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Immigrants (Work Vouchers)

Volume 654: debated on Wednesday 28 February 1962

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asked the Minister of Labour, in view of the growing unemployment in Scotland and the persistent high rate in Northern Ireland, if he will give an undertaking not to issue work vouchers to intending immigrants, except in special cases, until all British people who are willing to work here have been found a job; and if be will make a statement.

When my right hon. Friend said last week in the House that

"Those who come within category A will not be refused entry on the ground that suitable local labour is available."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 22nd February, 1962; Vol. 654, c 710.]
and When he also said that the Category A would be unlimited, was he really saying that the Government will let an unlimited number of immigrants come to this country and take jobs away from British workers?

I think that my hon. Friend knows perfectly well that we have no intention of treating Commonwealth immigrants on all fours with aliens. That has been made perfectly clear in the discussions which have been taking place in this House over a number of weeks. The provision that suitable British labour should not be available applies to aliens but has no place in our scheme in the legislation which has been before the House.