HC Deb 11 November 1948 vol 457 cc1721-2
48. Sir Ralph Glyn

asked the Minister of Labour how many Poles and European voluntary workers, respectively, have now been placed in industry and agriculture in the United Kingdom; and what has been the approximate cost of these schemes of training and settlement during the last two years.

The Minister of Labour (Mr. Isaacs)

Up to the end of October, 29,000 European Volunteer Workers and 8,000 Poles had been placed in agriculture and 45,000 European Volunteer Workers and 68,500 Poles in other industrial employment, making a total of 150,500. The approximate cost to the Ministry of Labour and National Service of administering the schemes for recruitment of European Volunteer Workers for the two years ended October, 1948, is £2,750,000. This represents the cost of recruitment, transportation and maintenance and welfare of these workers until they are placed in employment, together with an estimate of the placing and transference costs which arise when workers are moved to employment. It also includes similar costs for about 3,000 dependants who have been brought to this country. As the hon. Member is aware, an estimate of the costs to 31st March, 1948, to the various Departments concerned is given in the First Report of Select (1947-48) Committee on Estimates. I regret that similar figures for the period to 31st October, 1948, could not be obtained without a great amount of trouble and staff cost.

Mr. Joynson-Hicks

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether the settlement referred to in the Question is settlement of a temporary character, or permanent settlement in this country?

Mr. Isaacs

This is settlement of a permanent character. These people come here, working their passage to British citizenship. I should like to add that I have given the figures relating to industry as well as agriculture, and that the total number of those so classified now with us is 171,000.

Mr. Skeffington-Lodge

How many of the Poles remaining in this country remain unemployed?

Mr. Isaacs

That is quite another question.