HC Deb 09 July 1917 vol 95 cc1575-6
18. Mr. G. LAMBERT

asked the President of the Board of Agriculture what were the total number of agricultural workers before the War upon which the estimate has been based that between 300,000 and 350,000 have been lost to agriculture since the War; how many men have been lent to agriculture from the Army recently which are not included in the above figures; and at what date these latter men are due to return to the Army?


The number of agricultural workers in England and Wales before the War was approximately 1,000,000. Twenty-two thousand soldiers lent by the Army have been on the land since March last, and a further 12,000 have been lent for the hay harvest. None of these men are to be withdrawn until further notice. It is not possible to say how many of these 34,000 soldiers are men who have not had previous experience in agriculture, nor can the number of persons, male and female, be estimated who have voluntarily returned to the industry since the outbreak of war, or taken it up as work of national importance.

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