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Volume 440: debated on Thursday 17 July 1947

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asked the Minister of Labour what arrangements are being made to provide accommodation for those members of the Polish Resettlement Corps who have taken up permanent civil employment in this country.

Accommodation in hostels and camps is being provided by the Ministry of Agriculture, the Forestry Commission and the National Service Hostels Corporation as appropriate. As an interim measure Poles who obtain work near their military camps can remain accommodated there as civilians after being relegated to the reserve.

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that employers are reluctant to give work to Polish soldiers who, when they become civilians, eventually will require accommodation and for whom they can see no prospect of providing accommodation; and can he give an assurance that if farmers give employment to Poles they can remain in their camps until permanent housing is available?

I thought that I gave that assurance in my original reply. In any case, if it was not understood, I now give the assurance that Poles who are recruited from military camps can remain in the camps until alternative accommodation is available for them.

Will the right hon. Gentleman give an assurance that every effort will be made to avoid the overcrowding of these gallant heroes?

I have already given instructions that the space should be raised from 45 square feet to 60 square feet per man in these hostels, and I think they should be very much better for that.


asked the Minister of Labour which are the industries in which Poles have been placed; and the numbers in each industry.

About 24,000 Poles have been placed in a very wide range of industries. The numbers in the principal industries are as follows: Building and civil engineering, 4,432; Agriculture, 3,730; Underground coalmining, 3,316, of whom at 9th July, 2,388 had completed training and 1,668 had started work; Brick and tile making, 1,021. Smaller numbers have been placed in some 50 or more other industries.

Can the Minister give an assurance that in all these cases Poles will be placed only in the most essential of industries?

I thought that the figures I had given indicated that they were only going into the undermanned industries.

The Minister did say "50 or more other industries," and, therefore, I asked my question in relation to that.

Among those 50 other industries are undermanned industries, and they are doing a good job of work.

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether any difficulties are arising with the trade unions or whether the unions are receiving these men in a friendly spirit?

On the whole, I do not think that there is much room for complaint except in one case about which there has been some difficulty, and I think that we are getting over that very well. On the whole, the scheme is going very well.