Irish Immigrant Labourers (Medical Examination).

Oral Answers to Questions — National Finance. – in the House of Commons on 17th March 1942.

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Photo of Sir Percy Hurd Sir Percy Hurd , Devizes

asked the Minister of Health whether, in view of the arrival in Wiltshire and other areas, where Government construction is is in progress, of Irish labourers who are verminous and suffering from infectious diseases, strict medical inspection has now been instituted at Dublin, Belfast and other exit ports before these migrants are allowed to leave Ireland?

Photo of Dame Florence Horsbrugh Dame Florence Horsbrugh , Dundee

I understand from my right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour and National Service that no such arrangements are in operation, but that, under the arrangements by which labour is now being engaged in Eire on behalf of civil engineering firms, medical examination is carried out before engagement in the case of workers coming from certain urban areas.

Photo of Dame Florence Horsbrugh Dame Florence Horsbrugh , Dundee

As was stated by my right hon. Friend in December, there is no regular system of examination of workers in Northern Ireland. In some cases they are examined in their home areas.

Photo of Sir Percy Hurd Sir Percy Hurd , Devizes

Does not the Minister think that method is very unsatisfactory and incomplete? Can we not have a complete inspection of these people?

Photo of Dame Florence Horsbrugh Dame Florence Horsbrugh , Dundee

The engaging of labour is entirely a matter for the Ministry of Labour. The Ministry of Health have no control over what is happening in Eire or Northern Ireland. I understand that the Minister of Labour is arranging about these workers.

Photo of Sir Percy Hurd Sir Percy Hurd , Devizes

Could not the hon. Lady tell the Minister of Labour what he ought to do?

Photo of Dame Florence Horsbrugh Dame Florence Horsbrugh , Dundee

I would rather leave that to the hon. Gentleman.

Photo of Sir Percy Harris Sir Percy Harris , Bethnal Green South West

Are Government Departments not co-operating in matters of this kind?

Photo of Dame Florence Horsbrugh Dame Florence Horsbrugh , Dundee

If the right hon. Baronet will consider what has to be done when an employer in Northern Ireland or in Eire is engaging labour, he will see that there are certain difficulties.