HL Deb 09 May 1933 vol 87 cc799-800WA

asked His Majesty's Government whether it is true that the Home Office have issued an order requiring Miss Alice Mirakian to leave the country; whether this lady is an Armenian who escaped the massacre in Smyrna of 1922, when both her parents were murdered and her home destroyed; and whether the only ground for the order is that the lady is earning her living as nurse in the Leeds Infirmary?


Miss Mirakian is a stateless person of Armenian origin who was permitted in October last to come to this country for a visit of three months. At that time Miss Mirakian was living with a married sister in Paris and so far as can be ascertained she had never been previously in this country. When application was made for permission for her to come to this country it was made clear to the applicant that while facilities would be granted for a temporary visit, Miss Mirakian should not contemplate taking up permanent residence here. At the expiration of the three months application was made that she should be allowed to remain here in order to take a course of training as a hospital nurse. The application was carefully considered in consultation with the Ministry of Labour; but as there appears to be no lack of probationer nurses in this country and many hospitals are understood to have waiting lists of candidates for training, the Ministry was unable to recommend that this lady should be allowed to take a post as a probationer nurse.

The question in this case is not whether there is justification for expelling from the country an alien who is settled here, but whether there are sufficient grounds for allowing this foreign lady to come into this country not merely for a temporary visit but for employment as a nurse. In view of the employment conditions in this country the general policy is not to allow aliens to come here to take employment unless there are special reasons why a post should be filled by a foreign entrant rather than by a person resident in this country, and it did not appear in Miss Mirakian's case that there were any special circumstances justifying a departure from this policy.

House adjourned at five minutes past six o'clock.