HC Deb 16 December 1947 vol 445 cc308-9W
95. Mr. Osborne

asked the Minister of Labour which are the six trade unions in the Engineering Federation which still refuse to allow Polish workers to be employed; what is the membership of each union; for how long have discussions been going on with them; what are the suggestions he has made to them which they have promised to consider; and why are these six unions refusing to co-operate with the Government when the other 14 unions have already agreed.

Mr. Ness Edwards

I find that five unions have for the moment refused to agree to the employment of Poles. I am reluctant to name these unions until my negotiations with them are completed and I would ask hon. Members to excuse me until the House re-assembles in January.

97. Sir J. Lucas

asked the Minister of Labour how many of the 1,000 trained Polish engineers, whose union cards were taken away by the Amalgamated Engineering Union, are at present employed on agriculture or on other projects for which they are untrained.

Mr. Ness Edwards

I regret that this information is not available. Once a member of the Polish Resettlement Corps has been placed in civilian work he is regarded as having been resettled in civil life and no special records are kept of any subsequent changes of employment.

98. Sir J. Lucas

asked the Minister of Labour what percentage of the members or ex-members of the Polish Forces, of employable age in this country, have refused employment, and whether in any such cases it is intended to conscript these for industry or to deport them to Poland.

Mr. Ness Edwards

I assume that hon. Member is referring to members of the Polish Forces who have enrolled in the Polish Resettlement Corps. Since May, 1947, only 1,893 cases of individual members of the Polish Resettlement Corps have been reported to the Service authorities as having refused specific offers of employment. Many of these subsequently have taken other jobs. It is impossible to express this figure as a proportion of the number concerned because there has been a continual flow of enrolment into the Polish Resettlement Corps and release from it to civil work. As regards the last part of the Question, I am watching the position with a view to ensuring that members of the Polish Resettlement Corps do not remain idle if there is suitable civilian work available for them.

Sir J. Lucas

asked the Minister of Labour if he will now state the names of the six unions in the engineering industry who still refuse to allow skilled Polish engineers to make coal cutting machinery; and when it is expected that these Polish engineers will have their trade union cards restored to them.

Mr. Ness Edwards

I would refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave today to the hon. Member for Louth (Mr. Osborne).