HC Deb 28 April 1936 vol 311 cc715-6

asked the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs whether his attention has been called to the regulations for the control of manufactures in the Irish Free State which preclude the employment of English and Scotch workers; whether steps will be taken by His Majesty's Government in Great Britain to see that English and Scotch workers have the same facilities for employment in the Irish Free State as Free State workers have in England and Scotland; and, failing such facilities in the Free State, what steps will be taken to preclude Free State citizens in England or Scotland obtaining employment at the expense of English and Scotch workers?


I am aware that under the Control of Manufactures Act, 1934, the Irish Free State Government have taken power to make regulations ensuring that factories set up in the Irish Free State in accordance with the provisions of that Act shall employ only Irish Free State nationals, but I am not aware that the existence of these regulations necessarily precludes the employment of English and Scottish workers in the Irish Free State or that any hardship has, so far, arisen out of their operation. As regards the last part of the question, it is not the policy of His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom to make any discrimination of the kind in question in this country and, as at present advised, I see no sufficient ground for suggesting any change in that position.


If no such circumstances have arisen so far, will the right hon. Gentleman's office keep in touch with the situation to see that no such circumstances do arise; and, in any event, will he see that the same treatment is accorded to British workers in the Irish Free State as is accorded to Irish Free State workers in this country?


Is it not a fact that Irish Free State citizens are, in our eyes, British citizens; is it not much better that they should be treated as such; and is it not also better to go in for a policy of removing pin-pricks, rather than a policy of aggravating them?

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