§ 64. Sir J. BUTCHER
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been called to the terms of a contract entered into by a Department of the Board of Trade for the cutting of a large wood in a certain district in Yorkshire, the name of which has been given to him privately; whether he is aware that the contractors are in connection with this contract temporarily paying to unskilled workmen wages so high as to attract agricultural labourers away from the land to the great detriment of the farmers in the neighbourhood, especially at harvest time; and whether he can state why the contract price was fixed so high as to allow of the contractors paying these unduly high wages to unskilled workmen?
§ Mr. WARDLE
The wood referred to was bought by the Yorkshire Pitwood Association, and the Board of Trade do not control the wages paid by that body for working it. I am, however, drawing the association's attention to the points raised.
§ Mr. PRINGLE
Is it not the case that the timber people escape the high Income Tax and the Excess Profits Duty, and is not that the reason why they can pay such high wages?
§ Sir J. BUTCHER
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of the importance of preventing the abstraction of agricultural labourers from the land for these and other purposes?