HC Deb 30 November 1948 vol 458 cc1791-2
16. Mrs. Castle

asked the Minister of Labour how many German women to date have responded to invitations by his Department to volunteer for work in this country; what is the period of their contracts; and in what type of work they are being placed.

Mr. Isaacs

Up to 20th November 5,400 had volunteered and 4,460 had been accepted. One thousand six hundred have arrived here for a period of two years and have been placed in essential domestic work in hospitals, hostels and farmers' households, except for a small number allocated to nursing training and to textiles in Scotland.

Mrs. Castle

Will my right hon. Friend take steps to see that in operating these schemes in the future the German trade unions are consulted, as failure to do that in the past has caused some concern?

Mr. Isaacs

At the moment the German trade unions do not come into the picture because these women have not been in other employment and are not, therefore, members of a trade union.

Lieut.-Colonel Sir Thomas Moore

If these girls have proved unsatisfactory or possibly have come in under false pretences, is there any machinery for returning them to Germany?

Mr. Isaacs

Yes, Sir.

Mr. Skeffington-Lodge

In allowing these women to come in, is any priority given to those married to ex-German prisoners who have been civilianised in this country?

Mr. Isaacs

I could not give an answer to that question without notice.