§ 7. Mr. Piratin
asked the Minister of Labour why he has withdrawn the restrictions, based on the type of household and number of staff employed, in respect of the issue of permits to foreign domestic workers.
§ The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Labour (Mr. Ness Edwards)
The Government recently decided, in view of labour shortages in general, to admit aliens more freely for employment in this country. It was found that the restriction of permits resulted in many cases in the type of household urgently needing domestic workers being unable to obtain them.
§ Mr. Piratin
While not objecting to any one needing domestic servants getting them, may I ask if it is not a fact that this arrangement will mean that those households which now have sufficient domestic servants will be able to get more without any restriction whatever?
§ Mr. Ness Edwards
No, Sir; it does not necessarily follow. Most of these people will not be competing in the home market.
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
May I ask whether it is not a fact that this House, sometimes in the second generation, has benefited from arrangements of this kind?
§ Mr. Gallacher
On a point of Order. Is it in Order, when a Question has been put and answered by the Minister, for an hon. Member of this House to make such an offensive reference?
§ Mr. Keeling
Is it not right to leave the number of domestic servants necessary in any particular case to the employer, who cannot possibly afford to engage more than are necessary, and is not a Government Department in the worst possible position to decide how many servants are necessary in a particular household?
§ Mr. Ness Edwards
I should have thought that, in the very difficult circumstances over the last 12 months, the Government ought to exercise some control in this matter. However, in order to ease the position generally, I think the new method is one that will meet with approval.