HC Deb 01 November 1937 vol 328 cc520-1
22. Mr. Thurtle

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he is aware that there are now in this country married men with families who are unemployed and obliged to have recourse to public assistance as a result of their discharge from the Egyptian police service, after long service, in consequence of the treaty recently concluded with Egypt; whether he is aware that his Department undertook to do its best to find these men employment; and what is being done in regard to the matter?

Mr. Eden

As regards the first part of the question, the British ex-constables on leaving the service of the Egyptian Government were either entitled to pensions or were granted gratuities on the termination of their services. They were also granted repatriation allowances. In addition a benevolent fund has been specially established to help any who have not yet found fresh employment. As regards the second and third parts of the question, the efforts which have been made on behalf of the British ex-officers and constables of the Egyptian Police have up to now resulted in the employment of five officers. and 57 constables out of the 11 officers and 81 constables who retired on 31st May.

Mr. Thurtle

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that so far as the remaining constables are concerned their gratuities have long since been exhausted, and that they are now obliged to apply for public assistance in order to keep their families; and does he not think there is a real obligation on his Department to do more to find these men work?

Mr. Eden

The House will see from the answer that I have given that we have not been unsuccessful in finding work and that already we have found employment for two-thirds of the men. An enormous amount of inter-departmental consultation is involved. As regards those who have not been successful in finding work, there is a benevolent fund in existence, and I will with pleasure send the hon. Member information about that fund.