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Volume 441: debated on Tuesday 29 July 1947

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asked the Minister of Labour whether, in order to augment our manpower, he will circularise all aliens who have come in on compassionate grounds calling on them to enter the essential undermanned industries.

In general, aliens admitted to this country are subject to the condition that they may only take employment which is approved by me. I am thus in a position to satisfy myself that the work which they wish to undertake is work of a useful nature. There is nothing to prevent aliens admitted on compassionate grounds from applying for employment.

Would the Minister say whether all aliens who were brought into this country on compassionate grounds are aware that they may apply for employment and be allocated to it according to need?

It would be difficult for me to say they are all aware of it, but I hope the publicity given to this statement today will bring it to the notice of them all.

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that some of the trade unions are now opposing the employment of aliens—for example, of Poles?

Are aliens who are admitted on compassionate grounds and directed to serve in an industry allowed to leave it without the right hon. Gentleman's permission?

If we find it advisable to direct an alien to an industry that is undermanned, we expect him to remain in that industry, although not in that particular employment; otherwise we should have people floating into and manning non-essential industries.