§ 56. Sir F. BLAKE
asked the President of the Board of Agriculture whether he is aware that many farmers in the north-east of the country are not ploughing their lea land on account of the uncertainty which exists as to the amount of labour which will be available for sowing operations next year, thus decreasing the acreage hitherto under cultivation; and whether he can bold out any hope that a sufficient number of farm workers will be left to enable farmers to put their land to the fullest and best use?
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the BOARD of AGRICULTURE (Sir Richard Winfrey)
The Board are aware of the general position both in the North - Eastern counties and elsewhere in regard to agricultural labour, and they hope to make such arrangements with the War Office and in other directions as will give to agriculture as many labourers for next year's work as in the present prevailing conditions is possible.
59. Mr. CATHCART WASON
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Agriculture if he is aware that farmers are being continually harassed by their men being called up and time after time getting short exemptions, and that farming under such conditions is impossible; 1443 and if he will take into consideration the expediency of giving farmers the opportunity of stating to the Board of Agriculture the number of men they have and the number required, so that the Board of Agriculture could state their case before the tribunals and not throw on farmers the stigma of want of patriotism?
§ Sir R. WINFREY
I can assure the hon. Member that the Board are fully aware of the conditions referred to. An announcement on the subject of agricultural labour is being made by the President to-day.