54. Major Lloyd
asked the Minister of Labour what success there has been with the proposal to introduce Italian workers into British foundries, so as to increase the output of castings, lack of which is a cause of the shortage of all kinds of machinery.
§ Mr. Isaacs
In August, 1946, both sides of the ironfoundry industry agreed to the importation of 2,800 Italian foundry workers—800 skilled and 2,000 others with substantial ironfoundry experience. After prolonged negotiations, agreement was reached with the Italian Government on 16th January, 1947, about the conditions under which the Italians should be recruited. A small panel, appointed by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Supply, is at present in, Italy engaged in trying to recruit suitable workers. Owing to the difficulties of accommodating Italians, and to the comparatively small number of vacancies notified, it is expected that the numbers brought over will be much smaller than those quoted above. It is hoped that some may arrive towards the middle of February.