HC Deb 20 March 1947 vol 435 cc564-5
7. Mr. Mulvey

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he is aware of the difficulties of Northern Ireland employers, principally farmers, in retaining the services of their employees from Eire, as a result of the Northern Ireland Ministry's refusal to grant renewals of residence permits; and now that there is a demand for increased production in agriculture and other spheres of employment, if he will take immediate steps to bring to an end the operation of the Residence Permits (Transitional) Order, 1942.

Mr. Ede

It is because there are some thousands of local agricultural workers unemployed in Northern Ireland at present that residence permits are not being renewed for Eire workers who came into Northern Ireland during the war; and this situation is a consideration in favour of the continuance rather than the ending of the Order.

Sir Ronald Ross

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that, as in the case of the refugees from Shanghai, so in the case of refugees from Eire, there is not always room for them?

Mr. Ede

I am very anxious to say nothing that would exacerbate feeling between the two parts of Ireland.

Mr. Mulvey

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that no such Order exists in any part of the British Empire? Is it not very unfair that an Order debarring Irishmen from going from one part of Ireland to live in another should be tolerated, in view of the fact that there is no necessity for the Order, and in view of the fact that this is a time when we are called upon to have increased production in industry—

Mr. Speaker

This is a speech, not a Question.