HC Deb 29 January 1957 vol 563 cc827-8
6. Mr. Hector Hughes

asked the Minister of Labour if he will state his plans for providing work and accommodation for refugees from Hungary and Egypt to Great Britain.

Mr. Iain Macleod

The full facilities of the employment exchange service are being used to place refugees from Hungary and Egypt in employment and special interviewing arrangements have been made and exchange managers are making special approaches, where necessary, to employers in many parts of the country. My officers co-operate closely with the Departments and organisations concerned with the important problem of accommodation.

Mr. Hughes

Does the Minister realise that many of these refugees are British nationals expelled from Egypt in circumstances which have put them in dire need? What is he doing in particular for such people?

Mr. Macleod

Of course I recognise that, and it is a matter of great concern to the Government. I think there is a Question to be asked of my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on the general subject. I would not want to anticipate any statement which he may be able to make. I should like to assure the hon. and learned Member, the House and the country that there is no subject about which we are more anxious at present than to see that full justice is done to all these people who have been driven out of Egypt.

Mr. Ede

Could the right hon. Gentleman say what proportion of the refugees from Hungary belong to the professional classes and what proportion to the artisan classes?

Mr. Macleod

I could not do so exactly without notice. One of the main difficulties between these great groups of refugees—the Hungarians on one side and those from Egypt on the other—is that on the whole the Hungarians are young, single and often skilled men who are comparatively easy to place in employment, whereas those coming from Egypt, many of Maltese origin, present a much more difficult problem because they have families and dependants, and some of their qualifications are not readily assimilated into industry in this country.

14. Mr. Pentland

asked the Minister of Labour how many Hungarian refugees now staying at Plausworth, Durham, have been found employment.

Mr. Iain Macleod

Three Hungarian refugees at Plausworth Hostel have been placed in employment and a further 51 are being submitted for jobs.

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