§ 17. Sir Stanley Reed
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what is now the number of Poles in Great Britain; the proportion enrolled in the Resettlement Corps; and the extent, to the latest ascertainable date, of their absorption into industry.
The number of Poles in Great Britain is about 150,000, including women and children. One hundred and eight thousand have been enrolled into the Resettlement Corps, of which 14,000 have since left the country. Fifty-six thousand have been placed in civilian employment. The strength of the Corps on 27th December was 38,000.
§ Sir S. Reed
Will the right hon. Gentleman take into consideration the painful effect in many areas in which these camps are situated of these Poles being maintained in idleness while British workers are called upon for a special effort, and are even directed into special employment?
I cannot accept the full implication of that question. Of course, I quite understand the resentment of workpeople, but, as the figures which I have submitted show, there has been a continual and steady increase in the employment of these Poles, and, therefore, a steady and continual decrease in the number of people in those circumstances.
§ Mr. Tiffany
What is happening to the thousands of Poles who have not been enrolled in the Resettlement Corps?
Will the right hon. Gentleman say whether the idleness on the part of the Poles is their fault or not?
I should in fairness admit that there has been a most gratifying volume of volunteering by these people.
§ Mr. Hector Hughes
Will my right hon. Friend give the number of Poles in Scotland as distinct from the number in England and Wales, distinguishing the categories mentioned in the original Question—my right hon. Friend is aware that this is a very urgent question in Scotland—and how many Poles are there in Scotland who have not yet been absorbed into industry, and what steps have been taken so to absorb them?
I do not need to remind my hon. and learned Friend that I come from a Scottish constituency and have a Scottish name.
§ Mr. Hector Hughes
On a point of Order. Is the Minister entitled to make a reflection upon my name, and avoid answering the question I asked?
On reflection, I would like to take this opportunity of apologising, in case it should be thought that I was reflecting in any way on a good Celtic name. I am more than sorry.
§ Mr. George Thomas
Further to that point of Order, Mr. Speaker. Is it in Order for me to point out that it is no reflection to have a Welsh name? The Minister pointed out that his hon. and learned Friend did not have a Scottish name.
§ Mr. Speaker
I said Questions on Poles always led to a lot of trouble. This is an example. Mr. Bower.