HC Deb 15 February 1965 vol 706 cc163-4W
64. Sir D. Renton

asked the Minister of Labour whether, before granting work permits to aliens or employment vouchers to Commonwealth immigrants, he will take steps to ensure that the person concerned understands English and can express himself reasonably well in it.

Mr. Thornton

It is very desirable that immigrants who intend to settle here should speak and understand English, but it would not be practicable or desirable to make knowledge of English a condition of granting work permits or vouchers.

65. Sir D. Renton

asked the Minister of Labour on what principles work permits are granted, respectively, to aliens and employment vouchers to Commonwealth immigrants; and how many people were admitted to the United Kingdom with such permits and vouchers, respectively, during 1964.

Mr. Thornton

The principles on which permits are issued for aliens are that there is an offer of employment for which British labour is not available and that the wages and conditions are not less favourable than those accorded to British workers. The number of aliens admitted to the United Kingdom during 1964 was 42,584.

Vouchers may be granted to Commonwealth immigrants in three types of case: Category A to persons to whom an employer has offered a specific job: Category B to persons possessing certain special qualifications or skills who wish to seek employment; and, when vouchers are available, Category C to all others who wish to seek employment. 14,705 Commonwealth citizens were admitted to the United Kingdom with vouchers in 1964.

Forward to