Domestic Workers

Oral Answers to Questions — Employment – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 20th January 1948.

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Photo of Sir Waldron Smithers Sir Waldron Smithers , Orpington 12:00 am, 20th January 1948

asked the Minister of Labour how many foreign girls, including those from Eire, have come to this country in 1947 as domestic servants or hospital staff, whose fares have been paid, and who have now been placed in Government or local authority employment.

Photo of Mr George Isaacs Mr George Isaacs , Southwark North

During 1947, 3,805 women were brought to this country and placed in "priority" domestic employment at the cost of the Exchequer under schemes for the recruitment of displaced persons from the Continent. Of these 2,439 went to hospitals, but my records do not distinguish between the types of hospitals—Government, local authority or voluntary—employing them. Women from Eire do not, of course, fall under schemes relating to foreign workers. The number of women recruited in 1947 through my Dublin Liaison Office for hospital domestic work in this country was 260 and for hostels 190. Employers are responsible for payment of fares of women from Eire taking up other types of domestic employment.

Photo of Sir Waldron Smithers Sir Waldron Smithers , Orpington

Cannot the Minister realise that private individuals who engage foreign persons to help them in their homes are entitled to some consideration and that the Minister of Labour or the Government should not take those people, for whom employers have paid to come into the country, into Government service?

Photo of Mr George Isaacs Mr George Isaacs , Southwark North

I have no information to justify that statement. If the hon. Gentleman will let me have particulars, I will look into them.

Photo of Mr Louis Tolley Mr Louis Tolley , Kidderminster

How many have already returned to their homes?

Photo of Mr George Isaacs Mr George Isaacs , Southwark North

In regard to the displaced persons, I should say none. With regard to the people from Eire, I should require notice of the question.