HC Deb 06 January 1916 vol 77 cc1100-1
64. Sir A. MOND

asked what is the amount of land under cultivation producing materials for the manufacture of beers, spirits, and other beverages, and what is the estimated number of people employed on the land for such purpose?


On the basis of the best estimates that can be made in my Department, it is calculated that in the United Kingdom last year 871,000 acres of barley, 34,744 acres of hops, and 80,300 acres of apples and pears were grown for the production of beer, spirits, cider, and perry. It is practically impossible to estimate the number of labourers engaged on this acreage, but it is commonly reckoned that each 100 acres of arable land requires three men, while as regards hops the number has been estimated by witnesses before the Select Committee on the Hop Industry at one man for every 5 or 6 acres, employed for ten months in the year. On this basis, the numbers employed would be about 26,100 for barley and 5,300 for hops. It is difficult to estimate the numbers employed upon the fruit orchards, as the employment is concentrated into certain seasons of the year; but, on the same basis as has been taken for arable land, the numbers would be 2,400, making a total of 33,800.


Is it not the fact that the cultivation of hops employs more men per acre than any other crops?


Yes, Sir; I could wish they were growing something more useful.