HC Deb 27 January 1947 vol 432 cc610-1
71. Mr. Lipson

asked the Minister of Agriculture if some of the Poles now unemployed in this country will be engaged to make good the deficiency of labour which is at present preventing the Forestry Commission from carrying out its plan to plant a sufficient number of new trees to replace those that have been felled.

Mr. T. Williams

The Forestry Commissioners are in touch with the Ministry of Labour with a view to employing Polish labour on planting or other forestry work where accommodation or transport can be provided, and where sufficient British labour is unobtainable.

Mr. Lipson

In view of the fact that apparently British labour is not available in sufficient numbers, can my right hon. Friend give an assurance that no obstacles will be put in the way of the employment of Poles?

Mr. Williams


Mr. Walkden

Can my right hon. Friend give an assurance that wherever Poles show a willingness to work upon the land, or to render service in agriculture, none will be rejected or obstructed from engaging in suitable employment?

Mr. Williams

Yes, as far as I personally am concerned.

Professor Savory

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that 80 per cent. of the Poles in the army of General Anders were farmers; and that a very large proportion are experts in forestry, as there are forests in their own country in which they worked for many years?

Mr. Williams

Yes, Sir, I think I have heard something about that.