HC Deb 19 December 1945 vol 417 cc1504-5W
Captain Peart

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether it is proposed to offer employment in this country to German scientists and technicians; and if he will give any indication of the numbers to be employed and the conditions of their engagements.

Sir S. Cripps

It is the Government's policy to secure from Germany a knowledge of scientific and technical developments that will be of benefit to this country and to make such knowledge available to those who can use it. This step seems desirable since although we were generally ahead, there are certain fields in which the Germans held a temporary lead.

As part of this policy it is proposed to recruit, on the recommendation of the responsible Department, a strictly limited number of German scientists and technicians of the highest grade for service in this country. Any Germans brought in under this scheme must be politically unobjectionable and they will be subject to strict supervision while they are here. They will be allowed to land in the first instance for a period of six months, and any prolongation of this period will be made in consultation with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Home Affairs.

It is intended that in general these experts should work in Government establishments, or for research associations sponsored by the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, but, in approved cases, their services may be made available to individual firms. In any case, they will be servants of the State. In no case will a German be brought in to undertake work that could equally well be performed by a British subject. I have set up an Interdepartmental Panel under the chairmanship of Sir Charles Darwin to examine the requirements of British Industry in this matter and to scrutinise the credentials of those whose names are put forward. I should add that our American and Russian Allies are pursuing a similar policy.