Skip to main content

Argentine Railways (British Employees)

Volume 462: debated on Monday 7 March 1949

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.


asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether his attention has been called to attempts that have been made by the Argentine Government to force British personnel employed on the Argentine railways to give up employment guaranteed to them under the terms of the agreement between His Majesty's Government and the Argentine Government; and what representations he has made to ensure that the Clauses of the sales agreement relating to the employment of British personnel are properly carried out.

I am not aware of any instance in which a British employee of the Argentine railways has been forced out of employment. On the other hand, the provisions relating to the employees, as set out in the agreement of sale concluded between the former British-owned railways and the Argentine authorities, have not been fulfilled. My right hon. Friend took this subject up with Dr. Bramuglia during his visit to London in November, and His Majesty's Ambassador in Buenos Aires has since made representations to the Argentine Government upon this subject.

Is it not part of the agreement that the employment and pensions rights of the European employees of these railways were guaranteed under the agreement, and what steps have been taken to see that the agreement is carried out?

It is true that the agreement covered pensions rights and their positions, but I am unaware that their pension rights have been threatened or jeopardised. I want to make it plain that we have no knowledge of dismissals, though it is true that men have been shifted from responsible posts in a fashion which does not seem to us to be consistent with the agreement.