HC Deb 19 February 1947 vol 433 cc1177-9
56. Mr. Cobb

asked the Minister of Defence how many of the 104 citizens of Eire employed by the Service Departments in Northern Ireland are ex-Service men and women; and how many of the latter have either served during wartime, or are disabled or partly disabled due to war service.

Mr. Alexander

The total number of Eire citizens employed by the Service Departments in Northern Ireland is now 101. Of these, 30 men and one woman have served in the Forces; 28 during wartime. Three men are disabled as a result of war service.

Mr. Cobb

In the event of redundancy arising in the Crown Services in Northern Ireland, would my right hon. Friend bear in mind the question of these people's services in the Armed Forces, in deciding which of them should be discharged and which should receive preference?

Mr. Alexander

I will bring the hon. Member's suggestion to the Service Minister dealing with the question.

Sir Ronald Ross

Did any of these 31 serve in the present war, and, as regards the 7o who are neutrals and innocent of any combatant service in either war, is the right hon. Gentleman still going to give them priority in employment over ex-Servicemen who volunteered from the United Kingdom?

Mr. Alexander

I have nothing to add to my previous answer the other day on that point.

Mr. R. S. Hudson

Will the right hon. Gentleman bring it to the notice of the Minister of Supply who gave an answer directly contradicting it the other day?

Mr. Skeffington-Lodge

Is the Minister aware that the number of those from the South of Ireland who have actually served in the last war represents only a small proportion of those thousands who volunteered and contributed very much indeed to our common victory?

Mr. Teeling

Does the right hon. Gentleman mean by his reply that the rule of 3 per cent. of ex-Service disabled men does not apply in Northern Ireland?

Mr. Alexander

No, Sir.

Mr. Mulvey

Is the Minister aware that hundreds of Southern Ireland residents engaged in Service Departments in Northern Ireland rendered signal service during the war years, and that at the conclusion of the war these people were denied residence permits and renewals of residence permits, while further employment was still available in Northern Ireland for them?