Foreign Workers

Oral Answers to Questions — Employment – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 2nd March 1948.

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Photo of Mr Stephen Swingler Mr Stephen Swingler , Stafford 12:00 am, 2nd March 1948

asked the Minister of Labour the total number of foreign immigrants who have taken up industrial employment in the United Kingdom since 1st July, 1945.

Photo of Mr Ness Edwards Mr Ness Edwards , Caerphilly

As the reply is long and contains a series of figures, I will, if I may, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Photo of Mr Richard Stokes Mr Richard Stokes , Ipswich

Is my right hon. Friend satisfied that the absorptive capacity for these people has yet been filled, or does he think that there is plenty of room for further absorption?

Photo of Mr Ness Edwards Mr Ness Edwards , Caerphilly

We are in the process of recruiting almost as many as have already been recruited.

Photo of Mr Alan Lennox-Boyd Mr Alan Lennox-Boyd , Mid Bedfordshire

Will the Minister say whether the figures will show from which countries these men and women will come?

Photo of Mr Ness Edwards Mr Ness Edwards , Caerphilly

The answer as now tabulated will not show that, but if there is a desire for that information, I will give it.

Photo of Mr Alan Lennox-Boyd Mr Alan Lennox-Boyd , Mid Bedfordshire

Is it not desirable that the public should know how many of these people come from countries which helped us during the war?

Photo of Mr Ness Edwards Mr Ness Edwards , Caerphilly

If the hon. Gentleman will put down a Question to that effect, we will gladly give him the information.

Following is the reply: No total figure in the form asked for can be given, but the following figures relating to foreign labour are relevant. Up to the end of January, 1948, 57,000 members of the Polish Resettlement Corps and 38,779 European volunteer workers (26,394 men and 12,385 women) have been placed in employment. Other foreign workers still employed under special arrangements are: Belgian hospital domestics, 128; Italian ironfounders, 223; Italian (ex-P.O.W.) agricultural workers, 1,000 (approximately). In addition, at the end of January between 6,000 and 7,000 German ex-prisoner of war volunteers were employed under a temporary scheme in a civilian status in agriculture.Since May, 1946, when the permit system was reintroduced, up to the end of January, 1948, 35,775 permits have been issued under Article 1 (3) {b) of the Aliens Order, 1920, for the employment of foreigners. There is no record of the number of workers in respect of whom permits have been issued who have actually come to this country or subsequently left. The total of permits includes 28,226 issued in respect of domestic workers, but excludes permits for short-term employment in the entertainment industry.