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Ex-German Prisoner-Of-War

Volume 465: debated on Thursday 2 June 1949

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asked the Minister of Labour why Mr. H. Teske, 21, Friday Road, Erith, an ex-German prisoner-of-war, having satisfied his Department's medical advisers of his inability to undertake agricultural work as the result of war wounds, was informed by the manager of the Erith Employment Exchange on instructions from the London office that he is eligible for any other form of employment than that of a compositor, the only trade known to him, with several employers seeking his services in a district where advertisements for compositors bring no results and where neither the local employment exchanges nor the appropriate unions can provide the necessary labour.

In view of the fact that this ex-prisoner-of-war is married to a woman of British stock and has been found unfit for further work in agriculture, arrangements have now been made to enable him to take up work as a compositor.

Would the right hon. Gentleman explain to me why it was necessary for a Member of Parliament to go to great lengths to disclose what are believed to be bureaucratic methods, and why this was not dealt with in the proper light in the first place, without my having to go to this trouble?

I think the best answer I can give is that it was not until the matter came to my notice by means of a Question on the Order Paper that I was able to take any action.

May I ask the right hon. Gentleman if his answer in any way affects the general ruling that only ex-German prisoners suitable for agricultural work can settle in this country?