HC Deb 27 April 1915 vol 71 cc562-3

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he can supply figures as to the number of agricultural labourers who have received advances in wages during the past eight months, the amounts of such increases, and the counties in which they have been granted?


The increases in the wages of agricultural labourers during the period referred to in the question varied considerably in different districts and, without exhaustive inquiries, it would be impossible to give the number of labourers of all classes affected by each increase. As far as reported it appears that in England and Wales the increases in eight counties reached 4s. a week in many cases, and exceeded this amount in some instances; in twenty-four counties the limit of increase was usually 3s. a week, while in nineteen counties the limit was 2s.; in one county where industrial employment is slack comparatively little movement in agricultural wages has occurred. The increases in Ireland were also widespread, but the amount did not generally exceed from 1s. to 2s. a week. In Scotland, at the autumn hirings in 1914, unmarried servants obtained increases of £4 or more for the half-year in a large number of cases.