies.
lie brings with him to the job a high degree of experience. He has worked in the West Indies, Pakistan, and India — the three main sources of immigrants to Britain. He is also "living with the problem" in his own constituency at West Bromwich where his majority dropped slightly in the last election because of the immigration issue. He has carried out a survey on Irish immigration in Birmingham which was debated in Dail Eireann and presented to the bishops. And as well as this he is on close personal terms with many of the leaders in the emerging countries, and has worked in the United States with groups promoting racial integration.
He told me that his first step will be to visit areas of appreciable immigration in this couqtry to discover what is being done by local authorities and to decide how the Government can best help them. He will make a detailed investigation of crime. housing, employment, schools and other problems. Discussions will be held with Church and community leaders, newspaper editors and people in other fields in an effort to create a climate of tolerance at root level throughout the whole country. "This," said Mr. Foley, "is more important than any government stimulus. There is a whole moral challenge underlying these problems and people must be prepared to face this." Streamlined information services will be provided for immigrants at local levels. Non-English speaking w immigrants, .many of whom are Indian and Pakistani, will be taught English. "The language difference is often a strong barrier in integrating people", Mr, Foley said. "We will have to devise ways and means of dealing with things preventing immigrants from entering m services will A the community?' seices will be established outlining the health, social welfare, and other facilities which are available. The Ministry of Health and local authorities may produce leaflets in the languages of the immigrants, Mr. Foley said. "These immigrants are part of the community. But it is important co to recognise that there arc differ ences. erences. There is a great need for information which will lead to education and this in turn will lead to an acceptance of responsibility."
Commenting on the passibility
of all-party support, expressed the hope that it would be achievcd—"especially in relation to integration". His intention is to
expand the field in which there will he common dialogue and discussion. He said there were many Christian — including Catholic --a Members of Parliament who had very narrow view on this matter. It is known that some Catholic M.P.s are advocating a total stoppage of immigration, thereby preventing families from uniting. "This is a very serious and fundamental point and must be cleared up," said Mr. Foley. Mr. Foley said he is willing to from the e learn froxperiences of those countries which have carried out integration successfully. He made particular reference to Holland where proportionately much larger numbers of immigrants from Indonesia have been distributed without forming ghettoes, and said he would make a detailed study of their methods. In his Commons statement, Mr. Wilson said that the problems that Britain is facing in immigration required an attack on three broad fronts. These were:1) Co-ordination of Government activity in the field, and constant contact with local authorities and voluntary bodies, Mr. Foley would be personally responsible for this work. 2) Total abolition of the tendency towards first and second class citizenship. Vigorous efforts will be made to prevent racial discrimination in any form. A Government Bill will shortly be introduced to deal with racial discrimination and the evil of incitement of racial hatreds. 3) 4 statement on ry Referring to the Home Secretary's February of the Commonwealth Immigrant Act, Mr. Wilson said that investigation would be carried to the countries of origin of the migrants. A high-level team of experts will travel to these countries to explore and establish the facts and to discuss methods of abolishing evasion.