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Alien Workers

Volume 440: debated on Thursday 17 July 1947

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asked the Minister of Labour how many foreign workers have been brought here from Europe since 1st January, 1947; how many dependants came with them or are following them; to what industries have the workers been allocated; and the numbers placed in each industry.

Up to 14th July, 16,488, of whom 8,863, have been placed. No dependants came with them. Some will follow as soon as accommodation is available but I cannot yet give figures. The men placed have mostly gone into agriculture and the women into the textile industries and essential domestic employment. In addition, 13,861 individual permits have been issued to employers to employ aliens, over 10,000 of which were for domestic employment.

Will the Minister say what number it is proposed to bring over ultimately and over what period?

That will depend completely upon the accommodation available and the needs of our own industries.

Would my right hon. Friend consider the great need of hospitals for domestic workers before the needs of private employers?

With regard to hospitals, we are now going into the French Zone where we are told there are several thousand single unattached women, and we are hoping to recruit them.

What facilities, if any, are there for workers who have been brought from abroad to change from industry to industry after they have become settled in this country?

In the case of single women who are brought over for hospital and domestic employment, if they have the necessary qualifications and a recommendation is made by the employer, they are given opportunities to train as assistant nurses. That is one indication of the steps we are taking in that direction.