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Agriculture (Foreign Workers)

Volume 499: debated on Tuesday 22 April 1952

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23 and 24.

asked the Minister of Labour (1) if he has considered using Italian labour on farms in this country;

(2) if he has considered using German labour on farms in this country.

If the need for additional farm labour increases and cannot be met from sources in this country, I shall be glad, in consultation with my right hon. Friends, to discuss with both sides of the industry any proposals that may be made for recruitment of farm workers from abroad.

Will my right hon. and learned Friend see if in the meantime he could use Italian miners who have come over here and have been unable to get suitable employment in the mines?

As regards those who have been recruited for the mines, understand that the National Coal Board is still doing all it can to see if it can find them the employment for which they came. If the Italians are unable to find that employment, it does not follow that they would be suitable for or ready to accept work on farms.

Will the right hon. and learned Gentleman bear in mind that there are large numbers of unemployed in the West Riding of Yorkshire and in Lancashire while at the same time foreigners are engaged in the districts where those people are unemployed?

That is a different matter, but I will certainly take it into account.