HC Deb 11 May 1944 vol 399 cc2091-2
64. Dr. Little

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Works why, when for security reasons a ban has been placed on travel between Great Britain and Ireland, an official from his Ministry was recently sent to Eire to obtain assistants for surveying work in England; whether the Institute of Chartered Surveyors was consulted before this step was taken as to the provision of suitable men in Britain; and whether he is satisfied in the interests of security at this stage of the war with the bringing of men from a neutral State which gives sanctuary to representatives of enemy countries.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Works (Mr. Hicks)

It is the recognised procedure that Government Departments requiring technical staff should obtain it through the Central Register of the Ministry of Labour and National Service. A number of assistant land surveyors and assistant civil engineers are wanted for the expanded opencast coal programme. Owing to the urgent demands of the Forces and other Depart- ments the Central Register was unable to fill these vacancies from candidates in this country, and on the suggestion of the Ministry of Labour and National Service officers of the Ministry of Works visited Eire to assist in the recruitment of suitable candidates there. I am informed that the Central Register are in close collaboration with the Institution of Chartered Surveyors and other professional bodies. The credentials of the men selected are checked in advance by the security authorities.

Mr. Austin Hopkinson

Is the hon. Gentleman's organisation so gigantic, that the whole world has to be swept to get ready for it?

Mr. Hicks

It is a very important contribution.

Dr. Little

Does not my hon. Friend consider that in the interest of public security, at this state of the war, these men should not be brought from Eire?