HC Deb 11 March 1915 vol 70 cc1545-6

asked the President of the Board of Trade the number of Belgian refugees who have been registered at the Labour Exchanges as eligible and willing to undertake agricultural labour; and whether a classified list of such applicants has been sent to each of the Labour Exchanges in the agricultural districts?


The Labour Exchanges throughout the country have been instructed to endeavour to obtain, with the assistance of the local committees dealing with refugees, a complete registration of all Belgians who are eligible and willing to take work of any kind. Special attention has been called to the demand for Belgian agricultural labourers. The procedure adopted by the Exchange is to place in local employment any Belgian agriculturists on its register, the names of the applicants who could not be placed locally being referred to the central clearing house for distribution in other districts where there is an unsatisfied demand. This procedure is, I think, best calculated to secure the desired result. I regret that it is not possible to give the figures for the number of Belgian agriculturists registered without a special inquiry from all Exchanges.


I presume that these men whose names are given will be men not eligible for military service in Belgium?


I should have to make a special investigation into that.