Report on the Department of Emigration for the Year 1955
1. Since 1946, the net increase in the population was 66,500. Net emigra-tion accounted for 55,000 persons. If migration had not been encouraged during this ten-year period, it would have been necessary to provide at least 10,000 more housing units to accommodate the population of these Islands. A greater demand would also have been exerted for water, school space, hospital accommodation and other social equipment which is required by a community. In addition, at least 30,000 more jobs would have had to be found in Malta.
2. The amount spent by the Maltese Government (assisted by the U.K. Government) in the last two years averaged Stg 60 per migrant. A comparison of this cost with the recurrent one of maintaining an ever increasing population in Malta can lead to but one conclusion, namely, that in the circumstances the policy of encouraging emigration was fundamentally sound in spite of the inevitable problems which it has raised.
3. The direction of the migration flow from Malta over the past 10 years is shown at Table 1 of Appendix I to this report. In 1955, gross emigration totalled 9,007 to all countries (see Table 2), but 861 migrants (Table 3) returned leaving net migration at 8,146 compared with 10,875 in 1954. Australia continued to be the most important receiving country with 6,442 emigrants (267 returnees) followed by the United Kingdom with 1,872 emigrants (315 returnees). Canada took 425 migrants but 169 came back from that country, whilst U.S.A. took 266 with 110 returnees.
4. The number of returnees in 1955 was the greatest since emigration started again after the war. It is, however, to be seen in the light of the fact that the number of emigrants in each of 1954 and 1955 exceeded that of any previous year. The number of returned migrants for 1955 is equal to 9.6% of the number who left Malta during that year. The percentage of returnees for the whole of the 10 year period since 1946 works out at 6.4%.
5. At Table 4 of Appendix I the flow of emigrants in 1955 is analysed by age, sex and country of destination. It will be observed that 33% of the total emigrants were children under 15 years, 55% were aged 15 to 44 years, and 12% were over 45 (including 3.5% of unspecified age). These figures compare with previous years as follows:
0 - 14
15 - 14
6. Table 5 of Appendix I shows the flow analysed by sex, civil status and country of destination. The year was remarkable in that there was an increase in the proportion of females emigrating:
7. At Table 6 of Appendix I is a detailed analysis of the occupations declared by migrants on registration at the Department of Emigration prior to departuigrant. Migrants in 1955 constituted the following main occupational groups:
Professional, technical and related occupations
Managerial, administrative, clerical and related occupations
Sales and related occupations
Farming and fishing occupations
Mining and quarrying Operating transport occupations
Crafts, production process and related occupations
Miscellaneous (including housewives, children and other dependants)
8. Table 7 shows the relation of the migrants to their sponsors. It will be seen therefore that the movement in 1955 was mainly the result of family "attraction", except in the case of that to the United Kingdom. Table in in Malta of the emigrants. The localities with the heaviest exodus were Birkirkara (559), Hamrun (680), Marsa (445), Paola (519), Sliema (716), and Valletta (534).
9. Transportation of emigrants presented no difficulties during the year. By arrangement with the Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration, transport was made available for 5,860 migrants by sea and for 580 by air to Australia. The movement to Canada and U.S.A. was mainly effected by ordinary shipping lines calling at Malta. That to the United Kingdom was mainly by air. At Table 9 is a record of the "shipments" made in 1955 excluding the movement to the United Kingdom.
10. Emigration would not have been possible without the substantial financial assistance given by the Department towards passages. Table 10 shows that in the last seven years a total of Stg.2,209,300 was spent in assisting the passages of 38,100 migrants. In 1955, Stg 566,600 was paid out in assistance of 7,340 migrants. This amout was borne by the Governments concerrerned as follows:
11.The policy for passage and other assistance to migrants and their families continued to be that laid down in April 1954, and is summarised in Appendix II to this report.
12. As a result of the buoyancy of the Australian economy, the immigra-tion policy of the Commonwealth was pursued with vigour. Australia's millionth post was migrant landed at Port Melbourne on the 8th November, 1955. Malta's post war contribution to this migratory movement to Australia was just under 32,000 persons which constitute over one-tenth of the Island's present population.
13. In 1955, 6,442 persons left Malta for Australia whilst 267 returned. The returnees are equal to 4.14% of those who left (compared with 1.6% for 1954 and with 4.01% for the 10-year period ending 31st December, 1955).
14. The movement to Australia continued to be governed by the Passage Assistance Agreement and other understandings reached between Malta and Australia in 1948, which with minor amendments, continued in force. The passage assistance agreement was last renewed in 1953 for two years ending 30th June,1955. The agreement was then extended to 31st December, 1955 pending a visit to Australia by the Minister of Emigration and Labour and the Director of Emig-ration which was due to take place in November. However, owing to the Federal elections in Australia, the visit was postponed. The Australian Government, however, agreed to the extension of the agreement to June 1956 subject to the continued reservation of the right to regulate the number and type of migrants which had already been exercised in connexion with the previous extension up to the end of 1955.
15.The following statement gives details of the migrants who proceede to Australia under the Passage Assistance Agreement:
Men Over 19
Women Over 19
Juvenile 14 - 19
Juvenile 14 - 19
Children Under 14
Amount expended by Governments
16. In addition to the contribution of the Maltese Government under the agreement, a further special grant was also made over and above that required under the agreement. This grant cost Stg 73,514 in 1955.
17. Assisted migrants who sailed under the agreement represented only 35.4% of the total number of migrants. The remaining 64.6% were made up of 308 full fare payiotalled Stg 364,853 or Stg 97 per head. The relatively low proportion of persons qualifying under the passage assistance agreement (in 1954 the proportion was 66%) was due to the fact that pending the renewal of the agreement which had lapsed in July 1955, the Australian Government was only prepared to assist wives and children of persons residing in Australia. The Australian Government further placed a limit of 3,000 on the number who may be so assisted, and another limit of 2,000 on those not so assisted who may enter Australia up to 30th June, 1956. The total intake was thus restricted to 5,000 for the year ending June 1956. In order to work to these limits the Department had to restrict emigration of persons who did not qualify for Australian assistance to close relatives. As may be observed from Table 2 the bulk of the movement occurred in the first five months of the year and no departures at all took place in November and Decmber.
18.As may be seen from the following Table our migrants continued to favour Victoria and New South Wales amongst all the States of Australia:-
New South Wales
19. Canada received 425 migrants (963 in 1954 and 770 in 1953). The number who returned in 1955 was 169 which constituted 39.8% of those who left Malta (14% in 1954). The small movement in 1955 was due to the relatively unsatisfactory employment situation in Canada. No migrants proceeded to Canada under a state nomination, all migrants being personal nominees. The number of migrants qualifying for passage assistance from Malta Governm In 1954, 852 migrants qualified for Stg 45,621 assistance.
20. The movement to the United Kingdom continued to be fairly steady. In 1955, 1,872 migrants left for England, compared with 1,690 in 1954 and 1,702 in 1953. The number of migrants who returned in 1955 was 315 or 17% of those who left (14.75% in 1954).
21. No formal arrangements are in being between the two Governments for migration proved unless they are considered to be generally suitable for settlement overseas. Passage assistance including the issue of a passport free of charge, is granted to applicants who satisfy the Department that they are bona fide, suitable, of good moral character and in possession of enough money to pay for 25% of the cost of passage and to meet living expenses until employment is found.
22. In the case of family groups with children and of single persons under 18 years of age, passage assistance is subject to the condition that an assurance of adequate accommodation exists.
23. The number of persons who received assistance from Government was 840 and the expenditure was Stg 7,345.
United States of America
24. The situation in regard to the United States continued to be adverse to Maltese migration owing to the McCarran-Walny immediate prospects of improvement.
25. In 1955, only 266 proceeded to the U.S. This number comprises the quota of 100 and others who travelled as non-quota migrants (e.g. dependents of U.S. citizens). The number who came back in 1955 was 110. This high propor-tion of returnees (41.4% is mainly due to the return of emigrants who, on account of the provisions of the McCarran-Walter Act, found themselves unable to arrange for their families to join them.
26. An agreement was reached in June 1955 with the New Zealand Government for the admission of 100 migrants. The migrants were to be aged 20-35 and single. The New Zealand Government agreed to pay Stg 50 as assistance towards the passage of each migrant. The New Zealand Government also undertook to bear t Government.
27. The scheme was announced in June 1955, and the response was fairly satisfactory. By the end of the year, however, no arrangements had yet been made for the migrants to travel to New Zealand, pending the resolution of certain administrative difficulties.
(Sd.) F.E. AMATO GAUCI
Director of Emigration
Labour and Social Welfare
7th September, 1956.