HC Deb 24 February 1939 vol 344 cc784-6W
Mr. Petherick

asked the Minister of Labour how many factories, workshops, shops, and other businesses employing labour have been started and how many have been taken over by immigrants who have entered this country from Germany and Austria during the last two years; how many persons of British and how many of foreign nationality are employed therein; and which are the trades and industries concerned?

Mr. E. Brown

I regret that I am not in possession of the precise information desired by my hon. Friend. The Board of Trade survey of Industrial Development which takes account only of factories in which 25 or more people are employed shows that in the year 1937, 13 new factories were established by or with the assistance of German and Austrian promoters. Corresponding particulars for 1938 are not yet available.

Mr. Temple Morris

asked the Minister of Labour whether he will state the number of Austrian and German refugees, respectively, who are known to have entered domestic service in this country?

Mr. E. Brown

As my hon. Friend will be aware applications for the admission of foreigners to this country which are based solely on refugee grounds are dealt with by the Home Office. I understand from my right hon. Friend that, since the annexation of Austria in March, 1938, his Department has authorised approximately 4,000 visas to enable women refugees from Greater Germany to enter this country for employment in domestic service.

I should add that during the same period 6,156 permits have been issued by the Ministry of Labour for the employment of German and Austrian women in private residential domestic service here and, although in these cases the applications were dealt with on ordinary employment grounds, it is probable that many of the foreigners concerned must now be regarded as refugees. I am unable to give separate figures for Austrians and Germans or to say how many of the foreigners in question have arrived or are in employment in this country.